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  • Writer's picturePenny Langstaff

Why You Should Adapt Your CV or Resume For Each Application

Updated: Apr 17, 2023

Adapt your CV or Resume for Each Job Application - Blog by Apply and Succeed Coaching

If you want to get shortlisted for a job, it's all about what's in your CV or Resume and how relevant that content is to the role you're applying for.

Many people fall into the trap of using the same CV or Resume for each job application, while others try to make changes without really knowing what they should be adapting!

While there are heaps of easy to use CV templates available online, it's knowing what to put into each section that's the hard part.

Your starting point should always be a master document which you then adapt for each application. That means considering what skills & experience to highlight based on the job, as well as setting out your information to best demonstrate your suitability.

Keep in mind when crafting your CV or Resume that it's often important for the person reading it to have a good understanding of the companies you've worked for and how your role fitted into that organisation. This is especially important if you've worked overseas and are returning home or you're looking for a job in New Zealand. Unless you've worked for well-known global organisations, it's unlikely that employers or recruiters here will know the companies, so providing their website URL as well as one or two sentences describing what they do, can be hugely beneficial to someone scanning an offshore document. In terms of layout, take a look here at my blog on adapting your CV or Resume for tips on what to consider. Keep in mind that including lots of graphics, tables, columns or different font types in your document, may be great if you're applying for a job in graphic design, media etc, but for most roles it's best to keep your layout simple and easy to read. Bullet points highlighting key strengths/responsibilities/achievements are good to use, but avoid adding in so many that the ones you really want to emphasise get lost in the list!

If you're looking to relocate to New Zealand, here are some other tips:

  • There's no need to provide a full home address - just the city/country is sufficient - but make sure you have your contact number and email address clearly shown

  • Add a hyperlink to your LinkedIn profile. If you don't have one or it needs updating, check out my blog for tips on how to do that here

  • There's no need to provide heaps of personal information such as family details, date of birth, driving licence or ID number, military service, high school attendance etc

  • Keep the information on any courses you've attended/certificates you've obtained to a minimum. Tertiary qualifications should always be included with date of graduation, but adding in something like "One day course on Office Protocols" is unlikely to be relevant to a company here, so leave it out.

  • Avoid using acronyms specific to your company (or country). Employers and recruiters need to be able to accurately assess your suitability for a role so need to understand your information.

In my experience, many people don't appreciate how making a few simple changes to the content and layout of their CV or Resume can have such a big impact on their applications. If you want confirmation of that, you can read a few of the testimonials I've received here, but the proof will be in the results you get once you've made those alterations.


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