Time-saving ways to tailor your CV for each job application

Tailor your standard cover letter

If you want to stand out in a competitive job market, you need to make the extra effort when applying for roles. This means tailoring your standard cover letter to make it relevant to the position and employer, spelling out exactly why you would be perfect for the role.

But did you know that tailoring your CV can also have its advantages? A few changes can make a huge difference. For example, you can omit work experience if it isn’t relevant for the role, or reorder your CV to showcase skills, qualifications and relevant experience right at the very top.

By doing this, you’ll have a streamlined CV that’s tailor-made for the role in question. There’s no unnecessary or ‘filler’ content included – only the good stuff.

And remember that first impressions are everything in the job-hunting game, especially when an employer has 50+ CVs in their inbox to sift through. Research has found that around 72% of employers spend less than 15 minutes reviewing each application, so you need to make an instant, positive impression.

Tailoring your CV takes time – but these tips can make it easier

If you’re applying for lots of different roles, you’ll find it very time-consuming to tailor your cover letter for each. But don’t let this put you off, as there are ways you can speed the process up. For example:

  • Start with a flexible structure. If you’re creating your first CV or giving your existing one a makeover, build it in blocks that can be chopped, changed and reordered as needed. You can do this in under 30 minutes with the CV builder tool from CV Plus, where the key elements of your CV are stored in categories – for example, Achievements, Experience, Interests etc. This enables you to quickly and easily select what you need for each application.


  • Use the points in the person specification as your guide. Not sure how best to amend your CV for the job in question? Take a close look at the person specification. Use the criteria listed as topics to cover, both in your cover letter and CV. This ensures you’ll be ticking all the boxes.


  • Hit those keywords. Take another look at the job advert and specification, specifically at the language used. You need to be using those same keywords in your application, for example ‘good communication skills’. These are what employers will be scanning for when sifting through dozens of applications, while others use keyword-scanning software. You may think it’s obvious that you have the skill in question from the work experience or qualification mentioned on your CV, but you need to really spell it out. If you haven’t used the right keywords, you may miss out.


  • Save your templates. Every time you change your CV in any significant way, you should save it as a new template. Label it properly with the relevant role or sector and you can use it for future applications. Remember that you never have to start from scratch if you’re organised and have a set of solid templates.

To start building a flexible CV that can be quickly and easily customised, sign up for the free CV builder tool from CV Plus.