When beginning your graduate job search your first task will be to perfect your CV. However, sending the same CV for every single job you apply for is not a smart strategy.
While you may be applying for similar roles, no two jobs are the same. So why would you send the same CV?
It’s important to tailor your CV for every graduate job you apply for. This does not mean that you must start from scratch or drastically change it, though. Tailoring your CV is all about understanding which of your skills and qualities are most relevant for a specific role.
Your CV should always highlight what the employer is looking for.
Here’s how you can tailor your CV to ensure it has the maximum impact on every employer:
1. Read the job advert carefully
When you read a job advert, you will learn what skills and qualities the employer is looking for. Too many graduates think yes this is me and then fire off their CV without checking that all the requirements are properly highlighted there.
Compare the job requirements with your CV and see if you can easily tick the requirements off.
You may need to shuffle your experience or add a skill that you hadn’t considered before. You want to make it easy for the employer/HR professional to want to invite you for an interview.
Ask yourself if there are any skills you are lacking.
You may be able to get creative and think about transferable skills and similar experience that will help you to look like a great fit on paper.
2. Change your personal profile
At the top of your CV, you should include a short profile that introduces who you are to the employer and what you are looking for.
This profile should be packed with the knowledge, skills and experience required for the role.
Decipher what skills are the most important to each employer and include them here. If a 2:1 degree or higher is ‘essential’, state that straight away instead of hiding it at the bottom of your CV.
This section of your CV needs to make a big impression on the employer, so do take the time to get it right. It probably won’t take long to tweak, but will make a difference to your application success.
3. Cut down on irrelevant details
Remember, your CV should never be longer than 2 pages. If you have work experience where the skills are not transferable to the role you are applying for, cut back on the detail.
There’s no point talking about skills and qualities that the employer isn’t looking for. While that paper round was great when you were 13, it doesn’t do much to impress a graduate employer.
4. Show off relevant experience
When it comes to your work experience section, usually this would be in chronological order with the most recent role first. However, this does not always have to be the case. If you completed a fantastic internship in the industry you are applying for, but have since been working in a shop part-time, it would make more sense to feature the internship first.
Your first role will be the first example of your work that an employer sees. Make it count!
While taking the time to tailor your CV for every application does take more time and effort it will help you to stand out from your competition and be successful.
All of your efforts will be worth it when you start a fantastic graduate job!