We’re calling it. The generic resume is dead. Gone are the days when you could send the same CV to every employer. The only way to get noticed in today’s job market is by tailoring your CV for every role you apply for.
Tailoring your CV for every job can be difficult, maybe even painful and yep – pretty darn tedious but it is precisely this kind of dedication to job applications that employers are looking for. If you want to make sure your CV gets noticed – follow our four steps to CV tailoring perfection.
STEP 1 Create an alpha CV
This is the CV on which all your beautifully tailored CVs will be based. As this is a CV that will never see the light of day it doesn’t need to be neat, or well designed, or less than two pages; what’s important when creating your alpha CV is to get down everything you’ve ever done. Write down all of your education, experience, knowledge, practical skills, soft skills, achievements, projects, memberships, awards and interests; it doesn’t matter if your alpha CV is 10 pages long – just get it all in there. And remember – experience and skills aren’t limited to those gained from jobs but also work experience, volunteering, hobbies and other activities.
STEP 2 Pick, mix and match it
Read the job description carefully and make a list all the different requirements, skills and experience they are asking for. Now go back to your alpha CV – and highlight all the information that is relevant to this list – these are the things that need to go into your tailored CV. When copying and pasting the information from your alpha CV to your tailored CV – make sure you rewrite where necessary so that you are using the same language and keywords used in the job description. Make it as easy as possible for the hiring manager to see that you are a good match for this job.
STEP 3 Show them the evidence
Once you have the bones of your tailored CV in place, go back and insert some concrete examples of how you match up to their specifications. For example: If the job advertisement asks for someone with ‘proven leadership skills', don’t simply write, ‘I have excellent leadership skills’ – include details like the size of the teams you have supervised, any recruitment you have been involved in, any achievements you accomplished as a team leader, and any training you have given to other team members.
STEP 4 State the facts
Now go back and reread the job spec and your tailored CV and write a short paragraph about how your experience and skills match up to the criteria for the role. Writing a personal statement like this and adding it to the beginning of your CV is the best way to really hit home to the recruiter how perfect you are for a job. Make sure you write clearly and concisely so it’s quick and easy to read. It may help imagine you are standing in a lift with the person who is going to give you this job and that you have 60 seconds to tell them why they should give you this job.
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