You keep sending out your old CV, but you hardly get any calls.
Truth is, often your qualifications, skills, and experience alone would not be enough to get the job you want.
The hiring manager would also like to see that you are really interested in the job you are applying for.
Most hiring managers can spot a generic CV from miles away. You would not want to be one of these candidates who get dismissed because they did not tailor their CV to the job position and company they are applying for.
In this article, we are going to answer the two most important questions about tailoring your CV:
- Why should you tailor your CV?
- How to tailor your CV?
And once we are done, get ready to get some great amount of calls, and finally get the job you want.
Before that, don’t forget that your CV design also matters. Make sure you perfect it using our CV Builder.
But if you are ready to learn how to tailor your CV, stick around.
Why should you tailor your CV?
Tailoring your CV is the best way to improve your chances of getting an interview for the job you want.
Fact is, hiring managers have to go through tons of CVs on a daily basis, and there is no easy way to do so.
Through the years, two possible solutions have dominated as a solution to this problem.
The first one is for the hiring manager to do a quick scan around the CV and decide whether this candidate may be a good fit for the position. Typically, these scans last about 6-7 seconds and are mainly focused on important keywords for the job.
In more recent times, that process has been automated using Applicant Tracking Systems (ATS). That software scans through your application documents automatically and ranks your suitability for the job depending on keywords it finds.
You can probably see what these 2 methods have in common – it’s all about the keywords.
Using a generic CV that you send out to all job postings you like will most definitely fail. What you need to do is find all the important keywords from the job description and tailor your CV using them.
Furthermore, tailoring your CV shows the hiring manager that you are really interested in the job. Focusing on your most relevant experience and skills can really show them that you are a great fit for the job.
How to tailor your CV?
Now that you understand the importance of tailoring your CV, let’s find out how to do it right. There are a few things you need to do every single time to get the best results.
Research the company
Before you get started with the actual tailoring of your CV, you need to know who you are tailoring it for.
Take your time and find everything you can about the company’s values and culture.
Typically, you can find all the information you need on their website, but you can also check out their social network accounts, like Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter. Every piece of information may help you in tailoring your CV to match what they are looking for.
Carefully review the job description
After you learn the company’s values and culture, and match them in your CV, you need to also match what they are looking for in the specific role you are applying for.
Reading the job description and deciding you are the guy for the job is not enough, you need to really dig deep in every word and find out everything the hiring manager would be looking for in your documents.
By reading the job description carefully and multiple times, you will get a better understanding of the position, and will already be one step ahead of all the competition for the job.
Find all the important keywords
You have now read the whole job description back and forth and you fully understand the job position you are applying for, and what the hiring manager would be looking for in your CV.
But to make sure they will find exactly what they look for, you need to take out all the important keywords from the job description and list them in your CV.
That’s the first and most important step of actually tailoring your CV.
An important thing to do here is keep the language and phrasing the same as the job description. Hiring managers have very limited time to scan through job applications, and providing them with just what they are looking for can really set you ahead of other candidates.
Furthermore, more and more companies are using Applicant Tracking Systems (ATS) for their pre-selection. In that case, if you don’t have enough keywords that match exactly the job description, you might be dismissed, no matter how qualified.
Make you skills and experience relevant
But just listing keywords all over your CV won’t do the trick, you need to show that your experience and skills are relevant to the position you are applying for.
Some of your experience may seem irrelevant at first, but take the time and really think about what skills are transferable from your old job to the job you want.
Nobody expects you to be a perfect match for everything the hiring manager is looking for, but you need to show yourself in the best possible light.
And that’s what tailoring your CV is all about – making the skills and experience you have appear to the best advantage.
Include measurable results
All your experience and skills are now relevant and using all the right keywords.
Unfortunately, in most cases that’s still not enough to impress the hiring manager, you need to take it one step further.
You need to prove your work-related achievements in a way that is easy to understand by just one glance.
The best way to do so is to use the numbers in your favor.
Every achievement you would like to list on your CV can be measured by some metrics, and you need to show off your results using them.
By adding metrics to your experience, skills, and keywords, you can really nail tailoring your CV.
You seem to be all done with tailoring your CV, but there is still one thing you need to do, and you should never forget about it.
What you should be particularly on the lookout for are:
- Spelling and grammar mistakes
- Inconsistent punctuation
- Broken website links
- Incorrect contact information
- Long or unclear sentences
If you want to be extra careful, you can always ask some family and friends to proofread it for you as well.
We are all done, you now know why tailoring your CV is so important, and how to do it right.
Let’s go through it all one last time, you need to:
- Research the company and learn about their values and culture, so you can match that in your CV
- Read the job description, and then read it again and again, until you are sure you fully understand what the hiring manager would be looking for in your application
- Find all the keywords from the job description and use them in your CV, using the same language, as your CV might go through an ATS pre-selection
- Make sure all experience and skills you have listed on your CV are relevant to the job position you are applying for
- Use numbers in your favor, they can really prove all your work-related accomplishments in a great and attention-grabbing way
Don’t forget to proofread your tailored CV, and once you are done, you are ready to get your dream job.
Make one that's truly you.