CV writing: CUK's IT Contractor CV Template

The following guide offers key CV writing tips for IT contractors:

Page 1. (from the top)

1. Full Name & Contact Details

2. Profile
-Say Who you are
-Say What you do - include a recognisable or understandable job title
-Say Where you are going, or what you want to do, in your self-employed career
-State core skill/skills.

3. Career Expertise
Using bullet points, state:
- Achievements delivered

Expand on these achievements by using related numbers - for example, cite how many pounds saved and over what timescale

- Include keywords in your bullet points, for example 'headcount,' 'operations'

3. (Alternative) Key Skills
- Present a table with your skills (or Key Technologies knowledge)
- Score your knowledge/expertise from 1 to 5,
- One column of the table might include a number for years' experience, and
- Another column could cite the last date you professionally used those skills

4. Education & Training
-Be brief, and state concisely

5. Key Technologies
- Point by point, list your core skills e.g. ITILv2, Unix, ADSL.

Page 2. (from the top)

6. Career
- Set a single digit number of lines per role and stick to it
- Reduce to one line per earlier job
- A substantial or significant 'early career' might require its own section, or be best as a sub-category

6. (Alternative) Work History

-Provide date, client name and project description
-Be to the point and concise
-Use keywords or cite core technologies used

7. Personal
-State your nationality
-Use a few words to state your circumstances – e.g. married, ability to travel
-State security clearance

8.References
-State 'Available at interview'

(Optional) 9. Appendix
- Technologies expanded, input any secondary skills
- Key achievements – what you delivered, and in what timescale

Notes to CUK's IT contractor CV template

  • An IT contractor's CV must be written from the readers' perspective - well laid out, initially attractive to the eye and easy to read. Spend time on your CV to remodel it to ensure that it fits two pages, has 'eye appeal', is accessible and attractive. Use carefully chosen fonts to ensure legibility and which appear business-like. The use of colour on the CV is to be avoided as we don't know the preferences or prejudices of the reader
     
  • Your CV should ideally be two pages in length - when a hiring manager/recruitment agent opens a CV it must not appear a challenge to read
     
  • Studies show that agents spend less than 10 seconds on an initial screen of a CV. For an IT contractor this is an issue, as he/she will want to write about their achievements. But avoid a huge CV
     
  • A valuable device to get round this problem, and not overfill initial 'impact' sections, is to use an appendix (9.), which provides detail you may feel makes a difference to your chances
     
  • Follow this approach, and your reader sees your CV as easy on the eye at two pages, with an option to read the appendix. This is pure psychology, but infinitely better than the 4 or 5-page CV
     
  • Education and Training (4.) should be higher up the CV for the more youthful contractor, as their training and qualifications are more recent. For the more experienced contractor, this section should be lower down the CV as their strengths and appeal is more rooted in their experience and what they have delivered (3.). For such established contractors, these selling points should be nearer to a reader's eye than Education and/or Training.
     
  • Most large employers/clients run CRB (criminal record bureau) checks as a routine, and expect candidates to bring their passport with them for verifying at interview. This is driven by the UK Border Agency, defence sector, and the ITAR requirements. Therefore nowadays its worth including Nationality in your Personal section (9.)
     
  • With every step of the CV, the IT contractor, more so than the IT employee, should convey the image of a business professional, able to deliver benefits or resolve problems.

ContractorUK has partnered with the UK's leading authority on Contractor CVs to provide a FREE review of your CV and LinkedIn profile. Contact The CV & Interview Advisors and one of their team will get back to you to discuss if your CV and LinkedIn profile matches up with industry best practice.

Editor's note: Further Reading -

Content and example contractor CV
How to frame your CV
How to get my CV noticed?
Agency basics for IT contractors - CV sending
Agency basics for IT contractors – CV privacy