Tips for the structure and content of your IT CV
Many HR leaders no longer read cover letters. Instead, they mainly look at the CV (“Curriculum Vitae” in Latin) when job applications come in. As a result, it’s particularly important in the IT sector that you present an excellent CV that convinces in terms of the content and structure. In this blog post, we’ll provide some tips on what your CV in the IT industry should look like and highlight the things to which you need to pay attention.
How is a good IT CV structured?
In the IT sector, the most common format is the tabular CV, in which the individual stages are listed in reverse chronological order.
This means that the current job role is listed at the top, which helps recruiters to get a quick overview of your current career and level of education.
CV templates for the IT sector should look visually appealing
Choose a simple, sans-serif font for your CV that is easy to read on screen and visually enhances the CV. Some classics here include Calibri, Arial and Cambria.
Formatting with different font sizes and making text bold is fine in moderation and will provide some structure to the CV. Don’t overdo it, however, otherwise the whole thing can quickly become confusing and look cluttered.
When it comes to the design of the CV, less is more! Don’t go overboard by letting the design distract from the content.
You can either create a layout yourself or use one of the many CV templates or sample CVs available online.
What should be included in an IT CV?
Your CV is a business card showing off your skills and experience.
Besides your personal data, a CV is primarily about three things:
Your project and professional experience.
These three points will help the recruiter decide whether you fit the advertised position. So, convince them with facts and meaningful references that make you stand out from the crowd!
Your application will often be read by HR staff, many of whom are not specialists in your field. It is therefore crucial that you:
Insert a clear and concise summary of your experience and achievements
State who your former employer was and what position you held there
What exactly your tasks and responsibilities were.
If you’ve got a degree, state the relevant university, the subject area and the specialisation if applicable, e.g. “Computer science with a focus on business information systems at the University of Hamburg.”
Template CV: Project experience and skills are crucial in IT
The best way to present your skills and abilities in the IT sector is to use a tabular system with three or five points. This way, recruiters can directly assess your level of experience and various strengths.
Since practical experience is what counts most in the IT sector, references and projects play a crucial role in your CV. Feel free to provide an extra sheet of paper containing a detailed list of projects.
Your project list should include:
Title of the project and possibly the client
The duration of the project
Your tasks in the project
The methods and technologies used, e.g. programming languages, frameworks, software etc.
If possible, include a link to the project, e.g. in the Google Play Store or on GitHub.
By the way, private projects may be relevant for your IT CV if they are related to your envisaged job in the new company. After all, project experience can also be gained as part of a study project, during an internship or, of course, privately. If you like to write programmes in Java in your spare time, mention this in your CV!
If you have authority on Stack Overflow or have worked on some open-source projects, make sure you link to them. These are great references that will help you make a good impression.
What else should you look out for in your IT CV?
While international companies don’t usually expect a photo in your CV, this is usually still part of an application in Germany.
A suitable application photo is not a passport photo or from a vending machine, but one that has been taken by a professional photographer.
A scanned signature is not necessary for an online application, but it does make the application more personal and authentic.
If requested, write your salary expectations in the cover letter. It should not be mentioned in your CV.
Conclusion: Follow this pattern if you want a convincing IT CV
Arrange the CV in tabular form with your most recent jobs and experience listed first.
The layout should be clear and formatting should be chosen carefully.
Hobbies and personal details may also be included in the CV if they are relevant to the advertised position.
A well-structured list of your IT skills and projects is the most important part of your CV.
Make sure you are realistic when stating your level of knowledge for individual skills, otherwise this could lead to an awkward conversation in the interview or once you’re employed.
All projects belong in the project list, regardless of whether it was a study project, a private hobby or a previous work project.
If you want to use a photo in your CV, it should be professionally taken and make you look confident.
Don't be afraid of ready-made CV templates and sample IT CVs. You can find lots of suitable templates online, into which you can just enter your details directly.
We hope these tips have helped you create a great CV and land your dream IT job!
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