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Appropriateness of Resume, C.V. and Bio-Data

Updated on April 1, 2015

Job Applications

Employers inform that nine out of 10 Job Applications they receive are not even properly written so job application too is an important business letter. A job application is a sales letter at its best through which one offers to sell their services.

The Job Application can be divided into two parts:

(A) Covering Letter

(B) Background Details

Covering Letter - It’s well said that the covering letter puts flesh on bare bones of CV/Resume/Bio – Data. Your cover letter should answer who, what, when, where, and why you are applying for the job. If you want to capture the attention of your future employer, you’ll need to write a succinct covering letter. While applying for a job, you may compose a brief covering letter making a formal request for being considered for the post and stating that the bio data/resume/CV depending on suitability is enclosed.

Background Details - The bare details of your background is described in CV/Resume/Bio-Data

V (curriculum vitae), which is a Latin phrase, a bio data (which is mainly an American usage and quite popular in India), or resume (read as RAY-ZYOO-MAY), which is a French word.


There are three main formats that are generally used in CV and Resume.

  1. Chronological - This is the most common format in which the details are arranged in order of occurrence in time.
  2. Functional –Here focus is on candidate’s skill and qualification which is the key deciding factor so the CV/Resume/Bio-Data is structured around it.
  3. Focused - In this particular format the content of CV/Resume/Bio-Data are organized in relation to the targeted position.


Resume a French word interpreted as "summary" plays a very vital role in presentation of a candidate be it an interview or any situation introducing a candidate. A resume is ideally a summary of one's education, skills and employment when applying for a new job. A resume does not list out all details of a profile, but only some specific skills customized to the target job profile. It thus, is usually 1 or at the max 2 pages long. A resume is usually written in the third person to give it an objective and formal tone.

A good resume would start with a

  • Brief Profile of the candidate,
  • Summary of Qualifications
  • Industry Expertise
  • Professional Experience in reverse chronological order.

Focus is on the most recent experiences (with responsibilities and accomplishments), and previous experiences are only presented as a summary. This would be followed by Education details and/or Professional Affiliations and/or Voluntary Initiatives.

Basic Format Of Resume Includes

  • Personal Details – This includes full name, address, and contact number and email address.
  • Career Objective - Objective is a tailored statement to show suitability to employer’s requirement.
  • Education & Training Attended - here the academic details and credentials of the candidates are highlighted.
  • Employment History - Start with your most recent work history and work backwards chronologically, listing the name of the employer, your job title, the dates you worked there, and your responsibilities, tasks and achievements.
  • Relevant Skills - One has to filter out and write only those competencies which are suitable and relevant as per the job applied by the candidate
  • Interest And Hobbies - A list of your hobbies and interests; this gives employers more information about you and also shows other areas of your life where you've gained experiences such as teamwork and commitment

Curriculum Vitae (CV)

Curriculum Vitae or CV is derived from Latin depicts "course of life". C.V. which in a way is an autobiography of the candidate in a nutshell from the employer’s point of view is more detailed than a resume, and goes up to 2 to 3 pages, but can run even longer as per the requirement. A C.V. which displays talent of a candidate rather than just focusing on specific skills on the candidate lists out every skills, jobs, degrees, and professional affiliations the applicant has acquired, usually in chronological order. Curriculum Vitae (CV) can be summarized as the course of your life of candidate.

The Basic Format Of A CV Includes

  • Career history - starting with your most recent job first. Include dates and temporary or voluntary jobs if appropriate
  • Personal profile –It shows the suitability towards the job applying for.
  • Qualifications and training - from previous jobs in a chronological order.
  • Interests and Strengths - if they are relevant and especially if the skills or teamwork concerned are relevant for the job.
  • Achievements from previous jobs that are relevant
  • References - ideally two or more and including someone from recent employer.
  • Educational qualification – The academic details and credentials should be mentioned in a chronological order detailing your job experience, start with the current job. During your interview you may have to explain gas in employment, if any.
  • Give all information under suitable headings.
  • Additional information – Any additional information such as reasons for a career change or reasons for gaps in career history, such as caring duties or any other relevant information.


Biographical Data commonly said as Bio data is yet another way of presenting our skills and details to the employer, however in Bio- Data more focus is on personal particulars like date of birth, religion, sex, race, nationality, residence, marital status, etc. The chronological sequence of education and experience is maintained here too. Bio –data are more descriptive and includes essay type descriptions in contrast to resume that focuses more on specific skill sets. It is suitable for researchers and candidates applying for government jobs and one who is looking for research grants.

Common Mistakes To Be Avoided In A CV,Resume And Bio - Data

  • At the end of the resume don’t write I hereby declare....
  • Make your CV/Resume/Bio-data in 10-point or 11-point (size) and avoid fancy fonts font Style should be formal and readable.
  • Use only black color in CV/Resume/Bio-data.
  • Keep the CV/Resume/Bio-data simple. Don’t go overboard with underlining, italicizing and bolding.
  • The career objective statement should be related and relevant to the job we are applying to; it should not vaguely state our vision. The objective should be customized as CV/Resume/Bio-data is a marketing tool.
  • Avoid using short forms in a CV/Resume/Bio-data.
  • Avoid handwritten additions to a typed sheet.
  • All qualitative comments about you should be backed by the information present in the CV/Resume/Bio-data.
  • Maintain the layout of the CV/Resume/Bio-data, sufficient open spaces should be maintained.

There should be no spelling and grammatical mistakes in CV/Resume/Bio-data

Difference Between Resume / CV / Bio - Data

Curriculum Vitae (CV)
Biographical Data ( Bio – Data)
For Experienced candidates
For Fresher candidates
For Researchers
When applying for middle & Senior position
For fresher’s looking for career change
When applying for Government job, research grants
Should be shorter and more focused
Usually 2-3 pages, its more detailed than resume
In descriptive essay forms.
Focuses on Skills
Focuses on academic credentials
Focuses more on personal information’s like age, gender, religion etc
Targeted list of transferable skills and accomplishments
Complete record of your professional history
Descriptive essay type form focusing more on personal details.


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