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How to Tailor-Make Your CV for the Job

Finding jobs is becoming harder and harder. How many good candidates who call me tell me that they have not worked for several months because they do not get interview calls.

Competition becomes so much tougher that good is no longer acceptable, you must strive to "being the best" period which means from preparing your CV, to the interview, to your joining and through your work, you must have a list of "achievements" who that your next CV will be an achievement-based CV and a job description based CV.

Let's see how we can tackle one key element of your job application: tailoring your CV to the job. One key point before we start is to build a master file, a master CV which could be 5 pages long (but never used). This master CV contains every detail of your work experience, education, training, achievements, skills, etc. Every job application that you will send out, will come from this master file but not more than 2 pages. Every CV will or may be different from the other but tailored to the job. This is a fundamental understanding of this article.

Below are some key points on how to tailor-make your CV. 1. Read and Understand the job description well.

You will need a copy of the master file and the job description before you begin.

As you read every line highlight 3 areas - green, blue, and red.

Green - Those areas in the job description require practical experience even if it means fewer years of it.

Blue - Those areas in the job description that you have the required knowledge but not practical experience. (You may want to build your knowledge quickly by accessing articles or people who can help you build your knowledge)

Red - Those areas in the job description that you do not have practical experience or knowledge. (You may want to build your knowledge quickly by accessing articles or people who can help you build your knowledge. You can then change Red to Blue)

2. Your STRENGHTS must be highlighted FIRST

The job description will always (or may) have what is mandatory/desirable/preferred / not essential etc. Though this a guideline, the highest preference will be given to those candidates who fall within the budget and have even the "not essential" requirements.

Now that you have the "greens" and "blue's" highlighted, these requirements which means even the software, personality traits (which could be in your cover letter or "More About Me" section, must be on the first page of your CV and before you ask, yes, all of it every aspect. Remember most hiring managers and human resource employees, will take about 10-15 seconds to decide on your CV and they will read obviously read the 1st page, first.

3. Reorganise your CV Structure

Don't worry about reorganization the structure of your CV if you have a standard CV format. Change it if required. Work Experience can be right on top of the 3rd subsection does not matter as long as what is more important in the job description that you have experience in is highlighted first. You will have to include ONLY those essential points from your master file in each section: the "greens" first and then the "blues". This could mean that the first four bullet points from your work experience in your master file are omitted or only point 5, 9, 11,15,19,22 are used in this job responsibility along with the "blue" highlighted points. Do not remove those points of experience that are directly related to or an extension of the main point. KEYWORD optimizes each point. Maximize your 2 page CV for "green" and "blue" that is only essential to this job description.

4. The Intention and Relevance of Your CV

Once you have tailored-made your new CV, you may want to read the job description and CV again. You can save the highlighted master file copy (which shows the color but does not delete the text) for this job but do not change the original master file. You can then do the following.

Read your new job application CV to gauge if the new CV is a better fit for the job.

If you were the hiring manager reading this CV, would you mark the CV as suitable and why?

Clarify your intention why you are applying for this job based on your experience, qualifications, and skills.

Get a friend to read and confirm the above 3 points. Keyword optimization is extremely essential and uses the same keywords mentioned in the job description for your job application.

Having a tailor-made CV is definitely one of the most essential parts of applying for a job. This CV now creates the first impression about you and you may have already built an important expectation when called for an interview.


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