Tailor your CV for IT

How to tailor your CV for IT

Having trouble getting your CV past the first round of IT recruiting shortlists? Perhaps your CV isn’t showing the right industry terminology. Or maybe you haven’t fully developed your work experience section.

We know CV writing is tough work for many. Especially if you want to target a specific industry, such as IT.

So, here are some handy IT-specific tips from senior recruiters at itContracting, that will help boost your CV and deliver you straight to the interview stage:

(We’re assuming you know how to create a basic CV structure and cover letter template. So let’s dive straight in with our tips!)

Understand your six degrees of separation

Firstly, before the CV comes the cover letter. This is the first point of contact with recruiters and the best place to leverage your connections to get the recruiter’s initial attention.

Build that subconscious bond with the job gatekeepers by letting them know who you know. The Irish IT industry is small enough and any decent IT recruiter will know the players that are worth knowing.

Technology is fickle

The first and possibly most important thing to remember: things change quickly in the IT industry. The technology you used even three years ago might already be obsolete.

Also, read the job spec and see exactly what your potential employer is asking for. Then, clearly show the areas in your CV that cover these requirements. Don’t expand too much on experience, responsibilities and training not relevant to the job that you are applying to.

Show don’t tell

Don’t just list out your technical skills and experience, (well you can) but if you’re looking for the extra edge, apply it within the context (or story) behind the job vacancy.

This showcases that (i) you understand how it impacted your project, (ii) how exactly you view this skill and (iii) what you learned from the experience.

TIP: Always speak in the third person across your entire CV!

Get specific

Get right down into the weeds of what you do. If you’re a Project Manager, you didn’t ‘overlook the facilitation of the X project’.

You ‘co-ordinated a team of 15 engineers and cloud consultants on the mass deployment and migration of over 1,000 VMs across two data centre locations for a €7.7 million construction system, which resulted in minimal disruption and zero downtime for end-user’s daily activities’.

See how different that sounds to ‘overlooking a project’?

Back up your claims

Recruiters should find further details backing this up in the work history section. Your skills summary should outline technical skills you are proficient in and act as a summary of the skills referred to in your ‘Employment History’.

For example, with a SharePoint developer role, one bullet point might explain you have 10 years of SharePoint experience, while other bullet points might list your specific certs and qualifications.

Don’t forget to list key soft skills too (e.g. team leader, excellent problem solver, strong communicator).

TIP: Think about breaking it into subcategories so the reader can quickly scan. Showcase your strongest/best technical skills, programming languages, tools and operating systems experience first, and work your way down. Only list programs or applications that you could confidently discuss in an interview.

Show it off

Time to boast your worth as a potential team member. Showcasing examples of how past initiatives have led to positive outcomes such as enhanced efficiency, faster time-to-market, rare industry qualifications, and cost-savings is critical in highlighting you as an asset.

NOTE: Logos for important certs or training modules can also be included. But boasters beware; if you are in the process of sitting a certification, include them, however it must be clear that they are in progress.

Your favourite hobby: IT!

Want to really show off? Express interest outside of work in your chosen field through your hobbies and extra-circulars. For example, build your own home lab, join groups on LinkedIn in your field or commit your code to GitHub or Stack Overflow.

TIP: Remember there’s more to IT than technology and the value of non-technical skills sit quite high on employers’ wish lists. Professionals who can bridge the gap between IT and business, who are able to communicate technical information to non-technical people, are often highly valued.

If you are seeking an IT-specific job, itContracting is one of Ireland’s leading IT recruitment agencies, recruiting for IT temporary, contract and permanent positions. Contact the itContracting team today to jump start your IT career!


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