Professional Development – Difference Between Bio, CV and Resume

Applying for work can be very stressful – you want to put your best foot forward, and it can be very hard to sell yourself to a potential employer while highlighting your best characteristics and answering questions.  On top of that, some jobs require different application materials – a biography (or bio), a curriculum vitae (or CV), or a resume.  These things seem so interchangeable, so what is the difference?

Let’s start with the one most of us have heard of – the resume.  A resume is a summary of your job and education history.  If you have ever applied for a job, you will have used a resume.  The ability to write a good resume that highlights your best characteristics and emphasizes your qualifications for a specific job is a skill that will take you a long way in the world.  For such an essential skill, unfortunately it is one that many people struggle with.


So let’s discuss what makes a great resume.  First, make sure that your name and contact information are at the top, in large print (slightly larger font than the rest of the text, size 14 or 16 if the rest is size 12, for example).  You need to make sure that if you catch the recruiter’s attention and they know how to get a hold of you.

As for qualifications, be quick and to the point.  Make your job title and the company the headline, and include your skills, accomplishments, and qualifications as bullet points.  Use good action verbs, like “finished,” “arranged,” “solved,” and “completed.”  Include hard numbers – don’t just say you “changed the filing system,” say that you “revolutionized the storage of over 250 files in less than five days.”  Doesn’t that sentence sound much more powerful?

Curriculum Vitae (CV)

Now let’s talk about curriculum vitae, or “CVs”.  A CV is more like an expanded resume.  The same rules are still true: put your name front and center, keep your contact info up to date, and summarize your skills with bullet points.  However, CVs are often required in more technical fields – like science, engineering, and computer science.  This means that you need to really highlight your education and technical skills.

Difference between Resume and CV

Resumes are expected to be one or two pages long – CVs can be as many pages as necessary.  If you are one of those people lucky enough to feel limited by the size constraint of resumes, a CV is for you!  On a CV you can expand on your projects, highlight really exciting accomplishments, and include more educational experience – including GPA and test scores from the GRE or MCAT (as applicable).  You can also include awards, associations, teaching and research experience, and certifications.  A CV is a place to really expand on all your experience and how great you will be in this particular position.

Biography (Bio)

Chances are, you already know what a bio is, and you have even read a few of them.  Think about the one or two paragraphs that every author includes in the back flap of a book.  Think about the sentences under a blogger’s photo on every “About Me” page.  That is a bio.  It is a way to quickly highlight your life experiences.  It is essentially the way you would introduce yourself at a party.

Where a bio is required for a job, chances are they won’t want to know about where you were born and how many pets you have, though.  This is a way to summarize your entire job history in quick-to-read format – and sometimes during a job hunt, being able to get to the point and grab the recruiter’s interest is the best way to get your foot in the door.  Think of a bio as your entire resume put into words.

Most bios have a standard format.  In paragraph one, talk about your most recent position and accomplishments there, specifically how they relate to the job you are applying for.  If you have teaching or research experience, training experience, certifications, or management experience, talk about them in paragraph two.  Paragraph three and four are for highlighting publications, education, certifications, associations, etc.  To wrap up your bio, provide your contact info and availability (dates and times).

Where to use What?

For most positions, you will know exactly what kind of application to use, because the job announcement will state what materials are needed – resume, CV, bio, cover letter, skill set, etc.  If there is any confusion, choose whatever the industry standard is (CV for technical fields, resume for everything else) or choose which of your documents is the strongest.

Reference: Pinal Dave (

SQLAuthority News – Presented Technical Session at DevReach 2013, Sofia, Bulgaria – Oct 1, 2013

Earlier this month, I had a fantastic time presenting at DevReach 2013, in Sofia, Bulgaria on Oct 1, 2013. DevReach strives to be the premier developer conference in Central and Eastern Europe. It is organized annually in Sofia, Bulgaria. The 8th edition of the conference is moving to a new and bigger venue: Sofia Event Center.

