Tailored CVs – Should you tailor your CV?

Tailored CVs
Tailored CVs

Tailored CVs or not – by a reader

Tailored CVs

I think it always interesting to get into the mindset of an employer, and to understand what they are looking for in terms of tailored CVs from contractors.

My CV is 5 pages long, and after twenty years, that’s hard to do. I have also not been out of work for more than 3 years at one point.

They recently published my article about “spotting tailored CV’s” on this site (thanks Gerry).

and it was interesting to see that one of the points I put top of the list for the bin, was the same CV from different agencies.

When I was recruiting in the USA this happened nearly everyday, and I soon realised that the candidates usually had no idea it had even been submitted unless they were called for interview.

Duplicate CVs

Whilst I didn’t simply bin duplicate CVs, I did scrutinise them to look for inconsistencies.

If I found any inconsistencies, then, I also binned them.

This is why I think that a contractor should think long and hard about any tailoring, and should always take a copy of the ORIGINAL CV to the interview.

There are some very unscrupulous agents out their who will add their own bits, in order to get you in front of the client.

Candidate Neutralisation

I have also noticed a growing trend of ‘candidate neutralisation’ amongst agencies.

Tailored CVs
Tailored CVs

Say they can (and already have) submit three candidates to a client.

They continue collecting CV’s, and then tell the good ones that they have ‘been put forward’ or ‘your CV is with the client’, whereas in reality they know you are better than their candidates, and so don’t want you submitted through a rival.

Be extremely careful with this as I have already been seriously stung a couple of times!

Solution for IT Contractors

My solution is to wait a few days then ring another agent chasing the job and ask if it is still open, if so tell that you were supposedly submitted, but have heard nothing.

Then ask them to enquire with the client if they are still considering your application.

I bet you will be stunned how many will come back saying that they have never heard of you!

Tailored CVs can be good or bad according to how you tailor them.

Be careful!


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