You’re about to graduate from physical therapy school. First of all, you’re awesome. The problem is, so are almost all of the ten thousand other physical therapy school graduates this year. “But,” you’re thinking, “I really AM awesome.” I believe you. Next step: get your ideal employer to believe you by having an awesome resume.
So what is the answer to that question: what the deuce is a CV? It stands for Curriculum Vitae, which is Latin for “the course of my life.” Or 21st century for “what have you been doing professionally since you graduated.” One of the big things that makes a CV different from a resume is the extra stuff you find on a CV. Things like:
- Continuing education courses and conferences you’ve attended
- Professional presentations you have given (i.e., inservices, continuing education)
- Papers or articles that you have had published
- Community service, academic service (for faculty), and awards
CV vs. Resume
You have probably heard that when writing a resume, you shouldn’t try to put everything you’ve ever done in it – especially if it isn’t related to the job you are applying for. The CV is different. It really is supposed to be a detailed record of your career. And since the CV is telling this detailed story of your professional life, things are usually listed in chronological order.
Resumes are usually the opposite. What I like to do is put ABSOLUTELY EVERYTHING I’ve done on my CV. It’s a great record of my career. Then, when I need to apply for a job, or submit my CV for any other reason, I just “save as” a new file and delete all the details I don’t need, and I have custom CV or resume every time.
CV or resume?
So, should you submit a resume or a CV if you are trying to get your first job in physical therapy? Most likely the resume. Unless you did a lot of stuff in the list above, you probably won’t have any of the stuff that goes on a CV anyway.
The other thing to consider is that CVs are usually used in academics, and resumes are used virtually everywhere else. Every time you apply for a clinical PT position, you should probably submit a resume. If you ever apply to teach in a physical therapy program, submit a CV. Good luck in your job search.
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