“I’ve sent my CV off for over 25 jobs this week”. Careers consultants and advisors hear this proclamation all-too-often. While applying for as many jobs as possible may seem like you’re increasing your odds of securing a role soon, the reason this method tends to be predominantly unsuccessful is because the CV being sent off is exactly the same for every vacancy. It hasn’t been targeted to each individual company and job vacancy intending to be secured.
Whenever you send off a CV, you must ensure you target it precisely to the company and role you’re applying to. Rather than cramming in as many skills as possible into two pages, you should focus on the most applicable skills to the job you are intending to secure.
It is commonly emphasised that you should draw upon the transferable skills you pick up in your non-professional and part time work, especially when you don’t have much industry relevant experience. However, rather than having a generic CV that focusses heavily on your customer service excellence when you’re intending to become an engineer, you need to ensure those skills you detail are the technical sort; the most relevant for the role.
First of all, your profile should make it clear to the employer reading it what skills you feel you would bring to the role, the impact you wish to make and the industry or, if appropriate, the company you wish to enter. The tail end of your final profile sentence could read along the lines of ‘…looking to provide authentic and original marketing to Peugeot’. You can mention you are enthusiastic about working for a specific company, but make sure it is believable i.e. saying you’ve always been passionate about wanting to work for a company that you wouldn’t have previously heard of and who aren’t reputable isn’t appropriate.
Next, your education should be crafted to suit the vacancy you’re applying for. The key modules you mention should, if possible, be the most related to the job that you’re going for. In technical courses particularly, the project/s you have done should also be relevant to the tasks and duties you’d be engaged in for the job you’re applying for.
Finally, and arguably most importantly, the skills listened beneath each vocation should match those skills required to do the job you’re applying to. When employers look through the CVs they’ve received for a vacancy, they want to be able to clearly see all of the skills they feel are necessary to do the job. The best way to ensure you do this is by reading the person specification listed with the details of the role, usually split between essential and desired, and identifying how many of them you have demonstrated in your previous roles. Again, this is where you can focus on transferable skills which directly correlate to the skills needed and emphasising these on your CV.
Sending an identical CV to apply for every vacancy is simply not effective. Target your CV to ensure you are not overlooked by employers.