Top skills to include on your CV for an IT job

Woman working on job application - close up of hands on keyboard of laptop.


How do you list skills on a CV if you haven’t got enough experience and bag the interview? Here, Sheila Flavell CBE, Chief Operating Officer for FDM Group, gives us her advice.


Companies are now increasingly using AI-generated applicant tracking systems to scan hundreds of CVs searching for pre-set keywords that match the requisite skills and experience for a role.

38 percent of companies are focusing their AI efforts on talent acquisition. So, a lack of work experience could put at a particular disadvantage.

Sheila Flavell CBE, Chief Operating Officer for FDM Group

How do you list skills on a CV if you haven’t got enough experience and bag the interview? Here, Sheila Flavell CBE, Chief Operating Officer for FDM Group, gives us her advice.

Sheila has over 31 years experience in the global tech sector. She is a dynamic business leader who has a passion for enhancing diversity in the workplace and creating exciting careers for the next generation of digital talent.


Pay attention to the language used in job descriptions. Try to reference keywords used in the role outline in your own application. Include both hard and soft skills are crucial to include on your CV. Hard skills can be gained from formal training programmes and can include software or technological proficiency.

Soft skills are social skills that you need to thrive in any role. 92 percent of talent professionals believe they are either equally or more important than hard skills when hiring.

Referencing any experience from project-based work or part-time roles can be useful if there is a lack of full-time work experience. For example, if a role requires ‘strong research skills’, you should demonstrate how you leveraged those skills to achieve a result.


This is arguably one of the most important skills in a 24/7 industry like tech.

Employers want to see an applicant’s ability to organise their work in a way that enables timely completion. So, you can demonstrate your time management skills with an example of a time when you had to balance more than one project and successfully completed both.


IT at its core is a collaborative industry meaning that communication skills are key to delivering successful projects and are particularly valued by employers.

They want applicants who are able to communicate clearly with colleagues and stakeholders and can explain technical issues to non-technical audiences in plain, jargon-free terms.

On your CV, instead of listing communication as a skill, describe how effectively you can communicate.

Writing about teamwork in volunteering roles at university or even in a sports team can be a great way of displaying how you can collaborate cohesively to reach a common goal.


Companies like to see an applicant’s approach to problem solving and their ability to view issues from different perspectives. Provide an insight of how you encountered and overcame a problem.

Use the STAR method: Situation, Task, Action, Result – a structured method to describe how you responded to specific situations in the past and the results of your actions. 


Employers want to know how much knowledge an applicant has on the company and the sector they are applying to.

This is easier to demonstrate in a cover letter. In a CV you can cite examples of any part-time work or independent research you may have done that’s relevant to the role or industry. Following the company’s social media feeds and any related news publications will also help you stay updated.


Most roles require basic computer skills and depending on the job, IT recruiters may ask for either hardware or software skills or a mix of both.

Common computer skills listed by employers include:

  • Fluency in programming languages – like Python, C++
  • Systems administration
  • Proficiency in Excel

Trying to upskill during the process is key. Taking an online course in coding, or brushing up on your Excel skills are valuable experiences to include as examples of your computer skills on your CV.

It’s a great time to join the tech sector as it continues to evolve and offer enormous prospects to even those from a purely non-technical backgrounds. By cultivating technical proficiency, time management, problem solving, commercial awareness and communication skills, applicants can best position themselves for a successful career in IT.


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