It is common thinking amongst candidates that it is acceptable to use the same CV for multiple positions. However, this isn’t true. Employers and recruiters expect you to be tailoring your CV to different jobs instead of adopting a mass blanket approach for all jobs. Here are 3 tips to help tailor your CV.
1. Ensure you are using the correct CV format so your experience is effectively showcased
There are many types of CV formats and depending on the jobs you are applying for and your experience, it may make sense to have more than one CV.
There are 2 main CV formats:
This is the most common CV format used by job seekers. This CV follows a fairly straightforward format with a professional summary, objective and career summary section. This format of CV is suitable for you if you meet any of the below criteria:
- You have the experience and skills that the employer is looking for
- You have progressed in your career in a linear manner e.g. from Marketing Assistant to Marketing Team Lead to Marketing Manager
- You have had few or no career gaps in your career
Skills CV (also known as a functional CV)
This is the second type of CV format used by job seekers. As the name suggests a Skills CV highlights the skills that you possess and which an employer is looking for in their new hire. This type of CV is suitable for you if you meet any of the below criteria:
- You have worked in the same industry for all or most of your career and are now looking for a career change in a different industry
- You have worked the same job for different companies
- You have little or no experience e.g. because you are a recent graduate
2. Tailor your professional summary to the job you are applying for
Your professional summary should be different for every job you are applying for. Even if the jobs you are applying for are similar, there will be slight differences in the experience and skills required. Top job seekers will pick up on these differences and will tailor their professional summary accordingly.
Your professional summary should:
- mention the relevant experience and skills that the employer is looking for
- explain how you have the required experience and skills in sufficient detail
- highlight your USP and show how you will add value to the company
3. Make sure your career summary sells your relevant experience and skills
Your career summary forms the bulk of your experience and so gives you the best chance to show the employer how you have the particular experience and skills they are looking for.
- Make sure the duties you mention for each job match with what the employer is looking for
- Include the keywords listed in the job advert in your CV so that it will be picked up by ATS systems which are used by employers and recruiters
- Be ruthless with the information you include and remove any information which is irrelevant and doesn’t add value to your CV
Bringing it all together
Tailoring your CV to different jobs can be time-consuming and tedious. However, with employers being spoilt for choice with candidates, following these 3 tips will increase your chances of being invited to interview.
About the Author
Shilpa is an ex-recruiter turned CV Writer and offers CV Writing, LinkedIn Writing and Cover Letter writing assistance. Shilpa is currently offering free CV reviews where she will personally review your CV and give you clear recommendations to improve your CV. Connect with Shilpa on LinkedIn here or email her at firstname.lastname@example.org for a free CV review.