30 October 2017

How to: Craft the perfect IT CV

Career Advice

A generic IT CV is never the best way to deliver information to a recruiter, let alone to secure an interview.

Job searching is all about quality, not quantity, especially when it comes to the IT sector. While it’s unrealistic to tailor your CV to every job you apply for, it’s important your CV at least showcases the relevant skills.

With that in mind, here are our tips on crafting the perfect IT CV:

Think about the architecture

Hopefully, you’re familiar with the essential components of a CV. But to communicate your skills effectively, you must consider its structure and appearance.

To start, include a brief profile. Talk about your career history, what you’d like to do in your next role.  When describing your past roles, break the information down into daily responsibilities and achievements. Don’t include irrelevant roles, either.

Keep to two pages max: you can always elaborate in your cover letter. And overall keep it simple! No jaunty paper or photos, please.

Zoom in on technical skills

As an IT professional, it’s likely your CV contains a wealth of technical knowledge, from storage solutions and hardware, to programming languages and networks. While it’s wise to include all your technical know-how, remember to highlight what’s relevant to the job you’re applying for. List your skills and achievements in short bullet points to help recruiters scan your CV more easily. Appropriate certifications can be added here, too.

Since IT professionals are often competent in a range of software and programs, you could introduce a ‘Specialities and competencies’ section underneath your personal summary, providing a clear and concise list of your areas of expertise, whether gained at work or through extra-curricular activities.

Consider which skills are the most relevant to the IT job in question. If you’re unsure, simply look at the job advert and identify the keywords used to describe the role and requirements. Then try to mimic this language in your CV.

In addition to listing your competencies, don’t forget to include metrics such as qualifications, internships and experience to show your level of knowledge.

Highlight your soft skills

There’s more to IT than technical skills. As with any job, transferable skills are an essential requirement for success.

Common soft skills required in IT jobs include communication, teamwork and self-motivation. This is largely because you may spend much of your time working alone, on departmental or cross-departmental projects and communicating with staff.

Ensure that your CV bridges the gap between IT and personality to prove that you’re a great fit for the role and the company.

Show your value

Many candidates don’t put across their added-value, i.e. where they have performed outside their normal job role and contributed to the business, so incorporate evidence of this where you can. To make your added-value (skills, abilities and achievements) more impressive – and to stand out – quantify them with facts and figures. Everyone loves a stat!

For example, if you’re a desktop technician, you might list duties on your CV such as ‘relocating desktops’ or ‘supporting staff with IT requests’. However, by including metrics against those duties, you can add more value to your skill set. ‘Relocating 300 desktops and upgrading three internal database systems’ or ‘supporting 500 users and responding to requests within two hours’ sounds far more impressive, so don’t be afraid to use numbers and facts wherever possible to prove why you’re a desirable hire for any IT job.

Creating a CV from scratch is one of those jobs that most of us dread and often put off, but investing time into producing a document which is tailored to the IT role in question will pay off. Take into account the tips above and let your CV sell you!

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