How To Write A Customized CV

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How To Customize Your CV

This is an easy how-to guide providing simple steps to adapt a CV for job applications. By following these tips you will be able to craft a good CV tailored to the role you are applying for. In today’s competitive job market, we need to demonstrate that we possess the key skills, work experiences and personal attributes needed by employers. A well-crafted and customized CV or resume will help you exemplify how you match the job requirements you are applying for.

How To Write A Customized CV for Job Requirements

Recent trends in recruitment indicate that employers are trying to orient themselves to a skills-based hiring approach. By following these simple suggestions you will be able to adapt your expertise and skills to the job ad and compel the employers to notice your competencies and acknowledge that you are a match for their specific needs.

Research indicates that both employees and employers seem to prefer skills-based hiring. Most employers agree that skills-based hiring is the main recruitment trend of the future and trying to use this approach. They are adopting this it because they want to improve employee retention, diversity and hiring costs.

Also, most candidates seem to appreciate skills-based hiring because they feel it can help prevent bias in the hiring process. This approach moves the selection process from traditional indicators like work experience and education towards skills.

1. Analyse the job description keywords

Every industry has specific education, skills, personal attributes and qualification requirements. To make it easy for you, create a master document with all the skills and competencies you accumulated in your professional experiences. For each application, you can refer to your master document and choose the suitable competencies. In the job ads, you can easily identify the keywords you need to match as the selection criteria.

Take your time and start by reading the job description having in mind the objective to draft a list of the critical skills, qualifications, and work experiences the employer is seeking. You need to consider the job title, main responsibilities, key skills, personal qualities and education. Most companies are using Application Tracking Systems (ATS) to process all CVs they receive. The ATS will scrape information from the CV and automatically fill it into form fields. It parses the documents and uses sets of skills as keywords to select the matching candidates on the shortlist.

2. Write a compelling summary or objective for your CV

Writing a compelling profile, career summary or professional objective is a very important part of your CV. This paragraph is the first thing people will read about you and it should grab their attention. A well-written profile statement is an opportunity to make a good impression and it should be to the point.

The paragraph should have no more than three or four sentences, refer to the job you are applying for and highlight your strengths. By tailoring your summary paragraph to each job and incorporating industry keywords, you can efficiently communicate your professional value and competence to employers. Adapt this personal statement by introducing the most relevant experiences identified in the job description and achievements that match the job requirements.

Try to mirror the language used in the job description, only if it is possible. Choose the main or critical industry-specific keywords and expressions from the job description. These keywords should reflect the essential skills and responsibilities the employer is seeking. You can incorporate the keywords by linking them with your experiences or accomplishments to showcase your competence. While phrasing the summary try to remain authentic and pinpoint your personal qualities to give a compelling and real idea about yourself.

3. Formulate professional experiences as action-oriented results

After identifying the minimal requirements you should think about your specific tasks in previous roles that you can link to job requirements and translate them into end results. You can take into consideration similar requirements, objectives you reached or relevant outcomes that can stress your contributions to the team or project.

Rearrange the bullet points placing your relevant experience first to emphasize responsibilities important to the job you’re applying for. When phrasing your work experiences and responsibilities reinforce them with metrics and clear action-oriented results. Professional experiences should be communicated as successfull actions and achievements by using verbs and significant achievements.

Your customizations should highlight relevant work experiences. Start by reviewing relevant experiences from your track record with emphasis on the last three or most relevant roles. After identifying the matching responsibilities or achievements you can prioritize the experiences closely aligned with the job requirements.

You should include those experiences directly linked to the employer’s needs and selection criteria. If the CV is longer than expected remove or shorten details that don’t relate to job requirements. Remain focused on relevant background and professional experiences demonstrating your suitability for the position.

4. Customize your skills CV section

The skills-based approach is gaining more and more popularity and both candidates and companies are adopting it. This is why you should tailor your skills to match those listed in the job ads. It would be wise to choose the skills for which you have work experience to back them up. Your customizations will show that you take into consideration employers’ needs and you have a real interest in that particular role.

In most cases, the skills are job-specific selection criteria and they are usually categorized as minimal or critical, nice to have or not mandatory but advantageous. To match their job opening you need to adapt your skills and align them with the critical skills from the job description. Also, you should try to use similar terminology to indicate to them that you are a clear match with what they are seeking.

The use of action-oriented phrases will point out your competence in each skill. Whenever possible you can exemplify with metrics to demonstrate your proficiency because quantitative data strengthens your credibility. Your CV bullet points should be based on industry key competencies or include problems you solved illustrating your qualities like problem-solving abilities and adaptability.

5. Use Simple CV Formatting

Most of us read from left to right and our brains are wired to better navigate through structured and organised content. Always choose a clean CV layout, and consider using bullet points, and simple formatting. Writing or adapting your CV to the job requirements will help you better formulate possible answers to the interview questions.

Writing and customizing your CV can give you a clear picture of how and why you are a fit for that particular role. Trends are coming and going, but CV writing skills are lifelong skills and in time you will gain proficiency, and be confident in your career growth or job market changes.