How to tailor your CV to meet the job description

How to tailor your CV to meet the job description

While on your quest for your next or best role, you will probably shortlist a few jobs, with different descriptions, all of which will require slightly different skills, or have tasks for which you will need to demonstrate competency within your curriculum vitae.

We talk about the sections to include, in the [Professional Experience] ( [Education & Training] ( and Skills pages here on ExpressCV.

This means that you will need to tailor your CV so that it meets each of the individual aspects of the job description. Does this mean you need to have 20 different brand new CVs? Not exactly. There is a creative and efficient way to show your suitability for a variety of roles, while still targeting your CV to each role in turn.

This is called “CV tailoring,” and we will talk about it in this article.

What is CV tailoring?

Much like when you buy an item of clothing and then decide to make some alterations, tailoring your CV does not mean that you re-write the entire CV from scratch Rather, you amend, and shape it so that it fits better. Likewise, CV tailoring will allow you to use one or two main CV templates and make a few simple but powerful alterations so that it suits the purpose for each of the related roles that you are applying for.

You can have several “spin off” CVs just from one or two ExpressCV templates!

Why do I need to tailor my CV?

In the same way that one size does not fit all when it comes to clothing, one size of CV does not fit all recruiters or jobs. Submitting job applications can be a numbers game (in that you may need to submit many before you succeed), but there are some powerful tools you can absorb into your arsenal so that you give your application the most chance of leading to an interview. One way of doing this is tailoring you CV, because:

  • It helps target your application

  • It assists the recruiter in seeing that you have the skills/training/qualities for the role

  • Most importantly, it shows an attention to detail and that you have taken the time to review the job description and “answer” to its demands in your CV.

    You can utilise ExpressCV to [create several professionally tailored CVs] ( that are specific to similar jobs, so that you maximise your chances of successfully earning the position of your choice.

The power of tailoring your CV

Do not underestimate the power of tailoring your CV.

Given two candidates with similar or equal credentials, experience, skills and training, recruiters will invariably prefer the CV that clearly demonstrates a faithful response to the needs of the role in question. Recruiters are short on time and often just scan CVs to check for key bullet points that show you are qualified for the role.

For recruiters that utilise “sifting software,” those programmes are doing the reading on their behalf, and sift out the undesirable candidates— all the more reason to tailor your CV, as a computer programme cannot “join the dots” together and see that you can do the job, if your CV is not tailored to spell it out loud and clear.

Help yourself by tailoring you CV

At ExpressCV, we encourage you to experiment with a number of different CV styles, so that you can tailor a few to certain roles. For example:

  • For a role that has a very clear objective, utilise a strong opening in the “Professional Objective” heading. If the job has specific title, refer to it: “Motivated sales manager, team-focused leader,
    consistently meets KPIs and obtains results.”

  • For a role with very key requirements, state those towards the top of the CV. For example, driving licence, a minimum of 10+ experience, 2:1 degree or higher. If you have those, make sure the recruiter knows about it within the first 3 seconds of reading your CV!

  • For a role where you have all the skills but bring extra and equally strong lateral skills and experience, place the most relevant qualities first but consider using a CV template that showcases your experience and versatility so that you can mention everything that distinguishes you from other candidates.

    Are you ready to create your tailored CV and fast-track your career? [Get started] ( with our comprehensive CV builder, today!

Ready to apply?