Tailoring is making your CV fit a specific job at a particular organisation, like a tailor makes a piece of clothing fit an individual client. Remember the average employer reads your CV for 30 seconds in the first long-listing, so everything you say needs to be relevant and make an impact!
To tailor your CV, you should:
1. Research the job and organisation. Check out our advice here.
2. Identify the skills they’re looking for. Try the person specification for a list of essential skills. If there isn’t one, do some detective work with the job description (for example, if a job requires inputting data you will need to demonstrate attention to detail) or use Prospects job profiles.
3. Demonstrate each required skill with evidence in your application.
But how does this work in practice? Let’s look at tailoring one experience for three different roles, drawing on experience gained working as a Sales Assistant for Oxfam International.
Tailoring for: Part-time work in hospitality
- Developed excellent customer service through one-on-one interaction with over 150 customers a day ensuring a positive experience, for example through finding requested items
- Proven ability to handle challenging customers, for example when a customer requested a refund, I politely explained the returns policy did not allow this and offered a credit note so that the customer left happy
- Experienced in working long shifts of more than 8 hours independently, including opening and locking up
Tailoring for: An engineering internship
- Successfully worked in a team of 4 volunteers, demonstrating excellent teamwork skills through creating a WhatsApp group to liaise and negotiate our shift patterns and share best practice
- Designed innovative marketing materials for the shop, independently conducting qualitative research to present a written report to managers, which resulted in the implementation of a new marketing strategy
- Demonstrated excellent attention to detail when handling cash during busy periods with queues of up to 10 people
Tailoring for: A graduate role in sales and marketing
- Demonstrated excellent oral communication skills through positive one-on-one interaction with over 150 potential customers a day, with a proven ability to convert sales by hitting 100% of sales targets
- Analysed customer trends through observation and interview, presenting data in a report format to managers, which resulted in the development of two new marketing strategies
- Implemented multiple marketing strategies simultaneously, including the design and printing of physical signs, and the creative direction of two social media channels which increased footfall by 15%