Matching your C.V. to the role

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You want your C.V. to be successful and you spend a lot of time on it. But how can you be sure it matches what the employer is looking for. Follow these tips below to make sure your C.V. is hitting the mark.

  1. Customise every C.V. to the role and specification

Many people make the mistake of starting with a C.V. and listing everything that they have done. It is important to list what you have been doing up to now but you must make sure to write it in a way that is relevant to the role that you are applying for. Every time you make or update your C.V. you should have the advertisement beside you. The advertisement is the wish list of the employer; it is the employer saying: “this is what I want”. Your C.V. and cover letter should be an individually tailored response, saying to the employer, you want this, “I am and I have this”. Do not be afraid to use the vocabulary from this advertisement as this means that your C.V. will be prioritised in a keyword search.

  1. What have you done up to now in relation to this job

Show the employer the employment and educational skills that you have that match this role and the hard skills that you have developed in this area. It is also very good to mention if you have done any short term training, workshops, seminars, volunteer work, internships, or had involvement in a group, team, club or society or have any hobbies relating to this role.

  1. Mention relevant experience, education and hard skills straight away in the beginning

Your personal profile should change every time you create a C.V. Mention the most relevant experience, education and hard skills that you have developed in relation to this role, using key words from the advertisement. Write the particular job you are applying for in the last line of the profile.

  1. Give proof that you can do the role

The duties that you mention in your C.V. should match those outlined in the advertisement. The more relevant the role the more duties you should include, the less relevant the role the less duties should be included. For relevant roles there should be between 6-8 duties and for roles that are not relevant there should be 0-2 duties.

For the different jobs that you are applying for you should tailor your duties. For example I am a trainer, if I was to apply for roles in this area, the previous duties I would mention would be; lesson planning, curriculum creation, evaluation and teaching methods used. If I was to apply for a role in administration I would write about the same role but describe the duties very differently, mentioning ones that match the role I am applying for more i.e. writing references and reports, filing, and providing information over the phone and face to face. It is up to you to prove to the employer that you can do this particular job.

The C.V. is not a receptacle for all your experience, it is a document of proof that your can do the job that you are applying for.

Where did you excel in relevant experience – achieving an award or completion of a project

Show any areas that you excelled in relation to this role in your C.V., mention any Deadlines reached / Targets exceeded e.g. resulting in an increase in sales of 10%, new strategies or ideas that you implemented, improvements that you made to the working of the company or department, scholarships, medals or awards that you have won, promotions received / extra responsibilities that you took on, a work placement or internship that you completed, voluntary work. If it is related to the role include it in the work history section, if not place it in hobbies and interests.

Make sure to give specific tasks accompanied with figures or statistics to really sell your experience e.g. Exceeded the daily sales target by 30%. Provide a good overview of your skills.

If you want your C.V. to be successful, make sure the words in your C.V. represent who you are, what you are able to do and prove to the employer that you would be able to do this role efficiently. You spend so much time on your C.V. make sure it is spent on the right information if you want to achieve the success you deserve.

Breda Hegarty is the Pre-employment Trainer in Business in the Community Ireland, supporting people with barriers gain employment and author of the blog . For more information and to book an appointment for a place on our next free training course in relation to C.V.s . cover letters and Interview skills call (01) 8743840 / (01) 8743814 or e-mail


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