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Q&A

What content parts should a technical (IT) CV have?

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I've been struggling for a while with my CV and I need help on deciding which sections should I include in it? I lack the formatting skill, I remember studying in school how to prepare my CV - there were specific rules, but since then the times have changed tremendously.

I prefer having the following sections:

  1. Contact information - very basic - just name, address and telephone;
  2. Profile Summary - a brief description of what's happened so far in my professional development;
  3. Skill Set - a tabular representation of the basic skills I acquired so far;
  4. Education;
  5. Work experience;
  6. Additional;

It is relevant to say that I live in Europe and I'm not native English speaker, so I might lack very basic notion about the art of writing a CV.

Please - feel welcomed to express your opinion on:

  • whether this section set is sufficient?
  • whether I intent to use the sections correctly?
  • do I break any standards, if I prepare my CV the way I'm planning? should "Skill Set" section be exhaustive (we - the IT people - use enormous amount of buzz words), or should mark the general areas of competency?
  • What, besides languages, should go in Additional?

Any help is highly appreciated!

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This post was sourced from https://writers.stackexchange.com/q/4827. It is licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0.

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1 answer

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There are probably about as many ways to write a CV as there are people who have ever read or written at least one.

You might want to include at least also an e-mail address in the contact details section.

One thing you would put into the Additional section (unless you add a specific section for it) is any (professional) references. I simply wrote a fairly generic "references are available upon request" under a separate heading in my CV; don't think I ever had anyone ask for them, though. Just be prepared for that someone might ask.

In my CV I list specific work-related skills under each job, then towards the end have a short paragraph listing programming languages and technologies with which I have only non-professional experience, thus making it clear which is which as well as when I most recently worked professionally with each. (So, I have worked professionally with technology X for Y years, but only non-professionally with Z, but could probably get up to speed reasonably quickly if needed. I don't claim any real experience with M68k assembly, for instance, but I wouldn't get a deer-in-the-headlights look looking at such a source code listing either.)

Side by side with the generic skills list I also put in notable non-professional experiences. Be careful here, and don't overdo it, but some things that show that you aren't a complete workaholic might be beneficial. This probably depends a lot on the culture where you are applying for jobs.

In general, it's probably better to put in a little too much than a little too little, since you will almost certainly tailor the CV to each position (or at the very least company) anyway. It's easier to cut things out than to add more to make it match the position you are applying to, and cutting out is much faster than writing new if you find something interesting, giving you more time to focus on the personal letter where you can "sell" yourself to the company.

And of course, as pointed out in a previous answer: be honest.

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