People often use the words resume and biodata interchangeably. Both of these are very similar but they have subtle differences. Some employers specify you to submit a resume while others ask you to submit a curriculum vitae. In this post, I will explain about the differences between resume and biodata.
Biodata stands for "biographical data". It is an old-fashioned terminology often used in countries like India, Bangladesh, Pakistan etc. In biodata, more emphasis is placed on personal details like data of birth, religion, sex, race and nationality etc. These are followed by educational qualifications and job details. Specific skills required for the job are not mentioned in biodata. Certain companies give out standard biodata forms that have to be filled by the employees.
Resume is a French word which literally means ‘summary’. As it is evident from the name, it is used to present your summary to a recruiter. It provides information on employment history, educational qualifications and other skills that are relevant to the post. Normally, a resume doesn’t exceed more than one A4 sheet. However in some cases, it can be up to two sheets long.
It is common to use bullets in a resume and present everything in a formal and objective tone. You should start your resume with a brief summary of your qualifications, followed by your skills and expertise. The most recent experiences should be given priority. This should be followed by your educational qualifications and skills that are relevant to the job.
It is better to present a resume when applying for middle or senior-level positions. For these positions, prior experience and specific skills are more important when compared to educational qualifications. On the other hand, for fresh graduates it is better to present a curriculum vitae.
A curriculum vitae it is almost similar to resume except that it presents your educational qualifications. It is mostly meant for fresh graduates seeking trainee jobs. Biodata is mostly used in India, Bangladesh and Pakistan especially when applying for government jobs or research grants and other situations where the applicant has to submit descriptive essays.
A resume presents your skills and abilities in a much easier manner so that recruiters can skim through and know if you’re suitable for the job. A biodata can do the same job but the format is not popular in all the countries. In Western countries, mostly resumes are preferred. However, in the recent years resumes have become popular even in India. This is mostly because multinational companies have started offices in India and have brought Western standards to the country.
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