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  Targeting your CV

Ideally your CV should be configured specifically to the reader. To achieve this construct a 'core CV' using the 'How to write a killer CV' guide then configure that to the recipient each time you send it out.

Applying for an advertised job vacancy
To target your CV to a specific employer within a certain industry sector refer to the information provided in the article 'How to tailor your CV for your industry sector'.

Sending out a CV cold to a company who has not advertised a vacancy
It can sometimes pay off to send off your CV to companies even if they are currently not advertising for work.

In this case it is especially important to carry out research into the company. Between your CV and covering letter you need to get across that you know exactly what it is that they do, and that you know where they are heading. If you can tailor your experience to what you think that particular company needs then you are in with a chance (do not fabricate experience).

In your positive objective statement correlate your ambition and perceived career path with the direction you think that this particular company should be heading in. For example b2b development, Internet publishing, m-commerce.

You have to convince them that their business needs you.

Applying for work experience
If you are not sure which direction your career should take then work experience is a good way of helping you to narrow down your choices. It is also a good idea if you have decided on your career and want to experience some time in the job, perhaps with a large prestigious company.

Demand for work experience within organisations such as the BBC, and with the 'broad sheet' newspapers is very high, therefore you have to ensure you have a quality CV to stand out from the pack. Unless you have serial work experience tendencies you probably don't have much employment history to write about in your CV. If this is the case do not worry, instead you need to convey your passion for the industry sector, and get across your enthusiasm and desire to get a foot in the door. As part of your introduction state how you would like your career to develop in the area to which you are applying for experience, but do not be vague, focus on a specific area you are interested in.

Show how your GCSE, A-Level or degree choices reflect your commitment to the sector.

Describe the relevant skills you have learnt as part of your course, for example computer skills, teamwork, and public speaking. Perhaps you have extracurricular activities that would be of interest; for example a team captain, a passion for a particular author or butterfly collecting.

If space is available (two sides is standard) then references could be included at the end. Try to get an excellent reference from an appropriate professional. For example if you are applying for lab research experience, then ask your biology teacher to sing your praises on paper.

Configuring your CV depending upon the medium in which it is being sent Sending your CV via e-mail
The only sure-fire way that the reader at the other end can access your e-mailed CV is to save it in txt format or paste it into the body of the e-mail. This unfortunately does not offer much scope for inventive layout and design. txt format should only be used if you are really unsure of the system capabilities of the employer at the other end of the modem. In the main, a Word document will be fine. This will allow you to use some snazzy fonts and use tab and margin settings. PDF format is another option, but they are large files and the recipient may not appreciate you filling their email inbox to capacity.

With e-mail you can use hyper links within your CV to guide the reader. For example if you have a smart WebPage, then put the URL down and the reader will be able to visit at the click of a button.

Do not over do it, simply because it is e-mail format this is no reason to have elaborate backgrounds of automatically playing midi files. Write a formal e-mail, Dear Sir/Madam, please find attached my covering letter and CV. You may also want to paste your covering letter into the body of the e-mail.

This method of distributing a CV is now standard, and many industries, especially the I.T, publishing and Internet sectors often actually prefer receiving a CV this way. You can also possibly expect a more rapid response.

Sending your CV in the post (snail mail)
Producing a hard copy CV is an art form, selecting the fonts, the margin widths, and the type of paper. Keep it simple and you won't go wrong. Buy some A4 envelopes so you don't have to fold your masterpiece. Address the envelope carefully with a quality pen - a spidery scrawl or something that looks like the doodles of a 5-year-old will not impress.

Sending your CV by fax
Make sure you use a cover sheet with the name and department of the CVs recipient in bold writing. Keep margins in and state whether you are expecting a response by fax - if you are using the libraries fax machine, you don't want to have to wait by it all day for a possible reply.

Don't spread yourself too thinly
Targeting your CV also means being selective as to whom you send it. There is no point in distributing your CV far and wide if 80% of the jobs to which you are applying are not relevant to your qualifications. Take your time to tailor it to each applicant, and keep a record of the date on which it was sent off so that you can follow it up with a phone call or e-mail if you don't hear back after a week or so.

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