It pays to tailor your application

Posted by S Donaldson on 11 May 2015

One piece of advice I give to jobhunters time and again is to tailor. Always to tailor. If you want an employer to understand what you’ll bring to their team, you have to tell them. And you have to be specific. If after a quick name-change, you could send the exact same application off to another similar organisation, then you’re not being specific enough.

Of course tailoring your application will take more time and effort, but that’s part of the value. Employers want to know that you’re committed enough to do your research – that you’ve found out all about them, imagined yourself in the role, and you know exactly how you’ll contribute.

A fantastic (and admittedly rather extreme) example of creative application tailoring was reported in Business Insider last month. Nina Mufleh wanted to work for AirBnB, so she put together an online CV (screenshot above) and tweeted it to Air BnB bigwigs. But this was no ordinary CV. With a format very similar to an AirBnB profile, the CV showcased Nina’s knowledge and understanding of the travel industry, and her vision for the future of AirBnB. It took her a week to put together, but it was well worth it, because it secured her an interview.

You can see Nina’s full CV here. If you’re a current university student or recent graduate unsure how to tailor an application, seek guidance from your university careers service. This article was adapted from a UCL Researchers Careers blog post.

Topics: CVs and applications

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