Get CV Ready
If you’ve been following our 9 step instructions on breaking into tech, you might be ready to begin crafting your tech-oriented CV.
If you have never worked with tech before, it can be difficult to make your CV seem relevant. But don’t worry! We’ve got your back. In this article we have listed some specific tips that will help sharpen up your CV and make it more tech-applicable.
- Show your willingness to learn. Whether you are new to work or looking for a career change, no one expects you to know everything. If you can clearly demonstrate your ability to learn new concepts and adapt to new situations, then potential employers will respond to this. Examples are key.
- Demonstrate growth. Putting dates next to roles on your CV is a great way to demonstrate how you have grown as an individual. Your CV should be in reverse chronological order and should show that each new experience has allowed you to develop a skillset that the previous ones did not.
- Do not over-embellish. Remember that employers might receive hundreds of submissions. Keep your CV brief and to the point; it should not require more than two sides of A4 paper. Bullet points are your friend but must still look professional.
- Show some personality. Many employers will require you to submit your CV into a form on a website. This is to prevent you from adding colour or images to prevent the recruiter making biased decisions. There is a common misconception that the lack of colour means that you can’t show personality. This is generally untrue since many employers look forward to hearing how you are different and what you get up to in your own time.
- Cut out acronyms and jargon. This is particularly true if you are applying to a technical job. Remember that the first person to see your CV will often be a HR professional or recruitment consultant who may not have the technical knowledge that you do. Your CV needs to be relatable for anyone so you should minimise your use of acronyms (at least write them out the first time you use them) and industry-specific jargon. Save that for the interview!
- List your technical skills. You should dedicate a section of your CV to your technical skills. Break this up into sections so that a non-technical reader can understand the broad concepts. For example, you might have a “Programming” section which you can then break down into specific languages. You can also list the number of years of experience you have with that skill or your perceived experience (expert, intermediate or beginner).
- Don’t overdo the technical skills! This might seem a little contradictory, but your CV should not just be a list of all the technical skills that you possess. It’s important to also demonstrate other skills that you have such as product development, leadership, or management.
- Include courses and certifications. If you have completed any notable courses or certifications, be sure to include them. They will backup any claims you make about your enthusiasm and motivation.
- Include projects you’ve done. Whether you’ve tried launching a website, developed some interesting code, or written about tech trends, these projects will hold a lot of weight on your CV, especially if you can include a link to view them. If you’ve not done anything like this, it can be a very effective way of boosting your application.
- Mention methodologies that you use. Although they might seem like a pain in your day to day job, it is important to employers that you fit in with their workflow and culture. Therefore if you have used them, go ahead and mention frameworks such as Agile, SAFe and ITIL.
- Modify for the job description. It is useful to have an evolving copy of your CV which might cover multiple pages, however you should tailor this to each application you make so that it best fits the job description.
- Link the cover letter. If you need to include a cover letter, this should also be used to highlight specific aspects of the job description and marry these to elements of your CV. The two should compliment one and another without offering too much repetition.
Once you’re CV is in, you’ll be ready to move onto a job interview. Check out our tips and tricks for tech job interviews here.