Resume or CV? What is the Difference?

Jan 22, 2024

A CV, short for curriculum vitae, a Latin term meaning “course of life” is a very detailed history of your educational and professional accomplishments. There is no page limit to a CV and depending on your field and the length of your career, they can get quite lengthy. While a resume typically only goes back 10 years in your employment history, a CV goes back as long as is relevant, so if you are a senior level employee with 20 years of experience, you would include your entire relevant work history on a CV. If you have many publications, they would also be included, as would any fellowships, internships, research studies, and teaching experience. These documents are highly specialized and are primarily used in the fields of medical research and academia. Rarely would you ever need a CV for a nurse or nurse practitioner role. If a recruiter or HR manager requests a CV, it is wise to clarify if they want a true CV or a focused resume. There is a distinction, and they may use the term CV synonymously, though incorrectly, when they actually just want a current resume.

A focused resume is just that—it is not generalized, but specific to the role you are seeking. Whether that is as a nurse, nurse practitioner, nurse educator, case manager, research assistant, or even a leadership role in an organization, such as the Chief Nursing Officer or APP manager, your resume should speak directly to that role and only include relevant education, experience, and licensure. You should tailor the profile section toward the position you are applying for as well. Additional elements you should also include on a focused resume are continuing medical education, awards, medical volunteerism, professional organizations that you are a member of (relevant to your field), and personal and professional skills - especially those that are specifically listed in the job ad.

A resume should only include the last 10 years of relevant employment history and should not exceed two pages. And while it may be tempting to do so, a photo—even a professional headshot—goes against industry standards for resumes. You should also avoid including your full street address or license numbers. You can provide this information to the employer upon request for an interview or when an offer has been made or is being considered. Simply providing your city, state, phone number, and email address is sufficient.

Then you have come to the right place! At The Clinician Life, we have helped hundreds of nurses and nurse practitioners with personalized products and services, and we also provide custom resumes, CVs, digital courses, templates, and career tracking tools. Let us help you shine a light on all your skills and accomplishments with professional resources that you will be proud to show-off. Your dream career is waiting - we can help you get there! Visit our website to learn more about our custom resume packages for nurses and nurse practitioners. Not convinced? Check out our 5-star reviews on Google to see what others are saying about resumes from The Clinician Life.

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