CV Guide

Step By Step Exec. Brief Technical CV

Tips On Preparing A Technical CV

To understand how you need to prepare your Technical CV in today's market, it will help if we can give an overview on the type of recruitment processes that the CV will go through when it goes into a Personnel Department / or a recruitment selection process.

Information technology advancements have made getting your CV noticed much more difficult. No longer, does our CV get sent to the desk of a sympathetic Personnel Manager who will review the CV's individually. Instead CVs are sent, controlled, reviewed and short listed by Computer software, which will identify suitability of candidates based on key criteria and specific words, that have been identified as important for the position.

The following will give you a guideline on the type of information you'll need to cover within your CV to ensure that your CV is selected by the various computer applications that are available. Although different software works in different ways, the same principles apply.

Your CV will be categorised according to the information, which the personnel department see as key fields. These would obviously include Full name, Date Of Birth, discipline etc. but could also include more specific criteria such as nationality academic qualifications etc. This is not any different from the traditional styles of reviewing CVs it has simply made the process automated and time efficient. However the success of your application will depend on the following:

Keyword search

All computerised recruitment software will use keyword searches to find which CVs will be reviewed and will priorities the suitability of each CV. Different technologies are available and can include artificial intelligence when reading a job description, a couple of key words to shortlist the suitable CVs, or a thesaurus type string which will use a table of similar words and phrases. However, there is only one way that we can be certain your CV will be selected in whichever system. This is to make sure that your technical information and experience is detailed.
 
The information required in these type of keyword searches is usually specific equipment that you have worked on, specific countries you have worked in, and specific internationally recognized standards, boards, companies etc. It should also include industry standard key words such as a certain position that you have worked as.
 
 For example, if your Job Title was "IT Manager", and the industry standard for this position is "IT Development Leader". You may want to phrase your narrative as:
 
 "Worked in the capacity of IT development leader…"
 
Although most software and personnel departments would allow for a variance within the text of the CV. This issue should be addressed as both the software and the policies used by the selection panels are not fool proof.
 
A good way to ensure your CV has the largest success whilst it is being processed by these recruitment systems is to list the equipment used in the each position after your narrative for that position. As an example your CV may read something like the following:
 
 March 1998 to Present
 
 ABC company
 
 Instrument Engineer
 
 Working as an instrument engineer, reporting to the general superintendent Instrument Engineering.
 
 Responsibilities included:
 ........................
 
 Specific equipment used:
 
 Honeywell TDC 3000, PLC, SCADA,..........................
 
 Specific standards used:
 
 ISO 9001...............
 

Format of the CV

The format of the CV becomes an even more important item and it is essential that your CV is formatted in a way that the computer can read it as opposed to making it "look nice". It has been shown in recent studies that CVs that have been prepared in table formats with brief overview of each position, have been much less successful than detailed block format CVs with a good narrative and details of specific equipment and experience.
 
This obviously relates to the above and identifies the need to ensure that your CV is prepared in line with the requirements of the recruitment systems as opposed to some person who may read it.
Additionally, it is important to note that all CV's will be processed into electronic format, including CV's that are sent as hard copies. This means that your CV should be prepared to ensure that when your hard copy is OCR'd (Optical Character recognition) it should be kept in the same format as you intended. Although OCR technology is improving it is better to keep the format of your CV as conventional as possible (ie. Block format).
 
 Remember: If you have done it - Write it.
 
As you never know what a potential employer may be looking for in the ideal candidate.
By using these tips as well as the other tips in this section, as a guideline for creating your new CV you should see an improvement in the response from your CV.
 
 Good Luck!