Make your best first impression with a tailored CV.

When it comes to CV writing, there is no such thing as 'one size fits all' ‒ what works for one job application may not work for the next. For example, two companies may be recruiting for a finance manager, but each company might be looking for a slightly different skill set or level of qualifications to one another. Therefore, you need to tailor your CV to fit the specific job at hand. Customising your CV doesn't mean you have to rewrite the entire document, but at the very least, you should be doing the following five things.

Place the most important information at the top of your CV

Studies show that one in five recruiters rejects a candidate before reading to the end of their CV. Therefore, it's crucial that you place the most important and relevant information in the first third of your CV. Your personal profile, skills, qualifications and most-relevant experience should take up the prime real estate on your CV, followed by everything else.

Read the full job posting

When you're in the middle of a job search, it's easy for job vacancies to start to blur into one another. You are often applying for multiple vacancies at a time, which means you might not always read the full job description before applying. Well, not anymore. It's crucial to read the full job posting before you apply to make sure that a) you're actually qualified for the role and b) your CV reflects the specific vacancy. 54 per cent of recruiters will reject a CV that isn't tailored or customised to the vacancy they're trying to fill, so if you're not reading the full job posting then you might be wasting your time.

Identify the keywords

After you have read through the full job description, it's important to pay attention to the keywords. These are the main skills and qualifications essential to the job. The recruiter will be looking for these terms in your CV, so the best way to tailor your application is to mirror the keywords in the job posting (assuming you have the right experience). Use the same language the recruiter has used and pepper these terms throughout your CV. Even better, create a 'Skills and Qualifications' section on your CV and list the relevant information there. That way the recruiter can't miss it. (PLUS it will help you beat an applicant tracking system!)

Tailor your personal profile

Whether you call it a personal profile, a career summary or a professional statement, this refers to the section at the very top of your CV. It is a three- to five-line summary of your skills and experience that convinces the recruiter that you're the right candidate for the job. It also serves as the recruiter's first impression of you, so it's important to get it right. Use your personal profile to show your best side. Highlight your specific skills and experience that are relevant to the job at hand and be sure to include a keyword or two … or three.

Remove irrelevant information

You may have been an award-winning barista in a past life, but listing it on your CV is not going to win over a recruiter searching for a finance manager. Two pages is the optimal length for a CV, so cut out any experience that is irrelevant to the job you are applying for. Instead, use that space to highlight the skills and qualifications that the recruiter will be looking for. Two pages is not a whole lot of space, so you want to make sure every sentence and bullet point is going to work for you, not against you.

We'll tell you if your CV is properly customised. Submit yours for a free CV review today!

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