What’s in a Name? Resume or Curriculum Vitae (CV)?

What’s in a Name? Resume or Curriculum Vitae (CV)?

A student asked us to help her understand the difference between a resume and a CV. She had read “a bunch of stuff online” and was confused what she should name her document. She said, “ I’m a bio engineering major but am applying for volunteering for a job in an art museum.” So which is it a resume or CV?

At the beginning of your undergraduate career, your accomplishments might technically be more appropriate for a resume than a CV even if you are in the sciences. However, as you take advantage of the professional development opportunities available as part of an in-depth research experience, you’ll probably find that CV will become the more accurate label.

At the start, however, it doesn’t matter what you call it—CV or resume—unless you apply to a position, fellowship, or scholarship that specifically requests one document type over the other. In which case, label yours whatever is instructed.

In the case of the student mentioned above, the ad instructed to send a resume so that’s what we advised her to label her document.