Previously published in the online ‘Brite Future’ magazine: February 2016.
Instead of trying to apply for jobs the quick way, focus instead on making your CV relevant to the jobs you’re applying for by using the five tips below.
1.Research the organisation:
Before you apply for any job, you should always know exactly who it is you’re applying for. Once
you’ve found the job you want to submit an application to, spend some time getting to know their company. Look on their website, and find out as much as you can – what they do, what their ethos is, and what their work environment is like. Having this knowledge can make it much easier to tailor your CV to their company, as you’ll know exactly what it is that you’re working with.
2.Tailor your personal profile:
Your personal profile is the first part that an employer will see, so it’s vital that this part stands out. A poor personal profile means that the rest of your CV is unlikely to get read. When applying for a job, the personal profile needs to be specifically tailored to it – make sure that you’ve described yourself as a person who would do brilliantly within the job, and who is looking to progress within that sector. Take out bits that don’t add to the job application, as being concise is just as important.
3.Focus on relevant career summary and qualifications:
Employers don’t want to be sifting through your whole career – even more so if half of it has
nothing to do with the job you’re currently applying for. As a rule, you shouldn’t have more than
five years of your job history on there (unless it’s very relevant), and you don’t need to keep all of your qualifications from high school if you’ve gone on to a lot more education from there. What you’ve done recently is what counts, but also what relates to the desired job, and so make sure to go through these two sections with a fine-toothed comb to remove anything that doesn’t actively promote you for the job.
4.Use the job specification:
This is the most important thing to take note of when writing a CV, as every job application is
different. Your administration skills that you usually focus on throughout your CV might be great
when applying for administration roles, but if you’re applying for a slightly different personal
assistant role, then you might want to focus on different things. The best way to tailor your CV to the job specification is to read through it thoroughly and pick out what they deem essential and desirable for the role – if you can do it, or have done it in the past, then that’s what needs to be included. Extra things looks good too, so you don’t necessarily need to only put job specification buzz words down, but it’s vital that you can show them you’re the person they are looking for.
5.Include a cover letter for emphasis:
Finally, a cover letter always goes a long way in helping out your CV. Your CV is all about you, but a cover letter can really help to introduce you to the employer, and show them what you can bring to the table. It might seem like a bit of extra effort, but it’s a good way to decide who really wants the job – why would you go for someone who hasn’t bothered to write one, when another applicant has? When writing your cover letter, really emphasise how you’ve helped your previous employers, and what you can do to ensure that this new role is fulfilled. By doing this, you’re increasing attention to yourself, and the employer will most likely want to read your CV a little bit more thoroughly. Relevance is key to getting an interview – which is what your CV is all about. Follow these five tips when updating your CV for a job application, and you’ll start getting responses in no time.