If you want to increase the chances of landing that dream job of yours, it’s critical to avoid sending out the same old CV to organizations and choose to tailor it instead (along with a covering letter, if required). This will help your resume to get past any tricky filters that an organization may employ before it finally reaches a recruiter.
You can make your CV more attractive by adapting it to job specifications using the strategies in the sequence described below:
1️⃣ Thoroughly examine the job description
The starting point of tailoring a CV is understanding the job requirements as well as the qualifications needed for the specified position.
- Underline any important skills-related terms. For example, pay attention to the words that are relevant to the position or that appear throughout the job description
- Keep an eye out for special requirements (the level of education, training, the number of years of professional experience, etc.)
- Concentrate on the sequence in which the responsibilities are listed – those listed first may be more important.
2️⃣ Start organizing your CV and use keywords
After you’ve thoroughly analyzed the requirements, you can start fine-tuning your CV to meet these.
Remember: some organizations utilize software to sift CVs depending on whether or not they contain certain keywords. The faster the recruiter finds the most relevant keywords for the job in question, the more likely your CV and you are to be shortlisted.
The summary section of a CV is among the first things a hiring manager will read. Use this to emphasize your most appropriate talents and achievements based on the specific keywords. Consider including the title of the position you are applying for thus signaling that this is a customized resume.
- State your most important qualities in the upper half of your CV so that you increase the chances of being quickly perceived as being a good fit for the job
- Examine the experience section of your CV to see which of your previous positions are worth mentioning to suit the new job. Consider making use of a reverse-chronological structure should these positions be your most recent
- If you have held a relevant position but this was a while ago, you might consider using a functional or combination CV by shifting the attention from your job timeline to your most appropriate talents and expertise.
3️⃣ Tailor your employment history
You might have a rich work history but not every single role is worth mentioning. Consider reducing your previous positions to those that are most relevant.
- If the most apposite job you want to mention in the CV was a while ago, you could divide the history section into “[industry] knowledge” and “Other work experience”
- It is important to apply the keywords that are appropriate to the job description in the bullet points when describing your previous positions.
For instance, if the description focuses on leadership qualities, you might consider starting the bullet point list with concrete team management or mentoring experience you have. Even if you believe those were not your key tasks, the hiring manager may find them valuable.
4️⃣ Mention concrete results
It’s important to include in the experience section real numbers to illustrate the impact you had in your previous positions.
Example: “Came up with a marketing plan that led to a 15% increase in sales”. This is much more effective than simply saying “Participated in effective marketing campaigns”.
5️⃣ Provide relevant information in your “Skills” section
Usually, the most related skills are included in a CV’s summary, but you may consider adding them to the “Skills” section. Make sure to utilize relevant keywords when putting this together.
After that, provide details of any other talents related to the job that demonstrate your unique value. You may provide relevant “preferred” abilities which, though optional, could help you stand out as a strong candidate.
6️⃣ Finished your CV? Double-check it!
When you have tailored your CV it’s important to run through it several times (with a break in between), doing the following:
- Checking your grammar, spelling, and applied keywords
- Performing a parallel analysis of your summary and the position description to make sure they match
- Checking the relevance of the bullet points in which you described your work experience.
For over 15 years, DevelopmentAid has been the best partner in assisting specialists from all continents to obtain employment in the international development sector. CV tailoring is one of the key services we offer. It assists experts to be shortlisted and selected for a particular project or position based on a quality CV.
Our team not only tailors your CV to match the requirements of a certain job announcement but also adapts your resume to the formats accepted by the five biggest international donor organizations that hire thousands of professionals each year.
When searching for a position, CV tailoring helps you to accurately and professionally highlight the main qualifications you hold that are relevant to the job. By using the CV Tailoring option, you can have your CV customized by a professional recruiter. Try it out now!