POSTED ON 15 JAN 2024
READING TIME: 3 MINUTES
A bold assertion to start: 30% of developers don't know how to prepare a good CV (based on my "studies" with data from our last applicants for a Java Developer role). To be fair, it may not have seemed as important in the past. However, I believe it may have changed since I received over 50 qualified applications for my last job. Unfortunately, many of these CVs could have been prepared in a more user-friendly way, and some of them were really hard to work with. As we work in the same team and navigate the dynamic landscape of the tech industry together, I gathered some essential tips for creating a compelling CV that resonates with recruiters and applicant tracking systems (ATS).
As developers, you know that core functionality comes first; later, you can think about adding frills. So, while preparing your CV, ensure it's in a standard, easily readable format. Recruiters and ATS systems should effortlessly copy your contact details. Remember, simplicity is essential when it comes to accessibility.
Not-so-fun fact: some CV generators block the possibility of copying text, even in PDF format.
Pro tip: open your CV after saving it, and check if you can copy your email address or click on your GitHub link.
A visually appealing and well-organised CV makes a lasting impression. Clear fonts, consistent formatting, and a logical structure contribute to an easy reading experience. A recruiter should be able to navigate through your CV seamlessly, absorbing information without any distractions.
Make it easy for recruiters to find critical details: Place your contact information prominently, including links to your LinkedIn, BitBucket, or other relevant profiles. Specify your location, even if you're working remotely. For some companies, it matters because they can hire people only in countries where their entity is registered. Indicate your preference for B2B or an employment contract, along with the specific role you seek, especially if you're a seasoned professional.
Organise your technical skills meticulously. Categorise them into clear divisions such as programming languages, cloud platforms, databases, DevOps tools, CI/CD, and testing methodologies. Use bullet points or a clear format to convey your expertise, allowing recruiters to identify your strengths quickly.
Chronology matters. Clearly outline your employment history with accurate start and end dates. This not only demonstrates your work experience but also shows consistency and reliability.
Describe your roles in a simple yet comprehensive manner. For senior professionals, emphasise leadership responsibilities, involvement in planning and architecture, mentorship roles, and business support responsibilities. Mention projects or products you've worked on, providing details such as the type of product, number of users, information about the success of the production release, etc. However be aware of your confidentiality commitments to the companies you have worked for.
It may seem obvious, but I have already received a few emails generated purely by ChatGPT and sent without any adjustment. As much as it was fun to read, it also left me with the impression that this candidate may do the same with their code, which is not a good indicator.
Happy job hunting!