When looking for a new job, particularly one in the IT sector, careful writing and construction of a compelling CV is essential.  The aim of the CV is to present the candidate as the best person for the job in question, so taking the time to really craft some winning content is essential. 

Our recruitment consultants have extensive experience in offering advice on how best to shape a CV for quick results. However, there are some basic mistakes that every candidate should know about in advance so that they can be avoided.  

Most common CV mistakes.

One mistake made by many job-seekers is keeping the CV far too general.  Writing one CV and using it to apply for different jobs is not the answer. The CV should be tailored to the position being applied for.  

Use the CV to highlight the skills and qualifications relevant to the vacancy.  It is also important to avoid simply listing the job description for each job on the CV - highlighting achievements within those roles is a far better strategy. 

A tendency to embellish the truth when applying for a job in IT can backfire spectacularly.  There are some instances when an applicant could get away with saying that they have skills in a certain area if they have the chance to learn on the job or can pick it up before they start work, but in IT it will soon become obvious if the candidate does not know what they are doing.  A candidate can also be easily tripped up in an interview if the information on their CV contains vague or inaccurate claims. 

It is also important not to make the CV too technical.  Adding in too much detail can leave the reader feeling as though they are being overwhelmed.  Keep each section to the point and provide basic details.  More detailed information can be given at the interview stage.  
Ensure that the CV is not too long either, as the potential employer could get part-way through and give up.   

Getting the ‘work experience’ section right on your CV.

This is an example of a ‘Work Experience’ section that has many problems.  The first is that no detail is provided to the potential employer.  How are they supposed to know what the candidate is capable of in the workplace?  It does not tell them anything about any of the roles.  

The dates given are not only sketchy but the experience is not even listed in date order.  Start with the most recent and then work backwards so that the most recent job is the one that the potential employer is finding out about first.  For each role find the most relevant achievements and tasks and bring those to the attention of the reader in order to make the right impression.   

Job boards for IT vacancies may also offer tips on putting together an effective CV but a good CV will stand out from all the others.  Recruitment agencies will put forward their best candidates for each vacancy and the CV is the first step to being on that list.