In my career, I have presented over 9 different countries (India, USA, Canada, Singapore, Hong Kong, Malaysia, Sri Lanka, Nepal, Thailand), this was the first time for me to present in Europe. DevReach was perfect places to start my journey in Europe as an evangelist. The event was one of the most organized event I have ever come across in my life. The DevRech organization team had perfected every minute detail of the event to perfection. After the event was over I had the opportunity to see Sofia for one day.

I presented with one of my most favorite Database Worst Practices Session.

Pinal presenting at DevReach 2013, Sofia, Bulgaria

DevReach 2013

DevReach 2013

DevReach 2013

Pinal presenting at DevReach 2013, Sofia, Bulgaria

Pinal presenting at DevReach 2013, Sofia, Bulgaria

Pinal Dave and Stephen Forte at Pluralsight Booth at DevReach 2013, Sofia, Bulgaria

Pinal on City Tour of Sofia, Bulgaria

Pinal on City Tour of Sofia, Bulgaria

Pinal on City Tour of Sofia, Bulgaria

Pinal on City Tour of Sofia, Bulgaria

Pinal on City Tour of Sofia, Bulgaria

Session Title: Secrets of SQL Server: Database Worst Practices

Abstract: “Oh my God! What did I do?” Chances are you have heard, or even uttered, this expression. This demo-oriented session will show many examples where database professionals were dumbfounded by their own mistakes, and could even bring back memories of your own early DBA days. The goal of this session is to expose the small details that can be dangerous to the production environment and SQL Server as a whole, as well as talk about worst practices and how to avoid them. Shedding light on some of these perils and the tricks to avoid them may even save your current job.

Thanks to Team Telerik for making this one of the best event in my life.

Reference: Pinal Dave (

SQL – Solution – Crossword Puzzle Based on Course Building Successful High Traffic Profitable Blog

Earlier this month we were running a contest for solving the crossword based on my Blogging courses – Course 1, Course 2. Here is the details of the contest.  The winner of the contest was to win Melting Clock (Do not confuse this as a dummy or not working clock. This looks like melting but it always shows accurate time and it is perfectly balanced to hang off of any flat surface).

Before I continue let me just add that this is my 2600th blog post on – it has been a long journey but extremely fun.

I have received total 142 entries and out of that there was 84 valid entries. We had to go over every single cross word manually and it took way more time than we expected. Finally we went through all the valid entries and have selected a winner. The winner is selected randomly from all the valid answer which we have received.

The winner of the contest is Martin Dauksza from Greater Los Angeles area. Congratulations Martin for winning this contest. It was indeed a difficult one as there were many valid entries to this contest. Here is the solution to the original puzzle.

Here is the link to download the original crossword: Download Crossword.

Alternatively you can download the image displayed below and print it as well.


Anyway the contest is over now but if you are interested you can still print the original crossword and try to solve it. Here are two courses Course 1, Course 2 based on which this crossword is built.

Reference: Pinal Dave (

SQL – Crossword Puzzle Based on Course Building Successful High Traffic Profitable Blog

Do you like Crossword Puzzles? I personally love it. Everytime I open the newspaper, I try to resolve at least one crossword or sudoku. It is just fun to tease a brain little and stretch its limits.

Regular readers of the blogs are aware that I have recently published two courses on how to build successful high traffic profitable blog.

Here are the links to watch both the courses: Course 1, Course 2. Do watch them in order as both the courses have unique content, which can help you build a better blog.

On my birthday July 30th, there was an interesting blog post posted on Pluralsight blog. It was a crossword build from my two courses. I encourage you try to solve the crossword which I have built.


There is a cool gift for the winner – it is melting clock. Do not confuse this as a dummy or not working clock. This looks like melting but it always shows accurate time and it is perfectly balanced to hang off of any flat surface.

How to Participate:

Well, it is very simple, you just have to complete the crossword and send it to me at pinal at with all valid answers. The deadline is that you must send it before Monday August 5, 2013 or before the valid answer keys are posted on Pluralsight blog.


Though the crossword is very easy and intuitive, if you ever get stuck anywhere here are two hints: Hint 1Hint 2. Login to Pluralsight courses and watch both the courses. Watching the course will not only help you to easily complete crossword but there are hidden gems and secrets to build a high traffic profitable blog.

