How to write a technical CV
Getting a tech job at a top-class organisation requires a top-class CV, hitting all the right marks for a tech recruiter, especially when facing present-day uncertainties.
Whether you’re a data engineer, cloud engineer or a network engineer, your CV’s purpose is to demonstrate your experience and your potential.
When writing a tech CV, it’s important to be to the point, to put emphasis on core areas of your skillset and to showcase you’re up to date on industry trends, among other things.
Read on to find out our top tips on how to nail a technical CV.
1. Start with a concise personal summary.
Writing a personal summary is your chance to lead a recruiter into who you are as a tech professional. An effective personal summary will make your profile much more interesting. However, when writing a tech CV, conciseness is key, so it’s easy to miss the mark.
Whether it’s the exact required experience or the necessary qualification for the job, be sure to lead with that and focus on showing how you can make an immediate impact on the employer’s ongoing tech projects. Space is a valuable resource in a tech CV, so cut to the point to save on it. Recruiters are able to make a quick impression
2. Allocate an entire section for your skill set.
Tech recruiters often have key touch points that they immediately look for when looking through a CV, resulting in a quick scan (you can learn more about a recruiter’s six second scan in our blog on general CV writing tips). One of these touch points is a distinct and clear section about your skills and key competencies in your tech field.
After your personal summary, outline and draw attention to what your key strengths are. If you have experience in multiple fields, break the section into categories and arrange your skills by strength (e.g. advanced, mid-level, basic).
If you have a speciality, use this section to set your skills apart and highlight your core strengths. This way your best abilities are front and centre and are easy to take note of for a tech recruiter.
3. Focus on results in your work experience.
How to best describe your key achievements in your work experience? Ensure to put the emphasis on tangible results your work has achieved. A tech recruiter will probably not be interested to read long descriptions of your responsibilities at your previous role. Instead, they’ll want to find out what you did that made a difference in the tech landscape of the organisation.
When you write up your work experience, use bullet points and try to get each bullet to have the following key points: ‘I did X by doing Y which resulted in Z’. This way, you’re showing that you can quantify what you have done and that your contributions to the organisation were tangible. Every employer is looking for new hires who can create value immediately, so ensure you come across as a go-getter who will fulfill their expectation.
4. Emphasise your technical qualifications.
Although experience is king in technical CVs, relevant qualifications should not be overlooked. However, you should be highly selective about what you allocate space to in your CV. For instance, if you’re a tech professional with years of experience, don’t waste space on the subjects you did in high school. Only include the qualifications you can apply in the job you’re applying for.
Tech is a fast-changing field where innovation is on-going. It is crucial to keep up with the latest developments in it or your knowledge base will be outdated. Therefore, it is important you can show continued learning in an effort to gain new insights you can bring to the job. If you have qualifications taken at different points in your career, emphasise the continuity of your learning experience rather than fixate on one qualification.
5. Don’t get carried away with the style
A technical CV is meant to have a clean and clear structure so it’s easy to scan and follow. Alternative designs are not advisable as that might distract the recruiter from your skills and competencies. Ensure to use clear sections and bullet points to communicate your key ideas succinctly.
Do not clutter your CV with technical jargon. Not only does this come across as poor style, the expectation for you is to be able to effectively explain technical concepts to non-tech professionals. Using too much jargon can seem unprofessional and confusing so ensure to simplify your content and use terms that are understandable for all.
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