From showing off your soft skills to properly explaining your tech expertise, Hays Technology’s James Milligan shares his top CV tips for tech candidates.
Whether you’ve spent years in tech or are a relative newcomer, it’s tempting to list as much information about yourself as possible on your CV.
Alternatively, you’ll almost certainly have plenty of experience and skills that you might not have considered mentioning, but that would massively improve your perception in the reader’s eyes.
Yes, you’ve got to highlight your relevant accomplishments and abilities, but it’s just as important to make sure that you evidence these properly with supporting details. Failing to include the context around what you’ve done will leave your reader none the wiser, and your CV won’t stand out.
Here are some tips for showing off who you are and the value you’ll bring to an organisation.
How to reference your soft skills properly
When it comes to adding soft skills to a CV, most people do one of two things: omit them entirely, or list them briefly in their personal statement or in a dedicated section. Neither are helpful.
Instead of just using adjectives to describe yourself without anything to back it up, you can weave examples into your story as proof. Here are some common words that candidates use, and ideas of how to support them:
- Creative – give examples of your experience in problem solving, or ways you’ve driven growth, using quantifiable data here as further evidence
- Adaptable – describe occasions where you’ve adapted to a change in your role or during a project
- Strong communicator – list where you have collaborated, negotiated, led a team – particularly if based in multiple locations – or done any public speaking
- Team player– include any team projects, or where you’ve worked with others
How to evidence your tech experience
Some parts of your experience will not fit neatly into your career history, but it’s worth including your personal development. There are different ways you can do this depending on your roles and experience. For example:
- Training courses you’ve attended, including some examples
- Qualifications you’ve gained
- The number of awards or accolades you’ve won
- Relevant extracurricular activities
- Communities (either online or physical) that you have joined or regularly participate in
This is going to be common among many experienced candidates. Make sure you address these questions, using quantifiable data and adding further details that paint a bigger picture about the sort of leader you are:
- How many people did you manage? Was that face to face, remote or hybrid?
- How senior were the individuals?
- What were the retention rates?
- How did people progress in the business or be successful?
- Who did you successfully mentor to get further on?
If you’ve worked in a team before but not led one, focus on your responsibilities within it. This is where you can evidence soft skills such as communication and cooperation.
By following the advice outlined above, you’ll have a much better chance of standing out from the crowd and persuading the reader that you’re the right candidate for the role.
James Milligan is the global head of Hays Technology. A version of this article originally appeared on the Hays Technology blog.
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