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Tailor your CV to make an impact

Tailor your CV to make an impact

Don’t expect employers to read between the lines. Make their job easier by identifying what they are looking for and then making those things easy to find on your CV.

Here are some tips for tailoring different sections within your CV:

  • Education
    Pick out key modules or key topics that relate to the job.
    Module names mean something to you, but they might not mean anything to an employer so it can work well to add some brief explanatory text.
    Dissertation – sometimes the employer will be most interested in the topic, sometimes the method or skills used to undertake the research. Keep your description brief and focussed on what you believe they will find most interesting.

  • Employment / Voluntary Experience
    Use your description of your experiences (employment or voluntary) to showcase the skills and attributes the employer is looking for. Even pieces of experience which may not be directly relevant are useful for showcasing relevant skills.
    If you have relevant experience (within the same industry/type of work) you could showcase this by creating a separate section e.g. “Relevant Experience” “Marketing Experience” which could be placed on the first page. “Additional Experience” could be placed afterwards to explain the other work you have done.

  • Skills
    A Skills section can be helpful to showcase the skills the employer is looking for. Avoid sections with general skills that you assume they’ll be interested in. Instead use some of the language that they have used in the job advert / person spec. Provide evidence for each of the skills you have mentioned. If you’ve already provided evidence for these skills in other sections, you could shorten this section to “Additional Skills” relating to ones that you haven’t yet discussed. 

  • Interests and Achievements
    This section doesn’t need to be tailored to the job as it is used to show you as an individual, but you can use it to continue to showcase the relevant skills the employer has asked for.