I know many jobseekers are wondering if they need to have several versions of a CV. This piece of advice is available online and if you’re well into your job search, you’ve probably heard about it, too!
Well, the short answer is: YES. You do need to have several versions of a CV.
The longer answer would be: yes, if you want to get reactions every time you apply for a job. If you didn’t write a CV with a specific role in mind, then having several versions is a must.
How optimized is your CV?
Let’s look into why you need several versions. It’s so you get results. Naturally, if you want people to react to your CV, you need to adapt it to the job ad you’re applying to. Your CV can be super effective or it can be ineffective. The more you focus it, the better the results.
There are different optimization levels and each CV is different. The optimization level depends on the focus of your CV.
Different types of a CV
Essentially, you can write a CV for:
- A specific job ad – this is when you have a job ad and you want to apply there. You have a link to the ad and you write your CV in accordance with that particular job ad.
- A specific role – you write a role-based CV when you don’t have a specific job ad in mind, but you’re 100% sure and you know what role you want. For example, you’re sure that your next role will be an early education teacher or a CNC operator.
- A specific field or an area of interest – these CVs aren’t focused on a specific role but rather on a broader field. For example, you know that you want an office job, but you’re not really sure if you want to work as a receptionist, content reviewer, insurance agent or an office administrator.
- “Generic” or “general CV” – these CVs have no focus and are an overview of your entire professional life. These CVs are a product of simply listing every work experience you’ve ever had and every course you’ve ever completed.
Of course, the most effective CVs are those that are focused on a specific job ad.
The writing process should go like this: write a CV that’s focused on your area of interest or a specific role. Once you define that, the fine-tuning is the easy part!
The first CV (focused on a role or a field) is your starting point, your base. And once you have your base which serves as a starting point, you just need to make sure to adapt it a bit to every job ad you apply to.
How do I write several versions of a CV?
Truth be told, this is fairly simple to do. You’ve already done the hard part, and that’s putting together your base CV.
What you need to do next is introduce keywords from the job ad. Whatever you do, don’t just introduce a separate section in your CV titled “Keywords.” You need to avoid this and incorporate keywords and phrases into your CV, so everything reads fluently.
More about keywords & phrases
The way you introduce the keywords is this: research job ads for the role you want, check what phrases are repetitive, and then include those in your CV.
Once you have the job ad to which you’ll apply to, it’s important to follow the patterns used in tit. Try to follow the logic of the job ad, and if they are not mixing and matching something, you shouldn’t do it either.
For example, if the requirements are listed separately like “Experience in project management” and “Experience in people management”, you should keep it separate as well, instead of writing “Experienced in people and project management”.
How to make it not obvious? Insert your own words in the keywords and phrases you see in the job ad.
For example, if the job ad says one of the requirements is to have “strong knowledge of MS Office”, you don’t use that particular phrase. Instead, write something like “proficient in MS Office” or “highly familiar with all MS Office applications.” Change it up a little bit, while keeping the core of the requirement.
Don’t forget about other job ads & job descriptions
Your first point of reference for keywords, phrases, and requirements is the job ad to which you’re going to apply. However, it is advisable you do a bit more and research other job ads posted by various companies, as well as job descriptions. With that knowledge, you’ll be able to formulate your CV way better and it will be way more relevant (and thus successful).
It does pay off
To conclude, the more you narrow the focus of your CV, the better chances you have of success. The narrowing bit tends to be a cumbersome process, but it is definitely worth it! You might be the perfect candidate, but if your CV does not show it, no one will recognize it, and then it does not really matter. So, in order for your CV to bring results, remember that the most important thing is to focus it.
For more advice on CV writing, check our other Blog posts!