How to Write a CV Step-by-Step

How to Write a CV Step-by-Step
Picture of Santi
09 August 2023

How do I write a software developer CV?

1 - Start with your full name and the job title of the position you are applying to.

2 - Add your contact details: 

● Phone number

● E-mail address

● Home address

● Web portfolio / GitHub / LinkedIn

3 - Write a capabilities statement, or professional background.

In no more than two lines, explain how your experience matches the key requirements of the job you are applying to, and highlight the knowledge you have about the industry.

You can find this information in the job advertisement or job description that the company shares with candidates.

4 - Work history

The main goal of the work history section is not to simply name your jobs and responsibilities, but to accurately explain how you work and how you achieved goals. 

● List only the jobs that are relevant, that is, that are related to the job you are applying to.

It isn’t really useful to say, for example, that you worked in data entry if you are applying for a position in software development.

● Start the list with your current job, and if you are not working at the moment, with your most recent job.

To list your jobs, follow this structure: job title - company - time frame. When writing the job title, make sure to use titles everyone knows, for example, senior developer.

After that, describe:

● how you work

● how you achieved goals

● how your team was conformed

● the projects and products you are working on

● how you have helped the team and the company bring solutions to their challenges 

5 - Education and qualifications

Make a list of the degrees, courses and certifications that are most relevant for the position you are applying for. 

6 - Skills

Make a list of the skills that are relevant for the job you are applying for. Always make sure they are up to date.

What mistakes should I avoid when writing a CV?

● Spelling errors

● Not personalizing the resume

● Lack of objectives

● Poor organization

● Lack or excess of information

How do I optimize my CV?

● Use bullet points to organize your ideas.

● Use keywords.

Some companies use an application tracking system to filter CVs before they reach a recruiter. These systems look for keywords, so make sure you include them. 

How do I show my work?

Create a portfolio on GitHub to show your work, and include the link in your CV. 

What tools can I use to write my CV?

You can simply use Word, but if you want to be more creative, you can use Canva. 

Don’t forget the spelling!

Make sure your CV does not have spelling mistakes. For this, you can use Grammarly, or you can simply write the text in a Google document and let it underline the mistakes and suggest changes. 

What questions should I ask myself when writing my CV?

When writing the capabilities statement  or professional background, ask yourself:

● Which of my skills are most relevant to the position I am applying for?

● Have I worked in the industry of the job I’m applying for?

● Do I have relevant information about the company that may help me get a job there? (For example, you could be one of their customers and have some ideas on how to improve their product.)

● Do I have a personal project that evidences my passion for the field of the job I’m applying for?

● Can I write a case study for the role I’m applying for? Can I provide the company with a link so they can read it?

● Can I make a video on YouTube telling them about myself, and showing them a project I’m working on that is relevant for the job? (For example, if you are applying for a position in an AI/chatbot platform company, and you have done a chatbot in a personal project,

you can record your screen and show your chatbox and the architecture of the application.)

● Can I create a portfolio that focuses on the company and job I am applying for?

When writing the work history section, ask yourself:

● Can I list all the different tasks I do at work, everything I’m responsible for and that I contribute to?

● Of all the things I do at my current job, can I identify the ones that are relevant to the job I’m applying for?

(Those are the ones you should include in your CV.)

● How do I add value to your team, to other teams and to the organisation itself? 

Do I know how I bring solutions? Have I suggested solutions that have worked?

● What have been my achievements? How have I accomplished them? Think about how you approached them,

how you used your rational thinking and how you worked. 

● What are my technical skills? How do I implement my technical skills to bring value to the team and the company?

● What is my team like? How many people are there in my team?

● Does my team work closely with other teams in the company? How is the interaction between my team and the others?

Remember this:

What the person reading the CV wants to know is whether it is worth calling you for an interview or not. Your chances of getting an interview increase when the information you include on your CV can be proved in that first conversation. What does this mean? If in your CV you say you are proactive, a fast learner, a good communicator and that you have a lot of experience in certain technologies, in the interview, it is very difficult for you to prove it, and for the interviewer to see how accurate this is. 

However, if in your CV you mention the projects in which you’ve worked, what your team is like, the features of the system with which you are working, and the tools you are using, it is easier for you to provide proof of what you say, and for the interviewer to see if you have what they are looking for. 

Remember that the purpose of the CV is to get the hiring person to invite you for a job interview. So, in your CV write concrete information that shows you have what it takes to do the job you are applying for. The more concrete and specific, the better.

Helping candidates find a job and companies find candidates, by understanding exactly what both are looking for. Constantly talking with candidates to get to know them and connect them with roles that match their knowledge, skills and capabilities.
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