What's the difference between a bio and a resume (and when do you use each one)? If you're confused about bio versus resume and when to use which, this article will help. A bio is a short summary of the most impressive highlights of your background, whereas a resume gives a comprehensive picture of your education and work experience year by year. Both describe your background but the intended purpose, level of detail and presentation are different.
When to use a bio versus resume
Bios are basically used as promotional material. A bio or career biography tells a short story about you in a couple of paragraphs. It's a summarized version of who you are and what you're all about.
A bio is normally found in a business owner's profile or about the author in the flap jacket of a book. It's intended to be a succinct, compelling overview of the person. In a paragraph or two, the most impressive facts are provided to give a picture to the reader. The description is written in the third person and may include years of experience, some well-known companies, recognized commercial awards, marital status, number of children, place of dwelling, and other pertinent details.
One way to think about it is that a bio is a little advertisement for you and your business. It summarizes just the most impressive highlights of your background. In contrast, a resume gives a complete summary of your experience, education, and skills - normally in chronological order.
When to use a resume instead of a bio
A resume is normally required when applying for a job. A resume shows past history and provides in detail, the working experience, job positions and responsibilities, education with colleges attended, skill certificates achieved and trainings completed.
Whereas a bio is usually formatted in paragraphs, resumes are normally formatted in bullet form and chronological order. You need to account for any missing years that may have occurred due to sickness, travelling, family responsibilities or time out of the workforce. In a pinch, you can omit certain areas in your resume if you wish and only reveal them in person when you have an interview.
To sum up, a bio or biography tells a story about you, whereas a resume gives "just the facts". A bio is a promotional document; a resume is used when applying for a job. Both describe your background but purpose, level of detail and presentation are different. Between the two, the bio is less formal and more interesting to read than the resume.
Do you need to write a bio? Does it seem like just one more task on your long to-do list? That's not unusual. Most busy professionals find it hard to find the time to sit down and get their professional bio written. Here's a helpful tip: at WriteABio.com you can get great bio samples as well as fill-in-the-blank bio templates written specifically for your type of job. You'll have it all done and complete within the next 20 minutes.
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