5 ways to tailor your CV for a graduate IT job

New jobs are on the cards for IT professionals this year, and who can blame them when salaries have increased by 4% year-on-year?

Latest data from job board CV-Library showed that vacancies in the IT industry saw a 9.8% rise month-on-month. This puts you in good stead if you’re a graduate seeking an IT role.

To increase your chances of landing that top job, here’s how to tailor your CV.

1. Consider the structure

A CV’s structure is something that is often taken for granted. Many job hunters assume that the major sections of a CV must appear in a particular order, such as personal profile, employment history and education.

But this is not set in stone.

As a graduate, you might find that your education is more impressive than your employment history, so why would you bury this section? If you think your education showcases more relevant skills, then list this section ahead of your work history.

If you’re a graduate with little work experience, you can adjust the title of your employment history section to read “placements, projects and experience” to compensate. Then proceed to list relevant projects from within, or outside of, university in the same way you would list positions of employment.

2. Tweak your personal profile

Once you’ve nailed the structure of your CV, it’s time to take a look at your personal profile. Also known as a personal statement, professional profile or career objective, this short paragraph is an introduction to your best skills and where your career is heading.

Since you’re a graduate applying for a role in the IT sector, your qualification and technical skills should be the life and soul of your profile. Briefly detail your knowledge of the sector and the experience you have, whether that be by working in the industry or via modules you’ve studied.

Then round off your profile with a line about the type of work you’re after – this should relate directly to the role you’re applying for.

3. Showcase your technical knowledge

Since you’re applying for a role in the tech sector, your CV must highlight your technical expertise. This could be anything from programing languages, to hardware setup.

Go through the job description and see what technical know-how and abilities are required. If you have them in your skillset, ensure you inject the terms throughout your CV.

4. Identify transferable skills

While your IT knowledge makes you a good candidate for a tech role, the addition of transferable skills will make you even stronger.

And the great news is that studying for your degree has armed you with plenty. Take a look at these:

  • Organisation: managing multiple deadlines
  • Communication: participating in workshops and seminars
  • Teamwork: group presentations
  • Problem-solving: critical thinking and writing essays

Employers are looking for candidates who understand the way IT is utilised in a business setting. If you’re part of a tech team, it’s likely you’ll be required to communicate with non-tech people, work on projects with other team members and meet deadlines effectively. And you can do all this via the soft skills developed throughout your degree, so make sure to include them in your CV.

5. Reference facts and figures

When applying for a job, many graduates fall into the trap of telling the employer what a great opportunity this would be for them. However, employers are more interested in the benefits you can bring to the position and why hiring you will make their company better.

Throughout your CV, you must prove your value and the easiest way to do this is by quoting facts and figures and quantifying your results. If you lead a team, how many did you manage? If you introduced a new platform, what was the success rate? Be as specific as you can with your achievements to show employers the benefits of hiring you.

Laura Slingo is Digital Copywriter for the UK’s leading independent job board, CV-Library. For more expert advice on job searches, careers and the workplace, visit their Career Advice pages.