Difference between resume, bio data and CV

Job Oct 4, 2023

Resumes, CVs (Curriculum Vitae), and biodata are all documents used in job applications, but they serve different purposes and have distinct formats and content.

Difference between resume, bio data and CV

Here’s a breakdown of the key differences between these documents:


  • Purpose: Resumes are typically used in job applications in countries like the United States and Canada. They are concise summaries of a person’s work experience, skills, education, and qualifications for a specific job.
  • Length: Resumes are usually limited to one or two pages. They are meant to be brief and focused on highlighting the most relevant information for the job in question.
  • Content: Resumes typically include sections such as contact information, a summary or objective statement, work experience (in reverse chronological order), education, skills, and sometimes additional sections like certifications or volunteer work.
  • Flexibility: Resumes can be tailored and customized for different job applications, allowing you to emphasize specific qualifications and skills relevant to each job.
  • A resume is a concise document that highlights your most relevant skills and experience for a specific job.
  • It is typically one or two pages long and should be tailored to each job you apply for.
  • A resume should include your contact information, education, work experience, skills, and any other relevant information.

CV (Curriculum Vitae)

  • Purpose: CVs are commonly used in academic, scientific, research, and medical fields. They provide a comprehensive and detailed overview of a person’s entire career, including education, research, publications, presentations, and work experience.
  • Length: CVs are typically longer than resumes and can be several pages in length. They aim to provide an exhaustive record of an individual’s academic and professional achievements.
  • Content: CVs include sections such as contact information, education (with details of degrees earned, institutions attended, and dates), research and teaching experience, publications, presentations, awards and honors, professional affiliations, and sometimes additional sections like grants received or languages spoken.
  • Flexibility: While CVs can be adapted to highlight relevant qualifications for specific positions, they are generally more static and all-encompassing than resumes.
  • A CV is a more detailed document that provides a comprehensive overview of your academic and professional history.
  • It is typically two to three pages long and can be used for a variety of purposes, such as applying for jobs, academic positions, or grants.
  • A CV should include your contact information, education, work experience, skills, publications, awards, and any other relevant information.


  • Purpose: Biodata is a comprehensive document that provides detailed personal information about an individual, including their background, family, education, work experience, hobbies, interests, and more. It is often used in countries like India and Pakistan, especially for marriage proposals and certain job applications.
  • Length: Biodata documents can vary in length, depending on how much information is included. They tend to be longer than resumes but not as extensive as CVs.
  • Content: Biodata typically includes sections such as personal details, family background, educational qualifications, work experience, hobbies and interests, references, and more. It provides a holistic view of the individual’s personal and professional life.
  • Purpose: Biodata is often used to assess an individual’s suitability for marriage, social compatibility, or certain job roles where a more detailed personal profile is required.
  • A biodata is a term that is most commonly used in India and other South Asian countries.
  • It is similar to a resume, but it typically includes more personal information, such as your age, gender, marital status, religion, and hobbies.
  • Biodatas are often used for job applications, but they may also be used for other purposes, such as arranged marriages.

Table summarizing the key differences between resume, CV, and biodata:

Which one to use?

The best document to use depends on your specific situation. If you are applying for a job in the private sector, you should typically use a resume. If you are applying for an academic position or grant, you should typically use a CV. If you are applying for a job in the public sector or in a South Asian country, you may be asked to submit a biodata.

It is important to note that there is some overlap between these three documents. For example, you may want to include some personal information in your resume, such as your LinkedIn profile URL, or you may want to include some skills and experience in your CV that are not relevant to the specific job you are applying for.

The most important thing is to tailor your document to the specific audience and purpose. If you are unsure which document to use, it is always best to consult with a career counselor or other expert.

In summary, the main differences between resumes, CVs, and biodata lie in their purpose, length, content, and the contexts in which they are used.

Resumes are concise and tailored for specific job applications, CVs are comprehensive and commonly used in academic and research fields, and biodata provides a holistic personal and professional profile often used in certain cultural contexts.

The choice of document depends on the industry, country, and specific requirements of the application process.