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What is Resume?
A resume is a document that contains a summary of relevant job experience and education for specific employment search. The resume is typically the first item that a potential employer encounters regarding the job seeker and is typically used to screen applicants, often followed by an interview, when seeking employment. The resume is comparable to a curriculum vitae in many countries, although in Canada and United States it is substantially different.

A simple resume is a summary typically limited to one or two pages of size A4 or Letter-size highlighting only those experiences and credentials that the author considers most relevant to the desired position. US academic CVs are typically longer.

Resumes may be organized in different ways. The following are some of the more common formats:

Reverse chronological resume
A reverse chronological resume enumerates a candidate's job experiences in reverse chronological order, generally covering the last 10 to 15 years.

Functional resume
A functional resume lists work experience and skills sorted by skill area or job function.

Combination resume
The combination resume balances the functional and chronological approaches. A resume organized this way typically leads with a functional list of job skills, followed by a chronological list of employers. The combination resume has a tendency to repeat itself and is therefore less widely utilized than the other two forms.
Difference between CV and Resume
While most of us use the terms 'Curriculum Vitae' (CV) and 'Resume' interchangeably, there is a difference between these two documents. All over the world (including India) except the US, employers ask potential employees for a CV while applying for a position. While both documents are used in the job application process, there is a difference in what the contents of each should be.

To understand this, let us look at the literal meaning of these two terms:
  • Curriculum Vitae: The course of life
  • Resume: Summary

A close look at the meaning of these terms makes things clearer. While a CV discusses the course of life of a person, his Resume is a brief summary of his skills and achievements. The meaning of the words offers the basic differences between the two:
  • While a CV is detailed, a Resume is to the point
  • A CV is longer than a Resume. Usually, a CV is two or more pages long while a Resume is essentially one page long.
  • A CV can contain some information about other facets of your life such as hobbies and extracurricular activities. A Resume strictly contains information relevant to the job.
  • A CV is usually used in USA only for academia and when you are required to apply for a government grant. Potential employers usually ask for a Resume there.
  • This means that while your CV when applying to two different jobs could be same, your Resume has to be different, highlighting different achievements in different cases.
So, what term should you use? While most times you will be asked for a CV all over the world, you have to be cautious if you are in the USA. In the USA, employers expect you to abide by the rules when they ask you for your Resume.
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