Finding a new role and applying for jobs is a tiresome and time-consuming exercise that is not only emotionally draining but also constraining financially. Factoring these not so encouraging realities, job seekers often take the shorter route of using the scattergun approach and firing off a similar CV to scores of job advertisements — a big mistake! This approach may increase the count of jobs applied but significantly decreases the quality of each application.
There are not two roles that are similar whatsoever, hence the need to customize your CV to meet the specific needs and requirements of each role. One customized, targeted and strong application is far better than ten similar and poor applications.
So, given the nature and diversity of roles, how do you solve the puzzle with a single similar tool (CV)?
This underscores the paramount nature of customizing your CV to a specific role each time you press that send button.
Customizing your CV doesn’t mean writing a new one from scratch for every application. Rather, it’s understanding your strongest qualities and skills important to the you’re applying for, then making them stand out to the recruiter.
The elephant in the room now is: How do I customize my CV?
Read the entire job advert to understand what the recruiter or hiring manager is looking for. It is not enough to be excited about the job title, skimming through the JD, and firing off your CV to the recruiter. Ensure your prominent qualities matches the job requirements.
Before pressing the ‘red send’ button, ask yourself…
Can I immediately see the key requirements for the job on my CV?
If not, add some skills you’ve left out or move some information around to emphasize what really matters.
What is my CV missing?
Even though you will rarely tick every box of the job requirements, understanding your shortfall is important to help you combat them competently. Creativity is necessary when you miss on a crucial job requirement. This can be complemented by substituting with a similar experience and highlighting transferable skills to improve your brand.
Tweak your CV profile/summary
This is the first thing recruiters see and make a judgement on. A shocking fact is, if a recruiter doesn’t locate the most crucial skill requirement for the job in your profile, some recruiters pass on to the next CV without another look. So, the skills most important to the role for which you are applying should prominently be featured in your profile.
Throughout your CV, as much as possible, mirror and use the adjectives and keywords as used in the job advertisement.
As much as possible, avoid generic terms like a team player, working under pressure, meeting deadlines e.t.c — instead, use active verbs to demonstrate these qualities. e.g. I mobilized a team of 12 colleagues and worked on a new work planning software within two weeks
Besides predominantly bringing out your qualities and skills-set necessary to the job, ensure to highlight your key accomplishments relevant to the application.
In conclusion, “Always view the final CV you’re sending out from the recruiter’s/hiring manager’s perspective”
I would love to hear from you! Share more tips you may have on customizing a CV for a specific role in the comments. Also, shoot any questions you may have.