If you’re looking for a job in the US, you’ll need a resume. Make an application in the UK or Ireland and you’ll be asked for a CV.

That might sound like CVs and Resumes are essentially the same thing; and in some ways they are, in others they are very different.

The tone in both is formal and both are designed to convince an employer you’re the person for the job – but they aren’t interchangeable. In fact, even the best CVs would be really bad Resumes, and vice versa. Confused? We’ve explained the key CV vs resume differences to give you the best chance of getting the job you want, no matter where you are in the world.


A CV or Curriculum Vitae is an in-depth account of your education, work, skills and achievements.

A CV should contain a short bio, your name and contact details. A CV is generally about 2 pages, should be updated regularly and is usually accompanied by a cover letter.

If you’re writing a CV aimed at Irish businesses be sure to:

- Format your CV so that it is easily scanned for keywords

- Use headings to break up each section – education, work experience, skills etc.

- List achievements, rather than tasks performed

- Highlight soft skills such as teamwork and communication skills

- Include software systems you have experience using, relevant awards or charity work

- Link to an online portfolio if applicable.

To get a more specific insight into why you are right for a role an employer will generally ask for a cover letter along with your CV.


A resume is a more concise document that lists work experience and education details relevant to the job you’re applying for. The point of a resume is to summarize your previous experience and clearly explain why you’re the best person for the job.

If you are writing a resume remember:

- A resume is generally just one page.

- You should adapt your resume for each role.

- Always contain essentials that apply to the specific job – key skills, relevant education and training.

The personalized aspect of a resume means a cover letter will rarely be requested.

The key differences between a resume and CV is the length and the detail of information included. Your CV will be longer and more detailed, while a resume is more concise and to the point. Basically, a resume is a short and sweet tailored version of a CV.

The CV is the main document requested from job seekers in Ireland and the UK, while resumes are common place in America and Canada. For both you should pay attention to correct formatting, perfect spelling and grammar and include only honest, relevant information.  

The similarities are obvious, but if you want to make a good first impression take the time to convert your information into the required format of the country you are seeking a job in.

Contact Cpl for free CV advice and Irish job opportunities that match your skills.

For more information visit www.cpl.ie.