Should I dilute my CV to get an interview?

We have heard from some professionals  that it has become harder to position themselves in a job market which has suddenly become flooded and where some of the skills in demand have shifted.
Finding a job during a market change can be a great challenge, this is especially true with the limitations of the current pandemic.

With the need for us to work from home and limit contact for a yet undefined length of time, it is likely that to get a job in this current climate you might have to consider options outside your usual roles or even industry. 

The job market has shifted. Are there any jobs out there?

The good news is that there are options for work – recruiters are adjusting the roles and job descriptions to facilitate current restrictions, e.g. working from home. 
The challenge at the moment is that not all of these roles may be offering the same level of pay and responsibility you may have had in your previous roles.
Your CV may indicate that you are overqualified or have significantly more experience than the minimum required for the job.

Should you dilute your CV to get a job? 

The simple answer is no. We would not recommend that you sell yourself or your CV short. 
There is always a risk that if you dilute your CV to suit one role, you will then find another role advertised within the same company – each with a different level of pay and responsibility.  Would you want your diluted CV to be the one kept in the company’s records? 

While you can have different versions of your CV you can only have one version of your LinkedIn profile. Employers will spot discrepancies and inconsistencies which could make them wary.

However, if right now, your need to get “a job” trumps your need to get “the perfect job” to keep yourself afloat through  the current market changes…….

Here is how you can adjust your CV and highlight your expertise to fit whatever role you are applying for.

1: Pay close attention to your Summary section

This should be at the top of your CV– immediately under your name, contact details and LinkedIn URL.
Use this section to directly target the job description and link your skills and experience as closely as possible to the role. Mirror the language used in the job description and include important job and industry keywords.  
Use snappy bullet points. This short, but extremely important section of your CV, can be amended to target each job application. 
Here is an example:

Jane worked as a Retail Manager in a large department store. She is now looking for alternative work, however, the current jobs available are all online and telework customer service roles.  Jane could write her CV Summary to target this role as follows (important keywords in bold)

  • Over 10 years’ experience of providing excellent customer service in a busy retail environment – ABC Superstores.
  • Managed customer collections and returns for the company’s online shopping business and achieved a 98% customer satisfaction rating for the store.
  • Excellent working knowledge of online sales and CRM systems XYZ and Sell 123.
2: Keep the Professional Experience / Work History section intact.

Of course, we are assuming that this section of your CV already reads in the format of “show me how well you did it” rather than in the “tell me what you did” format. 

This is a very important point, as recruiters will be measuring your capability by how you demonstrate your achievements and value rather than by a list of responsibilities. 

For more advice on how to write a winning CV check out our free resources and our book CV & Interview 101.