Nobody wants to have to sieve through irrelevance to find what is relevant to them – it’s the same for employers. When applying for a job it’s important to understand and present effectively what your potential employer will be looking for. The more relevant facts an employer can find about you in your CV, the better your chances of getting to the next stage of the selection process.
Tailoring your CV to keep it consistently relevant to the job you are applying for is extremely important. By doing this you can attract and retain the attention of the employer. Remember, a job application is your chance to advertise yourself to the employer. Do not forget your target audience! Try to give them what they want to hear.
Whilst you may think it can be quite time consuming to tailor your CV for each job application, compared to sending the same one out to all employers, studies have consistently shown that targeted CV’s have considerably better success rates than sending the same CV out for every application.
There are several areas in which you can tailor your CV when targeting an employer:
- Introduction – Although your CV is trying to target the specific job, most of the time, the foundation can remain the same. However, try to state that you are interested in working in the employers industry and also emphasise all the qualities you have that are relevant to the job.
- Previous employment – Although you cannot alter your previous employers, you can showcase the roles and responsibilities you had at your previous employer without fabrication. The employer will always be looking for key words/attributes such as ‘decision making’, ‘managing’, ‘team leader’ etc… Try to hit as many of these sorts of desirable qualities as possible.
- References – Include referees that you feel suit the position you are applying for. Where possible it’s good to have a reference from somebody in the same industry as the job you are applying for.
Another tip when targeting your CV is to keep a copy of the job specification/description with you at the time. This will act as a point of reference for you and help keep you on the right path when making your CV relevant to the position. Targeting your CV could be the difference between attracting the eye of an employer or ending up in the waste paper bin!