How to write a CV and cover letter for a graduate tech job

8 May 2024, 11:29

One thing you should keep in mind when creating your graduate CV and cover letter for a graduate technology job is that they should be no longer than two pages and one page respectively. This article will guide you on how to fit all the vital information that tech employers are looking for in this space.

writing a cv and a cover letter

Your education | Work experience | Writing a cover letter

CV rules to keep in mind

  • Create a ‘master CV’ and tailor it to each employer you apply to.
  • Your CV should be easy to read with a clear font, reasonable word size, headings and bullet points.
  • If you’re following a chronological format, make sure that the chronology is clear with no unexplained major time gaps.
  • Your CV header should include contact details (name, location, phone number and email address) but there is no need to include your date of birth, gender, ethnicity or marital status in your CV.

Your educational history

The most important part of your educational history when applying for graduate jobs, is your time in college. In this section you should include your predicted or actual degree class, information on group projects and your dissertation, any modules relevant to the job, and relevant academic awards. When applying for a technical role, it is important to highlight the modules that are relevant to that specific role in your CV.

You can also include your Leaving Certs subjects and grades in this section.

Technical work experience

Outline your technical work experience in your CV. Summarise what your main tasks were during your work experience and go into detail when describing tasks that closely relate to the specific job. Point out your achievements and how you helped your colleagues and the business. Include what you learned from the experience and what skills you developed. Don’t forget to include non-technical transferrable skills such as communication and problem-solving skills.

If you have work experience that is not closely related to the job you’re applying for, focus on the competencies and transferrable skills you gained from the experience. The skills gained from non-technical work experience are still valuable to employers looking to fill tech roles. This can be a real boost if you don’t have work experience in this sector and can give you an extra edge if you have. Examples worth mentioning include voluntary work, summer jobs, part-time jobs, sporting achievements or taking a leading role in a student society. Don’t go into too much detail, summarise your achievements and any transferable skills you have developed.

Writing a cover letter for IT graduate jobs

A number of IT employers require you to submit a cover letter with your application. Cover letters provide you with an additional opportunity to showcase your skills and enthusiasm. Your cover letter should be no longer than a single page.

Before you start writing, research the company you’re applying to. Find out as much as you can about their business strategy, values, culture, history and products. Most of this information can be found on the employer’s website and social media pages.

Don’t cram a list of your skills and achievements into your cover letter and attempt to rehash your CV. Pinpoint a few of the attributes that the employer is looking for and focus your cover letter around these requirements. For example, these could be a genuine interest in technology, practical knowledge of databases and programming, and excellent communication skills.

You can also include examples from your academic work, personal life and any work experience to prove to recruiters that you have the skills, qualities and experience they’re looking for.

You should dedicate a short paragraph of your cover letter to explaining why you have chosen that specific employer. You can make points about the company culture, mission, product, values or the opportunities they can offer you.

Once you have completed your CV and cover letter, you should ask a friend, family member, or member of staff from your careers service to check it for sense, style and grammatical mistakes. Covering letters with many errors leave a bad impression and will cast doubt over your attention to detail and professionalism.

For more information on working in this sector, read our dedicated gradireland technology sector guide.

gradireland editorial advice

This describes editorially independent and impartial content, which has been written and edited by the gradireland content team. Any external contributors featuring in the article are in line with our non-advertorial policy, by which we mean that we do not promote one organisation over another.

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