What’s The Difference Between A Resume, CV And Cover Letter?

The main differences between a resume and a CV are length, content and use. A resume is shorter, maximum of 3 pages. That’s because a CV is more detailed and comprehensive.

A resume contains just about 5 to 6 sections. Namely; Name and contact (physical address, email and telephone no), profile/ objective/ Summary, educational qualification, work history and professional affiliation. While a CV includes a summary of your educational and academic backgrounds as well as teaching and research experience, publications, presentations, awards, honors, affiliations and other details.

A CV is used primarily when applying for academic, education, scientific or research positions. It is also applicable when applying for fellowships or grants. Every other kind of job application requires a resume and not a CV.

A cover letter is different from these two documents above. It’s usually a 1-page document accompanying a resume, which purpose is to indicate interest in a job position, provide additional details that are not included on a resume and market the applicant’s skills.

Note: In Africa and some parts of Europe, when recruiters request for a CV, they actually mean a resume. So don’t get confused!