We hate to point out the obvious, but most recruiters and employers – and especially those in the IT industry – search for candidates via online job boards. To make hiring managers sit up and pay attention, you'll need a cracking CV uploaded to relevant CV databases like CWJobs.
There's some basic information that every CV should cover to give your potential new boss a clear picture of your skills and suitability as an employee. You’re already avoiding handing them a grotty, coffee-stained piece of paper and proving you have a decent level of intelligence by offering your CV up online. Just make sure your CV contains all of the following elements, laid out in a clear and concise manner with bullet points or short paragraphs no longer than three lines in length. And yes, we’re aware we’re beginning to sound just a touch like your GCSE English teacher. Trust us: it works!
So, class, pay attention! If you follow a basic structure, you can present the information in a clear, concise and persuasive way:
Include your name, address, phone numbers, email address and a URL if you have one. You do not need to include information about your age, nationality, shoe size, favoured browser, or funny birthmarks shaped like Duke, the Java icon. It may help though, to include a short personal statement about the career you’re looking for.
Showcase specific skills such as programming languages and other IT skills and state whether you're at a basic, intermediate or advanced level. DON’T EXAGGERATE – you’ll get caught out and potentially become an interview anecdote known throughout the industry for your stupidity. Bullet point this information and, where possible, include number of years experience with each skill.
List the most recent experience first, continuing in reverse chronological order. Describe your work experience in short sentences using straightforward, positive language and highlight your key achievements.
List brief details of your qualifications, both academic and professional, beginning with the most relevant. If you’re looking for your first role, you should include this information above your work experience (since you won’t have any – apart from bar work or the local Tesco). This section can also be used to replace the skills section if necessary.
You don’t have to put details of your referees on your CV, it’s good enough just to say references are available. First jobbers, it’s a good idea to nominate tutors or mentors but don’t forget to check with them that they’re ok with this.
Including these is optional, but keep them short if you do. The idea is to give the interviewer some insight into your personality and suitability for the company
In an ideal world, your CV should be no longer than two sides of A4. It should be in black and white and use a basic font such as Arial or Verdana. Stay away from Times New Roman as this can sometimes appear dated and is more difficult to read. Do not include a picture of yourself; and certainly don’t use your image as a watermark. Yes, we have seen people do this. And yes, we laughed.
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