Tailor Your CV to Each Role and Land More Interviews

Paul Thomson, Managing Director at ESP, shares his thoughts on how to tailoring your CV could get you that dream job.

Think one good CV is all you need to land a great new job? Wrong. The job market is ultra-competitive and for the best jobs you need a strategy that puts you in pole position — including a document that backs up your candidacy to the full. Think back to when José Mourhinho was desperate for the Manchester United job and sent a dossier to the club’s owners. Or, more recently, when Sam Allardyce sent similar information to Crystal Palace’s owners. Both knew they needed to prove why it was them, specifically, who was best placed for the role

But why do even successful managers need to send their CVs and tailor them to each employer? According to research, the average time spent reading a CV is 10 seconds, so it’s imperative you’re able to stand out from the crowd immediately.

To begin with, you need to provide all relevant information, including: a summary of your achievements, what your skills are, details of your strategy for the role and why you are the most suitable candidate. This information should form the basis of every CV you send.

But one size won’t fit all, and even this information won’t be enough. Imagine sending the same information to Crystal Palace that you would send to Manchester United. Both clubs have different objectives and cultures, and you would need to modify your CV to reflect this.

So, before you send your CV to a new employer, find out what the key requirements and objectives are for the role/company and use your CV to demonstrate exactly how you will meet them.

Just like on The Apprentice, your CV will play a major part in getting you hired. It will be used as a discussion tool throughout the interview process and, perhaps more importantly, it is crucial to you securing your first meeting. To avoid incurring the wrath of the likes of Claude Littner, take some time to make your CV specific to each job role and each company that you apply for. This is the best way to land plenty of interviews and to ensure that they go as smoothly as possible

Avoid making the common mistake of writing a CV that summarises all your experience and achievements without demonstrating your suitability for each role. All this will do is waste your time and secure you very few (or even zero!) interviews. Other candidates, just like Big Sam and Mourinho, will have gone to the trouble of producing a bespoke document that meets the specific requirements of the employer. Make sure you do too! If you do, I guarantee you will secure more interviews and get better results from them.