Differences Between the Vita and the Resume

The vita (or C.V.) is a comprehensive list of all your accomplishments and activities. It is a mirror of your professional life, from grade school until the present. It is an important element of your graduate school application dossier, and it is the required format for applications to academic, consulting, public, and professional positions, as well as applications for lifetime achievement awards. Finally, the vita serves to give you a perspective about your career, your values, strengths, weaknesses, likes, and dislikes. It clarifies your life goals and serves as your self-assessment.


The resume is a shortened version that matches your skills, education, and experience, to a particular project. It gives targeted, practical information. It is the required format for job applications. It matches and highlights your skills and achievements to a specific position's requirements. It is brief (1 page preferred; 2 pages maximum). Most employers scan a resume in 10-20 seconds.



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