4 Ideas for Personalizing CV & Cover Letter

Are you not getting any interviews after enormous applications? Are you stuck in a vicious cycle of applications, rejections & dejections? 

Chances are that the reason behind your unsuccessful attempts is the amount of efforts, time you are investing in customizing & personalizing your documents based on the job description & requirements. Personalizing & customizing your application documents – CV & Cover Letter is essential for doing quality applications. This is the best way to enhance your chances of getting an interview, eventually your internship/job. 

Customization & Personalization requires immense effort & time in comparison to general common applications. This investment of effort & time is worth it because: 

  • Your documents click with the reviewer immediately
  • The reviewer finds them interesting because there are relevant things in it
  • The reviewer sees your interest, passion & hard work behind your application 

Here are 4 ideas for customizing your application documents:

  1. Match Keywords from the job description

Keyword matching is important to beat automated systems that filter applications before a human accesses them. This also helps to convince the reviewer as he easily finds the words that he is looking for while filtering applications. Keywords can be matched directly by using the exact words from the job description and indirectly by using other forms, expressions of the requirements from the job description.

Use these tools to check your keyword match & improve accordingly:

  1. Integrate hard skill requirements from job description in Experience, Education, Projects/Certifications/Skills section

Hard skills are the skills that make up the core of any job description. These are the skills that a reviewer is eager to find in your documents. These skills have to be showcased effectively to a good extent to get an interview. Make sure that the bullets in your CV under Experience, Education, Projects/Certifications/Skills section include these hard skills that the reviewer is looking for. Hard skills can be incorporated by exhibiting specific tasks you have done, value you have created for your project/company, your learnings gained during education or via projects, certifications. Keep your bullets Specific, Quantifiable, Relevant & Value adding for the reviewer while covering your hard skills.   

Check out this blog for quantifying your experience:

  1. Integrate soft skill requirements from job description in Extra-curricular or Achievements section

Soft skills are equally important as hard skills, because these skills differentiate people. They are more difficult to articulate & integrate in your documents. Achievements/Extra-curricular section should address a point, shouldn’t be included just for the sake of it. Showcase your communication, stakeholder management, leadership, proactive, relationship handling skills in these sections. Each job description has some soft skill requirements, so include only the relevant ones from a job profile perspective.

Check out this blog for effectively using the others section in CV:

  1. Tweak your story in cover letter by shifting focal points of your story based on requirements in the job description  

Your story in the cover letter is good in a situation only if it is relevant for the reviewer & awakens his interest in scrolling through your entire cover letter, eventually calling you for an interview. Each phase of your life is unique & interesting if you articulate it effectively. Reflect & build up your story in a generic manner for starters. Once you have your entire story on paper, pick & choose focal points from your story that are coherent with the job description or tweak your story accordingly. The focal points from your story can be discovered by drilling down into your life stations by asking How & Why questions. Don’t replicate bullets of your CV by making sentences out of them in the cover letter. It has to be a story covering different phases of your life. And these phases should be connected with the requirements in the job description for maximum impact.

Read this blog for effective storytelling: https://reflections-empowerment.com/effective-storytelling-for-successful-applications/

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