Chances are, if you’re on the job hunt or in process of changing careers, you’ve been asked for a variety of documents: a resume, bio, or a CV. In today’s day and age you’ve also probably been asked for a link to your LinkedIn profile.
So, what are the major differences in these all important documents for your career or job change? Each has their respective place in the recruiting realm, so we’ll break down for you the characteristics of each document and why each is important as a marketing tool for you.
A resume is ideally a one to two page document that summarizes all of your career and educational highlights. It is written in a style for easy viewing, usually with bullet points. It is written in a chronological and functional format that follows the trajectory of your career life.
Important information such as education, experience, job titles, certifications and skills are all highlighted on a resume, as this is what a prospective employer will be looking at. A resume should be tailored to the specific job or role you’re applying for. While that’s not to say you shouldn’t include all your important skills, you definitely want to highlight the ones that a potential employer will look favorably on. It’s also important to be succinct in your resume — it’s not your life story, which would be more of a bio, which we’ll address in a little bit.
The best resumes are one page, although some industries will accept two page resumes. Some resumes also have a section for career objectives and a summary statement.
CV, which is short for curriculum vitae, Latin for “course of one’s life.” It is a synopsis of your education, qualifications, and experience, and is usually created when one is seeking a position in research, teaching, or a related academic position. It is also often used in the medical profession, and when individuals are applying for grants or fellowships. CVs are also typically longer than a resume, at least two pages.
It also includes other specific information such as awards, research projects, publications, presentations, and other accomplishments. Be sure your CV covers all important aspects of your professional and educational background.
Professional bios are completely different from resumes and CVs, in which they tell more of a story, as opposed to just providing a laundry list of career and educational highlights. Usually written in third person, bios are written in an engaging, storytelling format that shares experiences and highlights that capture the essence of a person. They also typically include personal information about the individual, such as family and hobbies. Professional bios are typically used in presentations, speaking engagements, job searches, and social media. They are very effective as a promotional tool.
Bios can be as formal or as casual as you’d like, it just depends on the audience and the style you’re going after. Bios should only be one page in length. The main thing is that it’s easy to read and engages the reader to want to learn more about you!
WeWriteBios.com is inspiration and brainchild of Endrea Kosven, founder and CEO of EDK and Company. With over 15 years as a PR and marketing professional in Los Angeles, she helps her clients succeed in their professional branding and marketing efforts.
We are a professional copywriting agency helping our clients maintain their brands through polished, creative content. Our services include professional bios, press kit development, company profiles, press releases, and more!