Guide: The Difference Between CV, Resume And Biodata

By Indeed Editorial Team

3 January 2022

Professional documents such as a CV, resume and biodata are considered highly important for finding jobs. When looking for jobs, applicants submit these documents, which may increase chances of getting shortlisted and hired. By considering the job profile and understanding the nuances between the three, you can make the best of your professional growth. In this article, we understand the differences between CV and resume and biodata, learn the elements in each and look at some examples.

Difference between CV, resume and biodata

Learning the differences between CV, resume and biodata can help you write each individually upon the requirement and understand their use cases. Here are some of the ways you can differentiate them:

  • Details: A CV tends to be more detailed than a resume. Biodata is a detailed document that provides a comprehensive summary of a candidate's life along with career information. Resumes are more of an overview of a candidate's career.

  • Length: Typically, a CV can be over two pages long. You can limit resumes to one or two pages. A biodata is usually over two pages long.

  • Content: A CV includes all your skills and certifications and is customisable for a larger audience. A resume includes only relevant and active certifications. You can customise your biodata as per the intent.

How to write a CV

A CV or curriculum vitae is a detailed document that describes your career progression step by step, including all kinds of personal and professional information. It allows you to summarise your education, skills and experience to successfully list your skills to prospective employers. You can also include a small section about your personal hobbies and interests. Here are the 5 elements to include in a CV:

1. Contact information

This is the first section of your CV. It contains important contact details such as full name, job title, email address, location and phone number. Ensure to use a professional email address and updated address in your CV. You can also include relevant social media profiles.

Here's an example:
Ashish Mishra
Content Writer
JP Nagar, Delhi
ashish@email.com
112-112-1123

2. Personal statement

A professional statement or CV objective is the introduction to your CV. A well-written CV consists of a three or four sentence summary, highlighting the work history. The summary also includes your professional title, job experience, some of your key achievements and skills.

Here's an example:

I recently graduated from MK University with a Bachelor of Arts in Fashion Design and I would like to apply for the role of a Design Assistant at BeYou Designs. In addition to my studies, I have spent over three years designing dresses at a boutique and art marketplace. I am a creative individual who is actively seeking full-time roles in the fashion industry, which I believe I would find at your design house.

3. Work experience

This is an important part of your CV that includes your past position, company name, date, job responsibilities and achievements. It is often a good idea to include metrics and data to substantiate your work achievements. You can also include summer jobs and internships if you are a fresher.

Here's an example:

AltLife | New Delhi
Content Writer | Nov. 2019- March 2021

  • Curated ideas for different social media handles

  • Proofread and edited articles written by SMAs

  • Write blog posts on health and lifestyle niche

  • Received recognition as Employee of the Year 2020

Related: How To Write Work Experience On Your CV

4. Education

The education section of your CV includes your degrees, the name of your university and dates. You can also include additional information such as your GPA, top academic achievements and courses you took at your university. The education section can come after your CV objective if you have just graduated from university and lack relevant work experience.

Below is an example:

JP University, Delhi
BA in Arts
7.51 GPA

5. Skills

A well-written CV includes relevant skills that align with the job description. The first step is to identify the skills that you garnered from important life experiences, education, past jobs and hobbies. The second is to understand the job requirements and employability skills.

Additionally, a CV can include volunteer experience, additional training and courses, professional certifications and associations, awards and languages.

For example:

  • conscientious

  • quick learner

  • proficient in custom CMS

  • teamwork

Related: How To Write A CV (With Template, Sample and Tips)

How to write a resume

Job candidates often use resumes to summarise their education, skills and employment when they are looking for a new job, networking or applying for an internal position. The contents of a resume are similar to that of a CV except that a CV is more detailed in nature. Here are 6 pointers to help you write a professional resume:

1. Choose a resume format

There are three formats of standard resumes - functional, chronological and hybrid (also called combined resumes). For most applicants, a hybrid resume format is a good choice, since it puts equal emphasis on work experience and skills. In some instances, a chronological or functional resume could work better.

Related: Resume Format Guide (With Examples)

2. Add your personal details

This section is similar to that of a CV. Your personal details include your name, contact number, professional email address and location. Ensure you double-check your address and other details so that recruiters can reach out to you conveniently.

3. Write a resume headline

A resume headline is a concise one-line description of who you are as a candidate. A well-written headline can draw a recruiter's attention and encourage them to go through your qualifications. Review the job description and look for relevant keywords to bolster your chances of getting shortlisted in the applicant tracking system (ATS).

Related: How To Write A Resume Headline

4. Detail your work experience

The work experience section of a resume is similar to that of a CV. List the jobs in reverse chronological order and include specific and measurable details wherever possible. Present the information in this section by emphasising relevant competencies as per the job for which you are applying.

Related: Professional Resume Samples To Help You Land A Job

5. Add your education and relevant certifications

Just like in a CV, a resume has a section dedicated to educational qualifications. Your educational background shows that recruiters can rely on you with job responsibilities, which can lead you to better opportunities. You can also add skill training courses and certifications to increase your chances of getting hired.

Related: How To Share Your Education Background

6. Tailor your resume

It is important to customise your resume for each individual role and job description. Customised resumes that include relevant keywords from the job description and align with job requirements often stand out to recruiters. It also encourages them to take an interest in your background.

Related: How Long Should A Resume Be?

How to write a biodata

Abbreviation for "biographical data", biodata is an out-of-date term for a resume or CV. On a biodata, you would include information like your gender, religion, marital status, hobbies, postal address and all your professional details. Here are the 5 elements to include in a biodata:

1. Objective

State the rationale for sending the biodata in this section. Determine your career and life objectives and how this position addresses them. Also, include why you ought to be considered for work or what makes you the perfect fit.

For example:

Experienced content writer actively looking to work as a digital marketing strategist.

Related: Career Objective: Definition, How To And Examples

2. Personal details

A biodata mostly contains basic information such as your name, date of birth, gender, address and email address. You can also include information about your hobbies, what activities you excel at and other relevant details you think the employer might require to understand you as an individual. You can also consider attaching your photo sticker at the top of your biodata.

Here's an example:

Name: Ashok Sahoo
DOB: 20/3/1996
Address: AP Nagar, Delhi
Gender: Male
Email address: ashok@email.com
Call number 111-111-1111

Related: How To Write About Yourself (With Tips And Examples)

3. Work experience

Work experience is another important section in your biodata. List your jobs in chronological order along with dates employed and job details. You can also mention your work accomplishments and day-to-day activities.

For example:

Data entry specialist | SK Enterprises

  • Executed on-time delivery of consumer assessment packets

  • Ensured precise demographic information data entry

  • Actively cultivated strong work relations with colleagues and assisted them in improving work productivity

4. Skills

Skills are important information recruiters look for when skimming your biodata. By writing industry-relevant skills, you can improve your chances of getting hired. You can also include certifications, familiarity in using job-relevant computer software and other hard and soft skills.

Here's an example:

SEO | Mobile advertising | Blogging | Content Management Systems | Communication | Teamwork | Adaptability | Data-driven | Passionate

5. Education

This section includes elements such as education, awards and distinctions, volunteer experience and certifications. You can write your educational background in a chronological manner if you are a few years into your career. If you have recently graduated with a college degree, your education section goes beyond your work experience and includes more details.

For example:

  • Named house captain in high school

  • Awarded with medals in inter-state badminton tournaments

  • Received several scholarships

  • Reached B1 level in French