Our Pioneers

How to write a Technical CV - Top 10 Mistakes and Top 10 Tips

Coronavirus has had a major impact on the UK economy with many people sadly losing their jobs. In June 2020 job applications rose by 32% in comparison to May and by a massive 106% compared to the previous year. However, job postings were 54% lower than in 2019. With the market flooded with candidates battling it out for jobs, it is even more important to make sure that your CV stands out amongst the rest.

As Recruiters we spend every day looking at CVs, so we have put together the Top 10 Mistakes we commonly see on technical CVs and the Top 10 Tips to make sure you present yourself on your CV in the best possible way;

Top 10 Mistakes:

  1. Not checking your spelling and grammar - incorrect spelling may cost you a job as it often reflects on you as a candidate and your quality approach to work
  2. CV written in third person - your CV should be written in first person to make it more personal and direct to the employer
  3. Tables and boxes - boxes and tables are ok to use sparingly especially if it makes your skills section stand out but CVs that come in all box and table format are hard to read
  4. Too short or too long - opinions are divided on CV length. This should vary depending on the experience, general rule of thumb is no less than 2 pages and no more than 4
  5. Pictures of company logos or certifications – pictures can just be distracting and don’t add any additional information
  6. Overuse of buzzwords – make your opening section specific to you and your core skillset. Everyone can write that they’re a ‘hard worker/organised/dedicated’
  7. Graphs or self-assessment ratings – similar to pictures, graphs and self-assessments are distracting and aren’t as important as your skillset and experience
  8. Different font and text size – mixed formatting makes your CV look messy and can show a lack of attention to detail
  9. Incorrect dates – always double check your start and end dates as these will be checked if you get the job
  10. Inaccurate information – make sure any technical skills listed are ones used professionally and that you can talk about during an interview


Top 10 Tips:

  1. List technical skills – at top of CV. These will be the first thing a Hiring Manager will look for and Recruiters will use key word searches to find
  2. Make it easy to read - presume that when a Hiring Manager is looking at a CV for the first time it is likely to be done out of core working hours, via a mobile or at a glance. Keep this in mind and therefore make it an easy read that is clear and concise throughout
  3. Your CV should be listed chronologically from most recent to least recent – we want to see your most recent experience as easily as possible
  4. Be aware of Microsoft Word when editing technical CVs – for example ‘Analog Signal’ will often be changed to ‘Analogue Signal’
  5. A CV should be in a Word or PDF format. Remember that Recruiters use keyword searching for the best profiles and CVs in jpeg or other formats may not reliably be found
  6. Don’t just list what you did technically - explain what the project was and what you actually did to positively affect that organisation (key achievements/outcomes)
  7. Don’t go into too much detail on past positions - roles at the beginning of your career should be reduced to a few lines of explanation
  8. Keep your CV up to date and in the correct tense - when updating with a new role change the tense of what is now a previous role 
  9. Make your personal profile specific to you - when writing your initial paragraph make it very specific to you and your core skillset (avoiding buzzwords). This is the first thing people read so it’s important to show of your skills straight away
  10. Make sure your CV and LinkedIn profile are matching - LinkedIn is a great tool for an online presence, but any differences may look suspicious, so it is important to cross reference both.

Overall your CV should be concise to show of your skillset and current experience as clearly as possible.