How to Write a CV: A Guide for Software Developers
Do you know how to write a CV? As the world gets more and more digital, there is an increased 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.
So, what is a CV? A CV (curriculum vitae), also called a resume, is the first thing that recruiters see; it’s what makes the first good—or bad—impression on 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.
When contemplating your CV design, look no further than these tips below that are guaranteed to make the process simpler and help you to write an impressive CV.
7 Tips for 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 resume to highlight those skills.
Contact information and CV 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.
Make sure to also 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, backend, and web development technologies, systems, and platforms you’ve been more exposed to in your career relevant to the position.
This will vary depending on the role for which you’re applying. If it’s an entry-level position, then recruiters need 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
A software developer’s CV should detail previous work and project 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 the duration and activities accomplished.
List important certifications and accomplishments
It’s always a good idea to buff up your skill set and prove that you’re a lifelong 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 resume’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 resume!
The “Don’ts” of CV Writing
There are a few ‘don’ts’ to keep in mind when mapping out your CV design.
Don’t just mention previous positions and employers. List the projects you managed (if it’s not restricted information). Remember, recruiters want to know your experience-based technology stack; it will give them an idea of how recently you’ve used certain technologies, and how well you know them.
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 at the recruiter. Be consistent with your writing style, as this makes your profile quick to review and easy to read.
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 resumes every time 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 and be 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. Be consistent with the titles, subtitles, and text.
Choose relevant colors
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, gray, white, and blue.
Skip the picture
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 concise. Pedro Pazmiño, VP of Creative Services 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 resume will go further.” Be specific about your functions in your latest experiences without going overboard. It’s also not a bad idea to keep your word count down.
With these few tips from our CV guide 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!