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Tailoring your CV

Tailoring your CV

An important part of finding a new job is tailoring your CV to make it relevant to the job you’re applying for. By this we mean highlighting skills you have that are outlined in the job specification. All you need is a ‘base CV’ to work from and you are ready to go.


Pick out the key aspects

It sounds simple, but the first thing you need to do is read the advert thoroughly and ensure you understand exactly what the advertiser is looking for. Pick out the relevant skills within the advert and write them down – ask yourself if that is a skill you possess and whether or not you can highlight it on your CV. Is it already on there? Do you have practical examples of when you have done it?


Highlight your skills

Once you have completed the step above, start adding small parts of information to your CV that highlight elements of the advert or specification. Chances are you may already have it in there, but if not you will want to add it or swap it with a bit of information that is less relevant.


Don’t create a list

It is easy to turn your CV into a list of things you are good at, or things you have done. This comes from spotting numerous important elements of a job specification or advert and trying to cover each and every one. To avoid this, ensure you pick out only the most important aspects, or try to recognise themes. A job may have several references to managerial skills listed, such as:

  • Management experience
  • Team management experience
  • Experience of performing employee reviews
  • Liaising with other line managers
  • Responsibility for two direct reports

Instead of adding five points to your CV, you could handle it with one succinct line added to your key responsibilities. It could read ‘Responsible for the management and performance of three direct reports, as well as liaising with other line managers.’ – This could be added to the key responsibilities within your current role.


Include examples of your skills

In the example above we refer to management experience. It would be easy to add ‘Management experience’ to your CV. However, it is more relevant if you can offer examples of your management experience.

You could include examples of how you made the company money, or how you saved money on an advertising budget etc. By pointing out examples within your responsibilities and achievements, you are qualifying your experience to the employer.


Make it obvious

Finally, make all the important aspects of your experience obvious. Employers do not read a CV line by line and they will not make assumptions. You need to make sure you put the relevant bits of information directly in front of them.

As recruitment consultants, it is our job to match you to a position and then sell you to the client for interview, and we will do that every time. However, you significantly increase your chances by following the advice outlined above.

Get more help: read our 'Writing your CV' and 'CV Dont's' sections

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