How to Gear Your CV for Success

Gearing your CV

How many times have you heard someone say that? You would find that almost every recruiter and career advisor will tell you that gearing your CV to fit the job you are applying to is very important, but many of these advisors don’t always explain the reason for it, or how to do it, so I thought I’d write this article to shine some NZ Job Search light on it. We actually dedicate quite a lot of our NZ Job Search time on the CV and Cover letter side of things, because if you get it right, your CV to Interview ratio rocks!

What does “Gearing your CV” mean? It means that you choose the content on your CV to match the requirements of a job you are applying for, and the reason you do this is to maximise the chance of you getting an interview with your CV. Just sending out a generic CV every time you apply for a job, does not help you stand out in the crowd. The other reason gearing your CV for the job is important is because the hiring manager for that job has a job to do, and it’s likely not recruitment, so every second he/she spends on recruiting people, is taken away from their day to day job. Most hiring managers that we’ve spoken with spend between 5 to 20 seconds to decide if they will continue reading a CV or just bin it, so it is very important to have the right content to attract his/her attention.

How do you gear your CV for a specific job? The first thing you need to do is research as much as you can about the company that has the job opening. The sources of information for your research would range from the company website, news media that might feature them, and people who are working, or who have worked for the company. The type of information to research should cover what the company is doing in the community, what projects the company has recently completed, are currently undertaking and/or will be getting into in the near future. Then, once you know what the company is up to, make a list of the projects that you have worked on in the past that you can relate to the information you’ve gathered, and make sure you feature that information prominently on the first page of your CV. That is just one of the things to consider when you are gearing your CV. For more tips on gearing your CV, have a look at our online CV course here.

It’s amazing how much of a difference a geared CV can make in successfully securing interviews, so make sure you get it right 😉

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