Differences between resume, CV and biodata. When, where and how to use?

resume vs cv vs biodata

Fancy names right? Are they all the same? No, they aren’t! You may be surprised but they have huge differences. Huge? Yes, when applying for a job, if you don’t know their differences clearly, then you might be using the wrong one at the wrong place.

resume, curriculum vitae and biodata togethter 2d illustration
Resume vs CV vs Biodata

This is what we are going to clear up for you in this article. Let us do it one by one.

1. Resume

Resume image of a person for example

This is probably the most commonly used document when applying for jobs. It is a document that describes your skills, experiences, and educational background in just 1 or 2 pages.

By the way, what does the word “Résumé ” mean? It’s a French word which means “summary”. It should summarise your professional work and list only the important and relevant information. Long and dull resumes are often rejected. Keep it short, simple and engaging. Alright?

You should list the skills and experiences in reverse chronological order. A resume is less concerned with your personal details. It is the tool that is going to advertise you, so make the best resume possible so that you get hired.

Using a resume builder helps you to create a good resume without worrying much about it. There are many standard patterns and templates available which are used for building resumes.

2. Curriculum Vitae or CV

Curriculum vitae of a person as example for explanation

CVs are similar to resume, but they are more detailed and provides more information. They can be as short as 2 pages or maybe even longer than 5 pages.

And now what does “curriculum vitae” word mean? It is a Latin word and means the “course or journey of life”. The name makes sense to be longer than a resume isn’t it?

CVs are more focussed on educational background and achievements, than skills or experiences. They describe what you have done in your life including education, achievements, and other works. This suits the best for graduate students who are looking for admission into higher education or for jobs that require extensive details such as medical, science, and research.

3. Biodata

Biodata example for explanation

Biodata is short for biographical data. Wait! What comes to mind by biographical or biography? Yes, you are right. This is exactly correct.

It is a short description or a short biography of your life. It contains personal details such as age, gender, caste, race, social, educational background, and other necessary information. Biodata is more common in India and its neighboring countries. In fact, many people in these countries mean a resume when they say biodata!

A biodata also can have the necessary qualifications and experiences if necessary, but they come after the personal details, unlike a resume or cv.

Where is it used by the way? In governmental and educational institutions. It is also used in companies where detailed background information about the person is very important.

Resume vs CV: comparison

A CV is more detailed and describes your life’s events and most of the time it should have a cover letter. Resume, on the other hand, is meant to be short, relevant and catchy. It should grab the attention of the employer.

A resume can be functional, where skills are grouped together or it can be chronological, where experiences are listed in reverse order of date. In a CV, there is no such hard and fast rule, although you should follow some standards to write a good CV.

CVs are used by fresh graduates with no experience or by people who are looking to change their career. It is perfect for them as it helps to describe them in detail.

CVs are documents with a general purpose. It describes their life or work in general. It is not tailored and crafted for a specific job. A resume is written to target a specific industry, focussing on skills and qualities. A resume may be different for different job applications.

Biodata vs Resume: Comparison

A biodata describes more personal details than a resume so the information in biodata may be sensitive and hence not used everywhere. A resume has no such personal details except the obvious such as name, email, etc.

Biodata is good for application into governmental, financial(for bank loans) or application based(such as for passport or driving license). This clearly shows that a resume is not for those purposes.

Biodata is less commonly used as the information in biodata is not relevant for industrial jobs. This is where the resume wins.

Where to use them?

Resume, CV and biodata, all have one thing in common. They are all used to provide relevant information about a person. As you know by now that they have important differences, here is where to use them:

1. Use Resume when you are applying for any professional job in an industry or a company.
2. Use CV when you are looking for admission into an educational institution, research or for changing your career. It is also good for internships.
3. Use Biodata when you are applying for an important official task such as governmental applications.

Baraja Swargiary

He is a forever learner and a student who likes to blog on various topics. He also likes to cook and try out new recipes. Besides that, he also knows web designing and loves writing code.

Leave a Reply