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TL;DR: How should I go about describing a job experience in my CV, which takes half of my overall working experience, but was not focused on the job I'd like to apply for?

My first job was as a software developer, after 6 months of work I was offered a job in a Bank as a software developer for the IT Auditing department, the job title was IT Auditing analyst junior. In this position I did my share of web development, but I had to help a lot in auditing tasks, until I was offered a promotion to be an IT Auditor (1 year and 8 months had passed) and I took it.

In this new position, I was taken from software development and fully put into Auditing tasks which required very little programing, things were going well, I was even chosen to travel abroad to conduct IT Audits on a subsidiary bank and trips around the country for similar tasks. This went on until I realized IT Auditing was not my thing (1 year and 9 months since I was promoted) and I couldn't afford investing more time into it, when I wanted to go back into Software Dev.

With a lot of effort I managed to change my career focus and currently have a stable Job in the field I like the most in Web Development, but now I'd like a new challenge, however I'm finding it really hard to describe those 3 years and 5 months that I was not really focused on development, I feel like I can't describe well what I did In the bank in a way that is meaningful to the position I'm applying for.

I can't just discard this job exp from my CV since it's the longest I've ever been in a job with the same company and it takes up about half of my overall working experience, also I want to make it clear for recruiters that those years were not focused on Development, and stop people from assuming that I have 7 years of software dev. experience when only half of it has been actual coding.

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    I don't think we can really answer this, as it will heavily depend on the specifics of the two roles. I might suggest discussing this one-on-one / in person with someone instead, as that would allow you figure out how to phrase your specific achievements in a flattering way. – Dukeling Jan 15 '18 at 15:17
  • yeah you're right, I think i went with a very specific question, when my general question is actually, how should I show a career change in my CV while making it simple for recruiters to see that. – randomguy04 Jan 15 '18 at 16:34
  • @randomguy04, see my answer below for an answer from former you. :) – Anthony Feb 19 '18 at 0:15
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I am an currently IT Auditor and I say you should embrace the ~ 2 years of experience you had in IT audit and describe how you are likely to be a better developer because of it. Your past experience as an IT auditor should be very valuable particularly in the below areas:

Well - defined intuition and judgement

As a former IT auditor, I would expect you to have a well - developed sense of intuition. Intuition is helpful when debugging code and conducting unit tests. You should be better able to anticipate what the source of a bug is and how the current code module may interact with future work. As an IT auditor, one's professional judgement is often one's strongest asset, and your past experience should help in deciding questions such as whether testing coverage is adequate, best practices are being followed, code structure is robust etc.

Experience with IT security and controls

As a former IT auditor, you should have experience with IT general controls, application controls, and IT security. Having had exposure to IT controls and IT security will serve you well as with this knowledge you will be able to recognize and mitigate software vulnerabilities that may later be exploited. It should also serve you well with the QA who will be testing your code, as their work is somewhat easier when best practices are followed.

Enhanced documentation, risk management, and communication skills

If you ever were to interact with an auditor, the fact you were one previously should enable you to somewhat foresee what an auditor would be looking for and reduce any unease you / your company may have. In this case , I would not be surprised if your management chooses you as lead point of contact with the external auditors due to your domain knowledge. Finally, there is often a stereotype that communication (especially to management) is an weak point for developers. As a former auditor, I would expect you to have superior communications skills as it was your job to make sure management understood the risks as they stem from IT, facing the company

  • Excellent example of transferable skills, and what you say is right, I've been chosen to lead the certification of one of the products at my company (just last week) because of my Auditing Background, Thank you very much. – randomguy04 Feb 19 '18 at 16:07
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While the technical skills of your time as an IT Auditor may not be directly relevant to an IT Development role I'd hazard a guess that there will be skills and experience that will be applicable - probably so-called "soft skills" in the majority. Things like how you dealt with challenging situations with colleagues, prioritization of tasks, communicating with stakeholders etc.

Sure they aren't going to be as valuable as out and out "hard skill" experience like working with particular languages or technologies but that doesn't mean they aren't of interest to a potential employer - so try and frame any description of that role in terms of those things that would be applicable and make sure you emphasize the technical aspects of the periods where you were doing development.

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