For sure, it’s very easy just to put together a generic CV and go about it carelessly, more so if at the start of your career. Yet a generic CV will never get you an interview or just give the information the recruiter needs.
In the IT sector, in particular, quality not quantity is key – you need to put all the relevant skills on it even if it is not possible to match your CV exactly to each job you are going for.
This said, below are tips on writing the right perfect IT CV which will prove to the recruiter that you are the one for the job.
Bear the architecture in mind
Whilst you should be accustomed to the essential building bricks of a CV, you cannot afford to forget how it is structured and how it looks visually. Unsure? Just remember to format your CV in a basic font, for example, Arial, and make use of headings to differentiate the various sections.
Don’t forget a brief summary of your career so far and what you’re looking for in your next job. Not many candidates do this summary despite the fact that recruiters are fond of it – since it means they don’t have to contact people about jobs that won’t appeal to them.
As for talking about your recent career history, summarize it in terms of responsibilities you’re your achievements, leaving out any jobs that are not relevant to the role you are applying for e.g. your weekend job at Tesco.
If possible, stick to the two-page format and put any further information in your cover letter or email. Simplicity is the watchword i.e. no fancy paper or any photos!
Focus on technical skills
Being an IT professional, your CV will no doubt show off a lot of technical knowledge – networks, programming languages, hardware, and storage. It’s good to mention all your technical experience – provided it’s important to the role in question. Use bullet points to show your skills and achievements which will make for easier scanning. You can mention relevant certifications here as well.
As IT professionals will not just be competent in just one program, it might be a good idea to include a ‘Specialities and competencies’ section below the personal summary. This section would outline clearly your specific domains of expertise be it professionally or outside work.
Think about those skills that closely match those for the role in question. If in doubt, scan the job posting, picking out its keywords in relation to the job requirements, and mirror this in your CV wording.
It is important not to leave out information such as certifications, experience, and work placements to illustrate your breadth of knowledge.
Show off your soft skills
IT is not just about the technical side. Soft skills are indispensable for success.
Some of the soft skills frequently sought after in IT jobs are what drives you, how you work in teams, and communication. This will be mainly down to whether you work most of the time working solo, across departments or in a team, interacting with colleagues.
IT and personality are intertwined so you need a CV that shows this, thereby proving you are the candidate for not just the job but also the company.
Show off your worth.
Added value counts for a lot and numerous candidates don’t show theirs. i.e. where they have gone beyond the requirements of the job for the sake of the business –don’t, therefore, hesitate to include examples of this. Back up your added-value credentials by quoting facts and figures to stand out from the crowd. We all love a number cruncher!
As a desktop technician, for instance, you will list your responsibilities e.g. ‘assisting employees with their IT tickets’ or ‘relocating desktops’. Yet by also including figures, you will be showing off your added-value. ‘Relocating 300 desktops and upgrading three internal database systems’ or ‘supporting 500 with their tickets within two hours’ is a lot better. Don’t hesitate to include figures and statistics, these will increase your attractiveness for a job.
We all dread the thought of writing a CV from scratch but if you invest time in writing a CV that fits the job concerned, you will reap the rewards. Bear in mind the above tips and let your CV show you off.