Creating or updating your resume

This can seem like a daunting task, especially if you've been away from the workforce for a while or are seeking your first professional IT or tech role.

You no doubt have a lot to offer a tech employer, but you need a well-crafted resume to showcase your skills, experience and potential in a way that will capture their attention. 

Writing an effective IT CV will be key to helping you stand out from the crowd of other candidates.

Employers and hiring managers in the IT industry are very specific about the skills and experience required for each role.

As such, your resume needs to be tailored to each position you apply for, highlighting the skills and experience that are most relevant to that role. 

You also need to ensure your IT resume is optimised to make it through screening algorithms and applicant tracking systems (ATS) which identify suitable candidates by scanning for relevant keywords. 

So, if you're wondering how to write a tech resume, here you'll find the perfect IT resume template.

Plus our tips on how to fill it out so you can maximise your chances of landing an interview. 

Download your IT CV template

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Please note: The document is a Word file. To download, your device must support this, but we will also send you an e-mail with the document.

Practical steps to creating the perfect resume

IT CV vs resume - how are they different for tech jobs?

Since employers often use 'CV' and 'resume' interchangeably, it can be confusing to know the difference between them. This can make it difficult to find the right resume format to use since you'll see 'IT CV template' or 'tech resume example' used interchangeably 

To clear things up, a resume is a one- or two-page summary of your education, skills and work experience while a CV is meant to be a comprehensive document (up to six pages) detailing your entire professional life. However, in the modern professional world, a lengthy traditional CV has become redundant.

Even if a tech employer or hiring manager asks for a CV in the job description, they really only want a standard one- or two-page resume (summary). So, whether you email them a file titled 'CV' or 'resume', it won't impact your chances of getting an interview.

Why having a good IT resume is so important

As the IT and tech industry becomes increasingly competitive, it becomes more important to have a resume that stands out from the norm. It's not enough to list your technical skills or project experience; you need to highlight how they translate into tangible benefits for the employer and demonstrate the unique attributes that set you apart from other candidates.

Your tech resume must answer the following: 

  1. Why you're applying for this particular job, within this organisation, and within this industry
  2. What value you'll bring to the organisation if hired
  3. Evidence that you have what the job description says is required to succeed (relevant technical skills, experience etc.) 
An employer will be looking for answers to these questions when reviewing your resume. Not only do you need to provide the answers, but you need to convey this information clearly and succinctly so as not to lose their attention. 

To help you create resumes that cut through the noise, read our IT resume tips below. Alternatively, you can download and use our IT resume template

The purpose of your IT resume

The purpose of your IT resume is to introduce the skills, experience, qualifications and achievements that make you a suitable candidate for the advertised role. Because a recruiter or employer will likely only spend a couple of minutes initially reading your resume, you need to ensure all the information relevant to their decision to interview you is communicated clearly and succinctly. 

If, after reading, they think you're a suitable candidate, they'll move you to the interview stage. At this point, your resume will have served its primary purpose. 

How long should an IT resume be?

While every resume should be tailored to the specific role you're applying for, as a general rule of thumb, your resume should be no longer than two pages. If the first draft of your CV goes beyond two pages, you'll need to start cutting it down. Look at what skills and experience are highlighted in the job description. Have you dedicated space to describing skills and responsibilities in other tech roles that aren't relevant to the position you're applying for? Consider eliminating these excesses, or at the very least, simplify your explanations to reduce their word count. 

When considering the complexity of many IT and tech industry jobs, it would be rare for a one-page resume to adequately convey your suitability. With that said, if you can convey all the information to secure an interview on a single page, go for it. 

What NOT to include in your IT resume

Your IT resume should only include relevant experience, whether past or current. This means cutting out irrelevant roles and responsibilities that don't translate into skills required for the position you're applying to. For example, if you're applying for a software engineering job, it's unnecessary to list hours spent working retail in high school. 

