The CV is your main entry point into a new job or career, it is what will get you to the interview stage, so taking the time to analyse the vacancy and compare the role with your key skills is paramount.
Everything you detail from employment history to hobbies tells a potential new employer something about you. The only information available to the employer is held on your CV. The employer will be looking for a specific type of person, not only with suitable experience or qualifications but also the most appropriate cultural match.
The fundamental principles of targeting your CV:
- Align your skill descriptions to those requested within the job specification
- Use similar terminology, this will strike engagement and trigger a connection
- If you do not possess the exact experience, ensure you demonstrate desire to learn
- Focus on relevancy – if you are tight for space remove what has not been requested.
Competiveness within the job market has increased the need for CV adaptation; those applicants who take the time to consider and target their application will have a competitor edge.
Let's go through the basic CV outline:
The personal profile section of your CV defines your motivations. You are telling the employer why you are the best person for the job, what drives your ambition and why you are the right person for the job.
Skills are often keywords in job applications, which describe the attributes needed for the role, for example time management or ability to work under pressure etc. If you cannot relay all the skills within your current job role, think laterally about your personal activities, for example if you currently work alone, but the new role states ‘work within a team’ include another example such as sport – being part of a team.
Your work history should be clear and concise, detailing your present job role, with objectives and tasks, but use similar terminology within the job advertisement. Use multiple examples of the skills required, this will demonstrate you have a clear level of experience.
Achievements added on to the work history as part of each job description are a real positive, particularly when you show obvious relevance and value to the employer. Use examples that are clearly related to the new job application.
Initially you may consider targeting a CV daunting, but once you’ve tweaked several the processes will become automatic. Finally, remember which CV has been used for each application.