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How to tailor your CV properly

Posted in cv-advice

Friday, June 28th, 2019

We all know that to make the best impression on the interviewer, you should tailor your CV properly for each role you apply for – but how do you go about doing this?

If you’re applying for a very clearly defined role, then your CV might not need changing much each time, although you should make sure to update it regularly anyway.

But if you’re applying for a number of different roles within your chosen industry, and especially when applying for jobs where you’re slightly less experienced, tailoring your CV can help to present you as the right candidate for the job.


1. Start with an up-to-date CV

It doesn’t hurt to have a generic CV to use as a starting point, and choose the most relevant experience and qualifications from there. Take a look at our CV builder to get started.

You might want to make this ‘master’ CV longer, listing all of your qualifications, transferable skills, career experience and so on.

Don’t send this monster master to recruiters, but instead adopt a ‘delete as appropriate’ approach to trim it down to the requisite one or two sides of A4 for each application.


2. Structure it well

A good overall structure provides you with a framework within which you can change individual details to prioritise the most relevant information about you.

Our CV Builder is a great way to make sure you’ve covered all the important areas, from education and work experience, to transferable skills and relevant hobbies.

Just login to start building your CV today, and we’ll also make sure you don’t miss any of the basics like name, address, telephone number and email address so the employer can actually contact you.


3. Change the order

You can change the order not only of information in each section, but of the entire sections themselves.

So for example, if you think your transferable skills are particularly strong for one application, you might move them higher up the running order.

Alternatively, you might have directly relevant work experience to list first instead – or if you’re straight out of education, it could be your qualifications that take top billing.


4. Trim the dead weight

It can be tempting to list absolutely everything you can think of in an attempt to impress the interviewer, but an unwieldy CV is rarely welcomed by recruiters or employers.

At first glance amid a stack of competitors’ CVs, you have barely a matter of seconds to make your application memorable, so keep it simple and make good use of formatting to give prominence to your absolute best features.


5. Don’t panic

If you’re applying for a number of jobs, don’t spend weeks tweaking your CV – instead, learn to prioritise what you know are your best features and quickly put the most relevant ones up top.

Again, our CV Builder can help you to keep track of your core talents, career progression and all those elusive dates and full names of past qualifications.

That way, you don’t have to write entire sections of your CV from scratch each time, but instead you can quickly and easily build a new version of your master CV that shows only what you want to say.