Resumes vs CV vs Bio Data vs Cover Letter – What’s the difference, and when to use which?


This question always crosses our mind when we are to apply for a new job. Usually people misunderstand all the four – resume, CV, bio data and cover letter to be the same. But in reality, all the four are quite different from each other. Approaching 100 professionals, probably, 90 will be wrong in their understanding of the differences of these 4. In this write up we shall explain in detail the meaning of each of these and provide tips on which of these to use in what kind of situation.

This will mean you will be among those 10 in 100 who know the correct usage and meaning of a resume, curriculum vitae, bio data and cover letter!

We shall start with the basic differences between the resume, CV, bio data and cover letter:

1Basic Definition – Resumes vs CV vs Bio Data vs Cover Letter

Resume: Resume is a French word meaning “summary”. It is basically summarized form of qualifications, experience, skills and personal details of the writer.

Curriculum Vitae: Curriculum Vitae (CV) is a Latin word meaning “course of life”. It consists of academic details along with experience attained, if any. It is an elaborated form of resume.

Bio Data: Bio data is basically “biological description” of a person. It involves details such as name, date of birth, hobbies, personal skills etc. of the author.

Cover Letter: It is an introduction letter consisting information about oneself, related to job opening of candidate to the recruiter.

2Significance and Importance – Resumes vs CV vs Bio Data vs Cover Letter


  • It gives an idea to the recruiter, that whether the candidate is eligible for job or not.
  • It also helps the recruiter in identifying the designation which may suit the candidate.
  • It is used by professionals or experience holders.
  • Used where skills are given more preference, commonly for middle and senior level job.

Curriculum Vitae:

  • It is a detailed form of resume.
  • It gives an idea to the recruiters about candidate’s eligibility.
  • It is basically used by fresher or one seeking to change his/her profile and for academic professionals.

Bio Data:

  • It gives a brief description of personal detail of a person.
  • It is mostly preferred in government jobs in India. It is not an international concept of representing oneself professionally.
  • Bio data is also used for marriage purposes in India.
  • It gives an idea about a person’s future behavior which may depend upon the past behavioral activity.

Cover Letter:

  • Cover letter comprises of several documents used by an applicant to apply for job.
  • It is an introduction which may persuade the recruiter to take further decision, whether to go through other documents or not.
  • It expresses interest of applicant towards job profile.

3Format – Resumes vs CV vs Bio Data vs Cover Letter

Resume: Includes experience of a candidate, qualification, achievements. Its length must not exceed 2-3 pages of A4 sheet.

Curriculum Vitae: It includes academic and qualification details, career objectives, personal skills, technical skills, strength and weakness.

Bio Data: It consists of personal details such as name, sex,  date Of Birth, hobbies,  interests,  appearance, nationality, residence etc.

Cover Letter: It includes the professional summary about a person such as name, contact information, work experience brief, career goals, expectation and aim of person related to job opening. This is mostly divided into 3 paragraphs: viz. introduction, Body and conclusion.


When professionalism is concerned, it is very important to present oneself in a proper manner. Whether Resume or CV or Bio data or a cover letter, all are considered for first impression of an applicant to the recruiters. Hence it must always be designed in a proper manner.

It is very necessary to understand the difference between the four for its proper designing. Remember, these are the door for your entrance in the professional world, so understand the differences as the line of variation between the four are very thin.

Originally posted 2016-07-22 01:02:13.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here