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Contracting with Hays

Customise Your CV

The market for all jobs is currently so competitive you want to give your self an edge wherever you can. Customising your CV is essential.

At Hays we can tell when a CV is standard and hasn’t been customised, as it will include information that is redundant for the job in question. It can be very difficult at times to say all that you would like to say in your CV, so wasting space will harm your application.

Sending out a standard CV can imply two things; one, that you are applying for many jobs, ‘spraying and praying’ which implies desperation; and two, that you aren’t interested in the job enough to want to take time to highlight the skills and experience that fit that job.

This is more common in the early part of your career as you might not have settled on your career path and will have varied experience or very little work experience at all, meaning customisation is even more important. Equally if you are changing careers, you need to look at your experience to date and highlight what key attributes will appeal to your prospective employer.

Match the job description


Read the job description properly and really understand it. Think about what the words mean in terms of day-to-day activity and how you can make your CV show that you can handle these tasks and responsibilities.

Sometimes the ad may not paint a full picture of what’s involved in the job. Search online for profiles or adverts of jobs similar to the one for which you are applying to help you understand of what's required in the position. Then demonstrate this where you can in your CV.

When writing your skills section, use adjectives similar to those used in the job advertisement. If they require someone with ‘good strategic appreciation and vision; able to build and implement sophisticated plans’, you should state that you have these in roughly the same order – although do not use the exact same words as this is too obvious.

If the opportunity easily presents itself, it may help to pepper your CV with some technical terminology – but not too much – so that the employer knows that you understand the industry. However don't compromise the overall need for plain language in your CV. Never use a long word where a short one will do.

Make sure to research the organisation itself to find out about its reputation and company culture. Are they a 'work hard and play hard' company? Then include any information about yourself that shows you will fit in with them. For example you may find out they have a football team so include football in your interests or you may find the company does a lot of work for nominated charities, highlight the charitable work you have done in the past.

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Salary Guide 2018

Journal 15

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