Making your CV stand out: a useful guide

Author Christian Pesch
October 25, 2023

In the IT job market, the volume applications are higher than ever. Your CV is critical to help you you secure your perfect IT specialist role or at least give yourself the chance to interview for it.

Your CV is a selling tool speaking on your behalf. It needs to be a strong document that focuses on your achievements so you can stand out in a crowded marketplace. It’s an opportunity to showcase your experience, skills and any qualifications.

The basics: font and layout

You should ensure your CV uses a clean and professional font that is easy to read, e.g. Arial, and laid out in a clear structure.

  • Personal information
  • Employment history (starting with your most recent experience)
  • Qualifications
  • Interests

You should use bold letters and underlining for the company name and dates only, and bold for your current position which should be listed on a new line. Be sure to proofread your final CV several times for spelling, punctuation and grammar.

Try to keep your CV to two pages if possible so that it’s concise. You can also tailor your CV to the IT job you’re applying for.

Personal Information

Always list your full contact details including your full name, address, email and perhaps a link to your LinkedIn profile. It’s optional to include your location.

Your CV usually starts with a summary. This is a brief overview of yourself, describing what you can offer your potential employer as an IT specialist.

Employment history

It’s best practice to include your employment history in reverse chronological order and this section should include dates, size and scope of responsibilities and achievements. Remember that potential employers are looking for evidence that you can add value to the IT job and their business.

This is your opportunity to demonstrate the IT projects you’ve worked on, your greatest achievements and the tasks you’ve been responsible for. Employers like to see real-life examples and may ask you about these in more detail during your interview.

Here are some of our top tips for writing your employment history:

  • Give most space to your most recent job
  • If you don’t work for a well-known organisation, you might want to include a brief description of the company and its business
  • It’s only necessary to put the month and year of joining and leaving any employer. Your current position should be your starting month “to date”
  • State your title
  • Group your experience according to type of work
  • Use sub-headings to state the value of the deal, brief details of the transaction/key points of the matter
  • List specific project responsibilities/involvement in projects
  • Do not leave out any period of employment for whatever reason – ensure that your time is accountable and that you can explain any gaps at interview
  • Don’t give reasons for leaving any of the jobs on your CV – it is far better to explain this in person at interview
  • Don’t embellish your CV or be economical with the truth (i.e. overstating your experience or accomplishments) – you will be found out at interview
  • Salary information should be left off the CV but you you may want to discuss your salary with recruitment consultants at an early stage, so they know you are in the right range
  • Only use technical/professional jargon where necessary


One of the most difficult things to include on a CV are measurables. You can quantify what you’ve achieved for businesses by using specific metrics relevant to your IT role. Have you managed a team of people? By what percentage did you help your last employer increase their success in a certain area?


Your CV is no longer enough to compete with other IT talent. Commercial recruiters will put your name into LinkedIn and if you do not have a strong, current profile with recommendations someone else will, so ensure your profile is up to date.


This section of your CV is a chance to show a potential employer who you are as a person and what you like to do in your spare time. But if in in doubt, leave them out.

For whatever you include, be prepared to elaborate on any of your interests such as the last play you saw, the last book you read, or even the last place that you visited on a scuba diving holiday!

If you have any interests that might be controversial then leave them off your CV. In any event this section should be no longer than two lines.

If you’d like more help on your CV or to discuss your career, complete our form below.

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