In this blog post, we will talk about your first programmer's CV as we cover the following questions:
- How to create it?
- What’s the most valuable information for your CV?
- What information you might need to take off your CV?
We will start with the way people usually approach their first CVs, as we show you further, more professional ones.
This one may be obvious, but it's crucial you get it right.
In your CV, you should have your contact information - your name, phone number, and email. Make sure this information is very easy to find, as your potential employers will get back to you.
Here, you could write one paragraph about yourself. This is very important for newcomers who can't say much about their professional experience. You should mention what are you studying or have studied, as well as a little bit about your character. Try picking personal traits that are valuable for the positions you are applying for. This could be punctuality, attention to detail, determination, great communication skills, etc...
The position you are applying for and your experience determine whether to add such a field or not. If your experience and skill speak for themselves, you can avoid adding such a paragraph.
It’s important to mention that you cannot lie in your CV. The people that will interview you or work with you are going to notice it.
In the beginning, you might have no experience at all. Here are a few things you can do about it.
It’s a good idea to list your most relevant projects and computer skills. Here, most people mention pretty much similar projects and skills.
In the beginning, a couple of personal projects or courses are fine. You can't send a blank paper, right?
Then, people usually start listing everything they know - MS Excel at an advanced level, etc... No one has a ton of experience in the beginning - once again, that's fine. Make sure that you don't list a ton of unnecessary "skills" as you take into consideration who will read your CV and what's important for them.
A nice thing to do in such a case is to put a link to your GitHub so people can see your university projects for example. Later on, employers can ask you questions about them. This gives you an opportunity to present yourself even better.
As already mentioned, it's a good idea to also name a few of the courses you finished. This way people know that you are not starting from scratch.
When you have little to no experience, it’s very important that you mention your participation in different competitions. It’s a good way of saying something about yourself other than “I simply do not have any professional experience yet.”
You don’t have to order these historically - you can put the one you believe is most important for your recruiter at the top. This can be a Hackathon, for example. People are generally interested in different competitions.
Here, many people write stuff like Photoshop and Sony Vegas (graphic design and video editing) skills. Filler information like this is something not many people care about and it doesn’t really belong in a programmer's CV.
In our example, people are looking for a Python Developer, not a video editor or a graphic designer.
Some people even include their nationality/ies. You can do so if you wish. If you are uncertain if your nationality would somehow provide you with an advantage, feel free to mention it. However, in an international job market, some nationalities are considered more "valuable" professionals than others. Keep this in mind if your home country doesn't have a great reputation in the industry.
If you cover all the things we mentioned so far, your first CV will most probably get you your first job.
Now, we will take you a little deeper into the field of professional Curriculum Vitae.
As you have already found a position that suits you for a certain period of time, there's a high chance you are asking yourself: "What's next?".
In such a case, you will most likely start scouting other positions you would like to apply for as you move on. Well, for that you would need another version of your CV.
Now that you have participated in different projects or even learned a few new programming languages, you will need to pack them into a one-pager. A CV shouldn't be longer than one page.
As you now generally know what sparks interest within the Human Resources team, you are much better off presenting yourself with your new CV.
Your third CV should already start getting precise. The way you describe your different skills and professional experiences can make a difference. Using a little more advanced vocabulary can make a good impression. Make sure you show readers that you know precisely what you are talking about.
If you are a visual type, most likely you would love to display your tech knowledge as skill bars. Be careful not to make your CV too fancy. Too much effort into the looks of it takes away the attention from its content. The effort put into the design will not actually distinguish your document's from others. It's the information within that makes the difference.
This is particularly important when you apply to big companies. For such positions, you will most likely compete with many, many people. As they are a lot of different candidates, the HR team uses parsers to read the key points of the CV.
It is also important to carefully pick the software you want to design your CV with. There is a ton of different applications that would do the job just fine.
We suggest that you avoid creating your CV using Adobe Photoshop. Once you copy text from a photoshop CV and paste it somewhere, you get a bunch of symbols. A parser would read it the same way, excluding your CV from the recruiters’ list.
However, if your CV is not optimized for parsers, this certainly does not mean no one will get it.
When it comes to pictures, you can omit your photo. It may be redundant as it says nothing interesting or important to your employers.
In your contact data section, you can also add your LinkedIn, GitHub, or personal website.
On this level, your work experience needs to contain the key points for what has been created during your time at a particular company. This way, recruiters can ask questions about your job, which is an opportunity to show them further proficiency.
If you are applying for an entry-level position, you need to still keep your CV professional. Make sure it’s only one page long and there’s no filler information. Everything has to make sense for the reader. It's a win-win situation, as you make their job easier while they help you get on a higher level.
Another important thing is that you will improve with time. His first one wasn’t very impressive, but as you can already guess, his fourth one was way better than the first one. Everyone learns from their mistakes. Ask for feedback and identify what people like and find useful, and what they dislike and find redundant.
You could also even hire someone to create a professional CV for you, which is an option not everyone really considers.
With those tips, you should be good to go. Making sure you have well-positioned contact data, the most relevant and up-to-date information, and a proper presentation (words, not bars), you should be able to get your first internship or a position as a junior developer.
If you like our company, always feel free to apply at Deltologic :)