- Are CV’s exclusively designed for higher education?
- Should everyone in higher education use a CV?
- Do you need to create a CV to replace your resume?
The answer to all three is “No.” Let me explain.
CV Confusion. A CV (Curriculum Vitae) is designed to share your life’s work and contributions. This is different from a resume, designed to highlight your qualifications for a position. Though the purpose is the same—to land you an interview—there are many other distinct uses for each document. For example, while the resume is ideal in a business qualifications package, the CV is preferred for grant and scholarship applications. There is also a clear delineation in who needs which document as part of their career portfolio. Unfortunately or fortunately, the lines of distinction are slowly becoming blurred. While this increases the confusion about which document you will need, it also provides a lot more room for acceptance of both, especially in higher education.
CV or Resume. Just because you work for an institution of higher education does not mean your resume instantly transforms into a CV. Nor are the terms interchangeable. There are many higher education professionals (along with those in the medical, research and scientific industries) who should use a CV as their primary career marketing document. Faculty, executives, scholars, graduate assistants, researchers and librarians are among the higher education professionals typically required to have a CV. Administrators, support professionals and facility and security professionals (among others) require the use of a resume.
CV and Resume. As I mentioned earlier, the lines are becoming blurred between CVs and resumes, both in regards to executive resumes and within institutions of higher learning. The reason may stem from the high-brow nods that may be associated with a CV, CV familiarity that leads to cross-pollination of terms in higher education or simply because there is a lack of understanding the structure and purpose of each document.
When you boil it all down, many institutions of higher learning accept them interchangeably for open positions. What does matter is how your document is formatted and used. Specifically, if you have a two page targeted resume, it’s not a CV. Nor does the fact that you couldn’t whittle your qualifications down to less than a three-page document make it a CV. Unless you’re in one of the CV-required professions, it’s best to be ready with two documents—a resume and a CV. It’s imperative to ask for clarification prior to submitting your credentials.