No Standard CV?
Some applicants are still surprised when employers and career advisors mention that there is no such thing as a standard CV. Extensive research was conducted with employers and it was found that 66% of applicants were rejected or not considered for various job roles because of non-tailored CVs*.
There is a reason why employers attach a job description to the advert – applicants should refer to the job description and person specification when writing their CV. A job description lists essential and desirable capabilities, skills, qualities and education required for the job, hence, it is essential to check it before applying. Once you have familiarised yourself with the criteria, consider the following: what CV style is best to apply and what evidence (examples) can be presented in your CV to support your statements.
How to tailor my CV?
Listing your employment history without referring to skills and activities in the job description is inefficient use of space. In addition, copying information from the job description without examples is also a bad idea as there is no one to talk through the resume and elaborate on employment history leaving employers to play guessing games or simply ignore applications.
The most important task when writing your CV is to demonstrate your qualities and skills. Start off with your education and qualifications if you have undertaken relevant modules and completed appropriate academic projects. Commercial awareness and understanding of current affairs within the industry can be highlighted if you examined these in your assignments. In addition, a skills based CV can be adopted if you are lacking employment experience because you can refer to any activities you have undertaken (such as volunteering, personal experience, family business etc.) as long as the required skills are demonstrated.
Always have a job description in front of you to ensure all skills are ‘ticked’ and adopt the employer’s terminology – use the same language employers use so you can evidence that you are aligned to the job description and organisation.
What if there is no job description or not enough information?
On some occasions, employers do not provide a job description. In this case you can make the most of the 21st century technology and ‘google’ job descriptions for similar roles. This will help you to get an idea of the skills required for the role. Consider what industry and sector the desired company operates in because there can be some specific information you need to mention. Alternatively, why not take a proactive approach and email the employers to request a job description or ask what kind of candidates they are looking for. Enthusiasm and proactive behaviour is always appreciated!
The Careers Team is here to help!
If you need any help tailoring your CV towards your dream job simply pop into the Careers and Add+vantage office for further advice. The team is here to support you, so contact us on 02477 652011 or firstname.lastname@example.org
*The Resource: Graduatejobs.com (2013)