What are the key buzz terms IT recruiters are looking out for?

Thursday, November 6th, 2008 - CV Writing


Sarah asks: I am interested to understand how recruiters are scanning CV for candidates that have applied for an IT position. What ‘key buzz terms’ are you looking out for? I work for online recruitment website The IT Job Board and we send out a weekly newsletter to our candidates. I am looking for information about how a candidate can best present their CV and what are most important factors to recruiters when scanning a CV. Thank You!

In answer:
Simple – the “key buzz terms” to use are the ones that I or any other recruiter or HR professional put in the advert that you are looking at, that took us on average 100+hrs to get a position signed off against a job description, which is now summarised in fifty words or less in the advert.

Simply, there are no generic “key buzz terms” – there is focusing your application on the given advert, and showing you have the relevant skills+.

Around 35% of applicants won’t write a Cover Letter – Rejected! And another 35% won’t focus their skills in their CV on the advert, using something highly generic – Rejected! That leaves me at best with one third who make it to the “could call” pile, of which about another half will be – Rejected! That will be for a combination of reasons, either not enough of the right skills, or too much experience, or just as simple as a difficult to read CV. And yes, there are that many applicants generically that I don’t have to worry about the fact that you can’t present yourself correctly, unless you are in a new technology niche.

I find with most IT people that they love talking about the skills they have or the projects they have been involved with; but not enough about the role they played, the part they delivered or the business result gained. I realise as an engineer myself this may be irrelevant to the applicant while in the project, but the right business result in the the given time scale is what will get you your next position.

I always suggest to anyone looking for their next position, to think what the last one allows them to add to their CV? If you can’t answer that, then you are simply job hopping and not managing your career – and at some point, you will be unemployed: employers like people who can manage themselves as much as the work they are undertaking.

If I can help you further, please – just ask!

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