Five Tips for your Technical CV
CVs or resumes are an integral part of the hiring process. Since a recruiter can not discover your achievements, skills, and experience telepathically, you will need a CV to convey to them the summary of your professional life. However, grabbing the attention of a recruiter is a challenging task given the fact that a hiring personnel can barely manage to invest more than a few seconds on each CV. Therefore, it becomes necessary to provide the most vital information in the most concise manner. And to help you nail the CV game, given below are a few amazing tips that will surely enable you to master the art of making a “Perfect CV.”
This post includes a CV example to better illustrate each point.
Five Crucial Tips for your Tech CV
1. Format and Design
The first thing that you will choose while creating a CV is the format and design. This might seem like the easiest decision to make, but it surely is not. Either there are not enough suitable options available for developers or there are too many (Canva alert) ultimately leading to a lot of confusion and frustration. A good hack is to pick a minimalistic black and white skill-based format. Utmost attention should be paid to fonts, spacing, margins, alignments, and the chronology of content. For instance, it is recommended for established professionals to highlight work experience at the top while tech graduates are expected to draw attention to academic achievements followed by projects and internships.
2. Technical stack
There is nothing more essential for a technical job than technical proficiency. As a developer, it should be your priority to highlight technical skills, methodologies, and frameworks. You can opt for a tabular form or bullet points for this section. To further enhance this column, go for tools representing the level of expertise you have acquired in each programming language, system, software, framework etc.
Additionally, do not forget to show your work by making your public projects easily accessible. Public profiles (e.g. GitHub) provide great insight to the employer about the level of specialization that you may have achieved in a particular programming language or protocol. It automatically validates the credentials stated in your CV and further strengthens the recruiter’s confidence in your expertise.
The importance of keywords for the ATS (Applicant Tracking System) as well as for hiring managers can not be stressed enough. As mentioned already, a recruiter has only a few seconds to skim over each application. The first thing they will be detecting is the keywords. And they will only move forward with your application and linked profiles if the keywords in your CV fit the job description. Keywords are also a great way to specify the industry and interests that you would like to pursue but lack experience in/for.
Consider a scenario, where a recruiter is hunting for a front-end engineer having a deep interest in Blockchain and DLT. The key point to be noted here is that the job requires someone possessing adequate knowledge about Blockchain and not necessarily hands-on experience. Now, you fit the description for the front-end experience and would like to join the Blockchain space even without having ever worked professionally in the same. In such a case, the hiring manager would almost immediately reject your application in absence of keywords related to Blockchain, assuming that you lack any interest in the field. In order to improve your chances of getting shortlisted, mention the keywords that can exhibit the knowledge you possess about Blockchain (e.g. Ethereum, Bitcoin, DeFi, NFT, Tokenomics, Cryptography etc.).
4. Correctness and Conciseness
Your application should be grammatically correct, typo-free, easily readable, and highly concise. Describe your roles in three to four short bullet sentences for each previous job, prioritizing the most important projects and tasks. Use this section to communicate your accomplishments and achievements in the previous roles. Do not stretch any section to the point where it produces an impression of “CTRL-C and CTRL-V” from Google. Remember that a grammatically correct application may not make up for the skills and technical expertise, but do not underestimate the importance of “first impression” and general appearance. A grammatically polished and error-free application does suggest that the candidate is diligent and meticulous.
Customization will help you the most in weeding out irrelevant information and sticking to the former point. Customize your CV for each position you are applying for. You may subconsciously believe that your profile fits a variety of roles but your recruiter cannot read your mind. Therefore, think from the POV of a recruiter and customize the CV according to the job requirements.
For example, if you are applying for a DevOps role, it will be more appropriate to endorse the leadership experience and collaboration skills acquired during previous roles. On the other hand, if you are drafting an application for the role of a back-end developer, customize your technical stack according to the programming languages and systems mentioned in the job description. A customized CV will enable you to stand out from a pool of applicants as it demonstrates to the recruiter that the candidate has dedicated enough time in researching the company and role requirements, instead of churning out a random CV to try his luck.
A good CV is like a cherry on the cake. Your CV does not have to be pitch-perfect, but all these tips will definitely assist you in elevating your game. A well-tailored CV will create that first impression that has the potential to accelerate your career. Now, good luck with your job hunt!