What Your CV Must Include to Make it to the Interview Stage

by Elise Milburn - over 3 years ago


Written by Emily Egerton, Software & Web Development

As a recruiter in the IT & technology market, I often have to examine hundreds of CVs for one given job opening.

The market is extremely competitive for technology positions. One of the most important things you can do when applying for a job is to ensure your CV clearly does your skills and experience justice and demonstrates immediately why you would be a great fit for the role.

Recruiters don’t always get as much time as they’d like to review applications, so here are my top tips on writing your CV to maximise your chances of making it through to the job interview process.

1. A Strong Summary / Profile

Place a brief profile at the top of your CV which gives the Recruiter a summary of you.

This should be three to four sentences in length and be focused on your key achievements and areas of expertise. Do not fill it with vague assertions about your strong work ethic, exemplary time-keeping, etc. Keep it clear, concise and focused on your accomplishments which are relevant to the role.

2. Give the Recruiter a Technology “Snap-Shot”

Include a list of your technical skills and break the section into subcategories so it is easy to identify programs, applications and languages. Make it easy for the Recruiter to find the skills they are looking for.

Don’t list every technology you have ever used, going back to that one time you read a book on Node.js during the third term of your second year of Uni - focus on the skills you have which are relevant to the job you are applying for and only mention programs / technologies you could confidently discuss and demonstrate in an interview.

3. Get into the Head of the Employer

It is second nature to focus on why you want this job; however, your Recruiter needs to see the benefits of you working for their client, rather than vice versa.

Remember that employers are interested in the impact of your skills, not just the skills themselves.

Stress what you have actually accomplished with emphasis on tangible results. Have you increased app sales revenue by 30%? Doubled SEO in 12 months? Developed software that reduced costs by 15%?

Accomplishments are most powerful when they are measurable!

4. Showcase Your Technology Skills

Where possible, include examples of your past work. If you have an online portfolio, in Github for example, why wait until the interview stage to show off your work? Enclose the link in your CV.

Have you developed a game which made it onto the App Store or authored a successful tech blog? Name drop it.

These are things which will set you apart from many other candidates who have experienced less commercial success, or even worse have forgotten to put it on their CV.

5. Don’t waffle

Your CV should be clutter free. Always keep your sentences concise and to the point; don’t use 12 words when you can get your point across in eight.

Leave out irrelevant information and minimise your education section as you gain experience. After sufficient commercial experience list only the basic details – Educational institution, Course, Grade, Dates attended.

6. Spell Check!

I can’t stress how important this is – I receive so many CVs which have clearly not been checked thoroughly before they have been sent.

You only get one chance to make a first impression so make sure you run your CV through a spell checker, then read through it at least twice to flag any grammatical errors (remember, your spell check will not highlight where you have written “there” rather than “their”).

For best results ask a friend to read it for you as well. A fresh pair of eyes can make a big difference.


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