How to tailor your CV for FMCG roles

Whether you’re interested in making a move into the FMCG sector or you’re just looking to improve your chances for your next position, tailoring your CV is extremely important. You should never send out the same CV twice – each one should be personalised to the position you are applying for.

With so much conflicting advice available on how to structure and write your CV it can seem like a daunting task, but there are some things that everyone can do to help their CV impress employers and make them more likely to get the job they are looking for. Let’s look at some of the best ways to tailor your CV for your next FMCG role.

Understand FMCG

FMCG stands for ‘fast moving consumer goods’, and it effectively refers to businesses that sell quickly sold, fairly low-cost products – it is one of the largest industries in the UK. Whether you’re looking for a role in sales, marketing, analysis or management, understanding the values of FMCG businesses can help guide your CV.

For example, if you’re looking for a role designing packaging, it’s important to realise that FMCG products are sold fast and in large volumes. And as many of them are groceries and every-day goods, they tend to be bought on snap purchasing decisions. So if you want a job creating this kind of packing you need to show your ability to be innovative and produce eye-catching designs. Place an emphasis on your creativity whilst also showing off your commercial mind-set.

Read your CV and the job description side by side

One of the smartest ways to tailor your CV is read it side-by-side with the job description. Look at each individual element that the job description is asking for, and then ask yourself how your CV demonstrates that you have this ability.

If the description states that you are going to be working in a ‘fast-paced environment’, find somewhere in your CV to express your experience of dynamic working and showing your aptitude for these sorts of pressured conditions. Go through each skill or trait that the job description asks for and ensure that your CV covers each base.

It’s better to condense than to inflate

Many candidates applying for FMCG roles think it’s a good idea to elongate their CV and fill it with as much detail as possible. The important thing to remember is that you’re writing your CV, not your life story. Employers generally receive many applications for a role which means they will have a lot of CVs to go through. You need to ensure that your CV says everything about you, but does so succinctly. Wherever possible look for ways to condense information to make it easier for the employer to read. And don’t forget to take out any information that’s not relevant to the role.

Use their words

Nothing impresses an employer more than feeling like a candidate works the same way they do. The best way that you can show this is by using the same kind of language that you found in the job description. If the job description states that it is looking for a ‘self-starter’ make sure you refer to yourself this way. Don’t repeat them word for word, but throw in the odd adjective that they have used – you’ll be amazed at the difference it will make in their attitude towards your CV.

Research the organisation

Do your homework on the company that you are applying for. How do they present themselves and the ‘culture’ of their workplace? Are they fun, easy-going and free-spirited, or do they promote a serious, hard-working and dedicated environment? Understanding these things can help you enormously. Remember that an employer is also looking for someone who is going to fit in with the team and the atmosphere of the business, not just the skillset and experience you have.

Use industry-specific language (but be careful)

An employer likes to know that you understand the environment that you are going to be working in. So make sure that you use any industry-specific language that you are comfortable with and understand. However, you shouldn’t just throw in buzzwords for sake of it. Nothing is worse than being invited to an interview and being asked what you meant by a certain word on your CV, and having no idea of what that word actually means. Use language that you are familiar with and understand.

Investigate on LinkedIn

Take a look on LinkedIn at some of the people working in the business that you are applying to and try to find the common themes between the working history and CVs. In effect, this way you can ‘learn’ from those people who have already successfully applied for and been employed by the company.