As a Professional IT Resume Writer, I'm often asked the difference between a Resume and a CV, so I wanted to take a minute to discuss the differences between the two documents.

The confusion comes from the fact that "CV" is used for several different documents - with varying degrees of overlap with what we commonly think of as a resume.

In a formal sense a CV or curriculum vitae (meaning, according to the good people at Wikipedia, [the] course of [my] life) is most commonly used in two areas. In the UK, the European Union, and most of the British Commonwealth (with the exception of Canada), a CV is the most common document to submit for a job opportunity. I have to respectfully disagree with the aforementioned good people at Wikipedia, who say that "In the United Kingdom and Ireland, a CV is short (usually a maximum of 2 sides of A4 paper." I haven't encountered those hard and fast length limits with the British or European CV - but regardless, the CV is often substantially longer than a US resume.

In addition to length, a CV is less focused on format than a US resume and frequently begins with education - something that I only recommend for entry-level job seekers in the US.

Finally, the European and British CV includes significant personal information - age, marital status, and interests - that are (at least) often strongly discourage in the US.

The second meaning of CV is specifically geared to Academia, Medicine, and the Sciences.

In this case, the CV is a very comprehensive document with extensive detail on education. However, actual work experience can be extremely streamlined - just position and job titles - without the detail, or focus on accomplishments, that is required for a strong resume.

In short, the Academic CV is more a reference, and less a marketing document, than a resume.

Academic and medical CVs may also include a publications section. I vividly remember the CV of a leading neurosurgeon that crossed my desk many years ago when I was a physician recruiter. It tipped the scales at 130 pages.

The final use of CV - and the one that I encounter most often as a professional IT resume writer - is almost synonymous with the resume in the US. This is primarily the case in senior executive circles.

So what's the difference between a CIO Resume and a CIO CV?

Often, the difference is the one I've discussed previously between a strong CIO resume, and the often much weaker resumes that often cross my desk before an initial client consultation.

My sense is that, at the IT Executive level, candidates and employers are looking for CVs as a way to ensure that they have an executive level document - that's to say, a resume that is strategic, results oriented, and demonstrates a strong business focus in addition to foundational technical skills.

In short, the type of strongly focused, compelling CIO resume that I recommend - and that I create for my own senior level clients.

If you're in the UK, EU, or Commonwealth, and looking for an IT CV, I can certainly help with that - I have significant international experience. And, of course, if you're an IT executive in the US looking for a powerful, targeted, strategic CIO resume (or CIO CV), please feel free to contact me.

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