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How To Tailor Your CV To Each Application

By Lauren @BubbleJobs

I’m pretty sure it’s been drilled into you that you must tailor your CV to every job that you apply for… but not that many people have actually told you how to do that, right?

Well, I’m here to help! It’s so important to customise your applications so they’re not just thrown in the rubbish pile. Hiring managers are, unsurprisingly, not fans of generic applications by lazy candidates because it suggests no effort has been made so there’s a strong chance these applications will lose points – and some hiring managers may even choose to ignore them altogether.

So, make sure your application gets the attention it deserves and take note of these five tips on how to tailor your CV!

1) Research The Company

One of the first things you should do before applying for a job is research the company so you know it inside out. This is not only beneficial for your application, but it will also give you a good head start if you get asked to come in for an interview.

Discover the values of the company and describe how your experience and attitude matches them. Also, look for recent news about the company and reference it in your cover letter, if appropriate.

Looking into how large the company is, how many people it employs and what their long term goals are is also useful, as you can show how you have similar aspirations to prove your dedication to the company.

2) Analyse The Job Description

The job description is actually a really useful piece of information for when you’re tailoring your CV. If the job spec asks for certain skills or experience, make sure you mention these exact ones in your CV and explain why they will be useful to the company.

It’s a lot easier for a recruiter or hiring manager to spot the skills they have specifically asked for in a CV rather than having to translate the ones you already had listed.

Remember, recruiters are busy people, and will probably only spend around 30 seconds max looking at your CV to begin with – so make sure it’s easy for them to find what they’re looking for.

3) Re-imagine Existing Skills

So you’ve showed off all your matching skills, but there’s still some that you don’t have, and you have spotted gaps in your experience that the job description is asking for. Don’t panic!

In an industry like digital, it’s easy to focus on your other skills – but you need to make it clear how they can be translated into the specific skills that the job asks for.

Say the job calls for project management experience, focus on skills that you have acquired to manage a team and multitask, as well as your time management experience and you will be on the right track.

4) Tailor Your Hobbies

It’s really not a good idea to stick with “Going to the gym, seeing friends and popular culture” as your hobbies on every CV you send. In fact, it’s not a good idea to have those boring, “generic” hobbies on any CV.

Make sure your hobbies reflect you as a person and your ability to do the role you are applying for, as well as your passion for that industry.

For example, if you’re applying for a creative position, emphasise your love of drawing, visiting art galleries or your passion for a particular artist. Going for a role that requires a lot of writing? Try focusing on a particular genre of literature that you enjoy, or if you’re going for a role that holds a lot of responsibility, focus on your love for hobbies that include team work (e.g. sports).

5) Pick The Right References

You may think that you have to put your current/most recent manager as your reference on your CV, but that isn’t necessarily the case.

It’s more important to make sure that your references are relevant to the industry you want to get into, so make sure that you don’t pick a useless reference that won’t be able to focus on your relevant skills.

Going for a content role? Your old manager at the supermarket definitely won’t work. Try the editor of the local newspaper you contributed to over the summer instead.

And we’re done! Five top tips on how to tailor your CV to each job application!

As ever, I’d love to know what you think of these tips or if you have any of your own. Let me know in the comments below or on Twitter @BubbleJobs! 🙂

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