To ensure success in the highly competitive world, the need for highlighting one’s capabilities above the rest requires a conscious effort from the probable candidates. Biodata, résumé, curriculum vitae – though these three words are used interchangeably, the underlying purpose is to market one’s skills for a job. Biodata, résumé, and curriculum vitae serve the same purpose, but the target audience varies.
Curriculum vitae give a brief description of the positive elements that augments one’s capabilities like educational qualifications, previous occupations, knowledge gained over the years, etc that can aid in performing the new role better. It generally points out all the information pertaining to every aspect of one’s educational and professional “course of life”. As curriculum vitae are generally used while seeking jobs in academic institutions, it is supposed to contain every single aspect of expertise gained from educational courses and professional experiences that can strengthen one’s prospects in getting the job. As the targeted audience includes the people in the educational sector, the curriculum vitae also include the various publications authored by the prospective candidate. The term curriculum vitae is more popular in the European countries.
Résumé, on the other hand, highlights those achievements which are crucial to the job applied for. Personal, educational and professional experiences significant to the role form part of the résumé. Résumé is prominently used in the industrial sector where the task of drawing attention to one’s significant achievements is unavoidable to succeed in the highly competitive sector. It is moulded to suit the requirements, targeting a selected audience. It can be prepared chronologically in order of the time of the accomplishments, or can be arranged in order of priority of each key skill or achievement accomplished. Résumé can be of help when the expertise gathered is wide and varied, and pointing out the key functional expertise becomes the need of the hour. Résumé’s vary from job to job and from role to role. Résumé’s are used while making a switch in one’s career.
Biodata contains all information from the personal details, educational qualifications supported by details of educational institutions from where the knowledge was gained, professional details including the work accomplishments, salary last earned, etc. Personal details like the height, weight, etc might become a part of the biodata depending on the target audience. In India, biodata is used while seeking matrimony, and during the times of initial employment where the professional skills could be negligible.
In India, even though these three terms are used interchangeably the focal point is to uplift one’s position as a probable employee. With a huge population applying for any role in the country, emphasizing one’s skills for the required job might call for the job of an expert. There are many organisations that help the candidates in preparing a winsome résumé and a covering letter. Recognition of the differences in these terms helps in using the right document to the right job.