By Lilian Wamaitha
I have worked in a recruitment company for a long time enough to know that there are so many factors that contribute to the success of your job search. And the most important is your CV.
Are you still struggling to find a job despite sending numerous applications? You have probably heard a few times that you should always tailor your CV to fit a job description.
But then again, what does tailoring your CV really mean?
What are these changes that you must make on your CV to say that it’s tailored to that particular job? What sections or content should you focus on?
1. Your work experience
Upon seeing a job advert, most job seekers run to the requirements and skim through the responsibilities, and once they determine that they have the diploma required, for example, they quickly send their CV without carefully going through it.
The first thing you must do when you see the advert is to highlight ALL the responsibilities. This is because it is the responsibilities that will guide you when writing your work experience and the roles you had.
The responsibilities for a Finance Assistant, for example, might read:
- Will be taking accurate minutes of meetings and authenticating them
So, your job is to ensure that in your work experience you write something like this:
Jumia Finance Intern (January 2018- April 2018)
- Was tasked with the role of taking minutes during departmental meetings and writing reports
With that kind of tweaking, the employer clearly sees that you have the right work experience for the job.
2. Your Profile Summary/Career Objective
A profile should be the top most section of your CV providing a summary of who you are, your qualifications and why the employer should hire you.
A key point to note is that your profile summary should contain some of the skills and requirements indicated in the job advert. Using the same example of the Finance Assistant job, the requirements might read:
- Degree in Business Administration/ Bachelors of Commerce(Finance option, 2nd Class Upper, GPA 3.2)
- Experience working with QuickBooks and other relevant ERPs
- 2 years minimum experience
With the above requirements, a tailored Profile Summary should read:
“A hard working and self-motivated Finance Professional with two years of work experience in Africa’s leading ecommerce web site, Jumia. In my tenure working for Jumia, I have gained experience using Quick Books and other Accounting Software…”
As you can see, the profile summary has captured the key requirements in the job advert.
3. Key skills and competences
Aside from the experience, there are also other key skills the employer is looking for. Never underestimate this by assuming that everyone possesses that.
After going through the job description, highlight those key skills the employer is looking for in your CV.
If for instances in the job advert the employer wants someone with skills like financial reporting, analytical ability, knowledge of IT software, make sure that this comes our clearly in the skills section and it’s the first thing the employer sees before going into soft skills like interpersonal skills.
That said, if you have been sending generic CVs to all employers, its high time you made the effort to write and tailor your CV to the specific job you are applying for.
And if you would like help coming up with a professional CV that sells your skills in less than 30 seconds, we are here for you. Get in touch with the CV writing department by sending an email to email@example.com.