We’re going to talk in this blog post, about how to write the perfect CV and land your dream job. Sound good? Let’s go!
Let’s talk about layout
When it comes to writing a CV it can be hard to know where to start and how much detail the reader wants. A recent survey showed that most employers only tend to read the first page of a CV, and base the decision on whether to take the candidate to interview stage purely on this.
So, with that in mind the first page of your CV has got to work hard; decide what the strongest key information about you is and layout your CV to make that stand out.
Start with key basics like personal info, make sure that there are no typing errors in your email address and telephone number. Before we go any further, on the subject of typos, make sure there are none in your CV. Attention to detail is key in many Tech roles so don’t fall down at the first hurdle, proof read, spell check; you know the drill.
Follow this with a short summary paragraph about you, depending on what you want to say about yourself and the level of formality you want to employ, here are some suggested heading titles you could use;
– Personal Summary
– Personal Aims
– Experience Summary
– About Me
Your next heading is a very important one in the Tech world, KEY SKILLS. Most recruiters and employers will naturally scan read your CV initially to find this so make sure it is near the top of your CV, neatly laid out, and accurately represents your areas of skill and expertise. The simplest way to present this is a 2 or 3 column section of bullet points – although you can sub divide it into categories if you wish e.g. LANGUAGES, PLATFORMS, DESIGN METHODOLOGIES. Overall though, keep it clean and concise.
Next up is your relevant experience, depending on your career stage the heading will be one of these;
– Employment (if you have commercial experience you should list your most recent and any previous roles under this heading)
– Relevant Industry Experience (If you have been on a work placement this is a good heading to use, list your experience and detail skills/projects)
– Projects (If you haven’t yet got any commercial experience or work placements, showcase your achievements on recent projects and talk about the skills you’ve used and any notable wins).
Next up, if you are an active member of the Tech community, talk about it! This should fall after your work experience section and just before your ‘interests’.
Finally, add some personality to your CV; include a section that tells us about you, your hobbies, your interests. Now that you have wowed with your technical skills and experience it’s important to show that you are a person, not a robot. A lot of the companies we work with are looking for the right personalities to fit within their team, so whether you be a gamer, into live music, a bungee jumping enthusiast or locked away tinkering with your home PC network etc. tell us about what makes you tick in a short, punchy paragraph at the bottom of your CV.
Now that we have covered off the layout, and what to include here are some tips to make your CV
Keep it snappy
Short, sharp and to the point. No one wants to hear your life story – yet! (save that for your interview where you can dazzle them with your knowledge and experience).
Allow yourself maximum of 3 small bullet points per role or project to highlight your key achievements in each. The person who initially reads your CV may not always be a technical person (a HR manager for example) so it’s not always relevant t go into intense technical detail about how you’ve done things in a project, you can delve deeper at interview stage.
No matter what level of experience you have, work examples are a great addition to your CV. Supporting URLs, code examples/GitHub, websites you’ve worked on etc. are always a welcome sight on a CV. Include these as an appendices; reference the appendices on the first page of your CV, and dedicate a second page to your work examples. This ensures that your CV is clear and concise, whilst also showcasing your skills in evidence.