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What recruiters want to see on an IT contractor’s CV

Clients and agents need to recruit people who can join a project and get on with the job from day one. Accordingly, contractors’ CVs need to be to-the-point and accessible.

Before joining the contract world, you would typically submit CVs for ‘normal’ jobs which would detail everything about your past, from the school and university you attended, to your skills as a fire safety officer and your favourite hobbies.

Thankfully for many, a good contractor CV will contain none of these elements, as its sole aim is to provide a potential ’employer’ with an accessible, up-to-date summary of your skills.

Recruiters need to source people who can fill positions at short notice, and can integrate themselves within projects with minimal fuss.

Here are some of the key things you should bear in mind when writing an IT contractor CV:

Skills

You should highlight your technical skills and industry experience on Page 1. Make sure you keep this list up-to-date, and tailor the list to the role you are applying for.

Qualifications

You should list any technical qualifications or accreditations if you have any. You can mention your degree if relevant, but recruiters aren’t interested in your ‘O’ Level results.

Contract Roles

List your contract experience in reverse date order (the most recent first). Keep any details to-the-point.

Renewals

When listing contract positions you have held, it always looks good if you have had renewals, so write “18 months – 2 renewals”, rather than “18 months”.

CV Length

Ideally, your CV should be just 2 pages long. Spend more time detailing recent roles, and summarise any older roles. You can view a sample CV layout here.

Electronic CVs?

It is almost certain that the days of the traditional CV are numbered. Sites like LinkedIn are used more and more by both recruiters and contractors.

Although the format is bound to change, the important areas of a CV – whether it be a Word document, or part of your online profile, remain exactly the same.

You should always ensure that a potential client can quickly scan to the relevant parts of your resume in an instant.

Last updated: 7th November 2014