New Year, New Career with itContracting!
Happy New Year and welcome to 2019! We may feel the remnants of Christmas past; aching heads, sluggish bodies and a general weariness from all our celebrating.
Yet, the itContracting team have been hard at work to bring you the best in both permanent and contract IT roles.
And the Irish IT industry has never looked healthier. As Google stretches itself out across the Docklands, and multiples tech start-ups continue to pitch their tents up in Dublin, there’s plenty of new, exciting IT jobs for you to choose from.
And as we sit upon the cusp of the New Year, it’s a good time to reevaluate your career goals and pivot towards your dream IT job.
Cliché New Year’s resolutions aside, January is the perfect time to brush off the cobwebs from your CV, and perform some well-needed C(V)PR (Curriculum Vitae Perfect Resuscitation).
But isn’t January a slow month? Not by a long shot!
January is the best time of the year to get hired as most companies get their new annual hiring budget. Smart companies will have rough job specs ready in December to begin the hire process in January. Aim to apply mid-January when everybody is back and settled, and it’s likely more decision-makers will be in the office that time of the year to roll out the New Year strategy.
How to optimise your CV for success
These are itContracting’s seven successful tips to ensure that your resume won’t let you down:
1. Make it succinct
A CV should showcase your achievements, but don’t list everything you’ve ever accomplished. Things change quickly in the tech world. The technology you used even four years ago might already be obsolete. Aim for 2-4 pages max.
2. Pitch perfect and relevant
Tailor. Tailor. Tailor. Research the company first and ensure each CV applies to each job application. Add the most relevant experience at the top of your ‘Employment History’. Even if it’s not your current position, a brief overview will work. Then rank your most recent IT jobs chronologically with bullet point examples of your experience and summarise older roles.
3. Clear structure
If you’re not sure on CV layout, here’s an overview of the structure:
Profile summarises your technical skills and experience, explaining why you’re qualified for this specific role. Recruiters should find further details backing this up in the work history section. Your profile should be a 2-3 sentence or bullet point section, summarising why you will be a good fit.
For example, with a SharePoint developer role, one bullet point might explain you have 10 years of SharePoint experience, while other bullet points might list your qualifications. Don’t forget to list key soft skills too (e.g. team leader, excellent problem solver, strong communicator).
Skills summary should outline technical skills you are proficient in, and act as a summary of the skills referred to in your ‘Employment History’. Break it into subcategories so the reader can quickly scan. Include technical skills, programming languages, tools and operating systems you have a high level of experience, either through employment or otherwise. But only list programs or applications that you could confidently discuss in an interview.
Example of a technical skills section:
- Tools: JBuilder, Dreamweaver, Rational Rose, UltraEdit, Borland C++Builder, Oracle SQL*Plus
- Operating Systems: Linux, Mac OS X, Windows XP
Employment History is a list of your work experience. Include the name of the employer, job title and the dates they employed you in the role. For your current role, enter the date you started the role to ‘present’.
Give a synopsis of your responsibility for each position in the proper order as mentioned above (Pitch perfect and relevant). Show how your performance benefited the company. Showcase examples of how past initiatives led to positive outcomes such as enhanced efficiency, faster time-to-market, and savings.
Qualifications should include your education and IT certifications. Logos for certifications can also be included here. If you are in the process of sitting a certification, include them, however it must be clear that they are in progress.
4. Use keywords
When recruiters are looking for a certain set of skills, they use keywords from their database search. Make sure you use keywords, the words that are used in the job postings itself. But don’t cram in too many buzzwords as recruiters will quickly work out what’s going on.
5. Use action verbs, avoid passive words
Active verbs such as ‘executed’, ‘delivered’ and ‘managed’ suggest ownership and delivery. Avoid the passive like ‘assisting with’ or ‘trying to’.
6. Things to avoid
Don’t include your required salary; leave that to the next stage. Also, you don’t provide personal data such as age, marital status, place of birth, and don’t enclose a picture.
Don’t exaggerate your experience because it will come out in the wash, either spotted by the recruiter, during the interview stage, or worse, while you’re on the job.
7. The final professional polish
You never get a second chance to make a first impression – neither does your CV! Avoid typos by spell checking; use one font, white space and bullet points to make it easier to scan. Ensure you name the CV file sensibly as it will be highly visible to recruiters and employers. ‘Jack’s CV draft version 9’ doesn’t have the same ring, now does it!