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17th May 2018

How to Create a Professional CV for the Software Industry

Posted in: Candidate Tips
How to write a Professional CV

In this article we will show you how to make a professional CV for people looking for work as Software Developers and other IT jobs Peterborough has available; however, the below tips can be utilised across most industries to help create your best CV.

How to lay out your Professional CV

The aim of your CV should be to portray yourself as the best candidate possible. Don’t make the recruiter or hiring manager work too hard to find the information they want. Hiring managers and recruiters see dozens of CVs a day, and so you must make the important information stand out!

This article should help articulate all the professional CV do’s and don’t’s for those in the software industry.

Format

Honestly, recruiters generally don’t really care what your CVs look like. As long as it is neat and tidy and contains all the information required, then fancy fonts, text boxes, pictures, diagrams and colours are all a bit irrelevant.

NB – If you work in UI/UX/Design then a bit of flare is expected – but don’t go overboard.

Photos – most recruiters recommend you do NOT include a photo of yourself on your professional CV. This is due to the simple fact that your appearance should not be a factor when it comes to offering you a job.

Personal details

Address

You don’t necessarily have to list your entire address but the town/city in which you are currently based in vital. You should also state where you are willing to commute to – for example, you may be based in Peterborough but more than willing to stay away in Bristol during the week, or perhaps even relocate. However, if you don’t mention this on your CV then recruiters may not consider you for the role as it appears you are too far away.

VISAs

If you have a VISA to work in the UK, regardless of what type it is, you should state it on your professional CV. You should also state your VISAs expiry date if applicable. This includes (but is not restricted to):

  • ILR (Indefinite Leave to Remain)
  • Tier 1 (Exceptional Talent)
  • Tier 2 Dependent
  • Tier 2 General
  • Tier 4 (Student VISA)

You can get more information about VISA restrictions and requirements at
https://www.gov.uk/browse/visas-immigration/work-visas

If you do not require a VISA because you are a British National or EU Citizen, state this on your CV.

Contact information

ALWAYS include an email address. This should be a professional email, for example;

  • joe.bloggs@gmail.com

NOT

  • rockstarbloggs86@gmail.com

It is vital you include a working mobile number on your professional CV. You’d be surprised how many mobile numbers are incorrect on an applicants CV or simply not there! Make sure it works, make sure it is on your professional CV. Also, if you are restricted answering the phone, feel free to mention something along the lines of:

Only available for calls between 11am-2pm and after 5pm.

OR

I have limited access to my phone during the day, I would recommend emailing me and I will get back to you as soon as possible.

Blogs and portfolios, etc

If you have a GitHub account PUT IT ON YOUR CV! This is vital. Almost every client we work with at the moment asks to see examples of candidates’ previous work. If you are not able to show projects from your work experience due to confidentiality agreements, then still use the site to display your own personal projects. It doesn’t necessarily matter if your work on GitHub is well presented, as long as it is there. You will always come out looking better than a candidate who cannot demonstrate any of their skill because they do not have a GitHub account!

If you do not use GitHub specifically but have a portfolio etc then include this link in your CV.

It is also worth mentioning if you drive/are able to commute by car as not all roles are accessible by public transport.

Profile

Check your spelling! I think you would be surprised just how many CVs get rejected due to a spelling error in the first few lines! If you are unsure of your spelling, or English is not your first language, get someone to check it for you!

You should include a few lines at the top of your CV to briefly explain your background (commercial work experience) and what you are looking for in a new role. This does not need to be an essay. For example:

  • Having worked as a C# Developer for 9 years, in a variety of industries, I am looking to build on my skills in a new role. I have led teams of developers for the last two years and mentored juniors, but particularly enjoy hands-on development. I am looking for a challenging position in the Cambridgeshire area that will allow me to advance my skillset, using the most up-to-date technologies.

OR

  • I have worked commercially as a Java Developer for 6 years in the financial industry, however, I have a desire to move into a position as a Python Developer. I have completed (*online course 1*) and (*online course 2*) as well as researching the language in my own time. You can see much of my work on my GitHub account (*LINK*). I know my commercial experience and knowledge as a Java Developer will transfer well into a Python Developer position and I look forward to starting a new and challenging role. I am happy to relocate for the right role.

Skillset

Simply list your skillset. Focus on your top skills/technologies. There is very little point mentioning skills you haven’t utilised in a number of years. For example:

Languages: A, B, C
Frameworks: X, Y, Z
Frontend: D, E, F
Database: G, H, J
Environment: K, L, M
Etc.

This section should make it easy for a recruiter or hiring manager to quickly see your main skills at a glance. If they see what they are looking for they are more likely to continue reading into your career history. So, make this section easy to read, clear and simple.

Career history

Reverse-chronological order – put your most recent position first and work backwards through your work history.

If you have worked for a lot of companies (this is common for contractors) then set yourself a cut off (such as 10/15 years). You generally don’t want your CV to go on for pages and pages, 3 pages max. Then include a simple line such as I am happy to provide details of my work history prior to 2007 on request.

Keep it neat – For each position mention the following:

  • Company
  • Dates Worked
  • Job Title
  • Skillset used
  • Brief explanation of work – mention the projects you worked on and your role in these projects

Make sure the format is the same for each role.

References

It is perfectly normal to withhold your reference information on your CV and simply write – References available on request.

Here at Recruit Mint, we will help any person to find their dream job. Our IT specialists are well versed in what clients want from candidates, so if you’re looking for a new role as a Software Developer or any role in fact, then please either get in contact now or register today. Browse our software jobs currently available or click to view every job in Peterborough we are recruiting for.