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Tailoring Your CV and Cover Letter to Individual Applications CV Writing Tip's

As well as making sure you have a professional CV, you need to learn about the job role you are applying for and the sector that you are going into.

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Tailoring Your CV and Cover Letter to Individual Applications

You might think that once you have written your CV and a standard template cover letter the hard work is done, think again. To be successful in a job application you need to put time and effort into each individual one to give yourself the best chance at being hired. When it comes down to it, quality is always better than quantity.

Who is it for?

If you know the name of the recruiter it is definitely worth addressing your application to them. Something that will make you stand out from the crowd is if you give them a quick call to ask a few questions about the position – they will pay more attention to your application because you have already built a connection with them. It also shows that you probably aren’t one of those candidates that apply for each and every position, but take the time to ensure the position suits you before you hit ‘send’.


Does your CV highlight the particular skills that show how well you would suit the role? Unless the roles you are applying for are exactly the same, there is always some tweeking that can be done to show yourself off. For example, in some positions your work experience may be your selling point rather than your education, whichever is most important should go first.
Extra-curricular activities are a disputed area for CVs. Recruiters say it can be seen as a way to show how well rounded you are as a person, whereas it can also be a waste of space on your CV. If the activities you are listing do not present you to be a responsible, cultured individual then they should not be on there. It is never too late to take up new hobbies!

Cover Letter

In general, cover letters along with your CV are sent electronically, but in some cases the recruiter will specifically request a hand-written cover letter. This is your time to shine! You would be amazed how many hand-written applications show a complete inability to write in a straight line, or even make it legible. Recruiters are looking for a smartly presented job application, place a piece of lined paper underneath a piece of plain to keep it all horizontal. Whatever you do, do not write your cover letter in an area where food or liquid is present, a smudge of unidentifiable food on the page will not endear you to the recruiter.

Before you compose a cover letter, carefully read the job description several times and pick out key qualities they are looking for and any specific experience. It is essential in your cover letter that you identify how you fulfil these qualities but without quoting the entire job description back to them. Get a thesaurus so you do not simply regurgitate information – other candidates will all be using the same description and it can be a simple way of standing out.

And remember, if a job is worth applying for, then it is worth applying the effort.

[This post was guest-authored by Milestone Operations, the U.K.’s leading recruitment specialist for HGV Jobs]

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