Getting the tone right in your IT security CV

News by Neville Rose

Neville Rose, director of CV Writers, offers advice to help you pitch the right tone in your CV.

There is much truth in the saying ‘it's not what you say, it's how you say it'. As sentient beings we understand that a single phrase can mean two completely different things. And this subtle change in tone can also come through in writing your CV.

The phrase ‘get out of it', for example, can be interpreted in opposite ways. Said with a raised voice and clenched fists we understand a negative meaning: ‘leave me alone!' However, when said with a curious smile, the tone has changed and this phrase now reads as: ‘I'm intrigued'. Although we do not have the luxury of reading body language in a CV it becomes very easy to engage the reader through our control of the tone.

How can I adapt the tone in my CV?

It's crucial that your CV stands out from other applicants and that you captivate your reader. By using action words like ‘transformed', ‘determined' or ‘accelerated' you will enhance your achievements and engage the reader. Facts and figures are essential in supporting your statements.

Get that tone locked down by using the four P's.

As an IT security professional, it's important to profile your personal qualities whilst also sounding professional in your CV. You need to find the right balance between showcasing your achievements and technical skills and allowing them to sell themselves. It's important to come across as confident while not sounding egotistical. By managing the tone of your CV you can get all of these things in balance.


A good CV glows with positivity and doesn't raise any unnecessary question marks. Once you make it to interview you may be surprised at how perceived barriers are broken down when you are face to face with a potential employer and they are keen to learn more about you.


Your CV is often the first contact with a potential employer, so it needs to make an immediate impression. The presentation should exude professionalism. The format should be easy to navigate with clearly labeled headings to make it easy for the reader to manoeuvre through the CV and pinpoint aspects they feel are important.


Your ‘personal brand' is distinctive to you. Only you have that unique set of skills and career history. Your CV should reflect your key personal qualities and highlight what sets you apart. Use original phrases and words to help stand out from other candidates.


You have less than 30 seconds to grab the reader's attention. That's about the same time as sending a tweet. So the crucial step is to manage energy and pace. Your aim is to quickly evoke the reader so much that they are compelled to call you for an interview.

It is easy to forget just how important a CV is and yet you have just one chance to score an interview with it. Controlling the tone of your CV helps the reader engage with what you say and influence their perceptions about you. Remembering the four Ps will help you on your way to forming the right tonal balance in your CV.


If you would like help with your CV, cover letter or LinkedIn profile, CV Writers can help through a variety of CV services

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