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  How to tailor your CV for your industry sectors

The qualities that an employer will look for in an applicant will vary between industry sector. By tailoring your CV to the specific industry to which you are applying you can greatly increase your chances of securing an interview.

When you first write your CV you should include every achievement, omitting something only if it is out of date, unimpressive, irrelevant or for the purpose of space conservation. The document you create will be your core CV, which is never sent to anyone. From your core CV you tailor for each audience by choosing only those pointers that will interest the receiver.


The main areas of your CV that can be tailored

Sum up your key qualities emphasizing those that you know the employer wants to hear. Do not include strengths if they are not particularly relevant to the job. Write a brief career aim, obviously stating that the industry that you are applying for is where you want your career to be heading in the long term.

Previous employment
Whilst you cannot alter for whom you worked and for how long, you can edit your role and responsibilities within those companies without the need to fabricate. For example if you are going for a managerial position you should emphasize that your previous jobs entailed considerable responsibility including decision making duties. Draw focus to a specific project that encompassed many of the skills you perceive to be important attributes for a manager to possess - delegation, meeting deadlines, consistency, teamwork. Describe your role in the project, your actions and the resultant positive consequences for the company, use quantitative reference if possible.

If you are applying for a sales position highlight your powers of persuasion with reference to your achieved monthly targets, name drop prestigious clients and include details of how much you earned for your last company. Your potential employer wants a sales person who gets results.

In essence, think of what the job you are applying for entails and what the employer wants from the successful candidate to that job. Then highlight areas or projects from your previous positions that required you to use those desired skills, emphasizing how successful you were at achieving results.

Hobbies and interests
Active pursuits are a good way to unwind and relieve stress, therefore applicants for positions of responsibility may choose to include some sporting activities amongst their repertoire. Those seeking managerial positions should consider emphasizing their participation in team sports. Cultural diversity and worldly awareness are also traits employers may look for. If you are applying for a writing position then perhaps you want to state what you enjoy reading. If you aspire to be a designer state that you enjoy visiting exhibitions and which designers you most admire.

The content of this section often has little bearing upon interview selection, however it can do no harm to show that you carry your passion for your subject outside of the workplace.

It is recommended not to include references as part of your CV, however if they are requested you can be selective as to which you give out. Include references that are relevant to the sector you are applying to. For example if you are applying for a journalist job include a reference from the local paper you worked on, and/or the manager of the printing press you produced your student newspaper on. Do not include a reference written by your old manager on the checkout at the local supermarket unless it is unavoidable.

Tailoring for individual companies
Not only can you tailor your CV to the industry sector you are applying for, you can also make fine adjustment so as to perfectly suit the company that a particular application is being sent out to.

To do this you need to carry out some research on the company and the easiest way to do this is on the Internet. Visit the companies' homepage to find in what area their specialisation lies. Try to deduce how many people they employ. Are they are large company? Do they have a modern or traditional outlook? What areas are they expanding into? The answers to this type of questioning can help you formulate an idea of the sort of candidates they are looking for. Importantly, by seeing where the company is heading in the future, your CV can state that you want to head in the same direction, perhaps you have experience and skills which complement that particular area which you can emphasize.

It is possible that you have worked for a competitor of the company you are applying to. This could work to your favour (depending on circumstances under which you left the competitor company) and so when describing your previous employment make a point of focussing on the time you spent at the competitor.

If you follow these basic guidelines and take the time to tailor your CV to your industry sector and perhaps even to each individual company, you will be well on your way.

General qualities that various positions may require

Type of Position you are trying to attain Core Skills to emphasize in your CV CV Keywords for online CV submission
Management Leadership, decision making, ability to work under pressure, teamwork, focus, strong and professional personality, outgoing, proactive and self-motivated Management, Manager
Sales Outgoing, quick thinking, friendly, confidence, sociable, excellent communicator, work under pressure, focus to meet targets Sales, telephone,
Marketing Inventiveness, ideas, team player, initiative, drink beer, focus, dynamic, confidence, sociability, energy, enthusiasm Marketing, Marketer,
Accounting Focused analysis, concentration, composure, high levels of competence with spreadsheets, initiative, adhere strict deadlines. Accounting, Excel, Spreadsheets,
I.T Flexibility, working under pressure Numerate, strong, proven analytical, problem solving and organizational skills. Good communication skills. Unix, Perl, C, IT, Computing
Engineering Excellent communication skills, written and verbal, Hands on approach, good technical knowledge Mechanical, civil, electrical, software, Engineer, Engineering

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