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How To Write A Master CV (with Examples)

If you struggle to find the time to tailor your CV for each new job application (or have no idea how to do it) then writing a master CV is for you. And before you ask – it is definitely worth your time, with 54% of recruiters saying they’ll reject a resume if it isn’t customised and tailored. Yeesh.

In this blog post we’ll cover everything you need to know about writing a master CV, including what they are, the benefits, how you can write one and how to use it to get interviews. Let’s kick things off by giving you a little background to the master CV…

What Is A Master CV? 

A master CV is a document that contains all of your previous experience. When you complete some new experience, you can add it to your master CV, so it grows over time. The beauty of this method is that when the time comes to apply for a job, you simply look over your master document and select the most relevant pieces of information to include on your shorter, tailored CV. 

What Are The Benefits Of A Master CV?

Though it might take an hour or two to write up in the first place, a master CV can be super beneficial for your job applications, especially in cutting down the time it takes to tailor your CV. 

Think about it – would you rather spend 1+ hour on each CV, writing your experience up each time, or have a pre-written document where you can just select your skills that match the job description and paste them in, taking around 15 minutes? We already know your answer. Unless you’re an oddball and prefer spending hours on job applications. Even we don’t enjoy doing that.

How Do You Write A Master CV?

So, how do you go about writing a master CV? 

The first step is to list out every bit of experience you have. This includes work experience, training programmes, internships, volunteer work, retail or hospitality roles you might have work in – literally everything.

Then, you’ll use our SAR method to write up an experience section for each. In order to do this, begin by listing every single skill you used/developed during that experience (there’s probably lots, and that’s a good thing at this stage!) then adding an action and results to get your SAR sentences. 

You should be able to think of at least 4 skills you used in each bit of experience, soft or hard. It doesn’t matter if you used the same skill in all of your experiences, as your actions and results will be different. 

This part takes a while, but if it gets you the job – it’s worth it!

In case you haven’t quite got your head round it, here’s an example of how you might write up one experience on your master doc.

Business & Marketing Intern (August 2021)

  • Content creation: 5+ hours of Canva training allowed me to create 15 Instagram posts designed to target an 18-24 year old audience, resulting in a reach of 7k+ over 2 weeks.
  • Branding: Developed a strong understanding of brand guidelines through working in collaboration with team members and conducting individual research, resulting in my email marketing campaign increasing website traffic by 12%.
  • Team work: Collaborated with the design and marketing teams to create a cohesive content schedule, resulting in 2 months content being produced 3 weeks ahead of schedule.

How Do You Use A Master CV?

When you have your master document filled with every bit of experience you have and each with around 4 SAR sentences underneath – it’s ready to use. Next time you’re applying for a job, open the job description in one tab, your master CV in another and finally a blank document in a third. 

When writing your master CV, keep your documents open in separate tabs

One by one, locate the skills listed in the job description. These could be soft skills such as communication, or hard skills such as using email marketing software. When you’ve identified a skill they’re looking for, head over to your master CV and identify any sentences you’ve written that contain that skill. 

This will show you not only which of your experiences are relevant to include on your CV, but also which pre-written sentences to use. Copy and paste these into your blank document, where you can add the rest of your typical CV details. Suuuper simple.

Want to workshop your master CV or get a hand with writing those pesky SAR sentences? The Grad Soc team is always available for a 1-1 CV Review Session.

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