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How to adapt your CV to maximise job opportunities

Monday, July 17, 2017


Make sure your CV is speaking the same language as your future employer.

One of the most daunting tasks to undertake when striking out into the world of business is composing your CV. It is an incredibly important document, after all.


You know you are amazing, but how can you effectively translate that onto a piece of paper? What information should you include? What format/font/tone of voice is best? How many pages should it be?


The short answer is…there is no perfect answer. Every role and business have its own preferred style of communication. If you are serious about being considered for an opportunity, you need to adapt your CV accordingly. But how?


Tone of Voice:

The easiest way to determine what tone of voice to use when composing your CV and cover letter is to determine the corporate culture and business ethos of the company you are applying for. The best way to do this is to take a quick visit to their website. Often, their online tone of voice will be indicative of the overall character of the employer. More specifically, try to find an ‘about us’ page, which will be chock full of information. Some businesses are rather straight-laced and traditional, whereas others are quirky and funny. Try to speak the same language in your CV as the business to show an immediate synergy.

The tone of voice usually varies by industry. An applicant for a role in the conservative financial industry should probably try to avoid referring to themselves as a ‘ninja’ of anything. Stick to the facts and don’t get too flowery in your self-description. Likewise, don’t make a big word-salad of overly-used buzzwords to describe your previous experience when applying for a role in a super-slick advertising agency. No one has time to untangle what it is you are trying to say, and your CV will simply be passed over.


Should you write a personal statement?

Like everything else in the world, CV styles change too. The long winded opening paragraph dubbed ‘personal statement’ is losing favour with busy recruiters. Likewise, your personal hobbies are of little interest unless they have a direct benefit to the role you are applying for.


What about including an image?

There is a clear divide when it comes to including an image of yourself on a CV. The idea of ‘putting a face with a name’ is a popular one. Conversely, many HR professionals will tell you it can be a minefield; if you choose the wrong image (posing with a bottle of alcohol, pulling a strange face, overtly sexual pose, et al) you could be bypassed. Let your experience do the talking for you, not your selfie.


Our recruitment consultants at First Achieve have a range of tools and advice to help you navigate the road to a new role. Get in touch today to find out about the exciting opportunities we are recruiting for.




Get in touch with the First Achieve team today to see how we can positively impact your business or career.

Glasgow 01418160116 |Manchester 01617910678 |Email [email protected]