Originated from the French word "resumer," resume means a summary of an individual's educational background, relevant work experience, history and achievements. A resume is primarily used when seeking a new job and is sent to the employer in order to introduce an individual and to win a personal meeting with the recruiter or the employer. A resume is ideal when applying for middle and senior level positions, when experience and related skills are more important than educational details.

A curriculum vitae, commonly called a CV or vitae, is derived from a French phrase meaning "course of life." A CV contains a detailed description of an individual's work experience, educational background, and skills. A CV is a more elaborate description than a resume. CVs are accepted internationally and are used to apply for executive, academic, managerial, medical and many other types of jobs. A CV can also be described as a marketing device that an individual uses to endorse himself.

Originating from the Italian word "portafoglio," portare meaning to carry and foglio meaning leaf or paper, portfolio is an album of work samples shown to prospective employers, usually in creative fields such as photography, art and graphic design. It so happens that work pieces comprised of art and design cannot be explained theoretically. As a result, presenting pictures, designs and samples is the best way to tell a recruiter about your work. Hence, unlike a resume or a CV, a portfolio may contain pictures, documents, onsite media details, screen shots of a website, and notes or letters of praise from distinguished clients

Let us try understanding this term with the help of an example. Candidate 1 and candidate 2, who possess the same strengths, apply for a job. Candidate 1 sends his resume to the employer, theoretically stating his skills, achievements, past experiences, and a list of renowned people who praise his work. Meanwhile, candidate 2 sends pictures and samples of his new art work along with letters of praise from clients and a collection of tweets admiring his work. Who do you think will get the job? Candidate 2, obviously, as the recruiter can see the exact work, along with demand and acceptance of the work in the market.

The term biodata, which very few people know stands for biographical data, is commonly used in the medical field. A biodata, initially used only in hospitals, was a prescription pad on a patient's bed side, which mentioned the patient's name, age, disease, and other pertinent details. This form is now used in a few countries, particularly in government institutions, or when applying for grants. Emphasizing an individual's particulars such as date of birth, religion, sex, race, nationality, address, and marital status, this form is different from a resume and a CV, which focus on an individual's qualifications. A biodata focuses on a person's personal details. Factors such as educational qualifications and past job experience take a back seat.

Author's Bio: 

Article written by Mike Kelley at http://www.cv-service.org/ You can find and download free CV examples and fully worded CV templates on my website.