20 October 2023
5 Reasons Why You Should Tailor Your CV and Cover Letter
Sending out a generic CV and cover letter to every job you apply for just won’t do. It’s like sending the same gift to several people. Extremely disappointing.
Employers should get excited when they read your application. They should want to hire you. The best way to do that is to tailor your CV and cover letter for each application.
You’ve probably heard all about tailoring your CV and might think it takes the long way around. But the truth is, there are so many fantastic reasons why you should.
So, we’ve broken it down. Here are five reasons why you should tailor your CV and cover letter…
- You stand out from the rest
- You have the time to show off your skills and experience
- It shows you care about the role you’ve applied for
- You’ll save time and energy
- Avoid application rejection
1. You stand out from the rest
You’re probably tired of the above phrase, but it’s so true and super important.
A CV and cover letter that uses the correct keywords and skills, addresses a hiring manager personally and draws upon relevant experience will outshine any old, regurgitated CV.
When an employer takes notice of your CV and cover letter, it’ll greatly increase your chances of getting the job.
2. You have time to show off your skills and experience
Customising your CV and cover letter to suit the job you’re applying for lets you show off the relevant skills and experience.
Which, in turn, allows you to show a potential employer that you’re a strong candidate.
A regular CV will list the usual buzzwords that you’d think most employers would want to see. That’s a huge no-no. Instead, use the keywords and skills required/desired in the job description and show how your experience and skill set match that.
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3. It shows you care about the role you’ve applied for
Think of it like saving for that incredibly rare Taylor Swift vinyl record you really wanted. You save and save some more, and then before you know it – it’s in your hands. It’s a little like that with applying for a placement or internship.
When you put in the effort to research the role and the company and then use that in your CV and cover letter, it shows the employer that you want the job and can do it.
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4. You’ll save time and energy
It’ll be much more stressful and time-consuming to send similar CVs and cover letters and get zero responses than to tailor them and send off a solid application.
Focusing on tailoring your CV and cover letter takes less time than you would think. You concentrate on getting the correct information in there rather than everything that’s not relevant.
Go for quality, not quantity. Plus, you’ll save a lot of time by applying for the right roles.
5. Avoid application rejection
Have you ever applied for a job and received a rejection email almost immediately after you sent it? Many companies use screening tools to help filter out applications that have used the keywords they’re looking for and rejected the rest.
The great thing is, it’s totally avoidable. Keywords will be your best friend. Use them.
Reviews are a marvellous way of discovering the key skills you need for a job. We have over 70,000 student-written reviews to help you along the way.
Top tips and tricks to help you tailor your CV
To help you with the above, here are some of the best ways to ensure your CV and cover letter stay at the top of the pile. In fact, it’ll have employers cueing up to interview you.
- Address your cover letter to an actual person. Using “Dear Sir/Madam” or even “Dear Employer” is clinical and not very warm. In short, it makes it a lot more personal. It’s also a great way to show you’ve done some company research
- Read reviews about the role you’re applying for. Why? Because they contain in-depth details about everything from the application process to the actual job and the skills you develop there. This will help when it comes to listing your skills and experience. Why not browse through our student-written reviews? They’re outstanding
- Write formally but normally. Unless you’re applying for a job filled with weird alien jargon, you don’t need to use long words with no real meaning, especially if they weren’t keywords used in the job description
- Highlight your achievements. Your CV and cover letter are your chance to show an employer why they should hire you. Toot your own horn and show how the experience you’ve gained is relevant to the role you’ve applied for
- Read the job description. This should be open and in your face the whole time you’re writing your CV and cover letter.
Applications can be really overwhelming, but doing the above can seriously put you at an advantage, so it’s more than worth it if it means snapping up your dream role. Good luck!
Written by Melchi
Melchi is a stan of the written word and joined the RateMyPlacement team as a Content Executive in 2021. Melchi started his career writing culture content for WeAreCollision magazine before completing an MA in International Journalism at City University and interning at Insider Inc. He now uses his head-thesaurus to write inspiring content to help young people make great career choices. These include everything from blogs about how to survive your placement year to industry guides outlining the latest placement and internship opportunities. Outside of writing, Melchi loves all things music and is currently learning how to DJ.