First, go through the full advert, piece by piece and with a pen, preferably a highlighter, mark up every single stated requirement or characteristic they have stated they want. Even single words!
Now you must go through your CV, intricately, and find a clear aspect of it that addresses all of the Employer’s stated requirements.
If you can match off everything that’s brilliant, although do check that your wording on the CV sells you in the most effective possible way.
If you can’t match everything then you have two choices. If you have what they are asking for then you MUST find the best way possible to incorporate that into the CV hence leaving no weaknesses.
Alternatively if you don’t have what they are asking for – especially if its ‘black and white’ then try and include something into the CV that suggests something close or a ‘part of’- such as part qualification, or a years experience when they are asking for 2/3 years.
What your aim must be, although you must never lie, is to minimise the reasons why a prospective Employer might exclude you from consideration.
Don’t be lazy with CV personalisation. You must be prepared to put the work in by analysing and then, when necessary ‘tweaking’ it!
ALSO – very important!
Do remember too that you must make sure that the correct things are emphasised on the CV and that its in the best sequential order for that job advertising site. It could be that whilst all the ‘ingredients’ go in you have the amounts wrong. If the Employer is strong on a particular requirement, but you only have a brief reference to it well down the CV, then you clearly need to change things round.
Is it necessary to fit a Job 100% before you consider applying?
Not at all in my view! There’s an old saying that if you can do 50 to 75 % of a Job you can ‘grow into the rest’. Clearly for some positions, medicine for instance that is certainly not the case!
However for some less prescriptive positions Employers may welcome the opportunity to ‘mold the candidate’ and provide that person with the opportunity to ‘grow in the job’.
So the key point here is not to let your own perceived shortfall prevent you from trying. Also do remember, when you are doing the matching exercise above, that there maybe no-one who fits the Job 100% perfectly (or better still for you – does fit it but fails to sell themselves fully). So you 60 to 90% ‘fit’ might actually be the highest amongst all candidates. Do keep a positive focus, you may well be the best candidate when you have imagined otherwise.