At Hall Recruitment we know why you should customise your CV, or, if you’re from north America, your Résumé. We know, because we supply both temporary staffing, and make permanent placements, to some of Ireland’s most prestigious businesses. Therefore we receive, and study, thousands of them every year. So take it from us: In life, few things are written, least of all a Curriculum Vitae, in a way that meets the demands, or fulfills the needs, of everyone, and every situation equally.
Consequently, you might wonder why would your Curriculum Vitae (CV) be any different? – Especially when you consider the fact that they’re not always applied to identical situations. – Short answer: your CV shouldn’t (be any different). It needs to change according to context. That’s why we hope you will read on, if you do, you will discover why you should customise your CV to make yourself a better fit for every job application.
You’re Multidimensional, Make your CV Reflect You
The general advice we have for professionals who are active in the job market is to present yourself as multidimensional and dynamic. Your CV is your introduction, your calling card to your next employer. You can make that calling card stand out. While education, career and other essential information cannot, and must not, depart from the facts, always remain open to putting forward a fresh perspective, a new emphasis or a new approach to your CV. You’ll need to do that to stand out from the crowd.
If you haven’t a current CV, or just feel you need to start over with your old one then check out our previous post which offers several Curriculum Vitae writing tips.
Employer Culture Fit
For example, while the dry job specifications may be the same, the underlying requirements and preferences of a traditional family brokerage firm, with a history spanning generations, will differ greatly from those of a fresh, new start-up business. Should you use an identical CV when applying to each of these businesses? We don’t think you should. Each of these businesses will have different cultures and different priorities. That’s why your CV should be tailored to bind the facts of your career around their respective, and contrasting, cultures and priorities.
Put in the “hard yards” to earn the best offers
Curriculum Vitae follow a standard format, communicating the core information that every employer needs to know. Your challenge as an applicant is to move beyond the standard and to optimise your CV for each application. We understand that putting together information and organizing it in a way that is informative and persuasive is hard work. Therefore you’re, doubtless, not tempted to repeat this too often. Our advice is: become tempted and soon. Read on and hopefully you’ll become convinced this is worth your time.
Three reasons why you should customise your CV
In brief: here’s three good reasons why you should customise your CV to match the jobs for which you’re applying.
- Every job, even in the same field, is a little bit different.
- Employers, and HR, often use AI sorting to scan and prioritise Curriculum Vitaes according to keyword density. Don’t get lost in the shuffle.
- Almost everyone spams job boards, if you want to stand out from the spammers you’ll need to put in the work.
Make Sure You’re The Best Ethical Job Fit
Given that job specifications and skills assessments, are so varied, we advise applicants to ask themselves this question: How can I, ethically, optimise my CV so that it addresses a specific part of a job requirement that I think would make it a better fit to a specific employer?
Okay, so it isn’t easy to be objective about yourself. Nor is it easy to write about yourself from a dispassionate third-person perspective. It certainly isn’t easy to make these modifications knowing which specific part of your curriculum vitae you should emphasize and which to deemphasize. That’s perfectly understandable! This is when the temptation to stick with your one size fits all CV arises. Once a CV is written, it becomes a boilerplate text that will be trotted out again and again, regardless of any change in circumstances. You must overcome the temptation to leave it as it is. This isn’t as much work as you might think.
Let Context be Your Guide
Nevertheless you should try and remember context is everything, take heart and push on. Your CV is probably already a rough match for the job you’re applying for, all we’re asking of you is to consider making a few small, ethical (i.e. truthful) tweaks which put in the foreground those specifics for which your experience makes you a better job match. This process shouldn’t take long. Your CV is already “done.”
All you have to do is make a few modifications. Which modifications you ask? Okay, go to the job ad, or to the job specification, or if there is a good recruiting firm involved ask their advice. Find out what’s unique about this position; what distinguishes this job from the generic job your CV was designed to fit. Then emphasise existing text typographically, or add missing information about yourself which makes you a better fit for the position.
We know all this might seem like unnecessary extra work but in a world of AI, and instant applications if you want to stand out for the right reasons you need to put in the work to make your CV outstanding, in context. All the best!