How many CV’s do you have? Now, I am not suggesting you become the Imelda Marcos of CVs as I doubt that she needed 000’s of shoes, and I have yet to meet anyone who has 000’s of CVs.
However, I do see a similarity between shoes and CVs, after all, we only have two feet, but I have rarely met anyone (who by choice) has only one pair of shoes. Speaking for myself, I want my shoes to match the outfit I am wearing. It is in the same vein that we need our CV to match with the position being applied for. CVs are not one size fits all
A CV needs to include the keywords included in the job description, you may not even have the exact experience based upon the job type, but you have acquired the key skills listed and it is these skills need to be clearly cited.
So, now we have established that CVs are not one size fits all and need to be tailored. How do you successfully tailor your CV?
Quicks Tips to Match your CV to the role being applied for.
- Read the job description, the essential and desirable requirements in great detail. It goes without saying that if you do not meet at least 65-70% of the criteria do NOT apply. Very rarely will employers expect a candidate to meet 100% of the criteria, if a candidate meets 70% of the criteria and the CV demonstrates that they have the capability to successfully get up to speed on the 30% that is sufficient.
- Save your original CV as the Master CV, this is the one that will be used to extract all the key information for your tailored CV.
- Save a copy of your master CV, this will become one of the tailored CVs for the jobs being applied for e.g LolaBejide_DirectorofLearning.
- Commence the matching exercise; highlight keywords from the job description and see where there is alignment between your skills and what the organisation is seeking.
- Remove irrelevant aspects from the tailored CV, this distracts the reader and you could become less relevant as a candidate. Keep it relevant.
- Keep it factual – CV’s are not supposed to be great works of fiction, this also includes starting with facts but embellishing with facets of fiction, e.g the budget being managed fantastically grew from 500k to 10m. Keep it real 100%.
- CVs should be no longer than 2 pages – employment history in detail for the last 5-7 years, for prior employment stating the company name, duration of employment and position held will suffice.
- Ask a truth-telling associate to proofread the CV. Two sets of eyes are better than one.
When citing responsibilities of the current/previous roles move away from reeling off very generic descriptions, for example, when including budget management, it could simply be stated as:
- Managed 40m IB technology budget.
Or we could include the value add provided whilst conducting the responsibilities :
- Effectively managed the global annual budget (40m GBP) for IB Technology, ensuring strategic alignment to Executive Committee’s technology roadmap via establishing and maintaining a close working relationship with global technology SMT.
There has been a trend to add social media handles onto your CV, which in some industries undoubtedly makes logical sense. If you decide to go down this route, just check that the content you are exposing potential employers to is favorable, neutral or at the very least not overtly detrimental.
Yes, there is an element of “being authentic” and there are 1001 connotations with this concept alone, whilst I am a firm believer of being your authentic self, in the corporate environment it is more apt to be your professional authentic self . . .we will pick this topic up in the next blog.
Finally, when applying for “Next Level” positions I would also recommend 2 things:
- Once your CV has been tailored, invest in a professional CV to ensure it covers all bases and is picked up by the right people, it is worth the investment.
- Be prepared for interviews, and be equipped to negotiate. Sometimes we are so overwhelmed to be offered the role, that we accept what is presented as the “deal”. Again, invest in improving your negotiation skills, with regard to negotiating remuneration packages and for this, I would wholeheartedly recommend contacting Michele Gyimah.
I trust the above Tips have served you well and if you want structured in-depth support and guidance to keep your career on track book a discovery call with our lead career strategist.