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Communications Design Industry Discussion, Inspiration, & Tutorials

Aug 18, 2015

Why Do I Need a CV?

This week I met with a new freelance client who is stuck in the rut of a fruitless job search. We went through her identity package with a fine-toothed comb before I made the suggestion that she develop a Curriculum Vitae (CV).

She asked, “Why do I need a CV? I’m not in academia.” 

That much is true, she’s not. However, there are good reasons to have one. Especially for someone who will likely create and send out a dozen different tailored resumes this month. In her search, she’s looking for a variety of positions in the nonprofit sector—not specializing in one area. A CV will her to:
  1. Be Organized: The CV allows you to keep your skills, accomplishments, awards and experiences organized in multiple pages, under specific and relevant subheadings. If this document is thorough and well written, you can borrow huge chunks of text from it to update resumes for different jobs. This saves time. It’s like the master document from which you can borrow and add.

    This client’s thoughtfully laid out, comprehensive CV will have her project management, budget management, and event planning experience clearly delineated—and therefore easy to copy and paste into an application, interest letter, and/or resume.
  2. Be Prepared: In the past few years, more US companies have begun adding the words ‘…apply with your resume OR CV…’ Developing this comprehensive personal marketing piece can take hours, days, even weeks. In today’s market, that dream job that shows up online on Monday could be unlisted by Friday. This master document could easily move into the primary role in a personal identity package. Again, saving time.

At the end of our meeting, this intrepid young woman came away with homework. Use a CV Template to begin to get organized.


There’re several available online, covering content and design:
CareerOne: Australian website specializing in job posting and career search resources
Duke University: CV resource page for students and faculty
Pinterest: Several boards offer design options for you

Note: University and college career centers are often great resources for finding downloadable templates. Always be careful when downloading any files from the internet.

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