Difference between CV, Resume and Biodata

Very often when a person enters a professional career from academic life, there is a real basic need of having a resume or a CV or a biodata with him/her. And not only this, this piece of paper requires an ample amount of updations and verifications at various instances of time.

Wait! What!? Was there something above which got repeated thrice?

Was that RESUME, CV, and  BIODATA?

Right! But all these three words refer to the same piece of document. Isn’t it?

Well here comes a twist to your knowledge – these three words may partially refer to the same piece of a document but it is not the very same thing as a whole.

So, let me first introduce you all to these terminologies, before going further.


The term Biodata stands for Biographical Data. It was a term that had a key significance in India before most of us here were even born. Mostly before the 90s when any person wished to apply for a job they called job profile as Biodata. Mostly it covered non-professional details of a person like one’s height, weight, hobbies, religion, caste, complexion, and at the end partially covered his/her’s educational qualifications.

With growing generations, this term is losing its presence and has taken some new words instead. Wait! Let me clear you – lost presence just by its term, but has evolved very much by its content.

Nowadays this term might be used in case of typical Indian families, who are searching for a perfect match for their child( in short while fixing a girl and a boy by arranging marriages).

The second instance which clicks my mind is when a person applies for a job post in the government sector.


This term has been derived from a French word meaning ‘summary’, and is pronounced as “re-su-mae”.

It is a very precise form of a job profile, which contains details like academics, skillset, and past record of employment(if any). It does not include sections of hobbies, father’s name, religion, etc.

As the resume is kept quite brief and saturated with professional information, so, this is best suited while searching for a Job online


It stands for Curriculum Vitae, which has taken its meaning from Latin terminology meaning ‘one’s entire course of life’. It contains each and every achievement of one’s life from co-curricular to professional. In this, the length is not a matter of concern and each important thing(varies from person and job post) is mentioned and accordingly highlighted. In 21st century we use this term quite often, and this term has marked its global presence(especially in continents like Europe, Africa, and Australia )

I hope I am clear with the terminologies of these three terms. Now let me summaries with some more details of these terms in a tabular format.

Difference between CV, Resume and Biodata



MEANING Used in early eras which covered the personal details of a person Precise and saturated job profile of a person A detailed description of the person along with one’s job profile one has accomplished
LENGTH Not more than 1 page Maximum 2 pages May vary(generally 4-5 pages)
KEY FOCUS Personal information Educational details and past job details Detailed personal, co-curricular, educational and past job profile handling information
WHEN TO USE Applying for marriage proposals or govt. posts Job seeking profiles or a fresh job Internship, fellowship, higher job posts
DOCUMENT TYPE Concise Concise Comprehensive
EDUCATIONAL DETAILS At the bottom In between At the top
ORDERED CHRONOLOGY Not needed Not needed Needed
STRUCTURE Very simple and personal detail-oriented Sticking to educational details while keeping it brief too Mentioning the complete history of a person(personal, educational, qualitative and job-skill details)
REFERENCE May vary Not included included

I hope now it is clear for you that what is the difference between cv, resume and biodata.

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