CV preparation Tips for Technical Graduates
The hurdles facing today’s new technology graduates are the same as with other industries. One of the biggest hurdles for a new pass out in preparing their first IT CV is the “no-experience” fence. A hi-tech graduate may not have any formal experience working with technology in a real-world situation. While this hurdle is best handled long before you graduate by seeking part-time or full-time employment in technology or an internship, the fact remains that you may be coming out of college with literally no hands-on experience in your major.
Preparing an IT CV for a target career field in which you have no “real” experience can be a challenge. It’s important when outlining your IT CV keeping in mind what the hiring managers will be seeking when reading your CV. In the technical arena, Skills, Education, and Training are high on the list of items for which hiring managers scan the IT CV.
Lisa Lowe sought professional CV writing assistance on her CV, realizing that she faced a significant problem by not having an internship in a technical field under her belt before graduation. Additionally, she realized the skills she had gained in college were slightly behind the fast-paced demand of today’s market and she needed to attain further training in some of the more modern technologies. These training goals were mentioned in both the lead Summary and in the accompanying cover letter.
By including a Skills category in the top half of the first page of her IT CV, Lisa’s CV becomes much more “user-friendly” to hiring managers. Lisa was fairly sure she didn’t want to start her career as a programmer, but was interested in working with database technology. To emphasize this, her database-related skills were listed first and a mention of her preference was made in the Summary. By focusing on this direction with her career, she was also de-emphasizing her lack of training in the more modern programming languages such as Visual Basic and C.
Many times, CV books advice new graduate to list coursework in the major to illustrate what the job seeker did in school. While this might give an idea of your academic record, it does not help in making you or your IT CV stand out as someone whom the company should interview. It also does not show how you have assimilated and applied the formal education. A Project Synopsis describing how you have applied the skills might better serve to distinguish your IT CV from the CVs of other recent graduates. For example, in Lisa’s CV, the Project Synopsis was included in the Education section in the top half of the first page and gives some “meat” to her experience.
The Employment History section of a new graduate CV is often the most difficult section to compose, especially if you do not have an internship, cooperative, or related experience under your belt. Rather than concentrating on what is not present in experience, try to concentrate on what is present. Look for skills that will be required by employers that may not have been taught in college. More and more companies are looking for well-rounded employees who not only can do the technical tasks but who can work with the public, work in a team, and generally get along in a positive manner. Emphasize your team-spirit, your communication skills, and your enthusiasm to work hard.
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