5 things you always need to include in your IT-based CV

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10 August 2023

Are you an IT specialist? If so, it’ll come as no surprise that you are more or less at liberty to choose your next job. There are only a few fields in which the shortage of skilled workers is currently as severe as in the computer and software industry. In other words, this presents a more than favourable situation for applicants.

Nevertheless, you should still make every effort to submit a compelling application. After all, this is the only way to stand out from the crowd and land your dream job. It’s in your best interests to communicate your professional profile in a precise manner, as this will enable you to get a job that actually suits you. In the following, we’ll show you five essential topics that you must cover in your CV.

Although the most important factor in determining a successful application is so obvious it should go without saying, applicants often need a helpful reminder: analyse the job posting very carefully! You should do this both to make sure that the job is suitable for you and so that you can then align the five main topics of your application with it. 

Professional experience 

In the job market, professional experience is your most value asset – and the same applies in IT. Your work career must be presented in your CV without gaps and to the exact month. However, your primarily focus should be on the last few years. You can tailor the wording in detail to the specific requirements of the job posting. As with any application, you should clarify any gaps in your employment history.

Make sure you list all the important details: employer, position, title, duration – and also factor in changes in position and promotions with the same employer. If any of your previous jobs are particularly relevant to the current application, you can list projects, achievements, and responsibilities in your CV. For example, you could list one major success for each area. Try to ensure that a common trajectoryemerges from your career – one that would ideally culminate in the current position for which you’re applying.

Education and training 

Needless to say, your university education should be clearly presented on your CV. List your course of study, university/college, the duration, and specialist areas, especially if they are relevant to the position. Semesters abroad and changes of university are also relevant here. If it fits into the context of the application, you could also mention the topic of your thesis. However, the grade you achieved should always be mentioned in your CV.

Not all jobs necessarily require a degree, though. Depending on the position, you may be able to apply with IT vocational training. In this case, you should list the exact title, the company where you trained, and the grade. Lastly, your final school-leaving qualification (with the date) should also be stated.

Tech skills 

Your expertise is centred around your technical IT skills. When describing them, you should emphasize the skills that are relevant for the job. To ensure greater clarity, we recommend you organise the skills by topic. Create a block for programming languages, frameworks, tools, methods (Scrum, etc.), databases, and other categories.

When it comes to listing your skills, it’s also crucial that you state how advanced your skills are in each case. Make sure you are honest in your self-assessment, especially if you don’t have any relevant certificates. For example, you could use the 3 skill levels of beginner, intermediate and advanced. Another crucial point is to keep your presentation plausible! Although skills are the be-all and end-all of your application, listing too many skills quickly makes you look untrustworthy.


The importance of individual projects is a distinctive feature of IT applications. Since you can illustrate your skills very well based on completed tasks, you should list a selection of interesting projects. If there are quite a few, we would recommend a separate project list with concise descriptions as an appendix. Otherwise, your CV will quickly exceed the usual limit of two pages.

For each project, list the name, type, duration, customer/internal client, your responsibility, the methods, and technologies used – and of course the (positive) result. You can also mention particularly noteworthy student projects or private IT projects, provided they are relevant to the job. Links to websites, GitHub, etc. may also be useful.

Soft Skills

Under no circumstances should you overlook soft skills. The somewhat woolly term wrongly suggests a secondary meaning. In fact, these personal, social, and transferable skills are extremely important in the world of work. This is definitely true in IT, where interaction with business departments and their employees is becoming increasingly important. To do this, you need skills such as the ability to work in a team, analytical thinking, critical thinking, flexibility, and strong communication skills, and depending on the job, leadership skills, project management and controlling skills. This is why you should devote a short section to soft skills. Ideally, you should also make reference to the career stages in your CV and to relevant projects in the project list.

Further tips for your IT-based CV

With these five areas, you have covered everything that makes you the ideal candidate for the advertised position. Particularly good examples of job experience and achievements as well as hard and soft skills can also be briefly mentioned in your cover letter, although they must always blend into the flow of the text. Last but not least, double check that you have thought of all the standards: list all "humanoid" language skills, including native language(s); include your name, address, contact details; enclose certificates as well as testimonials and references. Have you checked off everything? Then we recommend you get a trusted individual to look over your CV again before you send off your IT application.