A Complete Guide: Difference Between Biodata, Resume, and CV

biodata cv resume difference
Differences between a Biodata, Resume and CV

A biodata, a CV, or a resume is an application paper that companies require when they are hiring new employees. It is a document that helps companies get a better understanding of their applicants and give a better evaluation. Although three of them are used for job application purposes, there are still some differences in the length, content, and format.

Biodata is a document in which you list down more personal information that allows the company to get hold of your background information. A CV is a summary of your life events, which can be a few pages long to include all in-depth information. A resume is a summary of your working life where you include only relevant information to share with the hiring managers.

Using the right document during a job application is important because different companies may require different kinds of documents. You should hand in the right document to showcase your capabilities and avoid letting the companies treat your document like mere paper because the information provided is not what they asked for.

What Is a CV?

A Curriculum Vitae or CV means “course of life”, which means a detailed summary of your life events. 

Some companies require a CV from their applicants because it has more detailed information about the applicant. It helps them understand their capabilities better. It sounds like a biography but it is made to focus on job application purposes.

  • CVs are used around the world, including the United Kingdom, New Zealand, Asia, and the European Union. However, you should still follow the company’s requirements when submitting the documents.
  • A CV is a comprehensive document that has no limit on the pages because you may have a lot of detailed information to incorporate.
  • It has a few segments to separate the information like education, professional experience, skills, awards, honors, certificates, etc., making the contents clear and tidy for readability.
  • A CV showcases one’s general talent but not specific skills for any specific positions.
  • It is generally used by freshers, college students, and people who haven’t been working in the industry for a long time when applying for an internship or a job.
  • It shows your understanding of your talent and skills, and how you use them.
  • A CV can be written in a first, neutral, or third-person tone.

What Is a Resume?

The word resume comes from French, which means a summary in English. It is a professionally made one-paged document that summarizes all your work experience and skills. 

A resume is a tool that grants you the chance to have an interview with the hiring manager. If you are someone seeking a career change or a new job, you will need a well-written resume because it shows your professionalism in resume-making while also adding points for the first impression.

Also, the terms “CV” and “Resume” are often interchangeably used for job applications in European countries, South America, and New Zealand. This means when a company asks for a CV in those countries, you should send a resume-formatted document. 

  • A resume is limited to one to two pages at maximum.
  • Only include relevant work experience, skills, and capabilities but not details of educational background and personal interests.
  • Does not incorporate personal information like gender, height, weight, and hobbies.
  • There are three types of resumes, chronological, functional, and combination, which differ in their order of listing down the information.
  • Can be designed according to the position/career that one is applying to stand out among others.
  • Should be written in a neutral tone.
  • Tailored specifically according to the company’s needs.

What Is a Biodata?

Biodata is a shorter term for “Biographical data”, and an outdated term for CV and resume for job applications. It is a job application document commonly used in India, Pakistan, and other South Asian countries.

A biodata is commonly used when applying for government positions as employers need to have a detailed understanding of your background information. A well-written biodata tells everything about you to the employer before seeing him/her face to face in an interview.

  • It contains your personal and sensitive information such as profile, name, age, gender, date of birth, religion, nationality, etc.
  • Due to having some sensitive information, you should be careful if that information falls into the wrong hands.
  • The limitations on the page counts depend on the requirements of the company.
  • Work experience and educational background is not the main focus of a work biodata. 
  • A work biodata does not have a specific format when making one.
  • A work biodata is relatively more simple when compared to a resume.
  • It is used for marriage purposes or governmental positions.

Differences Between Biodata, CV, and Resume

Although these three documents can be used for job applications, you still need to know their differences to avoid using the wrong document when handing them in.

Here is a list of the differences between cv, biodata, and resume:

Detailedness

  • Since there are no page limitations for a CV, it should be written as detailed as possible.
  • A resume’s information should only be included with relevant information but not as detailed as a CV.
  • A work biodata can be more simplified compared to both of the above.

Length

  • A CV has no limitations to the length. It is usually made 4 to 5 pages long.
  • A resume can only be 1 or 2 pages max.
  • A work biodata is limited to 1 page at most.

