Résumé vs. Curriculum Vitae

While searching for a correct spelling of the word “résumé“, I ended up reading Wikipedia, where I found an interesting clarification of the difference between  curriculum vitae (aka CV) and résumé:

A curriculum vitae (loosely translated as course of life) provides an overview of a person’s life and qualifications. It differs from a résumé in that it is appropriate for academic or medical careers and is far more comprehensive. A CV elaborates on education to a greater degree than a résumé. A résumé is tailor-made according to the post applied for. It is job-oriented and goal specific. One of the key characteristics of a proper résumé is conciseness.

Also, here is the bit on how to write it properly, from the same page:

Curriculum vitae is Latin meaning “course of life” and résumé is French meaning “summary”. In the business world, the word résumé, also spelled resumé and resume, is used in the United States and in English Canada. Curriculum vitae and “CV” are used in the United Kingdom, Republic of Ireland and New Zealand in all contexts, with résumé having very little currency.


The term curriculum vitae means “course of life” in Latin. While it is appropriate to write either curriculum vitae or just vita, it is incorrect to use the phrase curriculum vita, the form vitae being the genitive of vita. The plural of curriculum vitae is curricula vitae.


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