With so many formats being used in different job proposal and in the various organizations, it becomes really difficult to differentiate between different formats.

The usage of different formats also varies from country to country although the structure and format remain more or less same.

With advancement in technology, changing requirement at job place, and the rapid pace of time, their relevance is changing with time but as a job seeker, you should know the different formats(CV vs resume vs biodata) and significance.

Difference between CV Resume Biodata

CV- Curriculum Vitae:

CV or curriculum vitae in the literal sense means “ course of life “. The meaning of the word indicates that should be some sort of mini version of your life briefed in a certain number of pages.

Indeed, this format is used when we want to describe our life’s activity in detail format. You can say it is some sort of biography except it is oriented for job proposal and that you are not going to iterate any personal life story which is not related to job proposal.

It is written in general fashion and by that, I mean that unlike resume it is something which is not customized according to the needs of the company but remains more or less the same.

  • A CV is generally used by college freshers or recent graduate seeking for the job. It can also be used by someone who is seeking a job change or someone who has not been in the industry for quite a long period of time. Although it is a sort of biography, there are certain rules and restriction that are needed to be followed in order to make sure that your CV is consistent with current trends. Otherwise, it can be real troublesome for your recruiter to go through the details. Make sure that you follow all the general convention and rule used for writing the CV.
  • There is no restriction as to how lengthy your CV should be but generally, a CV contains about 3-6 pages but in no case should it be less than 1 page. After all, your CV is a short format of your life timeline in nutshell, so it is obvious that it will fill up a certain number of pages. After that, focusing on the format, a CV is generally plain in look with nothing much fancy tricks to be used in your CV.
  • It is generally kept simple in order to make it easier for the reader to comprehend the information. Although that does not mean that it should look like a text file. You can customize its look in order to make it more appealing and engaging at the same time keeping it simple and elegant.
  • In your CV, you get to explain in depth about your career’s objective which is in contrast to resume that is more tailored according to the need of a job where you are applying. Your career’s objective may not be exactly in line with the job you are currently applying but you can explain your prospective employer as to the current job will help you in achieving your end goal. Next, comes, your talents and skill set.
  • You need to jot every type of skills and talents that you have gathered through your life, but keep in mind that it should be relevant to the corporate world. You can do the same when mentioning about you accomplishment in depth. CV allows the reader to learn about you in detail.
  • You can either put your experiences in a chronological manner or you can categorize them according to different types. But you need to make sure that you get to write down all of your experiences in depth. No need of using elaborate paragraphs. You can write them in a bulleted list with other relevant information that will make it easy for the recruiter to assess your caliber and make a better decision.
  • A CV is always accompanied by a cover letter which is presented before CV. It is used to write down the summary of the CV in a single page. This makes it easy to filter through different CV and pick read only worthy ones.


It is a french word which means summary in English. According to its name, it is generally used to summarize all your deeds and skills in a short number of pages.

A resume serves the ideal purpose for those people who already have years of experience and are currently looking for new job, or for those who are applying for a job in an industry where skill set matters more than your academic achievements.

A resume, unlike other two formats, is very rich in content and is used more often as it points out the essential skills and experiences that you have while saving a lot of time on the part of the recruiter to skim through the details.

