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Writing an Effective CV

So you’re after your next role and think you have the perfect CV?

There are lots of ways to write these however here are some general pointers:

1) People don’t read much! Seriously you’ve just spent hours writing a big block of text, checked and double checked it then someone picks it up and ignores it. Put a personal statement on the top and keep it to two or three lines MAX.

2) Don’t sound like a used car salesman in your personal statement e.g. I’m an excellent self motivated, highly skilled wonderful worker…. This sounds like hype. However, impress people with what you’ve actually done… I have owned and designed two major WCF projects over the last year will have more impact.

3) Highlight the scale of what you’ve done and if your contribution was a major driver in the success of a project. Is the system you work on mission critical or very large? These things matter.

4) Don’t write expert all,over everything. If I see a CV with “expert” at this and that, I’m immediately suspicious. This is especially true if the skill sets you’re claiming to be an expert in are very broad. If you get a few questions wrong in a technical interview but have written “expert” you’re asking for trouble. If you truly are an expert then fair enough 🙂

5) Bullet point and keep it short, consider “key skills” in your current role and leave out anything that sounds like hype.

6) Don’t bother talking too much about old roles. It’s probably not very important that you did Visual FoxPro 15 years ago unless it has a direct relevance to the job you’re going for. If it’s not within the last 5 years consider either keeping the detailed information very short or leaving it out.

7) Match the CV design to the job, just take a look at example CV’s in the design industry these can be amazing but may not be suitable for a software tester.

8) Consider colour. A small amount of colour such as blue can help things stand out, just like this blog isn’t a monotonous black and white.

9) If your company has a graphical logo or you have a professional qualification then add in a small graphic.

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