Earlier this year, an analysis by jobs board Indeed revealed six of the ten jobs with the highest proportion of hard-to-fill vacancies are in the tech and systems sector.
The analysis revealed that software engineers, software architects, front-end developers, system engineers, software test engineers and full-stack developers all had high percentages of lengthy vacancies in the past year. But even so, competition is fierce and to win over one of these positions, you need to stand out.
In a report prepared for the House of Commons Science and Technology Committee titled ‘Digital Skills Crisis’, Sheila Flavell from FDM Group (an IT graduate employer), cited the main reason why so many tech jobs have remained vacant is because of a “mismatch in skills.”
Given that a CV is the first thing that a hiring manager looks at to judge the suitability of a candidate, it is imperative that you fine-tune yours. Do the skills in your CV align with what the job description is looking for? Is your CV illustrating why you should be hired above all other candidates?
Whether you are new to the industry or not, increase your chances of getting your foot in the door with these five tips on how to write a CV that stands out for IT jobs.
1. Learn the language
Tech recruiters are on the lookout for people who are proficient in very specific programming languages to fulfil their company’s needs, so learning the right languages should be the first thing that you do before applying for a job.
2. Show, don’t tell
One of the cardinal rules of CV writing is “show, don’t tell” to give tangible evidence on what you are capable of doing. For example, rather than saying that you are proficient in Java and PHP, show a project that demonstrates your skills and programming knowledge.
So how can you “show” a recruiter what you are capable of without being there in person? Make your latest work accessible online.
This may sound like common sense, but you’d be surprised to know that there are still IT professionals who do not do this or only showcase outdated work. Upload your front-end work to sites like Behance and your code to sites like GitHub.
Creating a blog that represents who you are as an IT professional will also enable you to stand out from the crowd by communicating your unique perspectives on coding and the tech industry. Alternatively, being an active contributor on popular coding forums like Stackoverflow is also a good indication of your coding skills and should not be left out of your CV!
Also, if you land an interview, bring your laptop/iPad along so that you can walk the interviewer through your work in finer detail. Focus on how you helped your client/employer reach their objective and how you overcame the challenges that you faced along the way.
3. Highlight accomplishments, not tasks
Most CVs read like a list of tasks. For example: “used problem-solving skills to update company software” and “built a website using HTML5 and CSS.” While this describes what you did, it does not explain the value that your work brought to the business – and this is what hiring managers are looking for.
Instead of highlighting the tasks that you have completed, convey the impact that you had on your employer or client’s business. Did your work help them gain more customers and increase sales by £X? Did your work help them streamline their work processes and make them more efficient by Y%?
4. Outline your project management approach
If you are applying for a project manager position, then your suitability and the amount of value that you can contribute will largely depend on your knowledge of and track record in implementing project methodologies.
Are you an agile practitioner? If so, for how many years and what kind of impact were you able to cultivate by taking this approach?
5. Simplify and prioritise
Hiring managers face a paradoxical challenge – they have to sift through hundreds or even thousands of applications, yet they have a limited amount of time on their hands to find the perfect person for the job.
Make it easy for recruiters to understand your value by simplifying and prioritising your CV. Restrict the skills and work achievements that you include to those that resonate with the job at hand. Use short and snappy sentences as well as bullet points where appropriate. And finally, limit your CV to two pages at most.
As previously mentioned, there are a lot of vacant tech jobs out there – you just need to make sure that what you offer matches what employers are looking for. By following these five CV writing tips, you will be well on your way to standing out from the IT job-hunting crowd. If you are serious about advancing your career in the IT industry, consider investing in game-changing professionally authored CV prepared by celebrated CV writing specialists.
Amelia Brooke, founder of UK-based ABCV Solutions comments ‘when your CV lands, you’re just another sheet in the stack. Our job is to ensure this changes the moment your CV is picked up from the pile’. Amelia has analysed and prepared hundreds of tech and engineering CVs of all levels of career progression including entry levels, junior levels, managerial levels and senior management levels. You can find more information about the CV Writing, LinkedIn Optimisation, Cover Letters and Social Management services on offer at www.abcvsolutions.com.