When you create your CV or cover letter, you have to remember that one size does not fit all. The job market today is quite competitive and you have to make sure your CV or Cover letter is tailor-made for a particular job or industry.
Your CV is an individual record and tells future employers what you have done in the past. But it needs to be a lot more than that if you want to stand out in the job market. It has to be descriptive of the skills, knowledge and experience you possess, which you can bring to the job.
Your CV should always be accompanied by a cover letter, which ought to clarify why you are composing. Importantly, it has to encourage prospective employers to read your CV. It should tell them why you are the right person for the job, support the claims you make and also that you have an understanding of the job and organization you are applying to.
A targeted CV can be seen as a job search marketing tool, which reflects your skills that are close to the requirements for the job.
However before you target your CV you also need to target your job search.
- Pick out the industry you want to work in.
- Look for 10 employers in different industries that you would like to work with.
- Identify open positions with each employer that you are eligible for and use the job descriptions to target your CV.
Research requirements for the job
If you want to target a specific job, make sure you note down the requirements for it. They should not be confused with job duties. Try and make sure you match up to the requirements before using your education and knowledge to deal with the job duties.
Today growing numbers of employers are opting for keyword recognition software to go through a large number of CVs and cover letters they get. Hence the importance of having the right words in your CV and cover letter cannot be overemphasized.
Customize every spinoff CV
You have to understand that employees get a large number of CVs. It’s particularly true if you are applying to a large organization with a specialized human resources department and the concerned people will have gone through several hundred CVs already. Employers are often smart enough to be able to spot the gaps in candidates’ work history.
That’s where your Cover Letter comes in and explains things in a way that makes the right impression. There are many who won’t even read your CV if the cover letter is not strong enough; so it’s not just its content but overall presentation that matters.
Clear structure is crucial
The information in your cover letter should be easy to glean through. Different points you want to make in it should be written in separate paragraphs so that their meaning and emphasis is not lost.
Know who to address it to
Your letter should never be addressed as “To whom it may concern”. It can be a little effort to find out whom to make the application to but it’s definitely worth it. Often you will find the information in the ad but if you can’t then it’s perfectly okay to call the company or the recruiting agency to find out the person it should be addressed to.
Make a list of your relevant skills
Your cover letter should have a brief summary of your skills and experience that are suited for the job. Make a short bullet-point list works just fine. You can create a tailor-made cover letter by finding out more about the company you are writing to. Today, this research can be easily done online to save you time.
Creating your CV for a particular job or industry for that matter can definitely be a challenge, especially if you are doing it for the first time. It’s a bit like tailoring a suit for a new client and you have to make sure you have the measurements spot on. But if you bear in mind a few things like emphasizing on the skills you have developed in your previous jobs, do your research about the industry and the organization and focus on the keywords, you can make a good impression. Give your CV and Cover letter a personal touch and present yourself as a reliable candidate to improve your chances of bagging the job.
Author Bio: I’m Ramya, a freelance web designer/writer based in India. I have an experience of about 8 years in content writing and have worked for top blogs and websites. I’m generally an extrovert; I like photography, anthropology and traveling to different countries to learn the culture and living of the local inhabitants to do travelogues.