3 reasons why writing a generic CV is a bad idea

No matter how suited you are for a role it will all come down to how good you are at writing a CV. This is a skill in itself and one which cannot be underestimated. When faced with other candidates that are equally qualified or even more so, the interview often goes to the person which can write the best CV.

A generic application is the most common approach to CV writing. This means that the job seeker will only write the one CV which is used to apply to different employers. The same CV will often be kept for many years and simply updated with the most recent employment details.

Here are 3 reasons why writing a generic CV is a bad idea.

It demonstrates your lack of passion

An employer only wants to hire passionate individuals. But we don’t just mean people who are passionate about their career, but who are enthusiastic and interested in the company.

Put yourself in the shoes of the hiring manager and ask yourself who you’d rather hire – someone who has specifically chosen your company because they love what you do, or someone who has simply applied because they want to get paid? The choice is of course very easy!

But how can the hiring manager get all that information from a CV?

The answer is simple – those that write a generic CV are clearly lacking in passion. They haven’t taken the time to address the company’s needs and to fully read and acknowledge the job advert. The hiring manager will have obviously difficulties in finding the relevant information and realising their potential as a suitable candidate.

It will fail to provide the right information

At the end of the day you are writing a CV for one simple reason – to advertise and sell your skills and credentials to an employer. So why would you focus on providing your entire career history instead of providing what they actually want?

The hiring manager will usually receive a lot of applications and they want to quickly read through them and short-list for interviews. If you don’t provide relevant information you are making it too difficult. It isn’t the employer’s job to have to figure out if you are suitable for the role when present with an entire career history – it’s your job to write a CV that’s tailored and customised. It should aim to address as many of the key points as detailed in the job advert.

Another popular mistake to avoid is using different keywords for things like skills. If you have the right skills but word them differently to the job advert, the hiring manager may miss this and assume you are not qualified. Past job titles can also be tweaked to reflect how the new employer labels their roles. As long as it’s the same position you should match their choice of job title.

It can’t compete with the rest of the field

When faced with other candidates on equal footing, your CV has to stand out above the rest if you want to get an interview. If those other applicants have tailored their CV to the role and the company, you stand very little chance of success.

You simply cannot compete with the rest of the field if you don’t make the extra effort to tailor your application. Everything from your cover letter, personal statement, skills, qualifications and experience has to relate in some way to the new role. You need to prove that you are suitable with every single sentence of your CV if you want to compete.

Tailoring your CV for every role is the way to go. It ensures you cover as many aspects as possible as laid out in the job advert, and you can also demonstrate your commercial awareness. The employer will read your CV and instantly see you are suitable, and your passion and dedication should ooze off of the page.

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