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How to write a winning Tech CV

Technical CVs can be tricky to write. You don’t want to drown the recruiter in too much detail but you also want to show off your expertise. What you should be trying to accomplish with your CV is to paint a picture of where you have been in your career and where you want to go. Below we have outlined key areas to include and exclude on your CV so that you stand out and get your foot in the door with a recruiter.

Structure

You should start your CV with a logical structure. A lot of candidates will just list all the programming languages and tools they have used. Your CV should be easy for readers to digest. Your structure should look something like this:

-An introduction- this should grab the recruiter’s attention.

-A section with all your core skills to show off your technical knowledge.

-Your previous work history. This should be quick and easy to read with bullet points.

The Introduction

As we have stated previously, you need to have an introduction section. But before you work on a header you should have a heading. A good heading should include: your full name, phone number, your email address, and your location. Believe it or not but some candidates forget to put their contact details in their CV which makes it difficult for recruiters and hiring managers to contact them.

Now moving on to the introduction. It should be short and punchy and should give an overview of your skills and experience and what you can offer the employer. Outline the skills and tools you use and explain how you will use the skills to improve or add to the company. You should do some research into the industry you work in or want to work in and find out which skills and attributes are the most sought out after and any buzzwords. And make sure to include them in your introduction.

Technical Summary

To make it easier for a recruiter or hiring manager to find your technical skills you should create a separate section for it. Don’t just write a long list of all your skills, try to break it into categories. Don’t exaggerate your skills, if you only have basic knowledge of something don’t be tempted to say you know more than you do because this could backfire. They may end up testing you on it. You should also not be too modest. If you are an expert in a field or skill you should make that very clear in your CV. You should consider adding the number of years’ experience or rating system like “beginner, intermediate, expert”.

An example layout you could use is this:

Expert: C / C++ (3 years) and Java (5 years)

Intermediate: Python (1 year) Linux (1 year)

Basic: C# (6 months)

You should also keep your technical skills relevant. If you have a lot of skills on your CV you should narrow them down by selecting the ones that are the most relevant to the role you are applying for. Regularly review your CV and make sure you have the most up to date and popular technologies. This is going to help you show up in recruiters’ searches.

Demonstrate non-IT skills

Technical skills may be your main focus but it is also important to include other details and skills that you possess that will show how well you can do the job being advertised. Consider how you can show your skills in leadership, project management, communication skills etc. This is going to show the recruiter and hiring manager that you have ability to make a wider impact outside your department. Most job descriptions will also list non-technical skills they are looking for, add those to your CV as well.

Work and education history

You can make this section more interesting by using keywords and adding links to your LinkedIn profile or website or portfolio with all your previous works. As we have mentioned previously it would be useful to do some research into the latest keywords in your field and the job you’re applying. Doing some research into the company would be useful as well. Find out what kind of company are they? Do they have a corporate company culture or is it more start up, casual? Try to cater your keywords to that. This will help the hiring manager and recruiter visualise you as part of the company. Try not to overdo it on the keyword especially if you are not familiar with them.

If you are going to add links to your CV such as your professional Twitter account, portfolio or website you should bear in mind that the hiring manager may not click on these links. So you should include all the crucial information you want them to know right away in your CV.

Avoid

Vague wording- this will make you sound uninformed. Use assertive verbs such as achieved, leveraged, spearheaded, executed etc.

Too much personal information- Adding a little bit of your personality to your CV is a great way to creating an impression but don’t overdo it by including every detail about your personal life. Avoid talking about things that don’t influence your professional goals in any way.

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