Now that you know how to create a CV consider creating a master CV document to keep a record of all your experiences, as you develop your professional career.

Think of your master CV document as your career diary, that includes every experience that increased your knowledge of yourself (personal qualities) and the workplace, and helped you develop your skills. Your master CV document should be your first CV that collects everything about you and your career, no matter how small or informal the job was. Remember, every experience teaches you something or helps you develop a marketable skill.

Your master CV must include everything about your:

  • Skills and experiences
  • Education and training
  • Other experiences (Hobbies, sports, social activities and involvements, etc.)
  • Other valuable information (Qualities, goals, interests, etc.)
  • What you learnt from your experiences.
  • What skills and qualities you would like to develop and achieve in the future.

Why should you create a master CV document?

You need a CV to apply to any and every job. But different jobs will require different information about your skills and experiences, meaning you will have to change your CV to stand out. A master CV document makes creating a job specific (or customised) CV easier. Your master CV document will have all your details in one place, ready for you to pick and choose the relevant information that best suits each job advert. A master CV document will save you time and effort when you need to create a new (customised) CV for each job.

What remains the same between your master CV and a customised CV?

Both will use the same CV format or structure with the 5 to 7 main headings (Read more about these headings here).

What are the differences between your master CV and the customised CV’s you send to employers?

Master CV document:

  • A collection of all your experiences, you will record throughout your career.
  • The length of this CV will grow as you gain more experience.
  • You use this document to pick and choose the most relevant information for each job advert.
  • You will never send this CV to employers.

Customised CV for each employer:

  • Select only relevant information (specific to the job position) from your master CV that matches the requirements for each job advert.
  • The ideal length is 1-2 pages, to a maximum of 3 pages.
  • You send this CV to employers to apply for a job.

Regularly update your master CV, it is important to keep it up-to-date with your career. As you develop more skills and gain experience, you will be able to pick and choose the most relevant information for each job advert and create a unique and professional CV and cover letter for every employer. Research shows you only have 10 seconds for the employer to notice your CV. You will need to customise your CV to highlight your skills and information asked on the job advert.

Next Step: Find out why you should create a different CV for every employer.