Unlocking Your CV and LinkedIn Profile’s Potential: What Every Tech Specialist in South Africa Should Include

In this article, we’ll explore what every tech specialist in South Africa should include on their CV and profiles to improve the types of opportunities that are finding them, as well as the opportunities that they are being shortlisted for.
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How to make your perfect job find you!

In the competitive world of tech employment, your CV and LinkedIn profile is often the first impression you make on potential employers. Crafting an effective CV can mean the difference between landing your dream job and remaining in the applicant pool.  It also makes the difference between being a candidate in a candidate pool or being the candidate in the most well-suited candidate pools.  

You want to be that person, in the right pool, because the right person in the well-matched pool is more valuable to companies who are looking for an individual with your exact set of skills and experience.  Often what companies are looking for is not what you would expect.  While most tech specialists in South Africa understand the basics of creating a LinkedIn profile or CV, many overlook key details that can truly set them apart. 

In this article, we’ll explore what every tech specialist in South Africa should include on their CV and profiles to improve the types of opportunities that are finding them, as well as the opportunities that they are being shortlisted for.

Beyond the Basics

First and foremost, it’s essential to move beyond the basics when constructing your CV. Ignore the people who tell you to squash very limited information into one hard-to-read creative page.  Leave that for the creatives. The people giving this advice are not hiring managers, HR managers or recruiters of tech specialists in our country. They would only say that if they have never used systems, AI or search functionality to recruit or if they had all the time in the world to interview or call hundreds of people in order to shortlist. Most people don’t have the time to interview more people than necessary, so bets are usually made on the profiles and CVs of those who seem most aligned to the role and the environment.  

Instead of simply listing your work experience, education, and skills, take the time to dig a little deeper. Ensure the most valuable information is on your CV in the correct place in a clear succinct way.  No need to write an essay but emphasise your accomplishments and contributions in each role. You can ignore the intro unless it is meaningful.  Also, don’t use general areas when adding your contributions, technologies and duties. Add these under the company where you made that contribution or used that technology.  

Quantify Your Achievements

One of the most effective ways to make your CV stand out is to quantify your achievements. Don’t just say you “managed a team”. Instead, provide specific details such as “Managed a team of 10 developers and 4 testers,” or “scaled a team of developers from 4 to 20 in 24 months.” 

Quantifying your achievements provides tangible evidence of your impact and abilities. It makes the reader immediately see the similarities between the experience you have had and what they need in terms of demonstratable experience.  When it comes to lead roles specifically, it is very important to understand the context and size of your teams as well as your duties as a leader to ensure that it is relatable to the environments who are hiring.

Industry and Domain Knowledge

Tech specialists often work in specific industries or domains, each with its own unique challenges, processes and nuances. Find ways to mention your industry experience on your CV. This can be a game-changer, especially for roles that require deep domain knowledge and most of them do these days. 

If you’ve worked in asset management or unit trusts, health care, payments or proptech or any other specialised field, highlight it because it will make you a preferred candidate even if it is not a requirement on the job spec if the environment aligns to that of the hiring companies. The style of your business, if B2B is relevant add it, if you work in a SaaS business, include that.  Roles are becoming more and more specialised. Some of our environments no longer look for a project manager, as an example. They want a subject matter expert in their domain who can manage projects. So, a project manager adding only his/her job title without information on the type of project he/she managed (e.g., Ecommerce project) and industry (within retail or luxury brands) prevents that profile or CV from floating to the top when a recruiter or sourcer executes a detailed search.  

Key Technologies and Tools

Recruiters often search for candidates based on their proficiency in specific technologies and tools. The best way to list your skills is to list each technology used at a particular company under that role.  That way, the reader can see how long you have been working in each stack, if it changed, when it changed, and an experienced tech specialist recruiter or dev manager will quickly gage if it is worth investing time for that particular role or not.  

Be sure to remove the technologies that you are not proficient in. Juniors tend to add every technology they have been exposed to. Don’t add any technology that you wouldn’t want to be tested on, especially if you are a developer.

Some companies look for developers with deep experience in a particular stack, others look for broad experience across stacks.  There are good reasons for both. Listing your experience accurately makes it easier to draw you into the right roles and repel your CV from the roles where your background won’t be fully appreciated the way you would want it to be.

Searchable Keywords

In today’s digital age, recruiters often use applicant tracking systems to filter through CVs. To ensure your CV gets noticed, incorporate relevant keywords. Think about industry-specific terms, certifications, and trending buzzwords. Tailor these keywords to match the job you’re applying for. 


Duties and responsibilities are a great place to show what kept you busy, what you were responsible for, and what sort of tasks you learned to handle in your previous roles. To keep it easy to read, don’t make these paragraphs. As a developer it matters if your role involves testing and maintaining existing software, or if you are creating brand new applications from scratch.  Using only a job title and leaving out the detail makes it impossible to gage if you might be a likely fit or not.  

As a business analyst, it matters what type of work you did as a BA and what kinds of projects you worked on. If a recruiter is searching for a BA to focus on building mobile applications, then your background in wireframing and UX related work would be very relevant. Other BAs may focus more on process or data related projects.  

For this reason, if, as a recruiter, I have many BA CVs or LinkedIn profiles, I’m going to shortlist the CVs who are most likely to be relevant, and ignore the profiles which are either blank, or a complete mystery. I would use keyword searches to filter and sift through profiles to make the most likely profiles come up first.  If that isn’t on your CV, it wouldn’t come up even if that is the type of work you focused on the most. Jobs and companies are different. Your profile should give clues to your exposure.

Customising for Each Application

While having a general CV is essential, customising it for each job application can greatly increase your chances of success. This is especially true for those candidates whose jobs don’t easily fall into a well-understood ‘box’.  Tweak your CV’s content to align with the specific job description. Highlight experiences and skills that directly relate to the role you’re applying for. 

Your LinkedIn Profile 

In addition to your CV, your LinkedIn profile plays a crucial role in your job search.  Not just your job search but in being found for a perfectly matched opportunity when you weren’t thinking to even look. Ensure that your profile mirrors the content of your CV. Use similar keywords and highlight your achievements. A well-optimised LinkedIn profile can increase your visibility to potential employers and recruiters.

Your CV and profile are your tickets to the tech job of your dreams. Very often, the job of your dreams finds you, you don’t always find it.  By going beyond the basics, quantifying your achievements, showcasing your industry knowledge, and incorporating relevant keywords, you can create a CV that not only stands out but draws in the roles which are most suited to your background and experience.  Those are the roles where you could add the most value.  

Being in a space where you add more value is what makes you more valuable to hiring teams (which means you might get paid more! 😊). It builds your confidence, and fast-tracks your career, because you are able to get involved in more complex work since you aren’t spending most of your time struggling with the details that you are already familiar with.  So optimise your LinkedIn profile as well as your CV, and watch the shift happen!

Leigh Duffield

Leigh is the founder of Progressive Edge and an enthusiast of creating healthy, sustainable work places. Operating from Cape Town, South Africa, Leigh brings her passion and attention to detail to a global audience.

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