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Pimp Your CV for the IT Industry - Top Tips From Computeach

Aug 5, 2008
1). Don't forget the basics

Keep the layout as simple as possible, to a maximum of one and a half pages. Some HR managers skim through over hundreds of CVs a day and if it's too long it will be immediately be discarded. Also, always remember to include the essentials; it's amazing how many people forget the simple things like daytime telephone number and email address. Don't use logos, borders, images or fancy fonts in your CV. If you can stick to a clear, unfussy and simple layout, the attention won't be detracted from the content which should prove enough to impress the reader!

2). Don't lose sleep over gaps

Don't worry about covering every hour from birth up until the morning of your interview. Gaps can be filled at the interview and can often provide you with a great opportunity to engage in conversation with the interviewer - allowing you to boast about skills and experience face to face.

3). Mention your transferable skills

It's easy to put too much focus on your IT skills; you're applying for a job in IT after all. But, what many people fail to realize is the value that employers place on skills gained in previous roles - even if they don't at first appear to be directly relevant to the job you're applying for. Communication, delegation and appraisal skills are prime examples of skills that can be picked up from roles within anything from factory worker to sales assistant. Make sure you shout about these from the rooftops!

4). Keep it simple - cater for the HR professional too!

Remember that the person who is reviewing applicants' CVs is usually not a member of the IT technical staff, it is more likely to be a member of Human Resources. A list of IT qualifications won't interest the reader. Instead, translate the IT skills you have in a clear and relevant manner, making sure the most relevant are clearly shown first. It is also worth finding out who the IT director at your prospective employer is and sending them a copy of your CV.

5). Don't forget your soft skills

When applying for a job in IT, one of the biggest hurdles to overcome is adopting an inter-personal approach. A large proportion of IT jobs are helpdesk-based so the ability to communicate is always essential. Experience in customer service and people management for example would be useful to highlight in your CV. It's these type of skills that can make the difference between the reaching the shortlist and the recycling bin!

Employers in the IT industry share much more in common with other employees. What they are looking for is proof that you know your stuff and that you have relevant experience. Try to keep this in mind when you're putting your CV or application together and it will help you to get the most important aspects across.
About the Author
MaryAnne Clayton, Head of recruitment and careers, Computeach - With over 40 years of experience in the IT Training Industry, Computeach provides innovative and truly blended learning solutions to a wide range of customers. http://www.computeach.co.uk/ For interviews, images or comments contact: Rosie Gallagher Marketing Communications Executive Computeach International Ltd Phone: 01384 245 308 Email: rosie.gallagher@computeach.co.uk
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