They say you will never get a second chance to make a good impression. This is exceptionally important when you are looking for a job. Usually a company’s first contact with a potential employee takes place via CV. Admittedly the CV gives just a raw overview of skills and experience, but it certainly can and often does affect the very first impression. During the last year our Culture & People team went through over 500 (!) CVs. We’ve seen it all, from a plain simple layout to a fancy matrix-style website. This variety made us think about all the how-to-write-a-perfect-CV guides you can find online. There are so many dos and don’ts it’s hardly possible to apply all of them. The best starting point, however, is realising who you are writing to and what information your reader seeks. Most of the time in IT (and this is how we do it at Tooploox) your audience is a recruitment team and software developers who help to assess if a candidate is right for the job. Having said that, we thought of 5 tips that will make your CV useful and informative for recruitment teams.
1. First things first?
One of the most annoying things people tend to do is putting their experience and education in an inconvenient order. If you begin with your education, which is followed by the earliest work experience, we need to scroll down to get to the present time. Much as we are interested in your entire career, the most important thing from our perspective is your current skill set. The education, however important, may be irrelevant for the position.
Please, be concise. We do appreciate good literature but if you describe your experience in large blocks of uninterrupted text, it’s fairly easy to lose focus and miss something important. We love bullet points with precise information. Also, when you’re applying for a software developer or a designer position, the absolutely crucial thing is a Github/Dribbble link. This way even if your commercial experience is not extensive, you can show some of your actual work.
3. The percentage equation
4. Hello, my name is…
If your choose or create a fancy layout to make sure your CV will stand out, keep in mind that many companies use ATS (Applicant Tracking Systems) that automatically create your profile in a database. We, for example use Lever. If your name is not near the top of the page, the ATS will not import your data correctly. When we spot such a thing, we correct it manually. However, we know that not every company cares that much. Another thing is that it may irritate us when we need to look for your contact information because it’s not displayed properly. And by properly I mean in a way that’s easy to find.
5. All that Buzz..(words)
This brings us to the last point – buzzwords. Leadership skills, Employer Branding or marketing experience really mean nothing if not backed up with a specific actions. This applies to soft skills in particular. Show your leadership skills by describing a project you led or by any other activity where you acted successfully as a leader.
Applying those rules not only will make it easy for us to get the most crucial information out of your CV, it will also put us (the recruitment team) in a good mood. Which is always a wise thing to do ;)