1. What Does a CV Stand For? CV Meaning Explained

What Does a CV Stand For? CV Meaning Explained

LiveCareer UK Editorial Team

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A CV, or a Curriculum Vitae, is a common term amongst professionally active people. It is used to apply for a job, and that's the bare minimum everyone can tell about a CV without batting an eye.

But do you know what does a CV stand for? Is it the same across the globe? Is it any different from a resume? In this guide, you’ll get all the answers so you can call yourself a CV expert in no time.

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What does a CV stand for? 

CV stands for “Curriculum vitae,” which is Latin for “course of life.” If your employer asked for one, you don’t need to write a full autobiography, though. You just need a one-page document that lists all your relevant work experience, education history, skills, and additional information about you as a candidate.

In other countries, a CV is more often called a “resume,” with a CV reserved for academic positions. In the UK, a CV is the standard document used for all job applications.

What to include in a British CV? 

Before writing a CV, it is important that you organise your CV into neat sections. Follow this typical UK’s CV template for a quick win:

  • Header—Include your contact information right at the top. Your full name, address, phone number, and email address.
  • Personal statement—A short (max. 6 lines) paragraph that describes your best experience for the role. 
  • Work experience—List your work experience in reverse-chronological order, with the most recent jobs at the top. Mention your job title, the employer's name, and work dates. Underneath, add 3 to 8 bullet points describing what you did and achieved while there. Use numbers to describe how well you did, if possible.
  • Education—Mention your qualifications in the same order. Only list your grades if you don’t have much work experience (2+ years) or are still in education.
  • Skills—Reserve space for your top 5–10 skills relevant to the job you are applying to.
  • Additional sections—List extracurricular activities, additional qualifications, and awards you have achieved outside of school. Include any other sections, such as languages, hobbies, and interests, if they refer to your field.

See this British CV example that illustrates the right section order:

CV example

Gabriel Phillips

Fast Food Crew Member

Personal Info

34 Station Rd

Purley On Thames





Courteous Crew Member with 2+ years of experience in busy fast food kitchens. Used to multitask and fulfill up to 12 orders simultaneously, without delays. Regularly handling up to £4,000 in cash daily. Always keeping 100% cash drawer accuracy. Seeking to apply my skills and experience to be a positive addition to the team at Wagamama’s.


Crew Member

McDonald’s, Purley On Thames

March 2018–December 2020

  • Serving up to 600 orders per shift, working the tills, the drive-through, and in the kitchen on food assembly.
  • Regularly multitasking and fulfilling up to 12 orders simultaneously, without problems.
  • Warm and friendly manner, allowing for convincing upselling and being the best performer in sales.
  • Responsible for £4,000 in cash daily, cashing up the till every £1,000.
  • 100% cash drawer accuracy.


Purley College

5 GCSE A*-C grades

Graduated 2019

Key Skills

  • Customer Service: Exhibit exceptional service skills through friendly interactions and adept problem-solving. 
  • Punctuality: Demonstrate consistent and reliable attendance, arriving on time for shifts to contribute to smooth operations.
  • Food Prep: Assemble menu items following recipes and safety guidelines, ensuring accuracy and efficiency in food preparation.
  • Cash Handling: Manage cash transactions with precision and accountability, maintaining accurate records and adhering to procedures.
  • Drive Through: Handle drive-through operations, accurately taking orders, processing payments, and ensuring quick service for customers on the go.


  • Basic Spanish
  • Basic French

So you already know what’s a CV meaning and what to include in a CV for a job in the UK. That’s perfect! Now, let’s take a look at what CV means in the USA.

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What is the CV meaning in the USA?

In the United States, a Curriculum Vitae means something different than in the United Kingdom. What would be called a CV in the US, would be described as an academic CV in the UK.

In the US, the CV is reserved for educators, academics, and researchers, and it takes a different, longer form. The USA’s CV lists all the publications, citations, research, and teaching interests, can span over multiple pages, and have many attachments.

What to include in an American CV? 

Here’s a section breakdown for an American CV to illustrate the difference between a typical UK’s CV and an American one:

  • Contact Information—Add your full name, contact details such as phone number and email address, and your academic or professional website (if you have one).
  • Research Objective—Include a concise paragraph describing your research plans and interests. Alternatively, go for a personal profile summarizing your academic background.
  • Education—List all your degrees in reverse-chronological order. Every entry should have the institution name, degree earned, and graduation date.
  • Research Experience—Mention and describe all the research projects that you did. Describe your responsibilities and the research methodologies that you used.
  • Publications—Recall the most significant publications on your record, with full bibliographic details.
  • Presentations—List all the academic presentations that you’ve given, whether during conferences or workshops. Ensure every entry includes the title, event name, date, and place.
  • Teaching Experience—Explain your teaching positions or courses you’ve led. Include teaching awards and recognition you’ve received.
  • Grants and Awards—If you received any research grants, scholarships, or awards, mention them here. Add the date you were given them and the granting institutions you’ve had them from.
  • Skills—Pick the skills that are relevant to your academic work. They can include unique methodologies you’ve used or particular approaches you’ve taken.
  • References—Save space for references from people who can validate your qualifications and the quality of your work.

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So, to sum up, what does a CV stand for, and what is the CV meaning? 

  • CV stands for “Curriculum vitae,” which is Latin for “course of life.”
  • CV in the UK is used as a standard document during a job hunt. 
  • In the US, a CV is used for academic purposes and looks differently.

And that’s a CV meaning in a nutshell! 

Does this article answer the question what does a CV stand for? We tried our best to explain the CV meaning to you. Do you have more questions? Let us know in a comment!

How we review the content at LiveCareer

Our editorial team has reviewed this article for compliance with Livecareer’s editorial guidelines. It’s to ensure that our expert advice and recommendations are consistent across all our career guides and align with current CV and cover letter writing standards and trends. We’re trusted by over 10 million job seekers, supporting them on their way to finding their dream job. Each article is preceded by research and scrutiny to ensure our content responds to current market trends and demand.

About the author

LiveCareer UK Editorial Team
LiveCareer UK Editorial Team

Since 2013, the LiveCareer UK team has shared the best advice to help you advance your career. Experts from our UK editorial team have written more than one hundred guides on how to write the perfect CV or cover letter.

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