Resume, CV (curriculum vitae), biodata and employee portfolio are four distinct types of documents. However, due to similarities in the nature of their content, these documents are frequently discussed interchangeably. This article will explore their key distinctions to give you a better idea of which document to use for your next job application.
A CV is used to describe a person’s academic achievements and credentials. Although it will contain information about an applicant’s past work experience, the focus of a CV is on educational background as CVs are generally used to apply for jobs at academic institutes. CVs are also used to apply for doctoral programs or research positions for which specific degrees or certifications are required. It will include an applicant’s publications, presentations in seminars, research reports as well as academic credentials.
Just as a CV focuses on academic background, a resume focuses on job experience and skills of an applicant. The purpose of a resume is to exhibit an applicant’s job skills and suitability for a specific position. It will contain some information about an applicant’s education, but not in detail. As employers don’t have time to go through lengthy documents, resumes are generally shorter than CVs.
In short, both CVs and resumes include information about an applicant’s education and work experience, but the former will highlight academic achievements while the latter will highlight work experience and skills.
Next, we have bio data which is more commonly used in South Asian countries than anywhere else. It is short for “biographical data”, and contains personal information in addition to the career-related information found in CVs and resumes. Examples of such personal information are gender, age, religion, marital status, nationality, hobbies, etc.
Interestingly, biodata may be prepared not only for seeking jobs, but also for getting married or sharing medical information. A marriage biodata is used to find a spouse and may contain information about a person’s height, weight, skin color as well as information about one’s parents and siblings, description of own self, required characteristics of a potential spouse, etc. A medical biodata may be solicited by academic institutes or employers to gauge a person’s health, and may contain information like blood type, disabilities, allergies, emergency contact information, etc. These information are not included in a job-seeking biodata.
Lastly, there is employment or career portfolio which includes a job-seeker’s resume as well as references, transcripts, training certificates, publications, awards, licenses, and work samples of authors and artists. A portfolio is a package/folder of documents which may be shared in hard or soft copy to provide a more complete picture of the candidate than a resume, CV or bio data can. However, applicants should keep in mind to include the most relevant (to the applied job), latest and best accomplishments only as, otherwise, the portfolio may become oversized and difficult to navigate which will disinterest busy employers.
An applicant may take the portfolio to an interview to demonstrate their work to potential employers. This will give them an edge over other applicants who may have the required qualification for the job but nothing to exemplify the quality of their work.
Which document you choose to submit for a specific job will depend on the requirements of that job and the qualification you want to showcase.