Biodata – Personal Vs Professional: The term “Biodata” is generic, and for the most part in the western world, it’s obsolete. There seem to be two major types of bio-data documents available in the world: Personal and Professional.
Biodata is a paragraph summary of who you are. It can be for any purpose whatsoever. A note at the bottom of an article you wrote, or a description on a any web site to give just a couple of examples.
From my experience, most of those, and many of the associated templates showing examples of how to construct a Biodata document, seem to be on India-based web sites.
It seems a Biodata document is used as a screening tool in marriage proposals. It allows the family considering the marriage proposal to research the background and family history of the proposing family, and weigh on whether the proposal is a sound one or not.
Among other things, Biodata provides an educational background, a history of both the individual and a family lineage history, and a photograph.
Every once in a great while, a hiring company will suggest a one-page Biodata from someone as a method of testing qualifications, and this is particularly (in my experience, exclusively) true of technical writing positions. To see what your skill level is in wording and presenting information a company will ask the potential technical writer to send a one-page bio-data as their writing sample. (On a side-note, the first time I was asked for this, I dropped out of consideration because I had no idea what a “bio-data” was, or how to manage to squeeze 42 years of life onto a single page. My résumé is three!)
As far as the US and most other western countries are concerned, however, a bio-data is an obsolete document, and has been replaced by the résumé or the CV (Curriculum Vitae). If, however, the bio-data is targeted so that the professional qualifications, skill set(s) and achievements are highlighted, and personal data is kept to a minimum, a bio-data may, in some instances, play the role of a résumé.
For the most part, if you are seeking a job with either a company based in the western hemisphere, Biodata is more prudent to have a good, solid résumé at your disposal than a Biodata.
Therefore, think of your resume, or Curriculum Vitae (CV), as a Marketing Document for your job skills and candidacy for a specific position. As such, it should be handled in a clear, professional manner, with proper grammar, diction, spelling, punctuation and word use. This is perhaps the most critical document you will ever write for your career. Take it seriously.
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