Posted by Robert Half on 24 September 2014
Give your CV instant appeal by making sure it's perfectly tailored to the company and position you're applying to, and learn how to do it in the most efficient and time-saving way.
Create a master resume
We all know a resume should be snappy and to the point, but to make your life easier, you should create one master CV that includes every single piece of useful information about your career.
You should never send this resume to a prospective employer. Instead, you'll be using it as a template to mould and subtract from each time you need a new CV. Include all of your wins and successes, every skill you've picked up along the way, all the challenges you've overcome in the workplace and every project of which you're proud. Then, when the time comes to craft a new, unique CV, you'll have all the material you need at your disposal.
Match your skills effectively
Every time you find a position you're interested in, pull up the job specifications and compare them with your master CV. For each section of the job description, you should be able to efficiently match the corresponding skills on your CV.
Paste each relevant skill and qualification into a fresh document, and you'll see how easy it is to create a one-of-a-kind and appropriate resume that highlights how suitable you are for the job.
Keep an eye on keywords
Another way to quickly tailor your resume and make sure it stands out is to pay attention to keywords. Look at the language the job description uses and determine which keywords will be the recruiter’s focus.
You can then scan your CV for suitable places to include or promote these words. For example, if the recruiter mentions accounting and you once held the title of office manager in a role that required accounting, be sure to edit your title to show you have the skills they seek.
Offer additional information elsewhere
Tweaking your CV so that it closely matches a job description may see you leaving out a lot of essential skills, and figuring out a way to quickly include them can be tough.
Avoid spending hours trying to find natural ways to squeeze in extra information by pruning your CV down to the fundamentals and keeping a more comprehensive and generic version online – on a site such as LinkedIn, for example. Include a link in your resume, and hiring managers can take the time to explore further if your skills impress.
Ready to give your resume a speedy yet successful makeover? Great, now find out how to write the perfect cover letter to go with it.