Whether you are applying for a scholarship, a place on a Masters course, or a full-fledged job, you need to provide relevant information to sell yourself to those who select the best candidate.
The best way to do this is to create a killer resume or résumé describing you, your experience, and everything you’ve accomplished so far.
However, how do you know what type of document to create?
To some, a résumé and a résumé seem like interchangeable words. It turns out that there are differences between the two documents as well as differences in the types of places you want to send a resume to versus a resume.
To make this decision clearer and to help you prepare your resume or résumé, here are the main differences between the two documents.
A resume is the typical document required by applicants in the US and Canada. We’ll talk about other countries a little further down in this article.
The resume is a summary of your work and educational experience. You have to be strategic Create your resume so that it highlights all of your best workSince the document is a summary, it cannot describe every single achievement that you have achieved during your career. Also, don’t be afraid to tailor your resume for each position you are applying for.
Unless otherwise noted, assume that most hiring managers will expect a resume. The world of science is a different story – they might expect a longer, detailed résumé instead – but more on that later.
How does it look like?
Recruiters and HR managers often receive multiple applications for an available position. You want to quickly browse résumés to narrow down the pool and interview candidates. Hence your résumé should not be longer than two pages and include easy-to-scan bullet points that highlight your greatest achievements.
In the few minutes that someone takes one look at your resume, you need to make sure they realize that you stand out from the crowd.
Your resume should always include work experience, especially experience most relevant to the position you are applying for. Ideally, your resume should be tailored for the area you want to work in and the job you want to get. Even if you were the editor of your university’s newspaper, it may not be relevant if you are applying for a science class at the local high school.
You should always strive to add a Summary at the top of your resume. It should be short, sweet, and to the point. If anything, you can specify your expectations and highlight your greatest accomplishments in your cover letter – many employers require applicants to submit both.
CV means life course in Latin. This is your first indication that a resume is much longer than a resume. This document is the most popular in the academic world where prospective researchers, masters and PhD candidates can all substantiate their accomplishments.
More importantly, especially for academics, you can share all of your educational achievements and publications on the resume. The latter is especially important for those looking to advance in higher education.
Publication gives your research and reputation more clout. In a nutshell, an educational institution will be more than happy to hire you once you’ve demonstrated that you can be published so they can get their name out as well.
Higher education resumes should also include your teaching experience, previous degrees, presentations you have given in your field of study and of course the awards you have already received.
You have enough space to refine all of this information. Since the document is so long, you can probably create a resume that will apply to any application you submit – as opposed to the short and cute resume.
Of course, the resume is not only used for students who are pursuing an advanced degree. CVs are the common application document in many countries. They are also used for those in the medical field.
How does it look like?
Anyone who has earned a degree beyond a bachelor’s degree knows how much it costs and how much there is to discuss. Because of this, resumes are usually longer than the quick bulleted resume. Even an entry-level resume can be two pages long, and some more detailed ones are pages long.
Like a resume, your resume should be broken down into categories. A great way to create your resume is first Brainstorm all the accomplishments you want to include. When you’ve got them all written down, group them into categories.
You want to make sure that your resume includes all of your best academic achievements, such as:
- Research completed
- Teach experience
- Memberships and licenses from professional associations
- Scholarships and grants
Again, all of this has to be ordered on your resume page in order to logically move from one category to the next.
Don’t forget about international expectations
Not all applications for jobs or educational institutions include a specific request for a résumé or résumé. When applying abroad, it is good to know where the former is expected, where the latter is expected and where the terms are more or less interchangeable.
If you are looking for a job in the US or Canada, you will likely be asked for a resume. You are only expected to provide a longer resume when applying for a research position or other academic activity.
In the UK, Ireland, New Zealand and most of Europe, the résumé is paramount. This applies to any academic or professional position – those who select candidates want a fully detailed resume.
Then of course there are the placeholders. Places like Australia, South Africa and India use the terms résumé and résumé interchangeably, but there is a distinction: the résumé is often used for positions in the public sector while the résumé is sufficient for most private sector jobs.
Is there an overlap?
These are the typical scenarios that would require a resume or résumé. Of course, it’s not always black and white, and you may find that your next application comes with a resume or post-graduate scholarship résumé that you really want.
The most important thing to remember when writing your resume or résumé is to include the information that your employer or educational institution wants to hear. You should always make sure that your writing is clear and that the structure is logical. The appearance of the document should also always be clean.
If you want to be extra careful, prepare both a résumé and a résumé before you start your job or scholarship search. Both documents may take a little longer to prepare, but you’ll be glad to have them on hand if you apply and find that one institution wants a CV while the next wants the CV.
As always, don’t be afraid to share your professional or academic achievements. You worked hard to create this impressive resume or résumé. So show it – the right people are sure to notice.
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