Why you should always keep a master CV ?

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When people talk about sending off their resume, it sometimes sounds like they have just one, perfectly polished document that they use for all their job prospects. In reality, though, the successful applicant knows that every job deserves its own resume. That's right-- you are going to need not one, but rather multiple resumes! That's why it can be important to keep a master CV on hand.

Why do you need multiple resumes?

Even if you apply only to positions with the same titles, different employers prefer people with different experiences and skills. These preferences are usually outlined in the job posting. For instance, while one posting might talk about the need for customer service skills, another might stress analytical abilities.

It is important to read through each job posting carefully to get an idea of what is needed and respond accordingly. To get that interview, you'll need to make at least a few tweaks to your resume to fit each job description.

What is a master CV? How can it help?

A master CV is a resume that states absolutely everything that you have done in your career that you might one day include in a resume. By keeping it well formatted, you can copy the document and use it as the base each time you put together a resume to apply for a new position.

Creating separate resumes for every single job application can be daunting. Since a master CV prevents you from having to re-write (and re-format) a document each time, it can make the whole process much, much easier-- and faster.


What should go on the master CV?

Your master CV should include all information about your past jobs, along with details on your duties and accomplishments. Furthermore, you should include:

  • Volunteer activities
  • Extracurricular activities
  • Internships
  • Memberships
  • Publications and presentations
  • Honors, awards, and achievements
  • Certifications and trainings
  • Degrees
  • Hobbies
  • Grades
  • ... and anything else you can think of that might someday help you get a job!

Contact information is a vital addition. Phone numbers, addresses, and emails for past employers as well as personal and professional references can all be useful. Contact details are especially valuable to have on hand for online resume builders, though you would generally delete them from a one-page resume.

Having everything gathered in one place makes it easier than trying to look for addresses online or calling friends to remember names with a pressing deadline breathing down your neck. Don't limit yourself on length-- the master CV cannot be too long.

You might even keep a section with a list of adjectives that you feel describe yourself well. This can be used as a reference for writing cover letters and objectives.


You should never send an employer your master CV.

The letters C.V. technically stand for the Latin "curriculum vitae," meaning "course of life." People often refer to the CV as the "long version" of your resume, because it is acceptable for a CV to be longer than one page (and, in fact, reach to several pages) in order to list things like publications, presentations and awards that wouldn't fit on a one-page resume. Positions in academia, for example, often ask for a CV instead of a resume.

However, a CV is not the same thing as a master CV. Even if an employer asks for a CV, you should never send them the "master" that you keep on file. Nobody wants to read through everything you have ever done in your life-- they still only want to know what's relevant.


What are the most common things that you might change between resumes or CVs?

If you include key skills or an objective, they will definitely need to change with each copy of your resume. Such sections are particularly useful when applying to jobs at large companies that use key word recognition in order to pick out which applicants appear to be the best fit for a position. So, of course, you'll want to be sure that your objective or key skills will match the key words for the job you're applying to.

Beyond that, you may decide that certain work experiences or educational certificates are more or less relevant for a specific position. For example, if you are applying for a management job at a retail store, the stint you did as a hostess at Applebee's is going to be less relevant than it would be if you planned to have a management position at a restaurant. Likewise, you might want to leave out the details of how many dishes you washed but keep the lines about answering phones and dealing with customers.

Space is key-- nobody wants to read a 10-page resume, so picking and choosing the best work experiences to show off is vital. That being said, make sure your resume fills a whole page, even if you have to opt for a larger font size. A one-sentence resume will not get you a call back.

What are the benefits of the master CV?

You will save a lot of time by copy-pasting and editing a master CV rather than creating multiple renditions of your resume from scratch. But beyond that, this main document can also help to jog your memory about what all you have done throughout your life.

At first you may think that you'll never forget the hours upon hours you spent organizing file cabinets in that first NGO job. However, years later, you might forget. Keeping a written record of that experience could be a real advantage.

Another great benefit is that it can help you to tackle online resume builders. These can be time consuming to fill out, and I think almost everyone is guilty of omitting details that the employer might have found interesting... simply because it is so tedious! With a master CV on hand, though, you'll find that you can save time and include all the details by copy-pasting important sections. Just be sure that the formatting makes sense after the online builder processes it.


Well-made and well maintained, the master CV can be an essential key to success.

Our careers transform and grow throughout our lives. Consequently, so do our resumes. But it would be a mistake to think that everything develops along a straight-line trajectory or that experiences from the past won't weave their way into our futures.

Your first job may not be your dream job, but the experiences you gain in any work experience can help you to face professional and personal challenges later on. Whether you seek to volunteer at your child's preschool, help run the county fair, or simply win an argument with your brother-in-law, a master CV is well-formatted ammo for recording yesterday's successes-- and helping achieve tomorrow's goals.

Written by JobTeaser

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