How to...tailor your CV

The answer to the question that may be at the tip of your tongue right now is yes, you should absolutely tailor your CV for each role you’re applying for. If you’re applying for roles that are very similar such as an accountant, it may just need some minor tweaking, but you should still put in the time to ensure your CV effectively represents you against the criteria. Here’s how.

Photo by Richard Dykes on Unsplash

Your first reference point is obviously the job description which, if you’ve encountered it on a jobsite such as Reed or Indeed, I’d recommend taking a look at the firm’s own website to see if there’s more information. The job description will hopefully be detailed enough that it not only lists the responsibilities of the role but also the requirements of the candidates applying for it. Read it thoroughly and make a list of the requirements and skills. You’re going to make sure your CV contains these keywords. Even if your previous roles aren’t directly relevant to the one you’re applying for, your CV needs to at least show the hiring manager that you have the potential for the role because you have the relevant skills. You can make this more obvious by using some of these keywords in your professional summary and/or key skills list. And you can also include them in any voluntary work you’ve done, your education and your hobbies/interests. Just be careful not to flood your CV with the same words over and over, you’re aiming for a natural sprinkling!

Another important bit of research to carry out is on the firm itself. Take a look at their website to see what’s important to them as an organisation. The most useful information is typically within their about, blog/news and values pages but again, it’s worth spending time taking a look at the full site to check for further information, and you’ll find this all valuable for your interview preparation later on, so the time invested will be worth it.

It can seem like a daunting task if you’re applying for roles that are different enough to require more than just a little tweaking. Just know that by doing this, you already have an advantage over the majority of the competition, who I can assure you won’t have done the same.

If tweaking and tailoring is something you’ll find tricky, don’t have time for or just don’t want to, I’d be happy to help, so get in touch at