Here is the link to download the crossword: Download Crossword.

Alternatively you can download the image displayed below and print it as well.


Reference: Pinal Dave (

SQL – Building a High Traffic, Profitable Blog – A Unique Gift on Author’s Birthday

Every July 30th, I like to do something new. It is my birthday and I like to give gifts to everyone this day. Last year, at this time I had written an article A Year Older and 3 SQL Server Books and 3 Video Courses – 33. I had written a total of 3 books by that time and had published total of  3 Pluralsight courses. When I look back the year, I feel that I gave my best to last year. Sine Last July 30th, I have written 6 more books and 5 more video courses. The total is now 9 books and 8 video courses. It seems that I have been producing one new book or course every month since last July.

Building a High Traffic, Profitable Blog

Out of my 8 courses my favorite course is my latest course at Pluralsight. This course is about how to build a high traffic blog and monetize it. I have been blogging for over 7 years and there have been many hurdles and roadblocks but I have never stopped blogging any single day. There have been many instances when I felt I should just hit delete and remove my entire blog from the web but fortunately I had courage to stand by on my decisions. Well at the end, I kept on fighting through the difficult time and kept on blogging.

Every day there was a lesson to learn and every day there was an issue to resolve. I never gave up and kept on building new content. Today after 7 years, when I look back there are many stories to tell. It was impossible to write down the stories so I decided to build a course based on my experience. In this course, I share all the best tricks to build a high traffic, profitable blog. When we talk about profit, people often talk about money but the reality is that profit is much bigger word than money. There are many different ways one can profit from their own blog.

In this course, I discuss about all different ways about how you can be profitable by building a high traffic blog. I believe this course is for everybody who aspire to build a website or blog which gives them a profit.  Here are the major topics based out of this course.

  • Introduction
  • Techniques to Engage Blog Readers
  • Social Media – Social Sharing and Social Networking
  • Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
  • Monetizing a Blog
  • Frequently Asked Questions
  • Checklists

Personally I believe this is the best gift I can give to all of you my friends. Build a successful high traffic blog and monetize it.

Here is the list of the all of my video courses and here is the list of all of the books.

Reference: Pinal Dave (

SQLAuthority News – Don’t Be Afraid To Fool The World – Video by John Sonmez

Sometime some words and statements grabs your attention and it is hard to stop thinking about that after a while. Something similar happened a few days ago when I read the twitter statement of my friend and Pluralsight author John Sonmez. He twitted few days ago very interesting statement.

“I don’t know a single successful person, who doesn’t deep down think that have the world fooled. #fooltheworld” by John Sonmez.

When I read it, I was extremely intrigued by this statement. I read it many times, I shared with my family and I just could not stop interpreting this statement. It was indeed fun to read it again and again and there are so many different meanings one can take away from the statement. I know John very well, he is a  wonderful person and have very positive energy for the life. I just had to request him to build a video around it. Right after 5 days of my request, John created a wonderful video around this subject. I watched it multiple times as it was a wonderful video.

I am not going to write about what was in the video much as I suggest you to watch the video itself.

Here is one of the personal stories I want to share which is absolutely relevant to this video. I think my story 100% resonant the story of John.

A Real Story from My Past

Three years ago, I submitted a session in one of the SharePoint conference as a SQL Server session. My session was accepted and I prepared it very well. I put more than 2 month’s time to prepare for the session and I was very excited to present the session. I reached to the event place traveling thousands of the miles and I was very much excited to present the session. However, there was a little mixed up in the session. There were multiple session which were similar to my session title. One of the other speakers also had proposed a database related session and was selected. When the material went to print the printing team got confused and by mistake swapped the sessions. The other speaker got Performance with SQL Server session and I had received Performance with SharePoint session. IT was indeed a big mixed up but now that is how it was in the event guide and it was marketed the same way everything in the event.

