Get noticed by tailoring your CV

Man working at a computer on his CV

If you are churning out the same CV to every role you are applying for and getting no results, it could be a good time to think about a fresh approach.

Formatting your CV in a way that suits the industry you are targeting will definitely improve your chances and make you stand out in the short listing process.

There are a number of different ways to create a CV that suits the job and industry you are applying to:

Performance CV

This is the most common type of CV and focuses on your career progression, starting from the most recent and working backwards. Remember to include an achievements section to list key targets that are relevant to the job you are applying for.

Targeted CV

This type of CV is particularly useful if you are looking for a change in career. You should focus on your transferable skills i.e. those skills that you can bring with you from your current work experience that suit the role you are applying for. List them in order of importance and from different times in your career history.

Alternative CV

Jobs where a creative flair will impress a potential employer, such as Marketing, Media, PR or Design, an alternative CV might be what you need.

There aren’t any real styles or formats to follow for this as it’s your creativity that should be put to the test here. If you are stuck for inspiration a quick Google search should inspire you, from CV Cakes to Milk cartons anything goes here!

CV Rules

Whichever format you choose there are some common elements which should always be included:

  • Your name, address, mobile number and email Address
  • A LinkedIn profile or Blog
  • Qualifications
  • Industry experience
  • Work history
  • Keep it easy to read and use bullet points where appropriate
  • Check for spelling and grammatical errors

Having a great LinkedIn Profile can:

  • Improve your visibility and strengthen your reputation within your professional field
  • Bring you to the attention of potential employers and increase your chances of being hired
  • Connect you to other likeminded professionals, through clearly signalling your interests



The last piece of information to be included on your CV is hobbies, but do employers and recruiters find them useful or just a waste of valuable space that could be used to provide further work experience or qualifications?

I argue that hiring is more than just a process of skills sorting; it is also a process of cultural matching between candidates, evaluators, and
firms. Employers sought candidates who were not only competent but also culturally similar to themselves in terms of leisure pursuits, experiences, and self-presentation styles.

~ Lauren Rivera

When is it a good idea to include hobbies?

If you have interests that will add value to your application then it is a really good idea to incorporate them. For example, if you like coding or programming in your spare time and you are applying for an IT position, it adds to your skill set to include it in your CV as well as showing that you are passionate about what you do.

If you are a school leaver or someone that has limited work experience in the field you are applying for, but have out of work interests that show a level of skill or knowledge that is applicable, it will provide that additional piece of information which may be lacking from your employment history.

When not to include hobbies

The simple answer is if you don’t have any, don’t include them. If you are thinking about making some up or using clichés like eating out and going to the cinema, don’t be tempted as these just limit the space available for the more important detail.

You might be surprised at how many correlating skills can be acquired from social interests, like running local sports teams for instance. Traits such as; organisation, communication and people management skills can all be obtained from this type of hobby.

“Including your hobbies and interests is important because it helps us to match your interests to the culture of the businesses we work with, creating better matches which are not purely based on skills and experiences.”

~ John Watson, Hunter Dunning Architectural Lead,

How do I present the information?

Using hobbies in context rather than just a long list of pastimes will makes this section much more appealing to the reader. As with the rest of your CV make it relevant, well written and truthful – there is nothing worse than embellishing something and having to explain it later.

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