Careers advice

How to write a CV for IT jobs in New Zealand

Looking to write a CV for IT jobs? You’ve come to the right place.

In the age of automation and digitalisation, IT is one of the best industries to be in. There’s a high demand for staff, flexible approaches to work and good pay to boot. Indeed, in the third quarter of 2019, Trade Me Jobs reported that the average salary for IT jobs in New Zealand was an impressive $112,230.

However, with so many perks on offer, it’s no surprise that this sector is competitive. This means your application needs to be top notch if you’re going to stand out from the crowd.

To help, we’ve put together these tips for writing a great CV for IT jobs. Let’s explore.

A good IT CV contains the right mixture of hard and soft skills.

How to write an IT CV

Standard CV best practices apply when creating your IT resume. The good news? This means you can use our downloadable CV template, together with the below tips, to quickly and easily produce a professional looking CV.

However, there are a few special considerations when writing a CV for an IT role:

1. Don’t overdo the jargon

IT is jargon heavy. While it’s important to show you understand your sector, and especially to name drop specific coding platforms, software or programming languages you’re familiar with, don’t go overboard.

Why? Because there’s a good chance that non-IT personnel will read your CV first. It’s common for HR personnel to screen your CV, and if they don’t understand a word, they might hesitate before handing it to the hiring manager.

Our advice? Stick to standard CV best practices. If the job ad uses technical jargon, feel free to include it in your CV. In fact, this is important for getting past keyword tracking software – but remember to keep things clear, concise and easy to understand.

2. Tailor your CV to the specific role

IT is a broad umbrella that encompasses a huge variety of roles. So not only should your CV show you’ve got the required technical skills, but also that you understand how the role relates to the business at large.

Top tip: in addition to carefully studying the job description, check out the company’s website. This should give you insights into their top level goals that you can use in your CV and cover letter.

Keep referring back to the job listing to ensure your CV shows you understand what the employer is looking for.

3. Provide examples

Hiring managers and recruiters love to see concrete examples of past work. These could be from previous roles, or projects you’ve completed at uni or in your own time.

If these projects are still accessible online, the best approach is to group them together into a portfolio. You can then include a URL for this hub on your CV and Trade Me Jobs Profile.

Remember, the easier you make your reader’s life, the better. So details are your friend. Think about:

  • Project objectives.
  • Budget size.
  • Timeframes.
  • Outcomes.

4. Don’t forget soft skills

Whether you’re looking for developer roles, analyst jobs or IT engineering opportunities, your CV is likely to be chock-full of technical skills and the qualifications you’ve gained.

However, remember that most businesses are looking for more than that in their next employee. Including highly sought after soft skills on your resume could be the thing that gives you the edge of the competition.

But what soft skills should you include on your CV?

  • Communication: this is hugely important for IT staff who need to explain concepts or issues to people in other areas of the business. You could have the best ideas possible, but if you can’t communicate them to people who don’t have a tech background, you’re going nowhere fast.
  • Adaptability: anyone working in IT can tell you that things don’t stay still for long. Being able to pivot when new ideas or tech come along will be crucial to your long-term career prospects.
  • Creativity and innovation: with so much digital opportunity out there for businesses, many are looking for people who aren’t afraid to put new ideas to the test, and take ownership of flagship projects.
  • Problem solving: however, as with anything unfamiliar, there’s plenty of scope for problems to arise when implementing new systems or processes. Demonstrating that you can deal with the unexpected and think on your feet in these situations is, therefore, highly desirable.
  • Growth mindset: show how you keep your finger on the pulse, for example through courses or reading industry publications.

Communication is a key skill for IT staff.

The best CV format for an IT job

Your IT CV should include:

  • Your name and contact information.
  • A personal statement.
  • An objective.
  • Your work history.
  • Your qualifications.
  • Your references, or a sentence similar to ‘references available upon request.

This is the normal order for this info to appear in your CV, but there are no hard and fast rules here.

With your work and qualification history, put the most recent examples first, and then work backwards chronologically. Because New Zealand CVs should be no longer than two pages, limit yourself to only the most relevant ones to the role.

Finally, a note on keywords

Many employers use Applicant Tracking Software (ATS) to help shortlist candidates to invite for interviews. This means that before your CV makes it to human hands, there’s a good chance it will be analysed first by a robot.

As well as correct formatting, one of the major things these robots look for are certain keywords that show you’re suitable for the role. But how do you know which to include? Great places to look for keywords include:

  • The job description – in particular, scour the requirements and responsibilities sections.
  • The company website – check out their values/mission/culture pages. Here, you might find buzzwords that relate to how the company sees itself, which you can use yourself.
  • Similar listings – if you’re still struggling, look at similar listings from other organisations. If the same terms crop up over and over, it might be an idea to include these too.