These two terms are not always interchangeable. There are differences between these application documents and some recruiters might ask for one specifically. Let’s see what to send when you find a good job to apply for (if not specified in the ad). We can say they serve the same purpose, but it is better to know the difference between CV and resume in order to get an interview – and maybe land the job. In some countries, like the US, CVs are only used for academic professions. Resumes are way more common. Writing a CV and writing a resume are processes that require a different focus. Let’s see what to mention in each.
A CV is a very detailed document about your work experience, education and personal achievements. It’s usually 2-pages long and written in anti-cronological order; it means from the most recent experience to the oldest. If you write a very long CV, it might turn out boring and important details may be missed. It can be very elaborate (even 10 pages long) if you are an academic and want to mention what you published.
A resume is a brief document not longer than one page. It usually contains info about your career and skills. Information don’t have to be put in cronological order, but need to catch recruiters’ attention. It’s fundamental, because it needs to stand out from other candidates’ at the very first sight. I suggest to adapt both CVs and resumes to the specific position you are applying for; many people say it’s not necessary to tailor your CV according to the company or role (after all lawyers and Sales representatives need to have different skills), but it can be risky. If you want, you can keep it a bit static and do your best with the cover letter. On the contrary, always (I mean always) change your resume according to the skills you have to show off.
The difference between CV and resume lays in lenght, layout and focus, but are both important to communicate who you are to potential employers. Write a great CV and resume, your next job is just around the corner.