Along the same lines, there's no need to list achievements like school exam results if you have an advanced qualification. Your resume should only include training that is directly relevant to the job you're applying for. 

Also, you should avoid listing your hobbies and interests unless the employer specifically asks for them or you're applying for an entry-level tech job with limited experience. Showing your personality through activities you do in your spare time can be helpful, but only if they imply job-relevant skills like teamwork and leadership. Don’t include anything that could be contentious, such as your political beliefs and opinions (this information would never be relevant to helping you secure a tech role anyway). 

Avoid filling your resume with buzzwords or industry terms for the sake of it. Using the right keywords will help employers and recruiters find your resume when conducting a search. But if you use too many technical terms and acronyms, they'll be lost on recruiters who may not understand their meaning. If you're going to include industry jargon, make sure you know the reader will understand it. 

Lastly, it's unlikely that tech employers will care about how pretty your IT resume is, so don't go overboard with the design. While even a purely technical resume shouldn't be an eyesore, you should avoid using any fonts or design templates that would appear obnoxious. Keep things simple, professional, and to the point. 

How to layout an IT job resume

It's common for tech employers, recruiters and hiring managers to look at hundreds if not thousands of resumes for each role. With this in mind, it's essential that your CV is well structured, looks clean, and isn't too dense with information that it becomes difficult to read. Stick to a simple font like Arial or Calibri with a size 10 or 12pt font, and at the same time, keep special formatting like italics or underlining to the bare minimum. 

Almost every IT resume template will use bullet points extensively since they are the best way to communicate a lot of information succinctly and stop the document from looking like an essay. Make sure each bullet point starts with an action verb like 'created', 'led', or 'improved' rather than using 'I'. 

While your own writing skills may not be crucial for the tech role you're applying for, you should still ensure your spelling and grammar are perfect. After you've proofread it, give it to a friend to see if they pick up on anything you've missed. 

Most tech employers will upload your resume to an ATS to check that it follows the commonly accepted structure below. Because of this, we recommend that you only send a cleanly formatted PDF or Microsoft Word document without any graphics, images, fonts or fancy formatting that could make it difficult for a computer to analyse.

7 tips for how to write a tech CV

To begin writing your IT CV, follow the standard structure below while using clear formatting and concise language. 

1. Contact information

Include your full name, email address, phone number and any relevant links to your professional profile or website (such as your LinkedIn profile or portfolio of work). Make sure you use the email address and phone number you will have the easiest access to, so you don't miss their call. Similarly, check your email's junk folder in case the employer's response is mistakenly going there (it happens!).

2. Professional summary

Within 50 to 150 words, outline your most relevant skills and experience for the tech role you're applying for. Remember that the first sentence or two of your IT resume will be read by recruiters scanning hundreds of resumes, so make it brief yet eye-catching to help them decide if they want to keep reading. Make sure you've tailored this part of your resume to the advertised job and include your USP (unique selling point). 

This is a good place to use keywords that appear in the job description so that the ATS will pick them up early in your resume. For example, if the JD was for a back-end programmer, then having the words "programmer" or “programming” in your professional summary is a good idea. 

3. Systems, skills and competencies

This section should use bullet points to list the systems, skills and competencies you have that are most relevant to the role. This is where you should use those all-important keywords from the job description to ensure your resume makes it through the ATS. 

For example, if we followed a Software Engineer resume template, this section might look like this: 


  • SQL 
  • JavaScript


  • Design pattern analysis 
  • Code refactoring 
  • Agile methodologies 


  • Analytical thinking
  • Problem solving
  • Attention to detail 

4. Achievements

This is where you should list your key career achievements, making sure that you back them up with evidence (organisation/client name, stats, figures, links etc.). Use bullet points with action verbs to succinctly convey what you've achieved for other employers in the past so the person reading can see the tangible value you can bring to their organisation. 

