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Why you should keep a running master CV

When applying for a job you need to tailor your CV to the application every time, so one way you can save time is to keep a running master CV. Even with positions with the same titles, employers are looking for slightly different skills and experience and you’ll need to make sure that you display these.

Your running master CV is a long document that contains absolutely everything that you have done in your career, throughout education and in your personal life that could be relevant to a job you are applying for. You can then use this document to create your CV each time you apply for a new position. Creating a new CV for every job you apply for is a daunting task, however a running master helps take away the stress of having to re-write a document each time. Not having a foundation may mean that you forget vital information that a potential employer wants to know about, and your running master CV will also save you time in the long run. 

How to use your running master CV

Before you start your application, read through the job posting carefully to get an idea of what is needed so you can add the relevant information accordingly and highlight the objectives or key skills that they ask for. 

Pull out all the relevant information, from all aspects of your running master CV. You can then put this information into a coherent order and CV format, and tailor your cover letter to go with the application. Your key skills and adjectives list (see below) will also be useful here. 

Scan through your CV and cover letter. Do the skills and requirements of the job description match what you are offering? If yes, you are good to send of your application. If no, your CV and cover letter may need a little tweaking. 

What your running master CV should include

Employment History

All your past job titles, how long you were there for, what your duties were and what you accomplished in your time. You’ll also want to include the name and address of the company along with any contact information (emails and telephone numbers) of colleagues and your line manager. 

Projects

As well as your employment history, you might want to think about your working life in terms of projects. For each job, what were the projects that you undertook, how long did they take, who did you work with, what was your position in the team, what were the highlights and outcomes, what went wrong and what did you learn from the experience?

Work Experience

Any other work experience, such as taster days and internships. For each experience, you can also note how long you were there for, what your duties were and what you accomplished in your time, as well as any contact information. 

Education

From your GCSEs to a degree if you have one, including the grades, institution and awards that came with them. With your degree you can also include information about some of the modules that you took, especially if they are relevant to your industry, information about your dissertation and and contact information for example of your supervisor. 

Continued Professional Development

Any other courses, workshops or training days you have been on throughout your working life. Information you’ll need to include could be the name and length, awarding body, dates and grades.

Volunteer Activities

Any volunteering your do and have done outside work. You can include job titles, responsibilities, how long you were there for, and what you accomplished. You’ll also want to note the name and address of the organisation along with any contact information (emails and telephone numbers) of colleagues and seniors. Remember to be specific, and give examples of what you have achieved and the skills you have gained from your experiences. 

Extracurricular Activities

What you like to do (and have done) outside work. Remember to be specific, and give examples of what you have achieved and the skills you have gained from your experiences.

Membership to Professional Bodies

Specific Achievements

This could include times where you’ve had to present findings or analytical information to the company or have had an article published in your industry journal. You can also include any achievements or awards that you have gained here. 

Skills

You might also want to keep a note of the skills (both soft and hard skills) you have gained and the level at which you feel proficient in them. 

Adjectives

You can also keep a list of adjectives you feel best describes you to use as a reference for writing your cover letters and CVs.

Alongside your running master CV you will also want to keep a folder of all your important documents scanned in in case employers want proof and you want to return to them. These include any certificates you have gained, but also items like your presentations and articles so that you can look through them if you need specific examples when it comes to interviews.