Nov 27th, 2019

      How to write a perfect CV for a software developer

      Our team spent hours to discuss all issues and to create this pool of tips and template of a resume for you. Of course, there is no single recipe for all CVs, so you can change any of the items as you like.
      At the same time, there is a set of unwritten rules that is used by experienced developers and is prayed by HRM’s. Such formalities make life easier. A recruiter will be able to make a minimum conclusion whether the specialist is suitable after a half a minute viewing the CV. A HRM will compare all candidates with the help of specific features. A developer will not spend too much time and nerves to write a CV.

      And so we will talk about the effectiveness of the recruitment process. Nobody wants to wait 1-2 months until the CVs of all candidates for the open position will be explored under the magnifying glass. Recruiters and HR initially look through it to find must-have technologies and cannot see your talent in computer vision you do not specify directly. Unless they are telepathic.
      Employers, in turn, are interested in hiring professional specialists and nice employees. They know that a usual developer is not a pro at writing resumes and should not be one. In addition, no one will give you preference because of your skills indicated before or after the experience. But if you want to make your and your recruiter’s life easier and show your strengths use our tips.

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      General recommendations:

      Structure. It's not crucial that tech specialists have strong design skills to create a resume. In addition, It’s very hard to dit and upgrade creative non-standard CV. The main thing is to follow the logical structure and write in plain language. We will discuss this item in detail below.

      Text volume. You should mention only the relevant experience and focus on projects that are useful for this vacancy. Ideal CV volume for the Senior specialist is up to 3 pages. A cover letter with a detailed explanation of individual projects can be attached to them. For Junior specialists, 1-2 pages with shown courses you passed and pet projects will be enough.

      Honesty. Sometimes people want to embellish their strengths and show they are “big boss” in the project. But you should not do it, especially if you are a Junior. Firstly, you have to remember a competent specialist conducts a technical interview with technical candidates. Secondly, if you have been hired, you will not be able to complete the tasks already specified in your CV. So it will be a little awkwardly.

      Photo. It is one of the most controversial suggestions. We think the availability of photos is not critical if you do not work as a waiter or receptionist. Especially if you have a photo only with your cat. So it’s up to you whether to use a photo.

      We divided the structure of the resume into 5 logical blocks. The picture shows the most usual and convenient, in our opinion, placement. We will examine each block in order.

      1. Name and Position

      Indicate your name and surname and the current position in this block. It will be useful for recruiters if you indicate your city next to these data. Therefore, it will look this way:

      Alexey AlekseevMiddle Frontend DeveloperKyiv, Ukraine

      2. Contacts

      In the contacts block indicate your phone number, current e-mail and instant messengers. You can also add a link to social networks, GitHub, UpWork, etc. Do not hide this data intentionally, this way you complicate the recruiting process. There are many services where you can find accounts in different social networks by one phone number or e-mail address.

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      2.1. If your Skype id is killer_elephants999 and e-mail address is moc.liamg%40eiknuj, think before writing them. It might be better to create separate accounts with formal nicknames of the type Name.Surname. In the future it will come in handy more than once.

      2.2. Social networks. If your social networking pages are completely empty or contain not acceptable or not useful information for the employer, then you should not indicate them. Many specialists create separate "ideal" pages for these purposes, where they subscribe to professional resources, post official photos, links to interesting articles or their own publications.

      3. Summary

      In this block, you should specify information about how you see yourself, what your total and commercial experience is, what you are most proud of and want to do. For example:
      “I'm a software engineer with over 3 years of commercial experience. I've been working on various scale solutions, including enterprise-level ones. I have significant experience in building single page web applications but also have a background in .NET.”
      Also at the bottom of this “business card” indicate your development skills and technology stack.

      JS: React, Redux, Lodash, Npm, AngularJS, ExtJS, Cordova, NodeJS, Express;
      Build: Webpack, Gulp, Grunt, Docker, Jenkins;
      Testing: Jest, Jasmine, Karma;
      General skills: TDD, OOP/FP principles, Design patterns;
      Styling: CSS, SCSS, CSS Modules;
      DBMS: MongoDB, MS SQL Server.”

