When it comes to CV’s and cover letters, the one size fits all approach tends not to be the most effective strategy. The competition for jobs is intense in today’s environment and job seekers need to be able to tailor their CV and cover letter for the particular jobs and industries they are targeting.
If you can successfully tailor your application and show the employer that you are suitable for the job advertised, your chances of gaining an interview will dramatically increase. Here are four key points to help you achieve the perfect tailored job application.
This may sound simple however it is important; make sure you read the job advertisement carefully, noting the key skills and experience asked for. Ask yourself which of the skills and experience stated in the job advert do you have, and ensure to incorporate them into your CV and cover letter.
You will be surprised by how many job seekers just read the job title, salary and location before applying. Remember, the more relevant your CV and cover letter is to the job advertised, the more attention it will get from the recruiter or employer.
Do your Homework
If you are targeting a particular company, sector or industry, do as much research as you can on that particular subject. Some questions you may like to ask yourself include; what is the current economic climate for the company or industry? What are its major opportunities and challenges? What are business experts saying about the company or industry? Can you find a company or industry report online?
Make sure that your cover letter communicates to the reader that you are informed about the company or industry. An astute recruiter or employer will recognise that you are knowledgeable on the subject and this will no doubt, contribute to you gaining an interview.
Tailor your Personal Profile
A personal profile is a small paragraph (usually 3 or 4 lines) at the top of your CV which gives the reader a general overview to who you are and what experience you have. This is one of the first things an employer will read, so make it short, concise and relevant to the job you are applying for.
Tailor your Key Skills Summary
A key skills summary is a detailed yet succinct list of your significant skills, experience and achievements. It usually sits just below your personal profile and is the second part of your CV that recruiters and employers will read.
This is an essential area to tailor for every job application, as it is quick and effective. Be sure to include your most relevant skills and experience which link directly with the job advert concerned. This is also an opportunity to hand pick your significant achievements which are related to the job, company or industry you are applying too. If this section is written well, the recruiter or employer is certain to read on for more.
If you do these four simple things, it will improve your chances of success and gaining an interview. After all, in many cases you only get one shot at it, so make it count.