What is a CV?

CV stands for Curriculum Vitae. A CV presents a summary of your academic credentials and work experience. A CV is generally used as part of the application package to graduate programs. It is also the expected document for those who have completed a master's or doctoral program and are applying for academic teaching or research positions. 

Difference between a resume and a CV 

Generally, CVs present your skills and expertise to potential academic programs and employment opportunities.  A resume is designed to market a specific skill set for specific employment or unpaid experience opportunity and is the expected document for non-academic job searches.

A CV is designed to present a complete picture of your academic and research qualifications (gained through education, teaching and research), that also includes a record of presentations and publications, and tends to be longer and more detailed than a typical resume. It is the expected document when applying for academic positions or entry to a graduate program. 

Note: Some employers use the terms CV and resume interchangeably which can be confusing. In many countries, the term CV and resume are used to mean the same thing. As a general rule, assume that applications within academia call for a CV and applications outside of academia call for a resume unless otherwise stated. 

If you are an undergraduate student wondering how to create a CV for a graduate school program learn more in the Curriculum Vitae for Undergraduates Tip Sheet.

The Career Centre offers CV critiques for graduate school applications and helps with CVs for job search for academic positions. Please call us at 905-828-5451 to book an appointment.


updated July 2023