Interview Questions
26-03-21
Recruitment Guide

How To Unlock IT Opportunities With Your CV

Written By
Harry Dibbs

If you’re interested in a career in IT or want to make your next move in the IT industry, it’s important that you know how to write a CV that will appeal to relevant recruiters and employers. Your CV could end up in the ‘yes’ or ‘no’ pile in just 15 seconds, so it’s essential that your CV grabs the employer’s attention for all the right reasons.

1. Make it immediately obvious why you’re relevant

If you’re currently in a role that makes you a great fit for the position or you have highly desirable skills that the employer is looking for, make sure it’s the first thing the employer or recruiter sees. IT roles usually require quite specific skills and qualifications, so if you have them, always include them in the first line of your profile right at the top of the page. 

Similarly, if your current role isn’t a natural stepping stone for the position you’re applying for, make sure your transferable skills are displayed prominently and are immediately visible.  

2. Don’t try too hard to stand out 

You won’t know the preferences of the recruiter or hiring manager who’ll be reviewing your CV, so play it safe and keep your CV traditional. The more you try to stand out with an unusual layout, coloured paper or quirky font, the more likely it is to backfire. Instead, let your skills and experience do the talking. 

3. Be concise

Being concise in your writing is a skill that most people have to practice. Concision is all about using simple, clear and direct language. Don’t use big words because you think they make you sound clever and stay as far away from corporate jargon as you can.

According to Andy Bristow: “Never use 10 words when three will do, keep your sentences and paragraphs short and make sure your CV is no more than two pages long. Anything more is likely to be waffle.”

4. Always tailor your CV to the role

A recruiter or hiring manager will be able to tell in the first few seconds whether your CV has been tailored to the specific job you’re applying for. If you haven’t bothered to put the effort in, the likelihood is that nor will they. Your CV is not a ‘one size fits all’ document. Your personal statement, which is the first thing a recruiter will read, must reflect the role you’re applying for. You should refer back to the job description when writing it and mention the specific skills that the employer is looking for. 

5. Get the basics right

If you can’t present yourself or details about your skills and professional experience clearly, it’ll be very difficult for a recruiter or hiring manager to put you forward for an interview - even if you do have many of the attributes they’re looking for. 

Good written communication skills are vital for most IT roles - just think about emails to clients and customers. So, it’s vital that your CV is free from grammatical errors, has no typos, is formatted consistently, is easy to navigate and has subheadings for each section. That should include personal details, personal statement, professional experience, skills, achievements, education and personal interests. 

What Not To Do On Your CV

As well as ticking all the right boxes, there are also some common mistakes to avoid if you want your CV to make it beyond the first 15 seconds.

  • Never leave unexplained gaps in employment.
  • Don’t lie or include misleading information - the recruiter will be able to spot it a mile off.
  • Leave the corporate jargon and cliches well alone - that means no ‘ducks in a row’ or ‘blue-sky thinking’.
  • Don’t include irrelevant information.
  • Don’t waste valuable space including your references - they can be provided at a later date if you’re successful.

Create An Immediately Impressive IT CV

At Bristow Holland, we get to know you, listen to what you want, talk about your ambitions and help you create a CV that properly showcases your skills. Find out more about how we work with candidates, take a look at the IT roles we’re currently recruiting for or get in touch to discuss your requirements with our team.