7 golden rules for building a tech CV
The Information Technology (IT) job market is extremely competitive and volatile, constantly changing. In order to secure a place in recruitment processes and be able to choose the right opportunity at the right time in our career, it is essential to have a relevant CV that can create an impact.
Having an up-to-date curriculum vitae (CV) gives us some competitive advantages:
1) increases the chances of standing out from other candidates, and being chosen to go for interview; 2) speeds up the recruitment process and makes it more transparent and relevant; 3) promotes our personal brand as professionals.
In this document, we talk about the 7 golden rules that you should take into account to create a CV that stands out in the IT market.
7 golden rules for creating an impactful IT CV
1. choose a simple template
It may seem to be something more superficial, but the choice of the template of our curriculum can influence, at first glance, the attention that recruiters pay to it. It can even change our whole perception of the candidate.
Thus, the focus should be on the readability and comprehensibility of the information we want to convey. This means that, ideally, we should choose a template that is as clean and modern as possible, allowing us to organize information in a way that is easy to find and read.
2. Pay attention to writing and grammar
Ideally, you should write short, direct sentences, with simple language that is accessible to anyone. “One sentence, one idea” is the motto to follow. Allied to the simplicity of the writing, we find correct punctuation and faultless grammar. All of this is crucial to creating a relevant and impactful CV.
3. Structuring the curriculum in an orderly manner
The way we organize and structure the CV is important. There are several common practices we can adopt to structure our curriculum in an orderly way.
For example: the CV can be organized by sections (Work Experience; Education and Training; Technical and Social Skills; Language Skills, etc.)
In sections such as work experience and education, organizing the activities from most recent to oldest helps the recruiter to read the CV starting with the most current and/or relevant information.
Writing a short professional description about who we are at the beginning of the CV or listing the main tech skills by bullet points can also be useful to improve the reader’s experience and capture their attention.
4. Include personal information
Of course, putting contact details (such as email and cell phone) is indispensable, but there are other data that are also relevant. For example, the link to LinkedIn or GitHub profile, in the area of Information Technology, is potentially differentiating information, which helps recruiters to understand on which platforms and channels we are present (and develop some activity).
Nowadays, the full address is no longer a necessary information to include in the CV. It is important to mention in the CV the locations where we are available to work and/or the working regime(full remote, hybrid and full office) that we are willing to adopt.
5. List the technical and social competences
In the IT market, a presentation of what our core technical and social skills are is very important. This section of our curriculum gives us the opportunity to mention the main technologies we have had contact with during our career.
To list our competences efficiently, we should: 1) focus on keywords, using bullet points or tables; 2) list as much technological knowledge as we have acquired; 3) be thorough, and above all honest, in describing the skills we have acquired so far, including only the tools we have mastered and with which we are able to participate in a given project and add value to a given company.
6. Include academic training and other certifications
For IT professionals, the technological academic path may have started in secondary education, in a higher education institution (college or polytechnic) or even through other programs, courses and trainings.
Organizing this information in a succinct and direct way is ideal, and it is always relevant to put the area of study, start and completion dates and the institution or platform where the training was done. If any technical certification has been done, it is also important to mention it in this section.
7. Detail professional experience
This is perhaps the most important section of an IT curriculum. The description of each of our professional experiences is essential, and should include information such as: tech stack that we used in each project, main responsibilities and tasks carried out, achievements and successes, elementary learnings that we took from the experience, quantitative facts about our contribution in the project or qualitative aspects about our impact in each team.
Ensuring that the dates and periods of our work experience are correct is essential. Even more important is to make sure that the information on your CV matches the information you have on other communication channels, such as your LinkedIn profile.
Extra rule: give a better context about who we are
After the most relevant information about our professional and academic background, we can also include other sections in the CV that create impact. They are:
1. Language skills – the technology market is global, and the languages we master (oral and written) are important information to include in our CV. They can even be an unlocking factor when it comes to joining a new project – in an international company, a multicultural team, or other similar context. In this field, it is important to be honest and prepared to “prove” your knowledge in an interview.
2. Other professional experiences – projects carried out part-time, contributions made to tech communities or freelance projects can and should be mentioned in the CV. As long as they were relevant learnings and related to the new challenges we want to seize.
3. Volunteering experiences, hobbies and similar – knowing the person behind the professional can also be a differentiating factor, so we can take the opportunity to include in our CV activities/hobbies to which we dedicate our free time or in which we have an interest.
Final notes to consider
Creating a CV that has an impact on the IT market can be crucial when it comes to gaining new professional opportunities and making career leaps.
More than a physical/digital medium to share with our potential employers, the CV is a demonstration of our personal brand, and of our presence and influence in the job market. And it should be seen as such.
That said, get to work and build a tech CV that will grab the attention of any recruiter. 😉
João Maria Costa
Talent Acquisition Consultant
When I’m not busy finding the best talent for Neotalent’s national and international opportunities, I’m most likely immersed in a video game, reading a good fantasy book, or indulging in the latest Marvel Universe movies.