Conquent: Without Limits
Conquent: Without Limits
Kristen Fife's Blog

A Bio is *Not* a Resume

2010-05-13 17:50:46

In the consulting world, a company often will create a CV for potential clients based on consultants' resumes to submit to an RFP (Request for Proposal) in their bid. This CV is customized from their diverse work history to specifically fit the call for the project/s being bid on. In essence, it is a hybrid CV/bio.

Since I am a recruiter at a consulting company, I have seen and formatted such resumes. But I recently saw one on a major job board, and the message it sent me was that the person seeking a new job didn't know how to write a resume for herself and really didn't even try.

While I was at the University of Washington, it amazed me how many people would apply for a job writing down a brief professional history and ignoring the request for a proper resume.

This gives the same impression as a functional resume in a non-portfolio based industry: you don't have the skills we are looking for; you are trying to hide something; you cannot follow basic instructions on filling out an online job application. (And of course you don't know how to write a resume.)

So here, again, is what happens. By doing any of the above, you are not giving a recruiter the information they have asked for in a format that is *standard* right now, that hiring managers want to see.

1) Your most recent job including company, location, title, dates of employment, and industry (if not immediately discernible. Use a one-sentence marketing blurb from the employer's website or marketing materials if you don't know how to craft this.)

2) A detailed account of what you did for the employer highlighting major accomplishments.

3) The next most recent job, etc. on the resume going back *no more than 7-10 years*.

4) Education: this includes degrees/diplomas and *applicable* training or certification. For example, being First Aid Certified is not applicable outside the medical industry or positions such as child care.

5) Affiliations such as volunteer organizations, *leaving out things such as religious or political references*.

A bio (short for "biography") is something that you prepare that gives a broad statement reflecting your entire career, with little or no mention of specific projects. Bios are used for content such as corporate "about us" sections or prospectuses, speaking engagements, press releases, articles (written, quoted in, or interviews). A bio doesn't usually even give enough information to decide if someone is even a fit. It is not an appropriate substitute for a full resume or a CV.

Like every industry, recruiting goes through trends; the current "style" is dictated by technology and government standards. Over time, no doubt it will change. But for now, following "fashion" is a better policy and in your own best interests.

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