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The terms jianli 简历 and lülibiao 履历表 are both translated as CV (curriculum vitae) or résumé in English, but what’s the difference between them?

This question has previously been asked on Baidu Zhidao, but the answer wasn’t very clear: it basically said a jianli is what you hand in to your potential employer when you apply for a job, and that it should be designed to get you into the next phase of the application, namely an interview, whereas a lülibiao should contain your qualifications and previous job stations.

This is what the Hanyu da cidian and the Longman Advanced Chinese Dictionary say about the two terms:

汉语大词典
履历表:记载个人社会经历的表格
简历:个人简要的履历

Longman Advanced Chinese Dictionary
履歷表:記載姓名、年籍、通訊、學歷、經歷等資料的表件。多作爲求職之用。
簡歷:簡要的履歷

These definitions look very similar, if not the same. So, what’s the difference between the two terms? Is it just regional?

  • 简历 resume; 履历 CV (curriculum vitae). – WDC Jun 27 '18 at 14:54
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履历表 is more commonly simplified as: 履历.

简历 is defined by Guifan as:

名 简要的履历

So, 简历 is a simple 履历表.


This idea is also shown in ABC where 履历表 is defined as:

biographical sketch

and 简历 is defined as:

biographical notes


There's a lot of confusion in English as well about the differences between biosketches, resumes and CVs - I'm sure it doesn't get much simpler in other languages either.

  • You’re right, I guess this is a problem not only in Chinese, but the terms aren’t very clear in other languages either. – Philipp Jun 28 '18 at 9:34
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As the dictionary said, 简历 is perceived as 简要的(brief) 履历.

Based on this difference, 简历 is used more in the context of resume used for job search; it's used to impress the interviewer within a short time, so it's usually terse, brief, summary, with key point emphasized.

履历 is used more generally. Comparing with 简历 it usually contains more details, and is complete.

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Nowadays in China, 简历 is broadly used everywhere. It is almost always equivalent to C.V. or resume in English. However, 履历 is more formal, mostly appears in written, and often used by people of older generation.

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