The word Curriculum Vitae is of Latin origin meaning “Course of Life”, vita meaning life. Therefore, the main purpose of a Curriculum Vitae, abbreviated as CV, is to give the employer a brief summary of the job seeker’s life mainly the relevant part to the work field therefore the work experience, qualification and some personal information.
The Curriculum Vita or CV is of crucial importance since it is the first contact one can make with his or her potential employer. It is like the first impression, and most employers do not spend more than 30 seconds on each CV they receive, so YOU, the person looking for a job, better have included relevant information about yourself, your skills and your work credentials which will get the employer to invite you to join on the next critical step which is the Job Interview.
In many countries the word “Résumé” is also used. Resumé comes from the French word Resumer, which means summarize, so what is the difference between a Resume and a CV? The same kind of information should be mainly included in both a CV and a resume and in most places Resumé and CV are interchangeable. However, a Resumé is usually shorter than a CV and more tailored for a specific target, mainly used in the private sector and for more general jobs and recruitment agencies whereas in North America, Curriculum Vitae is mainly used in the academic circles and the Health field. The CV is more inclusive than the resume in that it usually has no omission and will list the entire person’s data from schools to credentials, awards, publications, accomplishments, etc, it may even include a sample of the work.
An interesting note that illustrates the magnitude of the curriculum vitae, regarding the European Union which consists of the economic and political Union of 27 member countries in Europe, they attempted to standardize the CV among these European countries under a form called Europass CV, thus aiming to facilitate the process of job search for job seekers, students and employers while overcoming the language barrier among different countries.
With this era of fast technology, new methods of electronically applying for a job have emerged. Many employers will only receive the applicants’ CV by email instead of delivered to the office. This new method has many advantages to both the employer and job Seeker. It allows the job seeker a much higher and faster distribution of his/her CV and it is more practical for the employer to skim through the CVs, keep the ones of interest, and of course it cuts through having a huge stash of paper to look through and pick the appropriate CV.
Furthermore, with the rising popularity of video hosting websites such as youtube, there has been a growing inclination towards making video resumes which consists of a video of the job seeker briefly introduces him or herself and talks about the relevant qualifications. In fact, there is many video resume hosting websites dedicated just for that goal, and although it does not take the place of a CV, it can be quite helpful if the job seeker is a good presenter and portrays confidence and knowledge.