Five Reasons to have more than one CV
How many of us are still working at the place that first employed us? The likelihood of that is incredibly low, unless you’ve only recently entered the workforce in any capacity. For a lot of millennials, the likelihood is even lower.
What are the odds that the place that currently employs you is in the same sector as the one that first employed you?
One of the things that friends of mine used to comment on was the fact that everytime I applied for a job – regardless of whether I was doing so with the intention of leaving my current workplace or not – was why I named that CV with the month and year that I was sending out an application. The idea that I would have more than one CV at all was something that people just couldn’t seem to wrap their heads around, and understandably so. Essentially you wouldn’t need more than one CV, because the idea is that you are showing your potential employers where all of your experience was gained, right? Not quite.
Here are five reasons why you should have more than one CV.
Keeping a “Master” CV of all your experience
Have you ever stopped to do a complete audit of something and find you’ve got gaps? Your CV is no exception to that.
It’s a good idea to make sure that you’ve got a complete running record of your workplaces, skills, professional certifications, qualifications, achievements and values all in one place. It makes it easier to keep track of your working and/or academic (if you’re tied to an education institution) life, and call on that information as necessary.
You should aim to keep the Master CV as accurate and detailed as possible. When starting a new job, you should add those details to the Master, including finer details like your office address, contracted hours, keywords and tasks from your Job Description.
The Master CV then acts as a shopping cart, for you to pull out any relevant information and details for future roles, and have fine details available as necessary.
Keeping your values clear
This one may seem like fluff, but having a Value-Driven CV is a great way to ensure that you keep your integrity in your role.
It may seem like a strange thing to consider doing, but building your CV around core values will also help you to hold yourself accountable about the kind of person you want to be, and the kind of environment you want to be working in.
Obviously you include work experience in this CV, but the focus is more on what kept you at those workplaces: for example you may have stayed at McDonald’s during your first year of college instead of hunting for an internship because your boss let you choose a local community cause that he would donate time to, and it meant you got to contribute to your community directly through a work.
Having a values driven CV gives you the opportunity to reveal the things that are important to you to a prospective employer, but it also gives you an opportunity to see how well a workplace aligns with the things that you believe are important. Your values become a “checklist” of sorts by which you can determine whether a workplace is right for you.
Tailoring to the role
I’m sure you’ve heard this before, but you should always adjust your CV to the role that you’re applying for. The 2 years you worked at Wendy’s while you were at high school is unlikely going to be relevant to your application to be a junior copywriter.
Granted, you pick up transferable skills in every role that you work in, but the hard skills don’t align, and more often than not, when somebody is sitting through 100 applicants, they’re looking for information that tells them that your skill set aligns with the position. And before reading through the nitty gritty of your CV, they will see “Positon title” and “Employer,” and Server at Wendy’s won’t have the same relevance to them as roles that are more directly relevant like “Yearbook Editor.”
Having several versions of the same document
This means that you save a separate version of your CV every time you update it. If you keep your CV regularly updated, you will have several versions that you can pull from depending on when you need them. For example: CV (October 2020) and CV (January 2021) are the same, with the key difference being that your newer CV includes your newer role, or latest professional assessment (such as a performance review). You can attach them to copies of your performance reviews (if you’re the kind of person that keeps your reviews on hand), or if you’re applying for a role that is the same as one that you held several years back, you can use that version of your CV as a reference when you apply for your next role.
This may seem counter-intuitive, as if you’re the kind of person who does temp or contract work, and you add these to your CV regularly, then you could end up with 10s of copies of your CV over a short few months, but it is definitely helpful for reference points. Or even if something happens to your files, you’ll at least have thorough records of your evolving CV on hand.
Having sector relevant CVs
For anybody that has moved between sectors, you will know that there are different expectations of the kind of information that is considered “necessary” in a CV. Having multiple CVs that are relevant across multiple sectors can save you a lot of time when applying for things like study grants, scholarships, internships and the like.
The key is being aware of the kind of information that certain industries might need to see. If you are applying for programs of study or scholarships and grants, then you may need to include all of the courses that you took at school or university. If you’re applying for a job where your experiences in customer service are key, you won’t need to include that you once took a joinery course.
Obviously this reason to have multiple CVs is more relevant for people who are likely to move across sectors, or who move between school and the workplace.
So there you have it. If you haven’t already got more than one CV for yourself, you definitely should consider making another copy. It’s a major time-saver in the long run!