What is a CV, Resume, and Cover Letter?

You may have observed while reading job advertising that some employers request a resume, others request a CV, and a few may need a “resume/CV with the cover letter” Although both a resume and a CV are used when applying for jobs (and some employers may accept either), there are some key distinctions between the two. In addition to their curriculum vitae or employment applications, job applicants usually include a cover letter to introduce themselves to potential employers and discuss their suitability for the open positions.

What is CV?

A CV, short for curriculum vitae, is a complete document that includes information on your schooling, awards, special honors, grants or scholarships, research or academic initiatives, and publications in addition to your career experience.

What is Resume?

A resume is a written summary of your professional experience, qualifications, and education. A Resume may also include a list of pertinent professional affiliations or volunteer experience, as well as an objective statement outlining your career objectives. If you are a new graduate with little to no work experience, you should begin by listing your schooling before moving on to any pertinent internships or apprenticeships. There are many online resume builder websites available to get help with creating a good and attractive resume.

What is Cover Letter?

When introducing oneself as a candidate, you should write a cover letter to the potential employer. It gives the recruiter further details about your professional background and explains your motivation for applying for the job. The contents of resumes shouldn’t be repeated on cover pages. Their intention is to support them.

Resume vs CV

The length of the document and the availability of layout customization features are two key distinctions between a resume and a CV. Learn more about their differences below.

  • Length: A CV might be many pages long, although most people try to keep their resumes as brief as possible—ideally, simply one to two pages. This is so because a CV has more details than a resume.
  • Experience/career type: People in academic professions frequently utilize CVs. If you are a professor or researcher in an academic institution, or if you are presently applying to or have already completed a master’s or doctoral degree, you may have a CV.
  • Being able to customize: A resume is a constant, static document. Throughout your professional career, you may add new material to a CV, but the information will not vary depending on where you are applying. On the other hand, a resume is frequently modified to highlight certain abilities or experiences pertinent to the job or sector.

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The Tone of Cover Letters and Resumes/CV Differs

You have several chances during the employment process to impress a potential employer with your personality, skills, and expertise. Among these, a staffing agency or recruiter will mostly make their decision to forward your profile to next step based on your cover letter and CV. However, a cover letter and resume have different goals. There are three main differences between them:

Format: While your resume should have sections with bullet points that express precise facts like dates of employment and work functions, your cover letter is a professional message that is organized in whole paragraphs.

Substance: A resume gives a thorough picture of your academic and professional background. It might list the majority or all of the pertinent qualifications and professional encounters that are pertinent to your ongoing job quest. Your cover letter should include a specific reference to the position you’re applying for.

Purpose: In one or two pages, your resume should express a wide range of information. Employers use resumes to swiftly assess your talents and determine whether you are qualified for a position. You may develop a thorough understanding of whom you are as a person and as an application by using your cover letter.


A cover letter is a succinct and direct sales pitch. It is intended to compel the hiring manager or recruiter to read your Resume/CV. However, in real life, the Resume/CV frequently decides whether the cover letter is read.