  • Unlike your CV, your resume contains information in a condensed manner. Here you are required to provide with only those skills and experiences that are relevant to the time and are essential for the job you have applied. You do not need to fill up everything that you may have in your arsenal of talent.
  • A CV is generally written when you have to describe your whole life. But a resume is written where you only showcase those things which will impress your recruiter as to why you are better than rest of the applicants. In short, a resume is tailored, made according to the company and no two resumes should be an exact copy of each other if the posts and job requirement are not same.
  • A resume usually goes up to one page and at max up to 3 page. No one has time to read through lengthy resumes and also a resume which is large does not serve its purpose of being precise and accurate in information. Unlike your CV, a resume can be formatted in a number of ways. The main things to keep in mind is reliability, accuracy, and attractiveness of your resume.
  • You need to make sure that your resume is eye-catching but at the same time, it should be elegant enough so that the reader can easily skim through essential information. Also, you need to keep in mind that the overall layout of a resume plays a huge role whether a person will go through your resume or not.
  • In a resume you can write your achievements and other events in two formats: you can either arrange them in reverse chronological order to make sure that your experiences and skills are relevant to present, or you can write them under functional order where you can explain your skills under the lights of how it will help to fulfill the job requirement.
  • Many people prefer to write a functional resume although in no way should one skip keeping chronological order in mind. Either way, the thing is that relevance and outcome of your efforts are what matters to industry people or your resume should certainly reflect those facts that how you can be helpful for the company.
  • One thing that strikingly makes resume different from other formats is its practicality in use. With so many candidates applying for a single job and companies busy in briefing through everyone’s profile, a resume does serve the purpose of making selection process time effective.
  • With the advancement of technology, it has now become even more efficient to choose right candidate out of thousands of applicants which also introduces us to the concept of using keywords and SEO optimized resume. This will ensure you that your resume stands out from the rest of the applicant while keeping in mind the gist nature of resume is maintained throughout.


Bio-data stands for Biographical data. It is an archaic version of resume and curriculum vitae. In a literal sense, it means about life and events. Used in earlier days this is now restricted in use to only certain places. As you can derive from its name, it is used to learn about a person in detail.

The above two are also for that purpose, it is more relevant where you need to provide your personal information. It is due to this nature of bio-data that nowadays it is restricted only to government works and other government institutions where you need to provide your personal details.

  • A biodata usually consists of your personal data like your name, age , academic details, caste, creed, gender and other sensitive information which you may otherwise not disclose to others. After writing down those things, you then proceed to academic achievements and then your life experiences and other activities in chronological order. Due to the sensitivity of the data, this type of format is only used in the institute where it is essential like when you apply for any government issued card like driving license or bank acount etc.
  • You must be careful when you are submitting such information and make sure that the information will be secured and protected in every manner.
  • Unlike other formats, a biodata does not have much in terms of formatting and in most of the cases the format is provided by the institution. This makes it easy to collect data in very sequential manner. One can even employ computers to collect and record data in electronic format. Also, this format does not do much in the case of explaining the skills as it is not tailored according to the need of the company although it does prove an ample amount of information about one’s skills and talents
  • A biodata can range from about 1 page to 3 page depending on the quantity of information required by the institute.
  • Many companies do not prefer to take biodata as an acceptable form of candidate selection because first, it does not provide enough space for a candidate to describe abut his skills in accordance to the need of the job. Secondly, many state laws have made it compulsory that much sensitive information like your PAN number or other personal details should not be put up in a job application process in order to protect the privacy of people. But it still plays an important role where one needs to provide essential personal information.

CV vs resume vs biodata: Difference Between Three Formats

  • CV or curriculum vitae is the longest of all formats. It is used to write in detail about the life events. It is generally used by fresh graduates, or someone who is changing their line of career or for academic requirements. It is documented within 3 to 6 pages. It is accompanied by a cover letter which covers the gist of the CV. The contents are generalized in nature and are not tailored made for different companies. It serves to give an overall picture of the person rather than identifying certain set skill required for the job.
  • Resume means summary and it is the shortest of all the formats. It hardly extends beyond 1 page. It is generally used in industry due to the convenience of skimming through details and identifying the right candidate for further stages of qualification in the shortest span of time. Unlike CV, it has lots of option for formatting and it is customized according to the requirement of the job position. It is used by those persons who already have job experiences and are currently hunting for another job.
  • Biodata stands for biographical data. It consists of personal information like name, age, sex, date of birth and other sensitive information. Its use is nowadays limited to government institutes where one is expected to submit such information. Biodata makes it easy to collect such data as they are simple in format and can be easily checked either manually or with the help of a computer.

So this is the different types of formats that are currently in use. Now that you are aware of these formats and on what occasion they are used, you can make the wise decision of using correct format while applying for the job.