How to Write an IT Programmer CV / IT Developer CV

There are a myriad of job titles that appear on an IT programmer CV / IT Developer, including systems analyst, software engineer, software tester, database administrator, network administrator, etc.

Developers are hugely in demand with businesses that continue to expand their use of IT in dealing with customers and other businesses, as well as their internal processes and systems. With a corresponding increase in numbers of people entering the profession, it's vital for developers to differentiate themselves from other candidates by their CVs.

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IT Developer CV / IT Programmer CV Profile

Many employers would like to employ a genius with advanced programming skills, or at least someone who can learn quickly and come up with inspiring new ideas. This is probably the same professional reputation that many programmers aspire to, as well. However, more employers would also like to have someone who can fit into their organisation and function as an effective team member.

In your profile on your IT Programmer CV / IT Developer CV, you need to present yourself quickly, in just 2 to 3 sentences. There is no point in going into great depth, as recruiters won't have the time to read it. They simply need to know, at a glance, whether you're looking for similar IT jobs or are moving into something different.

You may need to change your job titles depending on who you are sending your CV to, job titles within IT can vary enormously between different employers, So as well as programmer / developer, you could be a systems analyst, software tester, database administrator, network administrator, etc.

The profile isn't the place to list skills, unless you are a specialist and are applying for a specialist role. In most instances, this will need to be reinforced with transferable skills - that is, skills that can be used in any job. The following are the kind of skills you need to highlight in your profile.

If you are a developer who doesn't wish to remain on the lower rungs of the ladder, then you need to show on your IT Developer CV / IT Programmer CV that you possess good organisation and planning abilities. The detailed work of development is wasted if the task's planning is flawed.

Equally, problem-solving abilities are essential, in order to foresee and avoid problems threatening to arise, and to troubleshoot those that do emerge. Coupled with this comes the need to work effectively under pressure, as problems that arise in critical software usually have a detrimental effect on business activities, so need to be resolved as soon as possible.

Your ability to pay close attention to detail needs to be underpinned by considerable motivation and enthusiasm. Working long hours when necessary is frequently a part of the job. Adaptability is the quality that enables you to learn new skills and continue working with rapidly changing technologies and products.

CV services tend to recommend that after giving your job title, number of years' experience and specialist area (if appropriate), you should continue by describing your personal strengths, which should include at least some of the above mentioned transferable skills.

Be honest - for instance, only mention strong communication and interpersonal skills on your IT Programmer CV / IT Developer CV if that's an accurate reflection of you.

Achievements on an IT Programmer CV / IT Developer CV

One of the problems faced by programmers and developers is that there are many candidates for each job and these candidates sound largely the same.

Including an achievements section enables you to create an impression that will make your IT Developer CV / IT Programmer CV stand out from the crowd and be more memorable for the recruiter.

Your achievements are instances where you've gained a result, either through your individual contribution or as a team member. These bullet pointed sentences can include your hardware and software experience, programming abilities, experience in consulting work or contribution to major projects.

Rather than focusing simply on skills, you should use your achievements to demonstrate that you helped further the employer's interests, whether you were working for a business, not-for-profit or public organisation.

The way to really catch a recruiter's attention is to quantify this contribution. This means evaluating your results in numerical terms - time taken for a major project, size of budget, scale of project, size of team, number of users, growth in sales, profit increases, savings, etc.

In doing so, you can include details of the work - programming language, the metrics involved, your exact tasks. However, the real emphasis should be on the action you took, the nature of the solution you helped to produce, and the outcome. This will help the recruiter to ascertain how you can respond to a challenge and the degree to which you understand its importance to the business.

You need to be descriptive - but not too much. This means that you need to include nuts and bolts information, while including some good verbs (action words) to highlight how you approached the task.

If you've made achievements outside work, then feel free to include them - providing they're on a scale comparable to work-based achievements. Include any awards or special commendations received for your work. If you're not sure, apply the 'so what' test to each that you write.

Read the achievement back to yourself and, imagining you're the recruiter, ask yourself, "so what?" The answer to that question will tell you whether it's worth including as an achievement or not on your IT Developer CV / IT Programmer CV.

You can include a blog if you have one and if it's gained a strong following. Showing that you are an opinion former and are active in programmer communities is a good idea, as it shows that you're keen to be at the forefront of developments in your field.

Career History for an IT Programmer CV / IT Developer CV

When listing your jobs, start with the most recent first and work backwards on your IT Programmer CV / IT Developer CV.

Only include positions from within the last 10 years, as any previous to then will be technologically out of date.

For jobs earlier than 10 years ago, simply list the basic details without further explanation.

Write your job title, the employer's name and location, plus inclusive dates of employment on a single line. Below, provide 4 or 5 bullet pointed sentences that outline what you did in this position.

Whenever you can, write up these responsibilities as achievements. By mentioning the skills and strengths you drew on, you are constantly referring to your own level of input. Once again, this is about differentiating yourself from the other developers who are applying for the same position.

While you don't need to include all the technologies you used in every position, do mention the ones that have the highest relevance to the vacancy or kind of work you're looking for. Always ask yourself which work the next employer will be most interested in, and then prioritise the accomplishments that will provide the best match.

If there is a technology you never want to use again, remove it from your IT Developer CV / IT Programmer CV. If your CV is included in a searchable database, whether on a recruitment site or with a recruitment agency, you don't want it to keep turning up in searches for that technology.

If your career has been mostly short contract-based to date, you need to rationalise the information, otherwise you'll end up with a long unreadable list. In this case, provide full descriptions as above for the most relevant contracts. List the others beneath, with just the first line of information, followed by another line of explanation beneath.

Pay special attention to developing new applications or roll-outs. While your programming skills are clearly the most important factor in your job application, recruiters are also going to be interested in your ability to work within or lead a team in the business.

Always mention the other dimensions to your work - assisting or covering for a manager in their absence, training other employees, providing user or customer support, sales, etc. All of these functions are potentially useful to the employer.

Skills on an IT Developer CV / IT Programmer CV

Providing a skills list up front will help you to keep your IT Developer CV / IT Programmer CV organised and uncluttered. While you can still mention particular skills in your achievements and career history, having a skills section saves you having to list them all over again in relation to specific jobs.

From the recruiter's point of view, it's an easy option for spotting if you're offering the skill set they're looking for. This doesn't mean that you should include every single program you've learned since doing computer studies at school.

Some will be redundant or rarely used these days, so there's simply no point in including them. Others may be applications that are outside your new area of specialisation. Trimming them back enables your most sellable skills to shine out.

Enter your skills tidily into a table of two to three columns. If a recruiter scans your IT Programmer CV / IT Developer CV into a database, the keyword scanning software can pick out your important skills - it will also register that these are listed high on your CV, which is read as being more recent and more important.

IT Programmer CV / IT Developer CV Education and Training Section

As soon as you've been working for a few years, your experience counts for more than your education, this is especially true in an IT Programmer CV / IT Developer CV.

If you've recently graduated, this obviously isn't the case, so you need to create a greater focus on aspects of your training.

So, if you've a few years experience, the qualifications you list first should be courses in software applications. Only list those that are relevant and that you wish to continue using. After this, list the highest academic qualifications you attained in the subject.

If you have a degree in a subject such as computer science, information science or software engineering, list this. On the first line, write the name of your degree, the grade you attained, the awarding institution and the year you completed. If you're a recent graduate and have little vocational experience, add some lines describing any projects you worked on.

If you have a degree or qualifications that don't relate to programming or developing, list them in the same way but without the additional detail.

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