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One Size Doesn't Fit All: How to Customise Your CV for Every Job

Posting date: 10/05/2024
Author: Inside ICON

The Art of Customisation: How to Tailor Your CV for Any Role or Industry

In today's competitive job market, a one-size-fits-all CV often misses the mark. To truly stand out and position yourself as the ideal candidate, you need to customize and tailor your resume content for each specific role and industry you're pursuing. By highlighting your most relevant skills and experiences, you can demonstrate a strong fit and increase your chances of landing an interview. 

In this blog we'll cover expert tips to master the art of adapting your CV to each role or industry.

Research the Role and Industry

Before updating your CV, dedicate time to thoroughly researching the position and industry. Study the job description and note any specific skills, qualifications, certifications or keywords mentioned. Browsing the company website and other open roles can also provide useful context. 

For example, if you're applying for a Clinical Research Coordinator role in oncology, research the latest developments in cancer treatments and clinical trial methodologies. Tailor your CV to showcase your knowledge and expertise in these areas, demonstrating your suitability for the role.

Reviewing example CVs online to understand common sections is also a useful tactic. Using a Marketing Manager role as an example, sections like like "Digital Marketing Skills" or "Campaign Management Experience." The company website's marketing pages can provide context into their tools and strategies as well.

Prioritise Role-Specific Skills

Once you understand the core requirements, shift your CV focus to the skills and experiences that most directly align with the role. Review your master CV and pull out the most relevant qualifications first. Place these skills at the top of designated sections like "Key Skills" or "Technical Proficiencies." You can categorize skills by type (e.g. Marketing Skills, Technology Skills) for added emphasis.

For instance, if you're applying for a Clinical Data Manager position, emphasize your experience with electronic data capture (EDC) systems and your ability to ensure data integrity and accuracy throughout the clinical trial process. By emphasizing role-specific skills, you demonstrate your readiness to excel in the targeted position.

Customise Your Summary

Your CV summary statement is a key section for role-tailoring. Use this section to incorporate tailored skills and highlight specific experiences that demonstrate your fit for the position. Consider integrating keywords from the job description and articulate how your background maps to the role's core responsibilities.

For example, if you're applying for a Clinical Research Associate (CRA) role, emphasize your track record of conducting site visits, monitoring clinical trials, and ensuring regulatory compliance. Tailoring your summary demonstrates your genuine interest in the position and captures the recruiter's attention from the outset.

Example Summary:

"Detail-oriented Financial Analyst with 5+ years of experience modeling cash flows, building forecasting reports, and analyzing financial data to drive strategic decision-making. Expertise in SQL, Tableau and financial modeling using Excel. MBA and CFA certification."

Update Experience Bullets

While your role titles and employers may stay relatively constant, be sure to customise the experience bullet points under each position to align with relevant skills and duties outlined in the job description. Use metrics to quantify achievements and highlight transferable skills.

Example Role Bullet Points:

  • Leveraged CRM tools and sales analytics to identify $2.3M in new revenue opportunities across enterprise accounts.
  • Instead of a generic "Managed clinical trial data," tailor it to: "Implemented electronic data capture (EDC) system, resulting in a 20% reduction in data entry errors and improved data quality for a Phase I cardiovascular trial."

Quantify your achievements whenever possible to provide measurable evidence of your impact. Updating your experience bullets in this manner reinforces your suitability for the role.

Include Industry Terminology

The inclusion of targeted industry keywords, tools, software and terminology throughout your CV can signal your fit for both hiring managers and applicant tracking systems (ATS). Just avoid overusing internal jargon or acronyms that may not be widely understood.

Example:

  • Proficient in Marketo, Salesforce, Google Analytics and additional martech/adtech stack tools 
  • Well-versed in content optimization using SEO best practices for SERP ranking improvements

Incorporating industry-specific terminology not only enhances your CV's searchability but also signals your expertise to recruiters.

Create a Tailored Section

Depending on the position, you may want to add a new section that directly showcases your qualifications. For instance, you could add "Relevant Coursework" for an entry-level role or "Leadership Experience" when highlighting management potential. Get creative with compelling section headers that align with the role.

Example Sections:

  • Project Management Experience 
  • Certifications & Training 
  • Speaking Engagements/Publications

Rearrange Sections based on Priority

The order and flow of your CV sections and content can be restructured to align with role priorities and requirements. For example, for a technical position, you may want to move "Technical Skills" closer to the top. For a creative role, consider prioritizing a "Portfolio" section higher on the page. It's advisable to review the job description of the role you're applying for to understand the priority of each requirement.

If your recent experience in clinical research is more pertinent to the role than your educational background, prioritize the experience section accordingly. By rearranging your CV for added emphasis, you ensure that recruiters immediately recognize your qualifications and suitability for the position

Conclusion

In summary, tailoring your CV for different roles and industries is essential for positioning yourself as a standout candidate. By researching the role and industry, prioritizing role-specific skills, customizing your summary, updating experience bullets, incorporating industry terminology, creating a tailored section, and rearranging for added emphasis, you can craft a compelling CV that resonates with recruiters and hiring managers.

Remember, a tailored CV not only showcases your expertise but also demonstrates your commitment to advancing your career.

Whichever role you're pursuing, we have several great opportunities available at ICON. You can browse all our Current Vacancies and find the perfect one for you.

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