Thursday, 1 December 2011

How to Tailor Your CV/Resume Effectively



The key to tailoring your CV or resume effectively is making sure it matches the requirements of the position you are applying for. The best way to identify the requirements, is to gather as much information about the position, the customers/clients and the company as possible. You can gain this information from the job advertisement, position description, selection criteria and doing research via the company's website, staff profiles and the media (including social media).

Once you have all the information about the position, you can begin tailoring your CV. I’m not suggesting you fudge the facts about your skills, experience, knowledge and personal qualities; rather it’s important you clearly define how you meet the requirements. Your job is to quickly convince the reader that you’re an ideal match for the role. Here are some sure fire ways to tailor your resume effectively:

Skills
A potential employer will want to know what specific skills you bring with you. The best way to highlight your skills is to:
  • Summarise your skills in a section of their own
  • If your skills are extensive, categorise them eg. group together computer/IT skills; 
  • Be selective. Consider whether you need to include all of your skills. The last thing you want to appear to be is a jack of all trades - master of none.
  • Likewise, ask yourself if your Reiki Master skills are a marketable asset on a resume you are tailoring for a Sales Manager role
Experience
Your relevant experience should be quickly evident from the first page of your CV. Be sure to:
  • State your years of experience in your career summary and back it up throughout the CV with practical examples
  • Don’t just list the duties, wherever possible talk about your special achievements 
  • Provide a brief description of the organisations you have worked with and an overview of your roles
Knowledge
You can demonstrate relevant knowledge and understanding in a number of ways:
  • Use language specific to the position and industry but avoid excessive use of acronyms
  • When using acronyms, write the words in full in the first instance followed by the acronym you will use throughout your resume
  • State your exposure to the industry, company or program. This can be done in the summary section and again throughout the CV
  • Provide details of relevant education and training including the name of the award/course, the institution/training provider and the date completed/attended.
Personal qualities
Highlight your personal qualities and (positive) attitude:
  • List them and providing specific examples where possible
  • Include quotes from past supervisors, colleagues or clients as evidence of your claims
  • Make sure your CV is upbeat and appealing (just like you!)

Lisa LaRue, MCareerDev, BSocSc(Couns), DipCareerGuid, MCDI is a Career Development Consultant & Career Coach at CareerWorx www.careerworx.co.uk 
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