Resumes and Curriculum Vitae

CV versus Resume: What’s the Difference?

It’s easy to confuse the terms resume and curriculum vitae (also called vita or CV). A resume is a one- or two-page overview emphasizing skills, education, work experience, volunteer activities, and other relevant information used to support a specific career objective in the private or public sector. A resume is more concise than a CV, and is used when applying for most positions that do not emphasize academic research and/or teaching.

In contrast, a CV is a longer summary of an individual's educational background and experiences that emphasizes research and teaching in academic settings, and is used when applying for teaching and administrative positions in academia, a fellowship or grant, and sometimes government and management positions. Applicants are sometimes asked to include transcripts, teaching evaluations, and research proposals.

Both documents are key in securing an interview.

Whether you’re preparing a resume or a CV, keep the following in mind


  • Be clear, concise, and precise
  • Use fully understood abbreviations, e.g. MPH
  • Include a cover letter when sending it to a potential employer
  • Proofread several times
  • List a page number and your name on each additional page
  • Use a variety of action verbs


  • Lie or exaggerate your accomplishments
  • Use first person pronouns
  • Staple or paperclip pages in a resume. In a lengthy CV, pages must be stapled.
  • Write long sentences or paragraphs

Emailing Resumes, CVs, Cover Letters,
and Follow-Up Letters

The ease and speed of Email is appreciated by employers. However, you should know that can be pitfalls and difficulties when sending employment documents via Email. Here are some considerations:

  • Be sure the employer desires to receive resumes/CVs, etc. via Email.
  • Always send documents as PDFs to ensure that they are viewed properly.
  • When sending a cover letter and resume/CV, consider combining into a single PDF attachment.
  • If you are concerned that the Email attachment did not get to the employer properly, follow-up with a mailed copy.
  • Do not staple your resume, and mail in an 9x12 envelope, if possible.
  • Be sure that you spell check and proofread all of your correspondence.
  • First, send the Email to yourself as a test. Then, BCC yourself so that you receive a copy of the Email just as the employer received it.
  • You can also use a returned receipt to confirm that your Email was delivered to the correct individual, if your system allows.
  • Send Email late in the evening, so that the employer receives it first thing in the morning.

Contact Career Services

Mike Dolinger

Director of Student Services

1100 Public Health
130 DeSoto Street
Pittsburgh PA 15261