So you’ve decided you want a career change… It can be mind-numbingly boring to do months-upon-months of applications with not an interview in sight. My other half finds this really irritating, but I have got every job I’ve ever interviewed for. Don’t get me wrong I’ve still applied for hundreds of jobs over the years, but the essential most laborious part of getting hired, it tailoring your CV.
As most of you will know I have started a new career a few months ago, I was not qualified, I did not have any experience and was outright surprised I even got an interview. But that’s where the importance of tailoring your CV comes in…
One huge mistake alot of people make is to trawl through Indeed.com and apply for jobs in bulk. Trust me, employers can tell from a mile off if you haven’t bothered to edit your CV. In a previous job, I used an ATS (Applicant Tracking System) so it was super easy to see how many jobs, applicants had applied for on Indeed.com; a scary truth I know! I hate to break it to you, but applying to a shit-tonne of jobs doesn’t mean that you will get more interviews the more you hit that ‘submit’ button – it just doesn’t work like that!
I know, it sounds like ALOT of work to rework your CV for every application. But what I would suggest is to have one master copy of your CV, mine is a rather ridiculous 5 pages, definitely too long! But this master copy contains EVERY SINGLE SKILL that I have so I can copy-and-paste the relevant sections into a new CV specifically for each role.
If you have read the first post in this series ‘selecting your career’ then you should have a much clearer idea of what you would like to spend 40 hours a week doing. So for example if you’ve decided you want a career in fashion management the job description may sound like…
“The successful candidate is likely to have previous supervisory experience within fashion or luxury retail market. You will be driven by achieving sales targets and KPIs as well as having excellent communication skills as well as a natural, friendly and enthusiastic persona. You should have a genuine passion for luxury fashion and a keen eye for styling”
Even if you have no previous experience in the fashion market or if you’ve previously worked part time in H&M during your sixth form college years, the key traits to pull from this job description to make clear in your CV are: driven, focused, creativity, passion and enthusiasm.
So, to tailor your CV appropriately ask yourself these questions and include the answers in your brand-spanking-new-sparkly-edition of your CV…
- How have I supported, assisted and guided team members in previous job roles?
- Have I managed to get my personality across?
- Have I linked my experience with the employers job description?
- Have I included why I am specifically right for the role?
- Is there anything listed on my CV that isn’t relevant?
- Have I acknowledged that this role would be a career step up for me?
- Have I spell checked has someone else read it through?
Then hit SAVE and title it with you full name and the job title, this little detail makes it clear to your new employer that you have put thought into your CV without them even opening it!
Lastly is layout. After doing recruitment myself, it doesn’t matter if your desired career is creative or corporate, you have literally 6 seconds to make an impression with your CV. Now you’ve nailed your writing, its time to hook your employer in visually. You can use Microsoft Word presets but try and change them a little, trust me, half of applicants will have the same layout as you otherwise, and you want to stand out, right..?
A few layout tips to note:
- A quirky (but legible) font goes a longggg way. I have my name in calligraphy at the top of my CV, just to make it memorable!
- Clear, headed sections (ie, education, employment history, personal info, voluntary work, activities/sports ect) this makes it much easier for an employer to digest after reading 200 others.
- There isn’t really a need for images unless you are applying for a highly creative role and need to include your own portfolio of work.
- Highlight your main points and skills in bold, again, much easier for skim readers to still take in the most important points.
And there we have it, now you can press ‘SUBMIT’ with the confidence that you have poured your most amazing self on paper!
Please do let me know if you found this helpful by leaving a comment below and hitting the share button… And look out for the next blogpost in this ‘how to get your dream job’ series next week!
Top: Asos, Skirt: Topshop, Necklaces: River Island, Handbag: Dior, Shoes: Zara