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Tailoring Your CV for Success: A Guide for Technology Professionals

7 months ago by Jordan McNamara
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In today's competitive job market, standing out as a technology professional requires more than just technical skills, it requires a well written and structured CV that showcases your expertise, aligning with the specific requirements of the tech job you are applying for.

Whether you're an experienced developer or a recent graduate, tailoring your CV can significantly increase your chances of landing the job you've always wanted.

According to research from TopCV a staggering 75% of CVs are rejected by the screening software ‘bots’, even before they reach a recruiter, let alone a Hiring Manager. On average recruiters can received 250 applications for 1 job, which is why the screening software is so important to help sift through the mountains of CVs.

Your CV is your first impression to a company, so think of it like presenting clearly why a company should hire you. Ensure the language you use can be understood by both technical and non-technical stakeholders involved in the hiring process to give you the highest chance of success.

In this blog, I’ll describe some straight-forward CV writing tips to help you get noticed.

1. Understand the job description

Before you start working on your CV, thoroughly analyse the job description of the position you're applying for. Highlight the key skills, qualifications, and responsibilities that the employer is seeking. This will give you valuable insights into what to emphasise in your CV.

2. Choose a clear and relevant format

Your CV's format should be clean, easy to read, and aligned with industry standards. For tech roles, a reverse-chronological format is often preferred, as it emphasises your most recent experiences and achievements. Ensure that your contact information is up-to-date and prominently displayed at the top of your CV. Ideally, save your CV in a Microsoft Word format instead of PDF, as sometimes PDFs aren’t read correctly by the screening software.

3. Craft a strong professional summary

Start your CV with a compelling professional summary that highlights your key strengths, years of experience, and the specific areas of tech you specialise in. Tailor this section to align with the job requirements, using keywords and phrases from the job description to demonstrate your fit for the role. Once you have written it, go through and edit it down. Remove any “filler” words and make your sentences more concise, and punchy, to get your key points across quickly.

4. Showcase relevant technical skills

Create a dedicated section that highlights your technical skills and proficiencies. Include programming languages, frameworks, tools, and technologies that are relevant to the job. Be specific and concise and consider categorising your skills to make them easier to navigate.

5. Customise your work experience

When detailing your work experience, focus on your accomplishments and responsibilities that directly relate to the job you're applying for. Use bullet points to showcase your achievements, quantify them whenever possible e.g. "Implemented a new feature that resulted in a 20% increase in user engagement", and emphasise how you contributed to your previous employers' success.

6. Highlight relevant projects

If you have personal or open-source projects that demonstrate your skills and passion for tech, include them in a separate section. Describe the projects, the technologies you used, and the problems you solved. Link to repositories or online portfolios to provide evidence of your work.

7. Tailor your education and certifications

List your educational background and any relevant certifications, starting with the most recent. If you have completed courses, workshops, or certifications related to the job requirements, make sure to highlight them. Include any honours, awards, or relevant extracurricular activities.

8. Incorporate keywords

Many companies use applicant tracking systems (ATS) to screen CVs before they even reach human recruiters. To ensure your CV passes through these systems, integrate relevant keywords from the job description naturally throughout your CV.

9. Showcase soft skills

While technical skills are crucial, don't overlook the importance of soft skills. Communication, teamwork, problem-solving, and adaptability are highly valued in the tech industry. Provide examples of how you've demonstrated these skills in your previous roles.

10. Tailor your CV for each application

Avoid sending out a generic CV for every job application. Take the time to customise your CV for each position you apply to. Modify your professional summary, skills section, and work experience to align with the specific role and company culture.

11. Proofread and review

Before submitting your CV, carefully proofread it for grammar, spelling, and formatting errors. A well-presented and error-free CV reflects your attention to detail, which is critically important in tech roles.

So, there we have some simple and achievable points to put into practice with regard to getting your professional CV up to speed. In the competitive landscape of the tech industry, a professionally written and tailored CV can be the key to landing your dream job. By understanding the job description, highlighting relevant skills and experiences, and customising your CV for each application, you increase your chances of standing out and impressing potential employers.

Remember, your CV provides your first impression on would-be employers, so invest the time and effort required to make it a true reflection of your capabilities and aspirations. With a well-crafted CV in hand, you're one step closer to securing your dream tech job.

Ready to find your next exciting job? Browse all our technology jobs here.

About the author

Jordan McNamara is our Permanent Recruitment Team Lead, having joined Gravitas 6 and a half years ago as a graduate, progressing through to Senior & then Team Lead. Jordan managers a team of consultants that solely offer a Permanent recruitment offering, across Technology & Transformation.

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