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CV Writing for IT Professionals

Every CV should be regarded as a marketing document for use in a very competitive market place.  The only function of a CV is to deliver information, usually to a prospective employer in support of a job application.  It is your first point of contact with a new employer who knows nothing about you apart from what they can read and understand from the document you are submitting.

For all of these reasons it is vital to present the information in a clear, easy to understand format which is not an easy thing to achieve. This is especially true when you bear in mind that it must be possible for a very busy person to be able to see what you have to offer, even though they may be speed reading the CV in the first instance.

CV writing for IT experts can be particularly difficult because it presents unique challenges.  You need to differentiate between demonstrating your technical expertise and identifying project deliverables.

As with all marketing documents, you need to start off with a ‘pitch’.  In this case it will be a profile, followed by one or two clear bulleted lists demonstrating skills and/or achievements. If you include here a section entitled ‘Technical Expertise’ and then clearly set out details of your technical skills, you will be off to a flying start in making that all important good first impression.  You will have ensured that the reader can immediately understand what you have to offer.

After the ‘pitch’ will come the ‘validation’.  This will be your Career History and Education and Qualifications sections in which you will demonstrate how you have acquired your skills and how you have used them for the benefit of previous employers.

There is a very real danger, and it is a trap that many people fall into, that in describing your technical expertise you forget to explain what practical results you were seeking to achieve.  You will have already specified the technical expertise that you can offer at the beginning of the CV, so it is not necessary to go into very great detail about the technologies which were used for each project.  By all means mention them, but avoid using jargon or acronyms unless you are very sure that the reader will understand what they mean.

Remember that technology is simply a set of tools which you are using to deliver end results.  By specifying outcomes and the context within which you used the tools, you are able to demonstrate that your use of IT was expert and effective. That is what you really need your CV to tell employers, so that they can recognise you as the ideal candidate for the job they have on offer.

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