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Why is a bio more important than a CV or Curriculum vitae?

Most job seekers understandably think that their CV is their most important written job search tool. Why? Because most people associate CV’s with landing their next job. CV are important, even critical, to your ultimate goal of landing your next job. However, CV’s are best used only when you are applying for a specific position. After all, that’s the purpose of a CV – to articulate your background, skills, abilities and credentials – with the hopes of garnering an interview.

However, any savvy job seeker in this current employment market knows that blindly applying for jobs using your CV is a recipe for a long bout of unemployment. Generally accepted statistics demonstrate that only 20% of all jobs are filled via job boards and newspaper ads. And of that 20% the majority of the time the hiring manager knows who they want to hire before the posting goes up. The other 80% of jobs are filled through networking with friends, family, current or former co-workers, or through extended professional networking through LinkedIn and professional organizations.

One-page biography

This is where the concept of a one-page biography or bio, for short, comes into play. The bio is the document that you can most leverage during your networking activities – and if networking is the key approach needed to land one of the 80% of jobs that are not filled through traditional job posting channels, and then doesn’t it stand to reason that a bio should be a more important tool? Remember, a CV is best utilized when you are applying for a specific job. A bio is best used to convey your background in a crisp narrative format before, during or after your networking meetings.

Benefits

You may be thinking, “Why can’t I just use my CV during my networking meetings?” Good question. Probably the biggest reason is that a bio speaks much more about your reputation, attributes, tone and makeup than a CV does. Written in the third person and without the rigid structure of a CV, your bio is much more readable and conversational than a CV. Another reason is because your networking partner may equate seeing your CV with applying for a job and they most likely will not have a job for you at the present time. When a networking partner feels like they can’t help you, they may recoil and not provide you with the resources you were hoping to gain from the conversation. Another reason for not providing a CV during networking sessions is because networking partners may get sidetracked wanting to provide you with CV feedback.

So, the bio gives you an opportunity to explain a bit about yourself in a disarming, easy to read format. Because of the way you’ll construct the bio, it also allows you to convey more and different information about yourself then you could ever do with a CV.

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