What Is the Best Biodata Format?

Written by Coursera Staff • Updated on

When you want to find a job, one of the first things you do is put together a resume or CV. Still, many workers in Southern Asian countries, including India, sometimes give potential employers a biodata form rather than (or in addition to) that resume.

[Featured image] A pair of hands type on a laptop on a green table.

Biodata may also be used for numerous activities besides finding a job, and it essentially tells the story of your life.

Whether you're a fresher or looking to change jobs, learning different biodata formats may help advance your career search. Learn more about what biodata is, what it should include, and what to leave out when you create one. 

What is biodata?  

Biodata is biographical information from your life. It's typically one to two pages long and contains your personal identifying information and highlights from your education, work, and other aspects of your life. The goal is for the person who receives your biodata to use it to evaluate you. Every biodata will be different. You will tailor it to the unique situation for which you use it. 

What are the types of biodata?

In India, biodata isn't just used to help you find a job. There are several instances when you might present one, such as the following examples:  

  • Marriage biodata, or matrimonial biodata, can be used to help find a spouse who is compatible with a person, and it may include items like religion, lifestyle, blood group, partner expectations, physical traits, occupation, and hobbies. 

  • Educational biodata is ideal for secondary school or college students without work experience looking for part-time jobs and internships, so it focuses on their academic accomplishments. Educational biodata is also used by teachers who are looking for jobs. It allows you to profile your education and experience.

  • A university or employer often requests medical biodata to accurately understand your health, and it may include information like blood type, disabilities, and chronic illnesses. 

Biodata vs. resume

A job biodata and a resume are similar and present the same information. The biodata format is different and may include a few more personal details. A job biodata is typically only a page long, while resumes may be a page or two long. Biodata is especially useful when applying for a government job requiring more details about your life. The other main difference is that resumes are more common in the Western world, while biodata is only used to get a job in countries like India, Bangladesh, Pakistan, and Sri Lanka.  

As a potential employee, you can send biodata to an employer to secure an interview. If you sent in a resume and have landed an interview, you can bring biodata to introduce yourself to the interviewer further. You can also use it to demonstrate skills and experience that you couldn't fit onto your resume. After getting a job, an employer might request your biodata for their records. 


What is the best biodata format? 

You can find biodata formats online, and it's usually recommended that you print one of these and fill it in rather than create your own. Some organisations will also offer an online biodata form to complete and submit digitally. No matter which you choose, you'll want to include several pieces of information.    

Personal information 

Your job biodata will always start with some basic personal information. Include your name and contact information, such as your address, phone number, and email address, and social media profiles relevant to your job, such as LinkedIn. 


Next, you'll want to write a personal statement or objective, much like you would on a resume. This should take about two to three sentences and tell the employer what kind of job you're looking for and what qualifies you, including your degree, human skills, or any work experience related to that job.  


After that, you'll typically begin listing your educational experience, especially if you are a fresher with limited work experience. This highlights your educational background. List the schools you attended chronologically, degrees and certificates you earned, grades, extracurricular activities, and any awards you won. 

Work experience 

If you have work experience, you'll also want to list that in chronological order. Give the names of the companies you worked for, your job title, dates you worked, skills gained, and any professional achievements you made. 


Your job biodata should also have a skills section, listing your technical skills and soft or human skills. Human skills are the ones that are hard to demonstrate on paper, like communication, leadership, time management, and critical thinking.

You can measure technical skills, like typing 60 words per minute, a certificate saying you mastered Microsoft Office, or proof that you're certified in CPR and first aid. This is where your biodata may deviate from your resume a bit as you can go into more detail about your skills. Just make sure you stick to skills relevant to the job you are applying for. You'll also want to list your technical and human skills separately. 

Other information 

You should add other information to your job biodata if you think it will help make a difference in the recruiting process. This could include hobbies, internships, certificates, personal achievements, awards, volunteer work, and anything else you've accomplished.   

What not to put on your biodata 

When creating your biodata, you'll leave out some details you might add to other types of biodata, like marital status, height, weight, religion, race, and medical history. Some employers may request certain information, particularly for government jobs, so only add it if it's necessary for that job. 

You'll also want only to list references if the employer has asked you to do so. Only mention references if you plan to list them in your biodata format. 

You'll also want to avoid offering up passwords, bank account information, or social media accounts that are private and not work-related. If an organisation requests any of this information, you'll want to contact them to ensure it's legitimate and get further clarification. 

Next steps 

If you're a fresher looking to start a career, consider taking an online course to help get you started. At Coursera, dozens of online classes are offered by some of the world’s top educational institutions and businesses. Consider classes like Create a Resume and Cover Letter with Google Docs offered by the Coursera Project Network, Job Success: Get Hired or Promoted in 3 Steps offered by the State University of New York, and English for Career Development provided by the University of Pennsylvania.

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