By DebbieH 26 Nov 2018 7 min read

Should I use a generic CV to apply for jobs?

Hiring managers receive an average of 75 CVs per position that they post, so their time is limited when reading through yours. If it doesn’t stand out to them, then it’s likely heading for the rejection pile.

When you are applying for jobs, the easiest process seems to be to create one generic template to send to multiple recruiters. Doing this will likely add a significant delay to your job search. Why? Because it’s not what recruiters are looking for.

Recruiters are searching for candidates who fit the bill. So they’ll be looking for specific keywords, experience, characteristics and skill set. Which is why you should always make the effort to tailor your CV to each role you apply for.

A generic aviation CV when applying for a specific role like a Solicitor tells a recruiter nothing…except that you have been too lazy to adapt your application. 

So before you start sending out the one and only CV you created. Read our tips below on how to adapt your generic CV to more specific roles:



Every job is unique – your CV to each role should be too

Even roles with the same job title can be very different in practice. Anyone who has stayed in the same type of role between organisations will tell you that experience and responsibilities will vary. Regardless of what you’ve done before, focus your CV towards the role you apply for so you can better appeal to the recruiter.



Generic CV’s won’t get picked up

According to Neville Rose, Director of CV Writers, ATS systems do not assess CVs based on generic role types. For example, job boards like Simply Law Jobs don’t have an algorithm for ‘Lawyer’ that will sift through every CV evenly against every job title. ATS systems work by analysing CVs against individual role specifications. You only have to download 2 or 3 specifications for similar sounding roles to see how differently they can be written. Therefore, relying on one CV to pass these filters isn’t productive.



Your first CV is just the beginning

Writing for a specific application like a Paralegal is a great start. But you have to be consistent, and continue this approach with every job application. The amount of tailoring you need will of course vary – it could between 5% to 10% for similar roles or you may need to rewrite 80% of more if you are applying for a completely different role that requires different experience. 



More specific applications = better success rate for securing interviews

Finishing one copy of your CV and sending it multiple times will likely cause frustration when you count the number of applications made in comparison to responses/interview invites. Be patient and take the time to tailor your CV, and you should see a rise in interview requests. Yes, it takes much more effort, but you have to consider just how badly you want the job…



Inspired? We can give you a helping hand in writing your CV for specific legal roles – simply download any of our templates below for tips on what you can included: