Based on the post I made yesterday. Some of us wanted to know if a CV and a Resume are the same thing.

Here, the experienced HR tries to explain the difference between a CV and a resume.

He also explains what a cover letter is…

A CV and a Resumé are very much similar, aim to keep them as short as possible.

But in comparison, a CV is much more detailed than a Resumé.

A CV (Latin: curriculum vitae, meaning “course of life”) chronicles your life history, academic qualifications, work experience and even academic research, awards, etc.

Details are given with accuracy and may not be modified.

A Resumé, just like a CV also chronicles your life history, education, work experience, etc.

It is, however, often shorter than a CV and usually modified and tailored to a particular job.

It lists your skills and experience that are relevant to the job you’re applying to, rather than your entire work history.

There are 3 formats to write a resume, depending on the need.

1. Chronological resumé, which chronicles ALL your work history, one job after another, starting with the most recent to the oldest (reverse chronological order).

It works perfectly for people that have had a steady work history, aligned with their current job application.

For instance, if I have worked as a sales representative, and key account manager and now applying for district sales manager, this type of resumé is most appropriate since it lists all relevant experience leading up to the role I am applying to.

2. Functional resume focuses on your skills and experience rather than chronological dates of employment.

It is very good for use in highlighting transferable skills and experience from one job to another. Even though you may list your work history, more details are given to skills, experience and achievements.

A good example is me as a Pharmacist, applying for the job of sales manager in MTN or Glo.

I will need a functional resume that will highlight my sales skills and achievements, rather than one that chronicles my experience as a Pharmacist.

Suffice it to say that functional resumé comes in handy while making a career change or if you want to mask a gap in your employment history.

3. Combined resumé is a combination of functional and chronological. It is often the best format to use but risks making it longer than 2 pages.

It details your skills that are relevant to the job while also chronicling your work history and achievements.

Finally, to set a resumé apart from a CV, a headline is needed on your resumé. It is the headline, a brief (one paragraph of 1 to 3 lines) introduction of yourself and a highlight of your skills/experience that either captivates the hiring manager to read further or to ditch your resumé.

A CV often does not have that headline and that is why a resume is mostly recommended for a job search, besides offering you the flexibility of tailoring your experience to a particular job.

P. S.

A cover letter is entirely different from a resumé or CV.

A cover letter is a personal statement, a more elaborate form of your headline on your resumé.

It is a way to persuade the hiring manager on WHY they should hire you.

There, you give a snippet of your experience, skills, career goals, and what you could offer to the company, and if you’ve been outstanding in your past work, this is where to show that.

A lot of people go about introducing themselves, my name is, I have a Bachelor’s degree in… Blah blah blah! Those are already captured in your resumé and no need to repeat them in your cover letter.

In a nutshell, a cover letter summarizes your resume while persuading the hiring manager on the reason you should be hired.

P. P. S.
This is a very long topic and I just did a quick note on this. It might not be so detailed too. It is intended to provide a little insight, not in-depth knowledge, of what a CV and Resumé should look like.

There are many materials online that applicants can refer to to get more details.

I hope this helps someone.

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