How to write a CV that will get you hired: A Guide for Software Developers
As the world gets more and more digital, there is an increasing demand for highly-talented software developers. However, with greater demand comes greater competition, and a flooded market of applicants is leaving even the best coding geniuses without job opportunities.
A software developer’s résumé, also called CV (Curriculum vitae), is the first thing that recruiters see; it’s what makes a first good– or bad– impression upon potential employers. If written well, it can seal the deal on big opportunities. But if written poorly, it can dash any developer’s hopes of breaking into the competitive job market.
Here are some tips to writing a killer CV:
Read the job requirements carefully:
When it comes to software development, if you have been in the game for a while, you might know that there are certain languages, programs, and even industries that recruiters expect you to nail. Make sure that your skills match the job before actually applying. This will save time for both you and the recruiter. If you find that your profile matches the requirements, tailor your résumé to highlight those skills.
Contact information and profile:
Always include a small section with your contact information such as phone number and email address. You can even add your Github account to this section (if you have one) and your LinkedIn page; seeing examples of your work is an eye-catching bonus in your favor
Also make sure to add a profile section: introduce yourself! Write a brief description of who you are and what motivates you to work in this area. Explain why you want to be a part of the company’s IT team, and why you would be a good asset. Remember, this is your elevator pitch.
Keep your knowledge up-to-date:
Keep in mind that the tech industry is continuously evolving. Old technologies, as you know, very quickly become obsolete. List the front-end, back-end and web development technologies, systems, and platforms you’ve been more exposed to in your career, and that are relevant to the position.
This will vary depending on the role for which you’re applying. If it’s an entry-level position, then it’s important for recruiters to know about your education. Always include the name of the university or institute you last attended, as well as the years that you studied there. But, if you’re applying for a senior role, then your major of study and professional background will be more than enough. Also, list any additional training that you’ve gotten along the way– maybe Coursera or Udemy courses, coding camps, etc. Especially if you don’t have much professional experience, you’ll need to rely on stellar training to prove you have the chops to excel.
Work and projects experience:
It’s vital, especially in the software development industry, to detail previous work and projects experience. This will give recruiters an idea of your industry knowledge, and how long your learning curve is going to last. Sort the section starting with your most recent position (or project), detailing duration and activities accomplished.
List important certifications and accomplishments:
It’s always a good idea to buff up your skillset and prove that you’re a life-long learner, by including a Certifications and/or Publications section. Talk about your independent projects and courses, and if you’re an active member of Stack Overflow or Github, show it off! This will demonstrate your interest in the field and in learning from fellow developers.
Write a cover letter:
It might take some extra work, but creating a personalized and well-written cover letter will definitely catch the company’s eye. It will present you as a serious and detail-oriented candidate, boosting your chances of getting the job. A cover letter is basically an extended version of your résumé’s profile– catered in prose to the company, the position, and your personality. It presents some of your best achievements and knowledge. Do some research on the company, think about how the position will make you grow as a professional, and explain why your profile fits the vacancy. Send it with your new résumé!
The “don’ts” of CV writing:
Don’t just mention previous positions and employers:
List the projects for which you were in charge (if it’s not restricted information). Remember, recruiters want to know your experience-based technical stack ; it will give them an idea of how recently you’ve exercised certain technologies, and how deeply you know them inside and out
DO NOT WRITE EVERYTHING IN CAPITAL LETTERS:
That’s right! Believe it or not, recruiters find this annoying and difficult to read. This could be interpreted as if you’re yelling to the recruiter. Be consistent with your style of writing, making your profile quick to review and easy to read it.
Don’t send unnecessary certifications:
As a software developer, you may have certifications that back up and specialize your knowledge. Do not send all certifications, unless you’re asked to do so. Your technology stack and experience will be more than enough for now.
Don’t choose quantity over quality:
Vira Spychka, Senior Talent Executive shares some knowledge about successfully hiring developers, “As recruiters, we get hundreds of résumés everytime there’s a job opening, so we have a delimited time to analyze each one of them. The best way to stand out is by keeping it simple.” Add only relevant information, being specific about the projects and functions you’ve managed.
How to visually present your CV:
Choose your fonts wisely:
Use size 11-13-point, standard fonts (this isn’t the time to get too creative). This will make your CV easily-legible. Also be consistent with the titles, subtitles, and text.
You don’t want your CV to be an extravaganza; keep it nice and simple. You can adapt the colors to the industry for which you’re applying. In general, use colors like: black, grey, white, and blue.
A picture is not needed:
Remember that this is not about appearances. You don’t have to include your picture unless it’s requested. This will even save you some space! But if you do want to add a picture, make sure to keep it professional.
Keep it single-paged:
We can’t stress enough the importance of keeping your CV short and concise. Pedro Pazmiño, Creative Director at Webcreek, says, “Although we all have that little impulse to want to put together a document with dozens of pages– loaded with graphics and colors– a simple, concise, and realistic résumé will go further.” Be specific about your functions on your latest experiences, without going overboard. Also, it’s not a bad idea to keep your word count down.
With these few tips in mind, you’ll take any company’s breath away.
Once you’ve created your CV, feel free to look at our job openings, and boost your career now!