Resume and Bio-Data – How Are They Different?
While most of us tend to confuse CV and resume, there is another term that is often confused with the resume. The term is referred to as ‘Biodata’, which is the short form of biographical data. People usually fail to discriminate between biodata and resume because of a similar format. However, if we dig in deeper, we will find out that there are multiple standout differences between resume and biodata.
It is often observed that people use these documents interchangeably, which is not the right approach. The prominent reason behind this confusion is the inability of people to differentiate between the resume and biodata. It should be noted that you will only be able to differentiate between these documents if you know the key features of both documents.
The purpose of writing this article is to outline the key difference between both these documents and help you make use of both these documents in places where these documents are actually required. If you are interested in knowing the proper definition of resume and biodata and their key differences, then you have landed at the right place.
Read on to know more about this interesting topic.
What is a Resume?
A resume is a document that provides an overview of a person’s work experience, transferable skills, and academic record. The document is generally used when a person is trying to apply for a job. The resume doesn’t cover all the things from the personal and professional life of a person. It tends to give an overview of the things that are relevant to a particular job. It should be noted that a resume doesn’t cover everything regarding the personal life of a job applicant.
Note: The PDF format of your LinkedIn profile can be used as a resume. However, it should fulfill the requirements an employer would expect from a resume.
What is Biodata?
Biodata is often said to be the vintage version of the resume and CV, however, in our opinion, it is much different from the aforementioned documents. Although it consists of professional and academic details of a person, it generally focuses on the personal details of the person. You can find details like religion, nationality, names of parents, and marital status of a person in the document, which are of secondary importance in the resume. Often times you won’t find such details included in a resume because employers have nothing to do with it. It should be noted that biodata can be written in the first person or third person as per requirements.
Note: You may find biodata being used in the place of a resume for job applications in some Asian countries like India on the recommendation of employers.
How Resume and Biodata Are Different from Each Other?
Here, we will try to outline the main differences between resume and biodata to help you differentiate between both these documents properly. Some key differences between both these documents are discussed in detail below:
The first and foremost difference between a resume and biodata is the inclusion of personal details. As mentioned earlier, biodata tends to cover all the personal detail of a person including sensitive information like nationality, marital status, gender, and race. A resume, on the other hand, tends to do otherwise, it only includes a fraction of personal details that are of importance to employers, such as name, contact details, and the place of residence. Hence, the document including all the personal details about a particular person would be referred to as the biodata of that person.
Length of Document
You can easily differentiate between a resume and biodata based on the length of the document you are viewing. It should be noted that when it comes to the length of a resume, it generally depends on the work experience of the person. If a person has years of experience, significant educational history, and numerous skills and certificates, then the length of the resume may go up to 3 A4-sized pages. However, the resume will only cover details that are relevant to a particular job that person is applying for. On the other hand, the length of biodata is unlimited, it can take up to several A4-sized pages because it will cover every event and achievement of a person in addition to the personal details.
It should be understood that a resume and biodata are prepared to serve different purposes. While a resume is purposefully tailored to fit the requirements of a job, the biodata contains all the information about a person while focusing more on the date of birth, gender, caste, and many other things that fall in the category of sensitive personal information. The resume provides an overview of a person’s skills, work experience, and education to the employer. On the other hand, biodata is generally used while applying for government posts. In some cases, the authorities responsible for maintaining the record of citizens keep the record of a person in form of biodata.
When it comes to the format of documents, biodata can be prepared in any format, there is no restriction on the formatting of biodata. On the other hand, the resume is generally prepared using reverse chronological format or functional format. Experienced professionals working in the industry prefer to use reverse chronological format to showcase their work experience in multiple organizations. The functional format focuses on the transferable skills of a person above-the-fold, work experience (if any) and qualifications are of secondary priority. The functional format for resumes is generally used by fresh graduates and people with lesser experience in the industry.
Now that we know a lot about both kinds of documents, it has become obvious that the focus of the resume and biodata are quite different. While a resume tends to outline the professional profile of a person that is suitable for a particular job, the biodata emphasizes the personal particulars of a person. The academic qualifications or work experience of that person are of secondary importance in the case of biodata. You may find highly sensitive personal details like the monthly income of a person and the occupation of parents listed in the biodata.
Why it is Important to Know the Difference Between Resume and Biodata?
After highlighting the key differences between a resume and biodata, we want to shed some light on the reasons why knowing the difference between a resume and biodata is important. As we mentioned earlier, many people tend to confuse a resume and biodata and use these documents interchangeably. The biodata of a person is only required for government openings, and that too in certain regions.
Many recruiters don’t like the practice of including too many personal details in the document that is intended for a job application. Doing so will only push the important information below the fold, which is not usually checked by recruiters. Hence, you may lose a job despite being the most suitable applicant for a particular position.
Furthermore, there is no need to share highly sensitive information unless recommended otherwise. Why would a private recruiter want to know about your marital status, caste, or religion if you have everything to offer as per the requirements of the job? Therefore, make sure you use both documents, i.e., the resume and biodata, where these documents are genuinely required.
Tips to Create a Captivating Resume
As we know, the quest of landing a dream job usually depends on how your resume presents your professional profile. Recruiters, generally, receive a huge number of applications for a limited number of openings. They have a limited time to go through individual resumes, hence, you need to make sure that you have done everything right to impress them with your resume and move on to a further phase.
The first thing you need to do is to read the job ad properly, we recommend reading the ad several times. Reading a job ad several times will help you ensure you haven’t missed anything important. After reading the job ad and knowing the specific requirements for the opening, it is time to create a resume accordingly.
Another thing worth mentioning here is the visual appeal of a resume. Gone are the days when you had to prepare a resume using a word processing tool. You can create a compelling resume with the help of a resume builder. Many useful platforms allow users to prepare captivating resumes using a resume builder free of cost. The resume maker offers resume templates of different categories. You just need to edit them according to your requirements.
It is important to understand the difference between documents that are generally confused with each other. The difference between resume and biodata is one such case, where many people use these documents interchangeably. We have tried to define the resume and biodata properly and outline key differences between these documents to help you differentiate between both documents easily. Additionally, we have discussed some tips and tricks to create a compelling resume for a successful job hunt. We hope you will find this writing useful in the future.