The importance of relevance in your CV/resume

08 Oct 2014
CV, applications,
Reference: LinkedIn; Inspiring Perspectives; Forbes

Fact of life: when it comes to job applications, rough diamonds rarely outrank professionals with a proven track record. Selling yourself as the most ambitious, willing candidate on the market is all well and good, however, in the eyes of most employers, it ranks a distant second to actually being able to get the job done.

If you fall into the first category, it could be your CV that’s to blame. Far too many applicants focus on crafting the perfect covering letter, while turning in a generic, ‘one-size-fits-all’ CV for each position they go for. The trick is to put yourself in the shoes of an HR manager or recruiter and imagine your CV was one of hundreds floating across your desk. Will a quick, two-minute skim convince that person that your application warrants further consideration?

Fortunately, a few carefully considered tweaks can make the difference in transforming you from hopeful protégé to experienced, hirable professional. Here are some dos and don’ts for ensuring your CV is relevant to the position at hand.

• Go through the job description line, by line before starting work on customising your CV.

• Tweak your description of previous roles to highlight relevant experience.

• Include the key words that the person doing the vetting will want to see.

• Use bullet points to clearly highlight relevant skills and experience.

• Send in a previously used version of your CV from a different application.

• List the duties performed in each role without underlining specific achievements.

• Rely on generic attributes such as “strong communication skills”.

• Feel you have to include qualifications or other details that aren’t relevant to your prospective role.

Once you’ve finished giving your CV the revamp it needs, read back over it and double check it against the job description. Using the ‘ROAR’ acronym (Results Oriented And Relevant) can be a good way to remind yourself to make sure your resume is specifically targeted to the position you are going for. Now, there’s just the small matter of the interview to concern yourself with. For support contact Claire or Margaret on 07771 332204