How to Tailor Your CV for Different Industries

A customised CV

You’re an IT expert with experience in a range of industries. You already have a significant edge over many of your fellow applicants. Why? Well, because applying your skill set in different environments and sectors broadens your appeal in the job market. 

But if you’re applying for IT roles in multiple industries, your approach should be a little different – and so should your CV. That’s just one of the reasons why turning to a professional CV writing service is always a good idea.

The requirements and expectations of employers in the pharmaceutical sector may be different from those in the retail sector. To maximise your chances of a callback every time you apply for an IT job, it’s best to adapt your primary CV accordingly. 

But how do you do that? Keep reading for tips and advice on how to tailor your CV for different industries. 

Customise Your Statement or Summary

According to LinkedIn, a great place to start tailoring your CV for different industries is by adapting your opening statement or CV summary. This is often the first thing recruiters see, so it’s important to talk about your aspirations within the industry. If you have any specific skills or achievements in the sector, talk about them as concisely as possible.

Focus on Applicable Skills

You don’t necessarily need specific industry experience to stand out from other candidates. If you can demonstrate transferable skills that you can draw upon in your new role, that may be enough to capture the attention of recruiters. 

Wherever possible, prioritise hard skills that require specific training and certification. That course in advanced SQL programming within the agricultural industry might serve you well when you make the switch to e-commerce, for instance. 

Don’t waste valuable CV real estate on soft skills such as communication and leadership. Many of these skills are taken for granted by recruiters, and they’re often discussed later in the recruitment process. 

Focus on Relevant Experience 

Experience and work history are usually the first aspects of a CV a recruiter looks for. Go through your “master CV”, and look for opportunities to adapt the content for the industry in question. 

Use specific examples and data to explain why your experience is relevant. For example: That time you increased customer satisfaction rates for a retail employer might be relevant to recruiters within the hospitality industry. 

Target Specialist Recruitment Agencies in That Industry

A good recruitment agency will always provide advice on how to improve your CV for your target audience. The great thing about working with industry-specific recruiters is that they’ll know exactly what prospective employers are looking for – and provide guidance accordingly. 

Specialist recruitment firms work within the same industry – day in, day out. They know what works, and what doesn’t. And the larger firms will have experts on niches within your chosen industry, which could help you fine-tune your CV with more detail. 

Research the Industry

If you haven’t worked in the industry before, research its nuances and specific challenges before updating your CV. While you might think your transferable skills and relevant experiences are obvious, you may be missing crucial requirements that will give your CV an edge. 

What are the most important character traits and skills within the industry? Is there a dearth of skills? What are the common challenges faced by recruiters in the industry? Once you have the answers to these questions, you can adapt your CV in a way that resonates with your target audience. 

Highlight Your Accomplishments

This is where you need to get specific about what you’ve done in the past. Think in terms of what you might be asked during a subsequent interview

“Tell me about a time…” 

“Talk about an event or situation that required you to…”

These types of questions will get you thinking about accomplishments that are relevant to the industry. However, to improve your CV yet further, include statistics and outcomes that demonstrate the key skills and traits that are in demand within the industry. 

For example: To demonstrate your sales acumen, include details of a time when you lifted revenues within a previous role. What steps did you take? And what data suggests you succeeded? 

Adapt Your Hobbies/Personal Interests Section

There’s a reason why recruiters want to know about what you do outside of work. Your hobbies and interests tell people about some of your personality traits, as well as your general approach to life. Leading recruitment company Michael Page recommends prioritising interests that are likely to be raised during an interview. 

For example: If you’re applying for a job within the health and wellness industry, talking about that time you lost 20 pounds thanks to a regimen of exercise and healthy eating is an easy win. 

Use CV Writing Services

CV writing experts will take the time to discover more about you – and identify the skills and experiences that are most likely to deliver success in your preferred industry. Moreover, professional CV writers have typically created thousands of CVs across dozens of industries over the years. If anyone knows what works in a particular employer sector, they do!

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