IT job seekers

In a highly competitive industry, IT job seekers continually ask how they can stand out from the myriad of other candidates that have the same qualifications, experience, and skills. Here are some tips that can help to separate you from the other job seekers.

In the United States, most companies ask applicants to submit a resume, but recently asking for a Curriculum Vitae (or “CV”) is rising in popularity. Curriculum Vitae means “course of life” in Latin. CVs are most commonly found in academia and Europe. If you are wanting to explore your employment options and work abroad, a CV will almost always be required.

The purpose of both a resume and a CV is to introduce yourself to a hiring professional. They both detail who you are, your educational background, and your work history. Both resumes and CVs should be concise and professional.

At this point is where a resume and a CV begin to diverge. The greatest difference is length. Historically, the standard length for a resume is one page; however a two page resume is becoming more accepted. In contrast, a CV can be five or more pages. There is a great amount of flexibility with a resume as to form, as long as the basic requirements are met. A CV, however, follows a fairly standard form, which can be found in numerous places online. Depending on personal preferences and target role, a resume may include additional pieces such as hobbies, references, interests, awards, or volunteering activities.

Some of the different pieces included on a CV are:

  • Qualifications and specific skills
  • Education: not just where you went to school, year graduated, and GPA, but a fairly in-depth academic record of classes attended, grades received, and any impacts made on your advancement
  • A clear objective of what you are striving to obtain or achieve
  • Personal Experiences: laid out in a descriptive way to indicate how these experiences have prepared you for the position for which you are applying
  • Computer skills: typing speed, any certifications, and industry standard software familiarity
  • Qualifications and specific skills

Both of these forms explain who you are, what you have previously done, and what you are looking to gain. A well-presented resume or CV can be the difference between being called for an interview, and being passed over.