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Tailoring a CV

As the job hunt saga rumbles on you’ve sought out some top-notch careers advice (if we do say so ourselves) on how to improve your CV and make it more effective an appealing to employers. If you weren’t aware already, every CV you send out should be tailored to the job you’re applying for. There’s no use applying for part-time bar work with a CV that lists your experience and skills as a writer, for example. Your ability to write effectively for a range of audiences is useless when it comes to coping with busy situations and hundreds of customers every day. Don’t just take our word for it. Rebecca Taylor, MEP for Yorkshire and the Humber, said that “applying for fewer jobs, but tailoring each application to the specific role and employer in questions, is a far better approach.”

So, what should you tailor and what should you keep the same?


Skills are the most important thing to change when you tailor your CV. A straightforward way to do this is by looking at the skills desired by the employer in question and listing any of the skills you have, how you acquired them and where you’ve put them into practice. Additionally, check out people on Linked In who have a similar job and what skills they have. If any correspond with yours, add them to the list! In an ideal world, you would have displayed the skills required in a previous role, making you an ideal applicant.


You can’t change your employment history, but you can select what employment and experience is included on your CV. Although everyone says that you should list your most recent employment on your CV, a better tip would be to list all recent and relevant work experience. What is relevant, of course, relies upon the job you’re applying for. As mentioned before, relevant experience will be completely different for a bar job compared with an engineering vacancy.


Your references should also change depending on the job role you’re applying for. Think about it, you wouldn’t want a reference from your university’s basketball society president for a job in business management. Similarly, it wouldn’t be appropriate that your lecturer write you a reference for a part-time role in retail.

What should stay the same?

Personal Details

It goes without saying that your name and contact details shouldn’t change depending on what job you apply for. Do make sure, however, that your details are up-to-date with no dodgy email addresses. (Yes, we’re looking at you fairy_princessxo@hotmail.co.uk).


Where you went to school and what grades you got doesn’t change either! What you should be aware of, however, is that some roles are going to be more interested in your experience, so keep the rant on how amazing your dissertation was to a minimum if necessary.

Tailoring your CV is an absolute necessity for any job. Even if it takes you a whole day to tailor your CV for five openings, doing so will ensure you give yourself the best opportunity of landing the job. 

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