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Ask a Recruiter: “Can you give me any tips on tailoring my CV to different job applications, especially for ones outside the sector I work in now?”

Published on: 31 Mar 2020

“Can you give me any tips on tailoring my CV to different job applications, especially for ones outside the sector I work in now?”

Your CV is a unique snapshot of your career and an insight in to you as a person as well as a working professional. In some instances, it is appropriate to tailor your CV for a specific application to highlight relevant skills, experiences and qualifications to the potential employer - this is relevant for roles that require a very specific skillset that may not ordinarily be described in detail on your CV.

When tailoring your CV, ensure you have a clear understanding of the role, requirements and expectations of the employer. If you are able to, contact the recruiter to learn more about the key skills that the successful applicant will need and what the hiring manager wants. A job advert will often cite the basics of what an applicant needs such as their sector experience and qualifications, and will sometimes specify the type of person needed – commercially minded, strategically focused, a leader etc. However, going the extra mile and speaking to someone within the organisation or an external recruiter will provide you with a more in-depth understanding of what the role involves and to address what you can genuinely bring to the table – this is the information that will prove valuable when tailoring your CV.

This additional information will enable you to recognise what you can offer to the organisation and to highlight that through your tailored CV. As many will now know, being successful for a role goes beyond having the necessary skills and experience but is equally about your fit with the team and culture. By gaining knowledge about this from a direct source and through proactive research, you will be able to address why you can be an asset to the organisation and what you have achieved in the past to demonstrate this.

Moving out of your sector if you have gained extensive, specialist experience can be difficult and particularly in some areas more than others, such as high risk and highly regulated environments. Fortunately, many organisations are learning that it is often about the right person and their ability to get the job done opposed to focusing on the environment in which they’ve spent their career so far. When tailoring your CV, highlight unique experiences and achievements that are relevant to anyindustry - such as initiatives that you have developed or led, which could be transferred and implemented within any sector.

 Maintain a direct approach that is unique to you and ensure you are identifying the most relevant aspects of your CV – knowing and understanding the role is key to effectively tailoring your CV.

Laura Cleaver is Partner and

Head of Contracts Division at

HSE Recruitment Network, specialists in both

permanent and contract SHEQ recruitment

throughout the UK.

T: 0121 454 5000 M: 07713 732 749