Resume or Curriculum Vitae?

These 2 terms are often confused with each other and many believe that these documents can be used interchangeably. They are in fact, very different documents with different information and used by very different types of professionals on different continents! Health professionals, clinical managers and non-clinical managers from physicians to nurse leaders, directors and C-suite executives need to be aware of the scope and information utilized in these. A curriculum vitae (CV), literally Latin for ‘course of one’s life’ is the standard, internationally recognized document used by healthcare, scientific or executive-level professionals with advanced degrees or experience. Resumes are the most commonly recognized format in the United States, generally for applicants with a Bachelor’s degree or less as a short account of one’s career and qualifications prepared for a specific position.

Curriculum Vitae (CV)

CV’s have worldwide use for executive, healthcare, scientific and professionals. They are very comprehensive and can be lengthy. CV’s are organized by categories including information about education, certifications, research interests and fieldwork experiences, honors and awards, publications and professional experiences and affiliations. CV’s are a static document that encompass an entire career, containing the full record of your career history. A cover letter is used for targeting specific new career opportunities.



Resumes are a summary of education, work experience, skills and credentials, usually a page in length, used primarily in the United States for people with a Bachelor’s degree or less. They are usually customized and targeted for a specific position. Resumes are generally chronological, functional or a combination of the two and may include career objectives. The human resource professional is left looking for details, specifics and references. They can be useful when changing careers or accounting for gaps in employment history.

Resumes are used in the US and are competency-based summaries. They are personal marketing tools to target skills, experience and education for specific positions. CV’s are credential-based, international and extremely comprehensive documents used to showcase advanced education, training, experiences, accomplishments and contributions. CV’s are the recommended document for health professionals above the entry level.

Contact us and upload your resume or CV for a free review by our expert recruiting team. Renee Lindberg, Director of Recruiting states, “I agree that CV’s should be used for healthcare professionals above entry level. Especially since a the CV covers education as well as any other accomplishments like education, certifications, publications, awards, honors etc. All of these are helpful in promoting an interim nurse leader to our clients.”

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