Various studies have shown that today’s job market is highly competitive with some research stating an average of 246 applications per job. So how do you ensure you stand out to employers and be one of the few that gets invited for an interview? Well the answer is pretty simple, tailoring your CV, however the doing isn’t quite as easy.
So many candidates think one CV is enough and that it can be used to apply for multiple jobs, sometimes in different sectors. Unfortunately, job hunting is a lot harder nowadays and takes time. When it comes to job applications, quality over quantity is definitely what is needed.
So how do I tailor my CV to specific jobs?
This isn’t actually as hard as you may think, most of the time; the employer has already done a lot of the hard work for you, in the way of a job description. Through this they are telling you what the ideal candidate should have in the way of qualifications, experience and skills. We use these key words, essential and desirable skills, and add them into our CV (obviously ensuring you have the capabilities to do them).
How to tailor the main areas of your CV?
Personal Profile & Key Skills
This is an area, the employer will spend a lot of their time reading your CV. It’s the first impression of who you are, what you do and how you can benefit the company. Look at some of the essential skills listed on the job description and although you shouldn’t copy these word for word, try and think about how you have demonstrated those skills and include them in your personal profile and key skills. If you have progression examples such as an increase of sales and you apply for a sales role, add this into your key skills section so the employer see’s it straight away. Learn about how to write an effective personal profile here.
Remember however to be brief. This isn’t an autobiography, you’re wetting the appetite of the employer to want to pick up the phone and learn more about you.
Although you can’t change who you’ve worked for previously, you can edit your role and responsibilities within those employers without exaggerating. For example, if you’ve been a receptionist and you apply for work as a sales assistant then you have a lot of transferable skills (you can find out more about transferable skills here). You have skills from your current role such as customer facing experience, computer skills, organisations skills, all of which would transfer to a role of sales assistant.
If the job description says you must have excellent time keeping skills, think about your current and previous roles, could this be a bullet point that you had no sick days whilst working at ______?
Hobbies and Interests
Not everyone adds this section to their CV and there are mixed opinions whether it should be included in our CV or not. If you do choose to add it to your CV it can be another great opportunity to demonstrate some of the key sills and characteristics the employer is looking for. For example, if you’re applying for a role as a Social Worker, then why not say one of your passions is helping people within the community, local church or even friends and family.
Overall you’re trying to match your CV to the job description, but still ensuring you’re factual, never lie on your CV, you will get found out and then it becomes very embarrassing. Put yourself into the employer’s shoes and read your CV against the job description. Can you see the key skills and experience the job description is looking for written in your CV? If not, then it needs some work.
In the ideal world you would have a CV for each job you apply for which can become a job in itself, but it’s worth it. You can use our awesome CV Builder to help you build unlimited CV’s in no time at all.