Have you ever wondered when it would be appropriate to use a CV (curriculum vitae or vita) vs. a résumé? Although most social workers use a résumé to apply for jobs, there are many professional opportunities that arise for us in which a CV may be in order. As you grow in your career, a CV is the next logical step to demonstrate your expertise and knowledge.

The main differences between a CV and a résumé are the audience, length, and format. A résumé is a brief summary of your knowledge, skills, and experience in one or two pages. A CV is a detailed document that can be several pages long and lists everything you have done throughout your career. The CV is intended as a career management tool, which records your career history, as opposed to a résumé, which is succinct and targeted.

Each CV is a unique document. Although there are a few rules of thumb regarding the content of your CV, there are no set rules about the format, especially the order of things. Develop your vita purposefully by combining elements of content and format to effectively reflect your unique background and career goal.

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