CV tips for IT professionals

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Your resume is often the only chance you'll get to make a first impression

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13 September 2017 | 0

When writing an IT CV, there are a number of key features which should be present to showcase your knowledge, skills and abilities.

Depending on the role, position, company and industry these can reflected in various ways. However, in general, there more senior the position the more of the features listed below you should consider adding.

Interpersonal skills
Most CVs for IT professionals focus on technical skills and rightly so. However, adding strong interpersonal skills to your IT CV will give you a competitive advantage and make you stand out from the crowd.

Try not to just describe the duties you had in a previous position, instead show how you did them, for example, a friendly and supportive approach to managing the IT support helpdesk queries. Your personal profile is also a good place to demonstrate your core competencies in this area.

Technical skills
Consider having a separate section in your IT CV for your various IT skills, software and hardware knowledge, systems, processes and frameworks (eg ITIL) etc. Any formal course can be added here also.

A lot of prospective employers will search the IrishJobs.ie CV database for specific skills in named software packages or operating system etc. So many people have used what they are looking for but don’t put it on their CV. It means they do not come up on searches and end up being overlooked.

If you are currently doing a course or intend on doing a course that year, you can add that to your CV like this: 2015-2016 – Oracle BI Fusion, QMS/ISO, ITIL Course.

Reporting skills
It shouldn’t be a surprise but reporting is paramount for many IT roles. Highlight your skills in this area and the frequencies of your reporting and the audience for these reports.

Project size & duration
If your experience involves doing project work, make sure to state the size of the project, usually in value, the duration of the project and how many were involved. This provides the employer with a clear idea of what it involved and thus creates greater impact.

Hobbies & interests
It can help to show you have other interests. If you are involved in the community in any way, then include this on your CV. Travel can show that you are comfortable working in diverse environments which would also look good on your CV. Sports and clubs can show your social skills and teamwork abilities.

Organisational skills
Many IT roles require a person to be highly organised. They need to be able to manage their workload efficiently and show a methodical approach to work. An organised person will plan in advance and be calm under pressure. If you can flag your organisational skills, then do.

Attention to detail
Accuracy is key in IT roles so you need to have a well-presented and error-free CV to demonstrate your attention to detail. Don’t write that you pay ‘strong attention to detail’ in your CV and send one in full of spelling mistakes.

Multi-tasking
Most IT roles require multi-tasking skills to manage conflicting priorities and duties. The more of this you have experienced in the past, the more you should sell it in your CV.

Efficiency
Show when and how you have improved efficiencies. IT can be a large cost to an organisation if it is done inefficiently. If you have experience in the past of improving processes through streamlining, designing new innovative ways of working or even just some small continuous improvements you have made, make sure to get these down on your CV.

Employers like people who think about the bottom line. Equally, if you have ideas for improving any other areas of the company in your current or prospective roles, be ready to talk about these in your interview.

Teamwork
For IT roles, you need to be able to show are accustomed to working with other departments and also as part of a team. You need to show that you are a good communicator over the phone, e-mail and in person. If you can describe how busy your previous roles were by adding some numbers against them, this will provide the prospective employer with the context of your experience to date.

Communication skills
Communication is key. You need to show that you are a good communicator over the phone, e-mail and in person. You could also add core competencies in this area to your personal profile such as personable, approachable, friendly or calm under pressure.

Industry knowledge
You will see in the job specification that knowledge of the industry is a distinct advantage when applying for any role. Display how you know the industry if you have worked in it before.

If you have not, show transferable skills such as an ability to get up to speed quickly and technical skills in one area that show a competence for learning in a new area. You can also show a general interest in the area in your cover letter by doing your research.

Research the industry/company and try and use their terminology where possible throughout your application process. And remember, whenever you put something on your CV you need to be able to talk about it confidently in an interview. Have plenty of real life examples ready to back up your claims.

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