Content

  • CV and resume have similar contents where they both have the name, objectives, work experience, skills, and education.
  • Biodata is different where it has more focus on personal information.

Order of listing

  • In a CV and a resume, the order of listing can be in these three - reverse chronological, functional, and combinational CV formats. If you are applying for a job, a functional format is recommended to focus on the skills you have.
  • On the other hand, when writing a work biodata, you should incorporate the information chronologically starting from your profile, personal information, work experience, skills, then education.

Purpose/uses

  • A CV can be used for job and academic applications.
  • A resume is widely used for job applications.
  • A biodata is sometimes used for marriage purposes but it can still be used as a job application document.

How to Make a CV

After knowing the difference between a CV, resume, and biodata, here’s a go-through of what should be in a CV.

✍🏻 Basic information

The first thing you need is basic information like your name and contact information. It is an essential part that tells the hiring manager who you are.

✍🏻 Personal Summary

When making a CV, you should include a profile/summary to briefly explain and tell what you want to do with the CV. You may use 2 to 3 sentences to describe your work experience, and personal traits are more than enough.

✍🏻 Work history

Then, you can start listing your work experience according to the oldest to the latest. Work experience is a good element that helps the hiring manager to know the things that you have worked on previously.

✍🏻 Education

Your education is a very important element to include in a CV. You may start by the name of the institute that you have graduated from, then your graduation year. 

If you have a good GPA, don’t be afraid to show it to employers.

✍🏻 Skills

Incorporating skills into your CV is not as limited as including them in a resume. You may make the most out of it by including your proficiency and a few explanations on how you got those skills.

✍🏻 Other optional sections

If you have some other information that you think might add points to your impression, you should include them too.

Here are the sections that you can also put into the CV:

  • Hobbies and interests
  • References
  • Publications
  • Certifications
  • Achievements

📄 CV example:

Julian Mayson
Freelance Writer
[email protected]

A self-motivated, imaginative, and hard-working writer who has been working from home as a freelancer, currently looking for new opportunities as a reviewer.

Work Experience

Self-employed - Online freelance writer | 2018 - Present

  • Creates outlines before writing online drafts
  • Writes content for websites
  • Manages work schedule to fully utilize the workload 

The writing company - Writer |  2016 - 2017

  • Researched and developed contents
  • Wrote, edited, and proofread drafts before publishing
  • Collaborated with customers to fulfill their needs

Education

Pace University | 2013 - 2016
Bachelor in English Language and Literature GPA 3.8

Skills

  • English writing skills 
  • Attention to detail
  • Communication
  • Patience
  • Organization skills

Certifications

  • The International English Language Testing System 8.5

How to Make a Resume

✍🏻 Basic information

Just like creating a CV, you need a name and your contact information at the beginning of the resume as a header. This information should be located at the top of your resume for easy readability.

✍🏻 Career objective

Then, you should include a career objective/summary to briefly introduce your background information while also showing that you have the intention to join the company.

✍🏻 Work history

In this section, you should clearly state the company that you have been in, the position, the duration you worked with the company, and the responsibilities that you were in charge of. 

If you have a lot of work experience, only mention those that can be helpful for the new position.

✍🏻 Education

Many specific positions like engineering or accounting depend on your educational level to evaluate if you are suitable for the position. Those companies would like to know if you have fully gained the basics of a specific knowledge before hiring you.

Hence, never hesitate to include your education information.

✍🏻 Skills

Including a good amount of relevant skills is important in resume making. This is because it tells the employer that you are qualified to take the position.

Skills that you include can be soft or hard skills.

✍🏻 Other optional sections

If there are more spaces that you intend to fill them up with, you include this optional information to make your resume more informative.

