Comparative Analysis: The Distinctive Features of British CVs vs American Resumes

Summary - Discovering the Job Application Puzzle: Is a resume a CV? Not quite! Dive into the nuances of the American resume vs British CV, ...with insights into what sets them apart. Wondering about the American CV example or the British CV example? We’ve got you covered.

The terms may seem interchangeable in the UK, but subtle distinctions exist. Discover the difference between CV and resume in the UK, and understand why a resume isn’t the same. Explore ‘Resume vs CV UK’ to grasp these fundamental differences. Curious about what CV stands for or what a resume entails? Our blog illuminates these essentials, preparing you for job success on either side of the pond!

Does The UK Have A Different CV Format?

Absolutely! In the UK, a CV and a resume are not exactly the same. The term ‘CV’, standing for Curriculum Vitae, is commonly used in the UK and covers your entire work history, hobbies and interests, and often spans a longer document. On the other hand, an American resume is a brief summary tailored to each position, focusing on specific skills and experiences relevant to the job.

Understanding ‘resume vs CV UK’ reveals that while in the US, a resume is preferred, in the UK, Ireland, and New Zealand, a CV is used for applying for all types of jobs. The key differences between a CV and a resume lies in length, layout, and purpose. For academic positions, one would use an academic CV, which includes a detailed summary of your education, research, and publications.

To understand it better, let’s go through the passage below, which will share the differences between the US resume and the UK CV. Meanwhile, discover more about the CV writing services.

American Resume Vs. British CV

American Resume Vs. British CV

The first difference that we can notice is that the US considers a resume, whereas the UK prefers a CV. Many of you now might wonder— Is resume the same as CV? The answer is NO. While we might take a resume and a CV for the same purpose, they also have some differences, which we will discuss later. Now, let’s look at the significant differences between the US resume and the UK CV.

The US follows a résumé, which must be one page, emphasising the resume format as a concise summary of professional experience. In contrast, the UK follows a CV, which can be up to three or four pages maximum, often using a CV template to include detailed career history. This is where the terms resume and CV are not used interchangeably. In the US, a resume places a lot more emphasis on your productivity as an employee, with a focus on specific achievements and skills relevant to the job you’re applying for.

In contrast, a CV in the UK, commonly called a CV, must include a 50-word personal statement at the top and a second paragraph at the conclusion that lists your hobbies. This CV summary is crucial to tailor your CV to each position you apply for. In the US, a résumé does not have enough space for references, whereas in the UK, the last section of your CV should be your professional and personal contacts, making it a longer document than a resume.

This information is essential for job seekers looking to apply for jobs in either the US or the UK. Whether it’s a graduate CV or a general CV to make your next career move, understanding the difference between a resume and a CV, or a CV vs resume, is key. The use of CVs and resumes is not used similarly across these regions.

For those preparing a CV or resume, whether to use a CV or resume can be critical. The decision to use a CV vs a resume depends on the region and the specific job requirements. With tools like a CV builder, it’s easier for job seekers to prepare the appropriate document, whether it’s for their next job or a specific role.

In summary, the difference between a resume and a CV, or a resume vs CV, especially in terms of resume vs CV UK, is significant and should be well understood by anyone applying for a job. Remember, what does CV stand for is just as important as knowing what is a resume, as these terms are not always used reciprocally.

 Also, learn more here about the cover letter writing service.

What Are The Five Main Parts Of A CV?

What Are The Five Main Parts Of A CV?

Name And Contact Information

It should be correctly written at the top of your resume. Include your name and contact information (phone number and email address) in your resume.

Personal Statement

It should be at the top of your resume and describe who you are, what makes you stand at the top in the competition, why you are a good fit for the position and your career objectives.

Work Experience

Ensure that you list your most recent position first. Include your full work title, start and end dates, and a succinct description of your duties in this area.

Education And Qualifications

List items in reverse chronological sequence, starting with the most recent. Specify the name of the course or certification, the college or institution you attended, and your grade point average.

Key Skills

This area of your resume is crucial. Your critical skills list should primarily highlight your technical skills. Make sure your CV is ATS friendly. Using ATS friendly keywords enhances your chances to get spotted easily. 

Writing a CV means including all the relevant information. And here, people often need clarification on whether the mentioned five components should be in two pages of a CV or more than that. Let’s know it here. Meanwhile, learn more about the components of cv.

Is It Okay For A CV To Be Two Pages? 

Absolutely! When crafting your professional profile, understanding the differences between resumes and CVs is crucial. In the context of a CV and resume, these terms are often used mutually, but they have distinct differences, especially when considering a CV in the US versus other regions.

A great CV, particularly when applying for a job abroad or for an academic position, can indeed span one or two pages. This length allows you to cover your whole career and educational background comprehensively. In contrast, Americans and Canadians would typically use a resume for every job application, which is usually more concise and focused on a resume summary.

Enhance your career prospects with professional CV editing services, tailored to showcase your skills and experience effectively.

What Do Employers Look For In A CV UK?

What Do Employers Look For In A CV UK?

