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Tailor your CV to success

Every employer is looking for different qualities and experience. Show the parts of your skill set that are relevant to the role and you’ll be more likely to secure an interview.

Why tailor your CV? 

Tailoring your CV is about highlighting the parts of your CV that fit the job description best. 

This doesn’t mean starting from scratch every time. A few well-placed tweaks to your existing CV should do the trick. It's about showing employers you’re a serious candidate, and that you really want to work with them. 

That’s why it’s crucial to tailor your CV to what they’re looking for.

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Our four top tips to tailor your CV

1. Keep to keywords

There will be keywords and phrases in the job description about the ideal candidate. Some recruiters even use software to scan your CV for keywords! Use them in your CV to show exactly how your skills and experience match what an employer is looking for.  

2. Structure for success

Shift the order of your CV to highlight the most important criteria in the job description. Lead with the skills, qualifications and experience they’ve asked for and the rest will be a bonus!

3. Be ruthless

Employers want to read what’s relevant to their vacancy. If your CV is full of skills that aren’t mentioned in the job description, it may be worth removing them. This will give priority to your most relevant skills.

4. Remember to research

Don’t underestimate the importance of researching the company to learn about people who work there. Keep their goals, values and projects in mind to help you adapt your CV accordingly. Company websites, LinkedIn and social media pages are a great place to begin.

Here's what employers want to see on your CV

Make sure that your CV reflects your skills that will directly relate to the role you’re applying for. To help with this take a look at what the employer has listed in the ‘essential skills’ and tailor your CV accordingly.Cath HopeHuman Resources Generalist, ATOS
For me, short and succinct stands out. If you can capture the key information and achievements without using too many words, it'll help an employer properly take in your CV. I think that any flair within the CV must be second to presenting the information clearly. I don't want to have to search around. Show that you understand the employer and the current problems they face. Every business is facing unique challenges, try to understand them and show your knowledge of them.John DuffinLearning and Development Advisor, NHS Scotland