How to get your CV to Stand out among the stack

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What is the worst thing about applying for a job? Is it the hours that goes into updating your CV, the time you spend applying for jobs or spending all that time not to get any feedback?

If you were going on a first date, would you have a shower and put on your best shoes to try and really impress your date? When would you have the opportunity to tell your date about the most interesting things about when you don’t even take that opportunity?

So why do so many people neglect their CV’s when looking for a job? Here are our top tips on how to write a better CV to increase your job application to interview ratio.

No to One-Page CV’s?

I see a lot of one-page CV’s and I am not a big fan of them unless you have a household name like Mark Zuckerberg. How is an employer supposed to know what depth of experience you have with a certain technology if you are just playing buzzword bingo with the technology you have worked with? Additionally, if you are relocating from another country or city, how will they know what industry you have worked in. You are in competition with all other applicants for this role. If the manager isn’t sure of your skill level, they will just pass to the next CV.

The best structure to follow:

  1. Personal Information
  2. Education
  3. Professional Experience (Most recent at the top)
  4. Certifications
  5. Awards/ Extras – Speaker at events/ Meetups; Independent awards won

How to structure your experience:

  1. Job Title and Company Name
  2. Dates employed
  3. 1-2 sentences on who the company are and what they do. If you work for a smaller business or spent time working in a different company, how will the hiring manager know what your domain is?
  4. Describe the projects you have been involved in since starting this role – Be very clear, have you been working on the frontend, backend, API, data migration, tool migration.
  5. Description of your responsibilities – be detailed. Don’t just have a developer in Python. Show a little bit more of what you can do i.e. Developing new features using Python and PySpark, testing the code and automating the code, pushing the code into production using Git and Jenkins.
  6. Key achievements – This is what will set you apart from the rest; What makes you different? Did you win employee of the year, did you overachieve on your target or were you responsible for positive changes in your environment?

Additional tips:

  • Don’t force your CV onto 1-2 pages, I always recommend a CV will be 2-5 pages long.
  • Make sure all the text is the same size and font.
  • Always start with your most recent role, this means you’re most relevant experience at the top.

 

Sample Structure:

Name:

Address:

Number:

Email:

GitHub/ Blog:

Short introduction about you. (Try to make it personal, include hobbies and pastimes)

Education

College, Course Speciality, Degree, Result

Work Experience

Data Scientist at IBM, Berlin

November 2017 – Present

About IBM (1 -2 sentences)

Projects worked on: (give 1-2 sentences explaining each) 

  • Migration from Hadoop Clusters to AWS S3
  • Implemented a new Data platform

Responsibilities (Bullet Points) & Technology used

Key achievements: (try to include minimum 2, goal is 5)

  • Successfully implemented a new Data platform upgrading capacity from 10TB to 500TB

(REPEAT FOR OLDER ROLES)

Certifications

Awards/ Extras

Liam McNamara

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