A Big Mix Up

I had to talk with the event organizer and we come to the conclusion that we all had good intention but things just got mixed up and now was the time when “The show must go on“. I had a great amount of hesitation to go and present the session as I had personally never worked with Sharepoint so close in my life and my session abstracted talked about SharePoint tricks in depth. Two hours before the session I took the help of one of my friend and installed the SharePoint on my box. He showed me a few things here and there but it was never a good enough time to learn everything which I wanted to learn.

The Moments of Confidence

I was very scared and nervous to go on the stage as a SharePoint was not something I felt comfortable. However, I decided to go on stage with confidence as a SharePoint expert. Though I did not know SharePoint at the best, I had confidence that whatever I know is correct and I will not misguide people. I had no intention to fool people but I had no intention to accept that I am a fool and you all wasted your time and money to dedicate your time to attend my session. I decided to be honest but at the same time decided to take the session beyond my expertise. The sixty minutes of the session went very fine and I was able to manage all the difficult question at a satisfactory level. When the session was over my feeling was that I would have not presented or talked any different if I had more knowledge of the SharePoint at that time. I think it was one of my best sessions and it was reflected in the session feedback as well. I was the best speaker across all the track and my session had highest ranking. I was delighted and I learned a very valuable lesson.

I must go beyond my limits and knowledge. I must aim higher and work harder. I should not lie but I should have confidence that I have a good heart and I put 100% in my efforts. 

Lessions Learned

Since this incident I have learned a lot about SharePoint and I am now a regular speaker at various SharePoint conferences along with SQL Server sessions. I am motivated and I am not afraid. I know people have lots of expectation from me but I have learned not to judge myself before I do my best. I leave the judgement of my efforts to my audience. I do not take the burden of the feedback on me, even though I know my audience have expected from me. I know what I know and I put my best. I must go out, if I fail, I learn from my mistake but I must keep my progress trajectory very high.

As John said in the video, sometime success is not something we can achieve 100% but we can keep on going near to it. As long as we do not lose our focus from our goal and do not deviate from our progress path, we are doing things right.

Reference: Pinal Dave (

SQLAuthority News – New Theme of SQLAuthority and Video Courses

I have been blogging for almost 7 years now. Recently I reached a very important milestone for my blog. I completed over 2500 blog posts as well have been receiving consistently over 2 Million Views every month. It has been a fantastic ride and I am planning to continue contributing to blog and community. However, just like everything else the blog was in need of the fresh look for a long time.

I recently updated entire theme of and have given clear fresh look to it. Here are few of the details of enhancements:

  • Changed width from 600 px to 840 px
  • Changed theme which is responsive and mobile friendly
  • Increased font size and changed background color
  • Increased space between lines as well cleaned up overall theme
  • Cleaned up right side banner
  • Bigger images for community initiatives
  • Added new page of Video Courses
  • Changed the header of the blog with new heading

Well, if you are reading this blog post in email, you will be not able to see any changes over here. I suggest you check the in a regular browser.

Here is another news! 

I enjoy writing on blog and I will continue to write the blog as long as I can write. However, earlier this year, I have done a year long experiment of video blogging. I blogged about SQL Server in Sixty Seconds. The series I have put on YouTube and it has been extremely successful series. You can see SQL in Sixty Seconds Series over here. The series is extremely successful as lots of people are asking me to produce more video content. I promise that I will continue to do build the SQL in Sixty Seconds episodes.

Till today I have so far created six Pluralsight Video. I am extremely happy that I have built online courses. Blog has its own place and and video learning has its own place. Technology is such that it is very difficult to convey sometimes in text mode. Building video is fun and it is scalable as well.

I plan to build a few more interesting video courses in near future. Here are few of the  existing courses which I have build for Pluralsight.

Video Courses

SQL Server Performance: Introduction to Query Tuning

Click to View Course

SQL Server Performance: Indexing Basics

Click to View Course

SQL Server Questions and Answers

Click to View Course

MySQL Fundamentals

Click to View Course

Building a Successful Blog

Click to View Course

Introduction to ColdFusion

Click to View Course

You will have to login into Pluralsight portal to watch the courses. You can watch the courses for free by signing up for a free trial. Do let me know which one of the above is your favorite course.

Reference: Pinal Dave (