WRITING A CV ISN’T A TASK ANYONE REALLY LOOKS FORWARD TO.
It doesn’t matter if you’re a school leave or a recent graduate looking for your first role in tech, or you’re a seasoned professional looking for a new challenge – it isn’t easy.
You’re looking to highlight your technical skills and why you’re the right person for the job, but you also don’t want to appear overconfident. In this article, Simon Bell from Careermap.co.uk shares with you some key tips to help you write an eye-catching tech CV this year.
Simon is the Founder and Director of Careermap.co.uk, the UK’s #1 career advice and guidance platform packed full with live job opportunities from leading employers and training providers.
BEGIN WITH A TECHNICAL OVERVIEW
This is very much like a personal statement, but use it primarily to give an overview of your experience (either professionally or through any academic qualifications you have) and what you would bring to the role. Make every word count and don’t spend time over explaining anything. Try to include transferable keywords like ‘team player’ and ‘hardworking’ too. Explain a bit about your background (e.g. if you’re due to graduate), and why you’d make a great addition to their team.
HIGHLIGHT YOUR TECHNICAL SKILLS AND QUALIFICATIONS
Your CV is often the first place you’ll get to show off the technical skills you’ve learned in the course of your career or while at university. Whether you’ve got lots of skills to show off or are in the earlier stages of your career, you want to make it easy for a potential employer to read.
Quality over quantity is often recommended too, so don’t feel like you need to mention everything you’ve done, this could come later in the interview process.
EXPERIENCE, EXPERIENCE, EXPERIENCE
The experience section of your CV is your place to talk about the exciting projects you’ve been part of in your career. If you’ve recently graduated then don’t worry if you haven’t got as much experience as older professionals. Just make sure you reflect this in your CV and the roles you’re applying for. Graduate schemes are a great place to build your portfolio of experience in a structured environment. You could write about projects you’ve completed at university ,and even internships or placements if you participated in them.
For more experienced professionals, you should list your experience chronologically, with your most recent experience first. This helps the employer to build a picture of your recent projects. Don’t be afraid to use a punchy statistic if you have one either, to help drive home the impact of your work.
DON’T UNDERESTIMATE THE SOFT SKILLS
We’ve already emphasised the importance of highlighting your technical skills. You really shouldn’t neglect the soft skills either though.
WHAT ARE SOFT SKILLS?
Simply put, they’re the transferable skills that are relevant in any job. Things like strong communication skills, teamwork and the ability to work under pressure are highly sought after across the employment market today. You’ve likely seen some of these skills on job descriptions before.
Even though you’re looking for a technical role, you’ll still need these skills in your day-to-day role. For example, if you’re working on a group project with others you’ll be using teamwork and have to communicate with others. Got an upcoming project deadline? You’ll need to be able to work under pressure to complete it on time.
Luckily for you, you should have some examples of this you can mention, either in a previous role or while studying at university or college.
INCLUDE A SHORT SUMMARY OF YOUR INTERESTS
This doesn’t need to be extensive, but a brief list of your interests helps to humanise you to the employer. Recruiters read lots of similar CVs for the same role, so anything you can do to make yours stand out, the better!
If you have an unusual hobby, then make sure you mention it. Please don’t exaggerate though (this goes for the experience section too), if you say you’re a moonlighting magician, you’re almost certain to be asked about it in an interview. Even if you do manage to get through the interview, it could lead to an awkward conversation down the line.
Tip: If you can highlight any skills through your hobbies, like leadership, this is a bonus!
Best of luck with the next chapter of your career.