Why you should tailor your CV

Tailor your CV

Tailor your CV

With the ability to apply for multiple jobs at the click of a button, it is very tempting to do so in the belief that applying for as many jobs as possible using the same CV will surely get you a new job in no time at all. So you apply for 100 jobs within one week. Four weeks later, you have heard nothing. Not even an acknowledgement of receipt from some of them. I have heard this story so many times now.

Why the generic CV does not work

Do a little research online. Research and print three different job descriptions and person specifications online for the same job title. Read the job descriptions carefully. Whilst you will see some similarities for sure, you will also see lots of differences. No two jobs are the same, even those sharing the same job title. So if the requirements of jobs vary so much, it is surely asking too much for one version of your CV to make a good connection for every job? You cannot be all things to all people.

Making that connection – Read the job description

In order to work effectively, your CV needs to connect itself to the requirements of a particular job. Pick out the key words and phrases in the job description and person specification and be sure to use these throughout your CV. Show by example how you mee the criteria by using specific examples. By tailoring your CV you are going to make sure it resonates with the reader. Tailoring your CV will also help it to get through ATS systems.

ATS Systems

Applicant tracking systems (ATS) are software used by employers to filter CVs against the job description for the vacancy being recruited for. They contain algorithms similar to those used by search engines in that analyse the CVs for similar key words and phrases. Some organisations may use different words to describe the same thing. This makes it doubly important to tailor your CV. Your CV needs to get through ATS filters first and it is estimated 70% of CVs fall foul of ATS before even being read by a human.

Where you should tailor your CV

Whilst you should weave the key words and phrases associated with a job naturally throughout your CV, there are two sections in particular that should be adapted. The professional profile at the beginning acts as your introduction, here include the personal qualities aligned to the role, mirroring the words used by the employer. The key skills section under this can also be used as a container device to incorporate both the hard and soft skills asked for in the job description.

Tailoring your CV, and spending more time over fewer applications should make a big difference in the performance of your CV. Don’t be fooled into using a generic CV, take the time to tailor your CV for each application you make.

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