How to tailor your CV for a planning director role

Written by: Laura Sullivan
Published on: 14 Dec 2017


Top tips from Laura Sullivan at TopCV, the largest CV-writing service in the world, to help you adapt your CV for a planning director role.


The job market is hotting up as top employers within the planning sector prepare for the new year. Now is the perfect time to spruce up your CV for the increase in job adverts expected in January. 

To help you stand above and beyond the competition, here is your guide to tailoring your CV for a planning director role.

Understand the job you are applying for

Firstly, you need to read the job description carefully to get to grips with the role and what the employer is looking for. You will find it extremely difficult to target your CV if you are not 100% sure what the position entails.

Not only will thoroughly reading the job spec make you familiar with the role, but it will signal whether this is a job worth applying for, too. In the recruitment world, applying for one job with a quality CV is miles more beneficial than applying for 10 jobs with generic CVs.

Identify keywords and phrases

Next up is pulling out the keywords, phrases and industry lingo from the job description to sprinkle throughout your CV.

As many employers receive hundreds of CVs per vacancy, many use software known as Applicant Tracking Systems (ATSs) as a first-stage screening process. ATSs scan CVs for relevant terms to create a shortlist of suitable candidates. Therefore, if your CV fails to possess relevant keywords, it is unlikely your CV will reach a human recruiter.

When it comes to planning director roles, CV keywords often include management experience, leadership, degree educated, planning process, infrastructure planning knowledge, team player, and mentor.
Read through the job description, armed with a highlighter, and identify the keywords and requirements you fulfil. Then inject these terms throughout your CV to make it clear to the robots and recruiters that you are compatible.

Make your skills relevant from the start

A crucial part of tailoring your CV is prioritising your most relevant skills. On average, it takes hiring managers seven seconds to decide whether you are an impressive candidate. Therefore, the abilities the employer values the most must be addressed from the start. 

Tweak your personal profile to target the role. You might like to include the job title or key requirements. In addition, consider adding a ‘core planning skills and achievements’ section underneath your profile to give the employer a snapshot of your accomplishments and the value you can bring to the role.

Cut irrelevant details

It is important to add and expand on the qualities the recruiter wants to see on your CV. However, it is equally important to reduce the detail of skills the recruiter is not looking for. 

Since you are applying for a planning director role, you are likely to have a wealth of work experience under your belt. Try to focus on related jobs from the last five years or so, and reduce the amount of detail you list for roles outside of that timeframe — especially if they are unrelated to the planning role you’re seeking. If you have positions from over 10 years ago that are not related to the role at all, you can afford to remove them from your CV entirely.

Cutting the fluff, and moulding roles to what the prospective employer values, are the simplest ways to make your professional attributes for a planning director job shine.

TopCV offers a range of CV-writing services including expertly-written and keyword-optimised CVs, cover letters, and LinkedIn profiles. It is currently offering a free CV review to help you land your perfect planning director job.

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