Match Your CV To The Job Description: 4 Easy Steps

By Andrew Fennell

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When applying for new roles, tailoring your CV to the position you’re pursuing is essential to progressing within the recruitment process.

Having a CV which is clearly matched to your chosen industry will enable recruiters to pinpoint exactly why you’re the best fit for the role. Spending time customising your CV for each and every application is key and will dramatically increase your chances of landing an interview.

Below are four easy ways to match your CV to the job description you’re reviewing:


Get researching

Before putting pen to paper, you’ll need to do some thorough research. Start by reading through the job advert you’re applying to and analyse the job requirements, making a list of the key attributes the employer is looking for.

By identifying what an employer is seeking in the ideal candidate, it’ll be far easier to match your skills to meet their specification.

But we’re not finished yet. Making your CV custom fit isn’t limited to reviewing a job advert – it’s also vital to research the company. Take a look through the company’s website and social media channels, adapting your CV to align with their working culture, specialisms and values.


Focus on the top third

Whilst your entire CV should be tailored to the industry you’re pursuing, it’s helpful to pay extra attention to customising your profile and core skills section. Your CV profile should be a concise opening which documents the experience, qualifications and skills you’ve acquired which make you the perfect addition to the team.

Enable recruiters to pinpoint your relevancy for a role at a glance by including a core skills section below your profile. Highlight your marketable strengths, especially the key skills that you identified within the role description.


Shift the detail

While your most related experience should be a focal point within your CV, prioritising space for experience or qualifications most applicable to the vacancy you’re applying to is essential.

Consider what recruiters are looking for and remove irrelevant information, such as unrelated qualifications or skills, from the document. These take up valuable space yet add no impact to your CV. You need to be focusing on information which will support recruiters in their decision-making process.

Space is at a premium within your CV, so avoid being too overly detailed about experience or qualifications in irrelevant industries or sectors. If you have extensive experience and education within the industry, look to shorten your descriptions to save space.


Prove your impact

Employers want to see the value you added within your previous positions and showcasing your key achievements is a great way to prove yourself. Look to incorporate facts and figures into all your examples – metrics will strengthen your accomplishments and provide validation to your claims.

For example, instead of merely stating you have a strong sales background, assert that you “built a portfolio of 30 clients, billing over £200,000 in my first year.” The latter is more impressive and is bound to leave a far better (and more believable) impression on recruiters.

But don’t forget to focus on relevancy. If a lack of space is a factor, focus on adding the achievements which most closely match the role you’re applying to.


Matching your CV to the job description might seem like a tedious task, but recruiters just don’t have time for generic applications. Remember to tailor your CV for every role you apply for – by doing so, you’re bound to be called for an interview in no time.


Andrew Fennell is the founder of CV writing advice website StandOut CV – he is a former recruitment consultant and contributes careers advice to websites like Business Insider, The Guardian and FastCompany.

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