Make your CV stand out

How to optimise your CV for a specific job

If you’re searching for a new career, it’s an unfortunate fact that most of us can no longer make do with a one-size-fits-all CV. In today's job market, you need to write one that’s been targeted for a specific role.

Recruiters know it‘s relatively simple to modify a CV and employers aren't likely to look favourably on one that hasn't been tailored to the role. Place yourself in the shoes of an employer, whether it’s an agency or in house – if a potential candidate isn't prepared to invest the time and effort to show what they could specifically bring to a role, how does that reflect on their commitment to getting (or performing) the job? You could find that your application is rejected - no matter how qualified you are for the role.

Of course, you don't have to start from scratch every time you apply for a job, but there’s some key modifications you can make that could help you stand out and demonstrate why you’re the right person for the role.

1. Research the company

Analysing all the information available about a company or agency will help give you a good idea about what they expect from a candidate. Take a look at their website, study their services/products, find out about their clients and their business too, read any of their press releases and find out if they’ve featured in any industry specific news articles.

1. Research the company

2. Assess the job ad

Take a close look at the job description in the ad, the list of duties, essential experience and the key skills that they are looking for. When targeting your CV, be sure to highlight areas of your own experience that directly relate to them.

3. Pay close attention to your vocabulary

Recruiters are often given a list of keywords from HR departments. This helps us search for talent and work out whether the candidates have the right experience to be put forward for a particular role. Recruiters and in house HR people pick out CVs that feature these keywords. Examine the job posting for any words or phrases that you could incorporate into your own CV that will help put your name to the top of any search lists.

4. Put your best foot forward

Choosing the right content for your CV will help yours stand out amongst the others. Pick out the area of your qualifications or experience that are most applicable to the position and present them towards the top of your CV in a list of bullet points, underneath your contact details. Owing to the volume they have to look through, when first receiving a job application from a new candidate recruiters will initially just scan the CV so you want all the relevant details to grab their attention straight away.

Similarly, you may want to play down anything on your resume that could detract from your application. While it does take more effort to write a targeted CV for every job application you go for, things have moved on from simply sending out as many CVs as possible. These days, quality takes priority over quantity and it takes less time to create a bespoke application for the jobs you desire than it does to mail the same resume out to hundreds of recruiters in the hopes of getting spotted. Remember, the more precise your CV, the greater the likelihood of getting a response.

4. Put your best foot forward

5. Double check it

If you are rewriting CV’s regularly it is easy to be complacent and make mistakes. Double check your CV and make sure that you have not left anything in that was more relevant to a previous application. Get someone else to read it for you also. The last thing you want is duplication of a section, or spelling mistakes or a CV that doesn't make any sense. Attention to detail is everything and if you can’t demonstrate this on your CV it won’t look good. If you would like some more advice on CV writing or would like to discuss your CV with a Consultant, please get in touch. Here at DNA Recruit we are always happy to help candidates in all aspects of their job hunt. We have great experience in this area and see it as a crucial part of our service to you. Call today to find out how we can help you.

5. Double check it