In the UK job market, employers look for specific elements in a CV that differ from what you might include in an American resume. Understanding these distinctions is crucial for job seekers. Here’s a quick guide to what UK employers typically look for in a CV:

1. Comprehensive Detail 

Unlike a word resume, which is often brief and concise, a UK CV should provide a thorough overview of your professional and academic history. This means that a CV in the UK can be longer than the typical one-page American resume.

2. Professional And Academic Achievements 

Especially when applying for an academic position, your CV should highlight your academic achievements, research, publications, and any other relevant accomplishments.

3. Personal Statement

A CV should begin with a personal statement—a short summary of your professional profile and the position you are applying for. This differs from the resume summary used in American resumes.

4. Relevant Skills and Experience

Tailor your CV to the specific job you’re applying for, emphasising the skills and experiences that are most relevant to the position.

5. CV and Cover Letter 

Along with your CV, include a cover letter that complements your CV by providing additional context and details about your qualifications and why you’re a good fit for the position.

6. Formatting

In terms of format, a word CV can be more detailed and longer than a resume. Employers expect a well-organised and clearly formatted CV that is easy to read.

7. International Job Applications 

For Canadians or others applying for a job in the UK, it’s important to adapt your application to use a CV vs a resume, as the expectations and norms can differ significantly from those in North America.

By the way, did you know it is illegal to have photos on CV? No? Then read through the blog now!

What Should A CV Look Like in 2024 UK?

In 2024, the appearance and format of a CV in the UK will continue to reflect the distinct differences from the American resume. Here are some key points to consider when crafting a UK CV, especially in light of the evolving norms and expectations:

1. Professional Format 

A UK CV should maintain a professional and clear format. It typically includes personal details, a personal statement, work experience, education, skills, and references.

2. Length and Detail 

Unlike the American resume, which is usually brief, a UK CV can be more detailed. While a resume is often limited to one page, a UK CV is typically longer, providing a comprehensive overview of your career.

3. Personal Statement 

A key feature of a UK CV is the personal statement at the beginning. This is a brief summary of your skills and career goals, tailored to the position you are applying for.

4. Work Experience and Skills 

Your CV should list your work experience and skills in a way that highlights your suitability for the job. It’s important to tailor this section to the specific role and industry.

5. Education and Qualifications 

Include your educational background, along with any professional qualifications or certifications that are relevant to the job.

6. Use of CV Maker Tools 

Utilising a CV maker can be helpful in ensuring that your CV meets the current standards and format expectations for 2024. These tools can provide templates and examples of a CV that are up-to-date.

7. Applying Internationally 

For those, like Canadians, who are used to a resume format, it’s crucial to adapt to the CV format when applying for jobs in the UK. This involves expanding on your experiences and qualifications more than you would in a resume.

8. Letter Format 

The CV should be formatted as a formal letter, with a clear structure, easy-to-read font, and logical layout.

This is because the recruiter can easily read the paper and rapidly identify the key facts needed to establish your fit for the job. The following passage will give you an idea of the UK CV format.

What Is The Format For A CV?

Many of you might consider the format the least important factor for a CV. But, it is not true. Your CV can be more attractive if you follow a proper format in the UK CV. You must choose the ideal layout to create the CV effectively. Three standard CV layouts are well-liked in the UK:

Reverse Chronological CV Format 

A reverse chronological CV style is ideal if you have a lot of relevant work experience and are looking for a job in the UK.


If you have a long gap in your employment history or are switching careers, a functional or “skills-based” CV is preferable since it prioritises relevant skills and qualifications.

Combination CV Format

If you are searching for a job in the UK and want to demonstrate how your prior abilities and experience are transferable to the position you seek, a combination CV format might be helpful.

Make sure your CV is structured clearly and consistently, using only one font style (bold can be used to highlight) and bullet points rather than lengthy words to list your skills, achievements, responsibilities, etc.

Know more about the best UK CV format.

Frequently Asked Questions

What should a modern CV look like in the UK?

The modern CV should be simple and well-structured to impress recruiters. You can avoid the following things in your CV—

  • Keep the document’s title away from “curriculum vitae” or “CV.”
  • Don’t use a fancy font.
  • Put everything in reverse order of when it happened.
  • Utilise bullet points and clean space to keep it simple.

What is the current CV format in the UK?

In comparison to the US, the UK is more accepting of a 2-page CV format. In America, individuals with decades of experience are typically the only ones that submit 2-page CVs.

Should I use British or American English on my resume?

You should use American English when looking for employment in the US and British English when applying for positions in the UK. Therefore, remember the significant writing differences between the two, the most prominent being “-ise” and “-ize.”

Which English is superior, American or British?

Both American English and British English are excellent. It is up to you which you prefer. 

What is the difference between American and European CVs?

The length is one of the critical distinctions between a European CV and a résumé. A European CV typically has two to three pages. A résumé should not be more than one page long in the US.

What résumé format is used in America?

The chronological resume style is the most common in the US. (also known as the reverse-chronological format). Recruiters overwhelmingly favour this style because it emphasises your work expertise and experience.

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