Monday, 27 October 2014


This post isn’t about unemployment or its debilitating effects (which mostly leads to premature deaths). Rather this write-up is about the document needed during employment processes. For those who have been submitting their application document for every job  opportunity they come across- even the ones they are not qualified for, they would be very familiar with  the fact, that, some establishment would require you to submit a Resume, while others would explicitly require you to apply with a Curriculum vitae (CV). The question is, why would some companies require you to apply for vacancies within their firm with a Resume, and others would specifically ask that you apply for open positions with your Curriculum Vitae? 

Most people reading this are already surprised, so you mean there is a difference? They would ask. Yes there are a number of differences and purpose for a CV or Resume, which if not taken into proper account may be the major reason why you have been unemployed for this number of years.

When it comes to looking for jobs, a CV is the most popular piece of document people have any idea about. A curriculum vitae mostly called a CV is a Latin word which means ‘Course of life’. It is a professional documentation, with a lot of details about the owner of the CV. A typical CV contains a summary of your educational and academic backgrounds as well as teaching and research experience, publications, presentations, awards, honors, affiliations and scholarly achievements. If you have taken proper notice of the LinkedIn profile, it was designed to tailor-fit a standard CV format. 

RESUME aka 'Résumé' 

Most job seekers carry a resume when looking for a job, usually thinking it’s a CV. The good thing is that the HR of most companies prefer a document written in a Resume style. A resume is a document which contains a general and concise introduction of your experiences and skills as they relate to a particular career or position that you are aiming to acquire. It is a synopsis of the most relevant professional experiences you have for the particular job to which you are applying for.


There are major differences between both documents (Resume and CV). Having prior knowledge about these differences would help you in knowing when each is applicable.


 – 'CV' Due to its highly detailed account, it is the favorite in professional usage, especially in academic communities. Since its structure allows for every single account undertaken in a person’s life and career, a professor applying for a job or grant would love to include every single research work, dissertation, books, reports, honor, affiliation during his lifetime, imagine the length such a document would run into, even for an average professor. Apart from academic communities a CV is also used by professionals in most fields such as military, industries such as oil and gas, government etc. 

-A resume on the other hand is the document essential for job seekers, since it specifies the qualifications, job experience and can be tailored according to the specific job a person is applying for. Most employees rarely take the time to properly scrutinize a resume, so it is important for the applicant to adequately give a synopsis of what his experiences are and how he can adequately put them to use in the job he is applying for. Resumes are used mainly for employment purposes in both profit and non-profit organizations. In essence the resume is used by the job-seeker in highlighting the qualities that gives him or her the edge over other applicants applying for a particular job position.


 – Though structures varies from CV to CV, they essentially contain the following sections;
1.       Name and contact information
2.       Areas of interest
3.       Education, Thesis and Dissertations
4.       Grants, Honors and Awards
5.       Publications and presentations
6.       Employments and Experience till date.
7.       Scholarly and Professional memberships
8.       References and Citations (though very rare)

-          For a resume the structure is not so-much as elaborate and detailed as that of the CV, a typical resume will usually have the following structure;
1.       Name and contact information
2.       Education
3.       Work experiences
4.       Relevant skills and expertise


 – The required information for a CV is usually lengthy containing well over three pages, there is no limitation to the amount of information to be contained in a CV, as long as all the information to be contained within are relevant.
-          A resume dose not afford the applicant the luxury of a lengthy document , he has to conscript every essential and vital information into a two or three page maximum document. In fact if possible a resume should be made in a one page document, as long as it contains vital selling point that would make you stand above your competition.


 – The objective of a CV is usually to document all the professional achievements and qualities of a person during the course of his life, as soon as a new achievement or landmark is achieved, it is essential for one to update his CV. A CV therefore is a lifelong document that will continually be upgraded, this is as long as the CV owner strives to improve his career.
-          A resumes main objective is to make you eligible for interview for a particular job, it will tell the employer trying to hire, whether he requires someone like you in his organization. It will highlight the skills you have which are relevant to the particular job you are applying for. A resume is simply for job application, nothing more and nothing less, that is while a resume must be specifically tailored after the job position one is applying for.

When, where and how to use each

There is such a high competition in the job market, that one has to be almost perfect in selling himself: therefore, knowing the proper formats and styles your application documents and credentials should take, is very crucial to your scaling through any HR department.
 Given the differences between these document types, it is essential to know when, where and how to use them. In the United States you are required to apply for a job with a 'Resume' only, while you should utilize your CV when it comes to seeking for grants, scholarship, internships and in academic communities. In most other places like the UK and Europe in general, you are expected to apply for jobs with a CV, yes! With a CV so better "give to Cesar what belongs to Cesar". In Nigeria where this post is intended, one is expected to apply for vacancies with a CV written more like a Resume, and in other to achieve this format, you should have a ready template with which you can easily adapt to any given situation. So for the Nigerian graduate in search of employment, he/she must take time to properly study the establishment for which he is applying to, and understand what format and style may best serve him.

It is very unfortunate that many Nigerian graduates don't even have the basic skill necessary to develop a custom CV or Resume by themselves, the norm for most people who call themselves graduates, and are desperately seeking for a well-to-do job, is to walk into any business center, and ask- that either a Resume, or CV is prepared for them. All the business cafe attendant does, is to pull out one generic template from his PC and fill in the personal details of the customer, who is mostly oblivious to the fact that, the same template has been used for almost all customers like himself -who cannot take the pains, and time needed to prepare a custom document, that may be the game changer for his unemployed situation. 

NB:  HR (Human Resource) departments are usually concerned with the workers, or employees within an organization. They may also be directly involved with recruitment process and interview for new intakes.


Make sure you understand what specific application document type was required, and take adequate steps to preparing a custom one. If possible tailor-fitting the document to the specific position or vacancy you are applying for. In forthcoming post we would be discussing the details of how to effectively prepare each document. Stay tuned to our post and Help us share with your friends, it wouldn't cost you a thing. +9jaGreenArena 

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