It’s common knowledge that you should write a different cover letter for each job that you apply to. But what about CVs?
Should you have multiple CVs?
If the different fields you’re interested in working in require very different sets of qualifications, experience, and so on, you might want to submit multiple resumes.First, we’ll define “separate” resumes, so everyone is on the same page. In essence, your resume would look very different (at least in terms of substantial content) depending on the position you’re applying for.This is different from tailoring your resume to a particular company or job posting. When applying for multiple jobs, it is common practice to use the same resume but make minor adjustments to tailor it to each employer’s needs.
Do The Separate Resumes Have to Be Completely Different From Each Other?
The good news is that unless you’re making a significant change in your career, the jobs you want to pursue probably have a lot in common. Even though these jobs are very different from one another overall, this is still true. As a result, it’s likely that you can swap out sections of information between the various resumes.Keep in mind that you should keep track of the resumes you send to various employers. It would be unfortunate to submit the incorrect resume version when applying for the job of your dreams. Or, if it’s a particular version you’ve submitted, to arrive at an interview ready to discuss the information on that resume, not an entirely different one!Using multiple resumes or creating customized iterations of one resume can help you focus your job search or reach out to a particular employer with a little planning and juggling.You will end up with multiple “versions” of your resume, whether you create separate resumes for jobs that are obviously different or simply modify one resume for various employers.You hope that sending your CV to potential employers will cause them to take some action, moving you on to the next round of the hiring process. What if, however, that CV—your own personal advertisement—isn’t written or customized especially for them? What happens if it doesn’t speak their language?The key? Think about your audience!
How to talk to recruiters in your CV?
Once you’ve determined the necessary knowledge and skills, you can start incorporating them into your resume. You can use your education, employment history, extracurricular pursuits, volunteer work, and internship experiences to demonstrate your pertinent transferable skills. For instance, use positive, action-oriented verbs that are directly related to the skills you have determined are necessary for the role at the beginning of sentences or bullet points under these sections. You’ll come across as a happy, engaged individual with the necessary qualifications for the job. As some specific examples:
- You can use the action verb “communicated” to start your sentence or bullet point if the employer is looking for communication skills
- Use the word “liaised” if they are looking for liaison skills
- Want to become a leader? Use the word “led.”
This entails customizing your CV to demonstrate how your experiences are pertinent to the expertise and abilities needed for a particular role with a particular employer. The likelihood of you moving on to the next stage of the hiring process increase when your CV is customized for them and reflects the qualities they look for in a strong candidate.And yes, this often entails changing your resume for each position you apply for!You might argue that this is time-consuming, but employers tell us that they can quickly spot generic CVs and are much more likely to advance you to the next stage if you’ve made an effort and written something specifically for them.
Is it better to have a 1 or 2-page CV?
Although there is no universally accepted standard for the length of a resume, you should aim for one that is sufficiently long to demonstrate your suitability for the position. The first step is to start by personalizing your resume. As a baseline, consider that most candidates can accomplish that with ease using a one-page resume. Utilize two if you can’t, but avoid this if possible.This is because additional pages may be found in resumes. However, two-page resumes can be challenging because the majority of managers scan them. That said, candidates with a lot of experience typically can’t justify their value without a two-page resume.If needed, keep it as concise as you can while still demonstrating your experience. Consider that:
- An entry-level resume should be one page, according to 66% of employers surveyed.
- Meanwhile, 77% of respondents said experienced workers should have a minimum of a 2-page resume and possibly more.
(Although, surprisingly, 39% of experienced workers claim that their resumes are no longer than one page.)In sum, although a resume can be two pages long, most should only be one. That holds true for applicants with less than five years of experience and for entry-level candidates. Only make your resume two pages long if you have a lot of experience or if the employer is expecting Elon Musk-level success stories!
Should I have different CVs for different jobs?
When your CV is tailored for them and displays the qualities they seek in a strong candidate, your chances of progressing to the next stage of the hiring process increase. And yes, this entails changing your CV for each new position you apply for.
How far back should your CV go?
Generally speaking, you should include the last 10 to 15 years of your career or, if applicable, the last 5 to 6 positions you’ve held. Why not more? As it’s typically not a good idea to list your earliest experiences on your resume because your most recent experiences are the ones that best demonstrate your current skill set.This rule does have a few exceptions, though. It might be appropriate to go back more than 10 to 15 years on your CV if:
- You’re switching careers. It’s common practice to include non-directly relevant work experience on a resume when applying for a job in a new field because it can help demonstrate transferable skills.
- You’re going back to a former line of work. Naturally, it makes sense to include experience in your CV if it pertains to the field or role you are applying for and it dates back more than 15 years.
- Your application is for a senior position. Employers might want to see more of your experience than the previous 15 years if you’re submitting an application for a directorial or senior managerial position. Your very first jobs are still not required to be listed if they are not relevant, but having extensive industry- or job-specific experience may be advantageous to a potential employer.
What should you not put in a CV?
Including references on a resume
Perhaps you’re wondering why? Isn’t it common practice to include references in a CV? Well, because references are typically requested later in the hiring process, so including them on your CV serves no purpose other than to eat up valuable space.
Long and rambling CV
Your resume should be brief and direct. Unless you’re applying for a position in academia or research, it shouldn’t be longer than two pages, as we discussed above.So, concentrate on your most recent and pertinent accomplishments and experience. A customized CV emphasizing
- Transferable experience
- and accomplishments
is what the employer wants to read. Consider the skills you have shown in various roles that the employer might be interested in.
Introductory sections that don’t mean anything
Your resume must make you stand out so that you are given an interview invitation. Therefore, an opening paragraph that says both everything and nothing at once won’t work.Just get rid of it, and instead, think about creating a succinct, straightforward, and benefits-driven headline about yourself. “Senior Data Analyst with 10 years of experience in health information management” is a typical personal headline that will work out nicely. Even though it isn’t perfect, it is still an improvement over whatever rambling story you likely had before!Think about it. Naturally, journalists do this all the time. They craft headlines that give you a brief summary of the story while teasing you just enough to make you want to keep reading. The same should apply to your opening, personal headline.
Covering up crucial information
You won’t have much time to impress with your resume. If your resume doesn’t impress the hiring manager, they won’t want to meet with you. When considering a new employee, one might wonder, “What can they offer our company?”Make sure that the important parts of your resume stand out. This could be done by giving information in a way that is strong and convincing, such as by using accomplishments and action words.
False or inaccurate information
Recruiters are able to recognize information that doesn’t add up. They constantly watch out for, for instance, inflated:
- Job titles
Employers are running more thorough background checks on applicants. This can involve anything from a Google search of your name to using a professional candidate-checking service. Something that seems like simple “lying” could end up being your undoing. Honesty is always the best policy when it comes to these things.