  • Certifications
  • Side projects
  • Community service experience

📄 Resume example:

Sam Smithers
678-1234567 | [email protected]

3+ years of experienced sales associate with excellent persuasive skills who help increase the net income of the previous company by 15% currently seeking new challenges as a sales manager

Work Experience

Tatung Furniture, Sales associate | 2020 - 2022

  • Provides excellent service to help customers know about the products
  • Convinces customers of purchases
  • Welcomes customers with a positive attitude

Bata Shoe Store, Sales associate | 2018 - 2019

  • Directed customers to the products they have interests in
  • Managed the cleanliness of the store
  • Operated cash register system 

Education

Purdue University | 2016 - 2018
Bachelor in Business Management GPA 3.8

Skills

  • Active listening
  • English fluent speaking skills
  • Time management skills
  • Point of Sales system
  • Product expertise

References

Ms. Hunger, Sales manager of Tatung Furniture
Phone num: (555) 456-1234
Email: [email protected]

Prof. Boston, Chairman of the Department of Business Management
Phone num: (123) 456-7894
Email: [email protected]

How to Make a Biodata

✍🏻 Photo

Although having a photo included in a biodata is optional, you can still include one to show your professional attitude in the job application. However, you need to make sure that the photo is a professional portrait but not a daily selfie.

✍🏻 Objective

Then, summarize your work experience, skills, and positive personality traits into one or two sentences as a brief description that would show that you are qualified. You can also include your goal to let employers evaluate if the company’s goal and yours align.

✍🏻 Personal details

This personal details section is the most obvious point where it differs from a CV and a resume because it contains more personalized data that you wouldn’t normally mention in a job application document. Moreover, this is the information that the employer would want to know before evaluating you as the right person for the company.

  • Name
  • Date of birth
  • Address
  • Contact information
  • Gender
  • Religion
  • Nationality
  • Marital status

✍🏻 Work history

Now, don’t forget that you are still creating this document for your job application. Your work experience is relatively important as your personal information.

The way you list your job experience in a biodata is the same as how you write them in a resume. Your professional title, name of the company, employment period, and your responsibilities in the company.

✍🏻 Skills

After including your work history, you should also list down a few skills that you have gained. This helps the employer to understand your qualifications and evaluate if you fit the position because some positions require specific skill sets.

✍🏻 Education

Education background is necessary information for the employer to determine if you are educationally qualified for the position that they are hiring. Regardless if you are applying for an entry-level position or a higher position, your educational background will be a big help in getting you the interview.

You may include the education information in this format:

  • Name and location of the school
  • Graduation year
  • Major(s) and minor(s)
  • CGPA
  • Relevant courses or co-curricular experience

✍🏻 Other optional sections (if any)

If your work biodata has a little more space that you want to fill up with information, you should consider including these and write a simple explanation on the side:

  • Certifications 
  • Honors
  • Hobbies and interests
  • Volunteer experience

📄 Biodata example:

Name: Gaon Chen
Date of birth: 4th of July, 1991
Gender: Male
Nationality: Taiwan
Contact number: (456) 789-5431
Email address: [email protected]
Mailing address: 26 Bridle St. Butler, PA 16001

I am Gaon Chen, a chef with 4+ years of chef experience who graduated from The Culinary Institute of America, currently seeking a Sous chef position as a career change.

Work History

Mary’s Steakhouse, Station chef | 2018 - 2020

  • Developed new dishes for the seasonal menu
  • Managed inventory and food costs
  • Ensured food safety before serving customers

Olive Garden, Junior chef | 2017 - 2018

  • Managed the workplace’s cleanliness
  • Completed prep list every morning for kitchen crew
  • Assisted the kitchen crew

Skills

  • Food prepping skills
  • Supply management
  • Knowledge of food trends
  • Hygiene control
  • Team working skills

Education 

The Culinary Institute of America, Culinary Arts or Baking and Pastry Arts GPA 3.9


This is the bottom line of the difference between a CV, resume, and biodata. We hope that you have learned something today.

If you plan to make one for yourself now, visit CakeResume to try out the free templates.

With CakeResume, you can easily create a resume online, free download your resume’s PDF formats, and utilize ATS-compliant templates to create a resume. Land your dream job, create your resume online (free download) now with the best resume builder!

— Originally written by Ryan Goh —

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