How To Write A Killer Tech CV
Knowing how to write a killer tech CV is key to finding your next great tech job. The average hiring manager only spends around 6-7 seconds scanning a CV before deciding if they are suitable. Give yourself the best chance to get noticed, by ensuring your application is clear and optimised.
The general advice is to keep a tech CV to two pages. However, for individuals who have many years of experience working in a variety of jobs or contracts, or who have a very wide array of technical skills, it can be a struggle to know what to focus on and what to include.
As recruiters for IT specialists, we have seen 1000’s of technical CVs. We have had countless conversations with clients regarding CVs and know what they want to see and what isn’t necessarily relevant.
Get your technical CV noticed by the best in the industry by ensuring your application is clear, and readable, but still impressive, by following my top tips.
The foundations of writing a tech CV
Firstly, consider the CV format for technical jobs employers are likely going to want to see. The order in which you organise the following sections should match what is most relevant to the role.
Of course, it’d be easier just to have one standard technical CV that you shoot off to every tech recruiter and job application, but the reality is that you’re far less likely to get noticed and moved to the next stage in the hiring process. When writing a tech CV, you should always try to tailor it to the role you’re applying for. You want to give the hiring manager an easy job of finding the skills they need to see in your application.
For example, if you are finishing your degree in cyber security and the role is asking for a graduate cyber security analyst, place your education and qualifications section at the very beginning of your technical CV. If you are 20+ years into your cyber security career, you will have particular skills and will have worked on many relevant projects that relate to the role you’re applying for. Therefore, you will want to put your work experience to be first.
Start your technical CV with a short profile / summary. Many IT professionals fall at this first hurdle, because they don’t know what to say to summarise who they are and what their experience is!
Well, don’t worry! This section only needs to be 2-3 sentences, so keep it short and sweet. It’s an introduction to who you are. It should contain your current job role or latest education (if you’ve just graduated), followed by your main strengths and achievements to date.
Remember to tailor your summary to each job role you are applying for. This section is what the hiring manager will be reading first – prove that you are the best candidate for the job!
This is a great section to showcase your past education and the training foundations of your technical knowledge.
Technical degrees or equivalents, in subjects such as Computer Science or Cyber Security, are always relevant, no matter how long it’s been since you graduated. So, it’s always best to include them in your CV. If they’re not in the specific area you are now working in, but you have other qualifications that are in that area, then reference your degree and write more detail for the relevant qualifications.
Use this section to highlight any relevant courses you’ve attended or certifications you’ve received in your career. Including your past training not only shows your expertise, but also highlights to future employers that your past employers invested time and effort in you. It highlights that you are keen to learn and keep up with the latest tech trends.
If you find your CV is too long, check to see if you have included non-relevant qualifications to the role which can be cut. There is often a temptation to include as much as you can about your life to show you are a well-rounded person. However, when considering how to write a killer tech CV, you need only include what is relevant. For example, you won’t need to mention a 2-week course in psychology you took 10 years ago, when you are applying for a cyber security role in which you have plenty of relevant qualifications and experience.
A fundamental piece of advice for how to write a killer tech CV is to include skills in a way that is clear, concise, and will catch the notice of the recruiter or hiring manager.
You can organise this section in a number of ways. Some people like to simply include a list of bullet points, however, there are more effective ways to highlight your skills in your technical CV.
For example, you could split up your technical skills under the following headings:
Another way to order them would be by your level of competency:
It’s important to remember to include soft skills too. Communication, time management, organisation, teamwork are all significant indicators that you are a well-rounded employee who could fit in any company. Only including technical skills and neglecting to talk about working within a team environment, and managing your time efficiently could work against you, especially if you are applying for a role in management or leadership.
The crucial part of writing about your work experience on a tech CV is focusing on which relevant skills you gained or improved on in each placement. It is also a good idea to mention any projects you have worked on, your contributions to the company you worked for, industries you have previously worked in and so on. For any project or industry that matches the job you are applying for, make sure to go into detail on these around your specific experience.
For contractors, you may find the CV format for technical jobs a bit more difficult if you have worked at a high number of companies. However, you can make your work experience section concise by including previous contract placements where the projects or industries match the role you are applying for. Make sure you go into details for these – anything else only needs a brief summary.
If you have experience in management or leadership whether in that role or within a specific project, you should mention it! Your CV is your best selling point. However, stay clear of overexaggerating your role or experience as you are likely to get caught out during the interview stage when your potential employer asks for evidence or details.
Keep to the experience you have and focus on your achievements in that role so it is easily understood by the person reading it.
Graduate CV format for technical jobs
If you don’t have lots of work experience, focus on your education section. Follow it with any skills you have gained through personal or university projects.
This might include:
- Development of a website
- Completion of a certification
- A year in industry as part of your degree course
It’s best to make the most out of any experience you have had. As a graduate, businesses won’t expect you to have lots of experience. Show them the skills you do have and that you’re a proactive person.
Completing and sending off your technical CV
Have you finished writing a tech CV showcasing your talent and experience? Fantastic!
But just before you send it off, consider the following:
- Has the tech CV been proofread? You wouldn’t believe how easy it is to miss spelling mistakes!
- Have you used bullet points to make your sections clear and concise?
- Did you include both soft and technical skills?
- Does it represent the best of your experiences?
- Have you checked the experiences and skills you have included are specific to that role?
If you’re ready to start your job hunt, click here for our latest permanent and contract opportunities! Get in touch today for help finding your dream job.
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