For example, if you were following a Software Developer resume template, your achievements might include: 

  • Led development of a scheduling system that slashes wait times for customers, increasing company revenue by 15% 
  • Spearheaded automation of core processes, reducing the time it takes to deploy code from 2 hours to 15 minutes 

As with other sections of your IT resume, you should ensure the achievements you list align with what the employer is looking for. For example, if the job description asks for someone who can improve conversions, choosing an achievement that shows how you’ve achieved this is a good idea. 

5. Work experience

This is the core of your IT resume. This section should list your relevant work experience in reverse chronological order (starting with your latest or current job and ending with your first). 

For each role, provide the organisation's name and some context around what it does, including details of its size and what role your team played. Next, list your job titles and cover your responsibilities in order of importance. If your job title was unconventional, there's no problem with changing it to something more mainstream, as long as it is accurate to your responsibilities. 

This is where you can broadly outline your accomplishments in the role, remembering to use action verbs. As with your achievements section, make sure you provide quantifiable evidence for each claim you make. 

Large gaps of a year or more in your work experience can be a concern for employers, so make sure you don't leave blanks without an explanation. Even if you took a break just to travel or pursue another interest, this is better than letting the employer believe you did nothing in-between jobs. 

It's also a good idea to include the month and year you began and finished working at an organisation. For example, just listing 2020 - 2022 could leave room for the employer to think you started in December 2020 and left in January 2022 when you might have stayed longer. 

6. Education, qualifications & certifications

This section is simple; provide a concise summary of the academic qualifications and certifications you obtained, including the year of completion, the institution name, and a brief summary. 

7. References

In the past, it was traditional to list specific details of your references. However, it's much more common now to simply put "references available upon request" here. This helps to maintain the privacy of your references so that they are only contacted by employers who are seriously considering you for the role. 

Still, you should think about what references you would include here and ensure that, like the rest of your resume, they're relevant to the role you're applying for. You should aim to have at least two references, ideally former employers, but a lecturer or mentor will be adequate if you don't have prior work experience. 

How often should you update your IT resume?

Regularly updating your CV is always a good idea, especially in the technology sector, where new developments in software, hardware, coding languages, and more can leave you looking like a dinosaur unless you stay up to date. Taking time to review your resume and compare it with job descriptions for roles in your niche can help you identify skill gaps you should bridge if you want to maximise your future employability. 

Even if you aren't actively looking for a new job, be mindful of the state of your IT CV and update it whenever you learn a new skill or achieve something noteworthy at work. It's always easier to update your CV as you go rather than try to remember what you did and collect evidence of it after you've left a previous position. 

Final considerations on how to write a tech resume

Before a potential employer finishes reading your resume, they've probably already decided whether or not to shortlist you for an interview. Here are a few final tips for how to write a winning tech CV: 

First, take the time to tailor your technology resume for each application. While it's easy to use the same resume for similar roles, you'll have more success if you put effort into tailoring it for their specific job description. Although many tech skills will overlap between roles, a technical position at one company can be very different at another, so you shouldn't assume the same resume will be suitable for both. There's no way around it - writing a great IT resume means listing soft skills, hard skills, work history, achievements and more, in a way that suits the role you're applying for. 

Second, go out of your way to provide quantifiable evidence to support any claims you make about your work history and achievements. While it can be hard to quantify success in some industries, the data-driven nature of tech roles means that you should be able to back up what you say with facts, figures, links and more. 

Lastly, pay attention to detail. A good tech resume for a complex role will contain a lot of information, and it's easy for anyone to make mistakes when going into a lot of detail about their work history. Even a simple typo or grammar mistake could throw off an employer, especially if it makes reading your CV harder for them. Any mistake will leave a bad impression, so make sure that you carefully proofread your resume, as accidentally leaving an extra 0 on the end of a stat could be the difference between an impressive achievement and something a potential employer will scoff at. 

Now that you know how to write an IT CV, don't forget to download our tech resume template.

We also have tips on how to write an IT cover letter to pair with your resume and plenty of other job search advice and insights to help you with your next career move.