There is often confusion as to which form of documentation is most appropriate in certain circumstances surrounding the use of a bio or a resume presentation. If you're having difficulty discerning which is the most appropriate format for a given situation, the following will help you define which is best in your particular situation.

WHEN IT'S BEST TO USE A RESUME!
In general, a resume is primarily utilized when seeking employment. If you are applying for any type of position, a resume is always the appropriate choice and shouldn't be confused with a bio. A good resume is the key that opens the door to an interview and should never be regarded as insignificant. Strange as it may seem, a good resume is actually a form of advertisement and should be geared towards creating a soft sales approach that draws interest to the potential applicant. With so many people seeking employment in today's economy a good resume is worth its weight in gold. It is highly recommended that your resume is kept current and updated just in case a wonderful opportunity presents itself.

POINTS TO CONSIDER!
Consider carefully what you have to offer a potential employer. Don't be afraid to do a bit of boasting particularly if it's true. You are competing against a number of other individuals who want the same job therefore your resume should stand apart from the crowd. Never hesitate to apply for positions that may be somewhat out of your particular arena. If you have proven to be a good manager, you will be able to manage people regardless of the environment. It's all in the presentation. The way you present yourself in a resume is the way you will be perceived. If you have confidence in your ability, make sure it comes across. Never hesitate to present your strengths.

THE FIRST 30 SECONDS
As is the case in most situations, the first few seconds of reviewing a resume are the most critical. You never want your resume to be boring or too long but you want it to be impressive. You are attempting to convince someone that you have what he or she is looking for so be sure to convey your expertise proudly.

Regarding the length of a resume:

At one time it was considered best to keep a resume no longer than one page but in today's market if you can get all your information onto one page, it might look like you don't have enough experience. Never try to squeeze everything on to one page. If you have to utilize a second page to get your point across, it's perfectly acceptable.

Things to consider including in your resume are as follows:

1. Include an objective; some people believe it's best not to limit themselves via an objective but without some form of purpose, the potential employer may not know what you are after.
2. Share significant accomplishments; if you have done something in a previous position that you feel proud of, make sure to mention it.
3. Give details about your education and specialized training.
4. Mention computer skills; if you are proficient in various types of software, include it on the resume.
5. Define your summary of qualifications; you want an employer to know why they should hire you, so include your work ethic and specific expertise.
6. Share hobbies and interests; occasionally hobbies and interests open doors to conversation but don't include too many.
7. Include memberships and associations so an employer knows you are an involved person.
8. If you've been invited for an interview and you want the job, be sure to send a thank you note to the potential employer soon after you leave the interview.

HOW IS A BIO DIFFERENT?
A BIO is simply a portal into your growth and expansion. It is a condensed version of either an individual or a company's background and provides potential clients with insight into who and what you are about. It is in essence a short story of your professional life and a means of highlighting your experience in such a way as to demonstrate your credibility.

WHEN TO USE A BIO!
A bio is primarily used for anyone acting in a professional capacity and can be utilized to explain the history of a company as well as an individual. It is most appropriate when incorporated into proposals, business plans, web site content, portfolios and press kits. Those seeking to learn more about the services of a particular company or individual are interested in reading a career history. Therefore a BIO is an important tool when defining details regarding your business or yourself.

Today, there are many people that use a bio as well as a resume when applying for a position. Since a BIO is a perfect means of introduction, it allows the author a method of explaining a bit about themselves as well as their services and their company's mode of operation. Most often you will find entrepreneurs, artists, writers, business owners, professionals and consultants utilizing a BIO but it can work in various other situations. The true purpose of a BIO is to convince those who are reading it that they should be interested in you. Primarily it should inspire the reader to feel confidence in your ability and encourage them to consider your work or services.

WHAT TO INCLUDE IN YOUR BIO
As you prepare your BIO remember that you are making yourself more credible in the eye of the public so begin by making a list of things that are relevant to your experience. Think about what might appeal to your readers or what may be of interest to someone exploring or requesting your services. In a world where there is so much competition you want to show good reason why someone would choose you over your competitor. Things to include are as follows:

1. Share a business philosophy or a mission statement.
2. Illustrate how you got involved in your particular business.
3. Include your years of experience.
4. Mention some of your goals and successes.
5. Define the background of your company.
6. Include your education or any specialized training if it's pertinent.
7. Refer to any special associations you may belong to.
8. Specify relevant licensing.
9. Mention awards or acknowledgments.
10. Explain publications or particular recognition.
11. Most importantly, write about what sets you apart from everyone else.

SHOULD YOU GET HELP?
For some people writing about themselves is not at all difficult and causes no undo pressure or discomfort. For others it may be hard to be objective as it feels like self-promotion. There is a way to express yourself honestly without appearing arrogant or conceited and it's called telling the truth. My experience has shown that when something is conveyed honestly it never appears as smugness. However, if you find it difficult to present yourself on paper perhaps you can get an outsider to help you see yourself in a brighter light.

Author's Bio: 

Charlene Rashkow brings 15 years of experience as a Writing Stylist and Author to her creative efforts as a freelance business writer/consultant. She has successfully helped companies and individuals reach their objectives by writing outstanding website content, press releases, bios, articles of interest, business plans,proposals, resumes, and all other forms of business and personal material. To speak with Charlene you may contact her at http://www.allyourwritingneeds.com or write her at info@allyourwritingneeds.com. You can also call her directly at (310) 514-4844