What is the difference between Curriculum Vitae, Resume and cover letter?

The world of job hunting can be quite taxing and confusing. One of the first questions anyone looking for a job has is what is the difference between Curriculum Vitae, Resume and Cover Letter? Are they all different and are employers looking for something specific? Are they just different words for the same thing? 

Here we will talk about what each of these terms mean, How they are used and What do employers mean when they use them. 

We will also go over different aspects such as ‘What is a Resume, Cover Letter, Curriculum template”. We will also touch on Curriculum Vitae, Resume and  Cover Letter examples so you will have a better grasp of what to do for the next job opportunity. 

Let’s Begin:

Curriculum Vitae 

A curriculum vitae, often shortened as CV, is a Latin term meaning “course of life.” It is a document that outlines all awards and accolades of your life. A CV is similar to a resume but is much longer and detailed. For all intents and purposes the word CV and Resumes mean the same thing. The main difference only remains by what the employer means by them. 

Resume, a french word is commonly used in the USA and CV is the more popular term every where else. 

The main difference between a CV and a Resume is the length of the document. Whereas resumes are assumed to be targeted towards specific jobs a CV is supposed to encase all variety of work experience making it longer. 

Although that is the only real difference, again they mean the same thing. So, don’t sweat it if you made a Resume and the Job application says CV and vice versa. 

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On the off chance that an employer asks for CV or a Resume specifically don’t be alarmed. Use a Resume or Curriculum Vitae Template to create one and send it in. Or do as I would do and forget about that company because honestly if they’re going to be so shrewd about syntax, it just doesn’t seem like a good place to work. 

Curriculum Vitae Template 

As we have already discussed, a Curriculum Vitae Template is not that much different from that of a Resume Template, only longer. All the headings are the same and if you do use a Curriculum Vitae template it would require extra fields for your diverse work background and different skills picked up from aforementioned work. 

Curriculum Vitae Examples

Upon inspection of professional Curriculum Vitae examples users will know exactly what the visual difference is between a CV and resume Template. Whereas a Resume will only consist of the most relevant work history, skills, certifications, education etc. A CV will consist of all work history, education, you get the idea…with the most relevant elements being prioritized, accordingly.


A Resume is a brief document that encompasses an applicant’s most relevant Work History, Education, Skills etc essential for a job application. This document is then used to assess whether or not the applicant is eligible for the job. 

Resumes are targeted towards a specific job, hence only contain information that is relevant towards a specific job. 

A job seeker can have more than one resume to apply for specific jobs which is a good idea, as this makes going through such a document more desirable for HR Managers.

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Resume Template 

A Resume Template is a guideline for professionals to create many targeted resumes without wasting time and effort. Many online services provide these kinds of Templates for free or cheap. These are a great tool for resume makers because not only do they guide in the process but are standardized. Meaning that they limit human error while making a resume.

Resume Examples 

Resume Examples are great tools for Resume making. They aid job seekers in figuring out what a field resume looks like. 

Looking at professional resume examples help job seekers to see what skills, work history and education are relevant to a field. Thus, indicating what goes in and what stays out. 

Cover Letter

A Cover Letter is a document that accompanies a resume and  introduces an individual to an employer. It also explains an individuals interest in the job and why they’d be a good fit for a position.

A cover letter should:

  • Introduce the job seeker to the employer in a amicable way
  • Focus on the job seekers strengths and play down their weaknesses 
  • Should show enthusiasm on part of the job seeker for the job
  • Briefly touch upon how one plans to do the job 
  • End with an enthusiastic goodbye. 

Think of it as a short conversation between an employee and employer, an elevator pitch if you will. 

Cover Letter Templates 

There are many Cover Letter examples present online, along with Resume Templates. If you’re going to use one, make sure they match.  However all Cover Letter templates follow the same format which in order is 

  • Contact Information
  • Employer Contact Information 
  • Greeting 
  • Opener 
  • Body
  • Closer
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Cover Letter Examples 

Cover Letter examples are a great tool for potential employees to study and see what professional cover letter examples look like. Also to determine what goes into a Cover letter related to that field. 

Professional Cover Letter examples are full of great indications of how to address an employer in that field. Following their lead will lead to better chances of success when it comes to job hunting. 

One more thing to notice is that all Cover Letter examples follow the same format. Yet, the text is specific to the job 

Final Thoughts

Now you know the difference between a Resume, Curriculum Vitae and Cover Letter. Now you know when to use a Resume or a CV. When crafting a document, depending on what you want to make, now you’ll know whether to use a Cover Letter or a Curriculum Vitae Template. For more information like this visit MyResumeLift.

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