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CV Tips

Focus on achievements, not tasks

Your basic job duties should not take center stage in your IT CV. Instead, save room to detail your achievements, and include metrics whenever possible.

Tell a cohesive story

Hiring managers want to quickly understand your resume—which can be difficult when you have a varied career. Remember to focus on the job you’re seeking as opposed to your entire work history. Content should emphasise accomplishments related to the position you want, and items that don’t support your career goals should be omitted.

Edit carefully and ruthlessly

Most consultants agree the one-page rule for CVs is outdated unless you’re a junior candidate with less than 10 years of experience. But brevity still counts, so restrict your CV to two pages or less—and don’t use the extra room to squeeze in more information. Instead, format your CV for readability, which means building in lots of white space and avoiding long chunks of text. Modern hiring managers prefer bulleted text, which makes for easier scanning. And even experienced writers need a proofreader to avoid making mistakes. Don’t have the luxury of a proofreader? Printing your CV will help you see your work with fresh eyes.

List skills near the top

Most IT leaders receive at least 10 CVs each week (many report significantly more), and they think at least half the applicants are unqualified for the positions they seek. Faced with a continual stream of CVs, IT hiring managers want to quickly determine whether yours meets the position requirements. Listing your relevant skills near the top gives readers a reason to pay closer attention to your application.

Enhance your credibility with social media

IT leaders believe most CVs contain exaggerations and even lies. Building a public LinkedIn profile can help validate the truth of your resume. Most employers place more trust in the social network than CVs, believing workers are less likely to exaggerate skills and accomplishments in a public forum. Include your LinkedIn profile as a CV link. Engineers and developers who use GitHub should feature that link on their resume, as well.

Make online applications easier

Many IT professionals report that online recruiting systems are the bane of their existence. It makes sense; you’ve already constructed the perfect resume, but every application system is different so you’re constantly rewriting your skills and achievements. One way to ease this problem is create a master achievement and skills document in a plain text format. List every achievement and skill, and just copy and paste the relevant ones into the system.

Skip CVs altogether

Don’t have the time, inclination or knowledge to market your skills effectively? A consultant is a specialist who knows how to do these things for you.