In a competitive job market such as this one, it’s vital to make sure your application is as focused as it can be. A big part of that is tailoring your CV to the job you’re applying for.
A different revision of your CV for each application – this could sound like a lot of work, and more trouble than it’s worth when some recruitment companies don’t even send rejection letters.
However the most competent candidates do make sure the content of their CV and the stated requirements of the role lines up as perfectly as possible – and for that reason, you’ll almost certainly benefit from doing the same.
What’s more, after you’ve done it a few times, you’ll not only get more adept at doing it but you’ll be able to draw on your previous efforts to create new tailored CVs in future.
The process of tweaking your CV begins by carefully reading the skills and experience called for in the ad, as well as the things you’ll be responsible for in the role. Draw out whatever you can from your experience to fit.
For example, if the ad calls for:
An individual with a track record of meeting tight deadlines
you might change a line such as:
Produced a wide variety of work
Delivered client projects on time with a 97% success rate, despite frequent revisions to deadlines
Even if it’s clear that your work was performed to deadlines, it’s best to state things like this directly so that recruiters can make the link to the description more easily, and help them make their decision in your favour. If the ad calls for someone proficient in Excel, don’t just say that you are computer-literate: be specific.
You can work your way through the entire job ad in this way, pulling out key words and introducing them seamlessly into your CV. You don’t have to do it for every single point, but if you can create a rounded and detailed document that still reads naturally, you’ll have put yourself in a much stronger position than before.
Whenever you tweak your CV, save the older versions so you always have them to refer to. Later, you can pick the one that’s closest to an advertised role and have it modified and ready to submit in a much shorter length of time.
Lastly, you can always beef up your cover letter with some of the same details, perhaps including some skills and experience that you couldn’t fit into the CV. Being a highly targeted document anyway, the cover letter is the ideal place to expand on just why you’re perfect for the job.