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Top Tips for Writing a Successful IT CV

Published date: 2018/05

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In the competitive Sydney IT sector, your CV is a vital component to the search for a new job. As a specialist IT recruitment business, we come across a lot of good (and bad) CV examples and know what can make the difference between catching the hiring manager’s attention and getting lost in the sea of mediocre applications.

What a lot of people don’t realise is that even the smallest of mistakes can undo all the work you’ve put into your application. Standing out amongst the competition can be challenging, but with some effort, you can ensure your CV ends up on top of the pile. To help you get yours up to scratch, here are our top tips on how to write a successful CV for IT roles.

Describe Your Technical Skills

Having the right technical skills for the job is critical to the success of your application. However, simply providing a list of your qualifications is not an effective way to emphasise what you can bring to the role, let alone do anything to distinguish your job application from the pool of other applicants.

Instead, focus on describing your skill set in a way that makes it tangible to the reader. The best way to do this is by giving examples of the way you use your skills on a day-to-day basis. For instance, rather than simply saying you have “strong multi-tasking abilities,” give examples of how you displayed this skill and demonstrate how it is relevant to the role you’re applying for.

Giving detailed examples of key elements and responsibilities of your previous roles is crucial. Describe your level of involvement and outline what you contributed to your team. In an industry that is constantly evolving, it’s also important to show how you’ve kept up-to-date and developed your skills to meet changes in the IT world. This way, you’ll be able to demonstrate to potential employers that you can continue to be a valuable asset to their business in the long term.

Avoid Clichés and Buzzwords

You would have seen them before – the “self-motivated, passionate IT professionals” and people who can “work autonomously and as part of a team.” Overused expressions like this might appear impressive, but in reality they don’t communicate much about your actual strengths or what makes you exceptional as a candidate. Save the space for something more original!

Your experience should speak for itself, without the need to lean on buzzwords. When writing an IT CV, avoid generic terms such as “improved the project’s outcomes” – you need to quantify your achievements with specific results. Likewise, try not to rely too much on tech terminology, as this can overwhelm the reader and leave the wrong impression, as opposed to highlighting your technical expertise. While you will still need to use the right keywords to show that you’re relevant for the role, it’s best to balance out any jargon with examples whenever possible.

Share Your Love of Technology

A good IT CV shouldn’t be all about your technical skills – as also showing readers your passion for your chosen field will go a long way. Your love for tech, or the tech industry, will really be clear when employers see that it is a part of your everyday life.

This is where the “Interests” section of your CV can be used far more effectively. Whether you have a personal pet project or you’re involved in regular tech meet ups, demonstrating what you do outside of your work is a good way to illustrate your enthusiasm for the tech community. Not just that, but being involved in the industry outside of work enables you to further develop your skills whilst also showing potential employers your genuine passion for the tech.

Don’t Forget That There's More to IT Than Technology

Non-technical skills are becoming more valued in the IT sector today, especially if you’re looking for a leadership role (or a pathway into one), so don’t ignore them when writing your IT CV. Alongside your technical knowledge, employers are also looking for soft skills; particularly stakeholder management and communication.

IT is increasingly becoming intertwined with a range of other industries and functions, so for your future career prospects, it’s essential that you are able to communicate technical information in a way that will be easily understood by non-technical personnel. Similarly, your ability to deal with a wide variety of internal and external stakeholders will be extremely valuable to the success of any major tech project. Managing these relationships is critical to leadership roles in any industry.

It’s also advisable to take opportunity you can to demonstrate strategic nous. in a world where businesses must constantly negotiate innovation and digital disruption, having the foresight to anticipate and overcome potential issues will make you indispensable.

Summary

Finally, be sure to check for any spelling and grammatical errors before sending off your CV. This one might be obvious, but it is still an issue that we come across time and time again. If you’re looking to fill an employer with confidence, a CV that is riddled with mistakes is not the way to go. It suggests that you lack attention to detail, or perhaps do not care enough about the role to take the time to perfect your application. There are no excuses for poor spelling and grammar, so always get someone else to proofread for you and triple check it before you click send!

Putting in the extra effort to stand out is the best way to ensure your CV ends up on top of the pile and first in line for the interview. If you need help creating a compelling CV or support in your Sydney IT job search, get in touch with us.

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