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      Sometimes developers prefer to indicate their level of knowledge in points or stars. We do not recommend this because of too much subjectivity.

      4. Work experience

      Usually this block is the most painful for recruiters. The most common mistakes are:
      - Inconsistency between the start and end time of work in different companies and between the total experience in Linkedin and your CV;
      - Big time gaps in work (more than two months);
      - Frequent changes of a job (near 2-3 times a year and more often);
      - Overlapping of several companies or projects.

      To avoid misunderstanding, leave a comment in the message when sending the resume.

      During writing an experience, start from the last place of work. Remember that more attention will be paid to it. Follow the reverse chronology. Describe only the relevant experience. If you are looking for an Tech Lead job right now, you may not indicate the experience of an estate broker. Here is an example below:
       - Company title / position - month 20XX – month 20XX, location - Project: - Responsibilities: - Technologies used:

      Why is it important to add a project description?It is needed to understand the future employer, the area he had experience and what would be interesting to him.
      Why it would be better to describe responsibilities?It seems that the developer has one responsibility - creating code. But it’s important for the employer to understand what daily tasks were at the previous position, what was your role, what skills you got. Otherwise, you will be asked 20+ additional questions about the responsibilities during the interview to understand if you cope with new tasks.

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      Why are the words like Junior-Middle-Senior not enough to determine the level?
      Junior-Middle-Senior is a conditional gradation that changes from one company to another. Total experience is not the only decisive factor in determining your level. Companies take into account what were your role in the team, what main tasks you performed, what you achieved at this place. The title can be changed according to your desires, but whether you can cope with new responsibilities is the main point.

      5. Additional Information

      For a CV, the third and fourth blocks are crucial. But additional information is also nice to have. It will help to show your favorable side, if, for example, you don't have projects that you can you proud off, but you are well-known due to participation in various IT-events.

      What can you add here?

      - Education
      The higher education is always paid attention to. If you are been considering Junior position, it will be a great plus. In addition to the faculty and the title of the educational institution, you can specify the degree, year of graduation, etc. You can also write here what the courses were taken, certificates were received, forums and conferences that you attended. Of course, if you attended a large number of events, then you should not make a list on an extra A4 page. Write better: “I attend conferences 3-4 times a year.”

      - Languages
      For some companies knowledge of the language becomes one of the main issues. To communicate with a team or customer, English level of no lower than intermediate is required. At the same time, the developer at the level of beginner will be not understood: how can somebody write code without a minimum understanding of words?
      Unfortunately, titles like beginner-advanced are not always informative. It’s better to clarify “can speak or pass interview”, and also indicate whether you have completed courses or received international certificates: IELTS, TOEFL, FCE, etc.

      - Articles You Are Proud Of
      This is more relevant for Senior + positions. Any scientific and journalistic activity as well as performing at conferences will make you a pro with a big name in the eyes of the employer.

      - Pet Projects
      Employers in any field ask about practical skills and experience from students and Trainees. And IT is not an exception. It’s great to have pet projects where you can show your skill and ambitions. If you are a Senior and coding is your life, do not forget to mention it and give a link to your personal GitHub account: this can increase your salary for a little but valuable amount.

      - Links To Recommendations
      These may be external links or additional documents. Trainees and Juniors are more likely to appreciate this item: a recommendation from a qualified professional will brighten up the lack of commercial experience.

      - Soft skills
      Some companies prefer to test your soft skills during an interview. Nevertheless, employers are happy to understand who they are inviting. At the same time, this item is optional.

      - Interests
      As the previous block about your soft skills, you can also indicate interests in your professional area and so on. Somebody would like you to have a hobby because it gives them more opportunities to make friends with the other part of the team. But is only your decision if to write it.

      We have prepared an example and template of resume for you.

      Everybody has own style and taste. So you can create CV in your own way. You can change the items or not write some of them at all. However, our experience shows that the standardized CVs make the recruiting process faster and easier for all parties.

      ITExpert Team