Tailor your cv! But what does that actually mean?

The cv season is upon us!

Tis the season to get your cv up to scratch to win that fabulous part-time job, internship, placement or graduate scheme. In the next few weeks, my colleagues and I will be checking some 250 cvs per week. One of the messages that you will hear us repeating each time is that your cv must be tailored to the job for which you are applying. But what does that actually mean?

In a nutshell, there isn’t such a thing as one cv that suits all jobs. Every time that you apply for a job, you will have to think about what you can tweak so that it suits the job description. Of course if you are applying for very similar roles, the tweaking will be minimum. Here a few steps to ensure that your cv is tailored.

  • First, decide what type of cv is best for you. Chronological? Skills-based? A combination of both? The amount of experience that you have and what you are applying for will determine whether it’s best to use one or the other. To read more about types of cv, go here.
  • This is quite obvious, but if you are including a personal profile, make sure that this states what experience you want to gain – and make this the experience that you would get at the job that you are applying for!
  • Put yourself in the recruiter’s shoes and speak their language. If they are looking for someone with managerial experience, focus on the aspects of your jobs that have allowed you to supervise or manage people, motivate a team, plan strategically, etc. If what you are applying for is a job in accounting, it will make sense to put emphasis on your experience with financial statements, looking after budgets etc.
  • Find out the skills that the company looks for and ensure that your cv gives evidence that you possess those skills.
  • Don’t forget that those skills can be evidenced not only in your work experience, but also in your involvement in other activities such as societies, volunteering, sports…

Don’t forget that you can get your cv checked before you submit it to an employer. See here. Happy tailoring!

Estanis Bouza

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