by Scot Herrick
Most of us have been pounded about the fact that we need a resume. An updated
resume. One that can be instantly sent off to apply for a position. Even
multiple resumes for different types of positions.
What hasn’t been pounded into our heads is the need for a Curriculum Vitae,
or CV (Latin for "course of life").
While often used interchangeably, a CV is, in fact, different in subtle, but
Multiple Resumes Mean Management
The problem with resumes is that you need so many of them. One for that
project position, another for the BA position and yet another for the process
analysis position. Then you are supposed to "customize" your resume for each
specific job application. After a while, you can have 20 resumes floating
around in the ether, and none of them are really "the answer."
Even if you only have two or three resumes, they become disconnected. Indeed,
you continually add information to one of the resumes and different information
to another. Then you find a cool job opening and you start combining
information from both to build yet a third resume for submission.
It’s not very efficient.
The CV Becomes the Document of Record
The idea behind a CV is that it truly is what
you have accomplished so far in your "course of life." At least in the work
The CV really has no length limit; none of those pesky rules that says it can
only be one page long. Or two pages. But no more than five. That type of stuff drives job candidates crazy.
Consequently, you can put in information you would normally edit out of a
resume – and then completely forget about.
For example, I applied for a position with a state government and provided
the consulting company my resume for the position. But the recruiter was good: Hadn’t I said that I’d worked with the state earlier in my career, when we had
that nice chat over coffee? Well, yes I did. The recruiter had me add in all
that work, even though it was within the same positions on the
resume, to show that I knew the culture and could get up to speed faster than candidates with no similar experience on their resume.
The types of accounts you’ve worked on is a great item for a CV. So are the
results of all – not some – of the projects you worked on. After all, you’ll
never know when working on something you think is obscure will be the bulls-eye
needed for the next job. And you’ll have the results to prove it.
Thus, the CV becomes the document of record, the one place where all of your
career information and results are found to build resumes and focus them on
specific job descriptions for an application.
The CV is Comprehensive. The Resume is Targeted to the Job
Go ahead and create great resumes for each type of position you want to look
for in your job search. But when you get the job description you want to apply
for, take that resume and go through your CV to get all the specifics you’ve done in the past to show how you can help this new company through
Add in the budget
amounts. The improvements in cycle time. The fact that the team was 25
people in size. That you used a custom-built program and had to overcome the
limitations of it to get the work done. All of the very specific accomplishments
on your CV that directly
apply to the resume that will be submitted for the job. And none of the
stuff that doesn’t apply, such as all the work you did with the government,
which doesn’t apply to a commercial account.
Build a Rich CV to Create the Laser-Focused Resume
When I was taking all those tests like the SAT and LSAT back between high
school and college, I was always offended by the fact that the sponsors of the
test were reducing my life to a bunch of dark ovals. Resumes are like that too. My life in one or two pages or whatever the
popular rule id of the moment. My life is more than that.
Your CV let’s you celebrate all of your work. Build a rich CV, continually
add your accomplishments to it, and then build out killer resumes to
show how your work matches up with job descriptions.
Landed My Dream Job -Now What? and owner of Cube Rules, LLC. CubeRules.com.
provides online career management training for workers who typically
work in a corporate cubicle. Scot has a long history of management and
individual contribution in multiple Fortune 100 corporations.