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Tips to make a good CV
Make the best CV
6 min read
People always ask me how to make a good CV and I always say there are millions of templates on the web, but I realise that many would like to know how I make my CV.
Why? Because I made many videos about job, how to get a job, job interviews, jobs in Norway and UK.
I have been working as a professional Software Developer in Argentina, Peru, England, Norway and now I am based in Scotland and I am talking about my experience of working in different countries and different work environments. Despite being professional and my profession is in huge demand I still remember and I know (trust me) that looking for a job is not easy. It is like having work already. It is stressful and time consuming and in this post I want to tell you how important it is to prepare your CV.
Having a good CV is the first step of getting a job and often can be the most important. Why? Listen to this: these days agencies or employers use AI and algorithms to select CVs. The times when a human was spending 3 working days reading all 300 CVs are long gone. Nowadays CVs are scanned through AI and search for keywords. What does it mean? It means that if you send your CV and apply for a job advert somewhere, you need to read this job advert carefully, read job description, experiences needed and make sure you have these keywords in your CV. Basically your CV needs to stand out not only for humans but for these algorithms.
Adapt and Linkedin
During my career and especially at the beginning I sent 100's of CVs and every time I made small change depending on the job advert.
And yes my CV is on Linkedin which is my main job search tool and I recommend anyone nowadays to have a professional profile on Linkedin, it’s a must have in my opinion. Because this platform is used for employers and headhunters to search for potential candidates.
It is through Linkedin I am contacted by headhunters and guess what? They asked me to send them my CV. Yes, even if my CV is on Linkedin to every employer I am required to still send a CV. So every time I need to come back to my CV and make sure everything that is in there makes sense with the job I am applying for.
Experiences up to date
Another very important tip is that I never put experiences older than 10 years. You need to read job descriptions and look at your experiences and make decisions about what is relevant and what is not.
In my case, I am a Software Developer, technology moves fast, nobody cares that I was using Windows Forms from the beginning of 2000s. Etc.
3 Pages max
Besides this it is also very important to try to fit your CV in 3 pages max. Unless you are academic, researcher and there is lots of information and all are relevant and needed. But normally max 3 pages of CV, focus on key things in CV.
What are key things? I try to tell a story in the Profile at the beginning of CV or in the Summary section. A story always stands out more than simple buzz keywords. You need these buzz keywords (I mentioned that at the beginning) but you need to make your statement. Be authentic because every single person is unique. Write who you are in terms of profession, write from your heart.
Another thing sometimes overlooked is the hobby section. I like to use this as an opportunity to tell more about myself, my personal interests like reading historic books, gardening or puzzles - this is you and it is worth mentioning.
I always put links to relevant jobs like my personal websites, personal github, stackoverflow, etc, basically “public” experience where everyone can see my job.
This is like your online portfolio, remember to not give a link to your personal facebook or instagram unless it is job related, like photography or video editing.
Obvious things like grammar and punctuation. This is very important to make sure to read and reread your CV many times. Especially because algorithms detect these things easily and then will not read your CV. So make sure all these are spot on.
Adjust your CV with the job ad
I said that before but once again: adjust your CV to the job you are applying for. I always adapt my CV to the job I am applying for, for example if it is a job related to FrontEnd I make sure the CV reflects that first. You could mention Databases because it is BackEnd but is not that important for this job for example.
I like to mention that I work well within a team or alone so I stay focused with the task in hand. Is more likely you would work in a team so people always want a person that is easy to work with - a “teamplayer” meaning to not have a conflictive person in the team.
In my opinion don’t worry if you don’t have everything that is on the job advert, for me it is more like a “wish” list, what they want to see is how you will adapt to the job and the situation, the task in hand. Sometimes you will see and advert "required" and “good to have” I would say if you have more than half of the required, go for it.
Remember about keywords
I think I cover most of the key points in writing CV. When I send my CV I always receive replies from headhunters that they like my CV and want to proceed so I guess I am doing a good job.
It is important to have things to write in your CV like job experience and education but if you start your career these are principals to use for everyone.
Remember about keywords or buzzwords, be relevant with things that are required and don’t lie in your CV because these things can be pointed out during a potential job interview.
These tips are also valid for writing your covering letter which you should always write when applying for a job.
My CV template
And that's all my friends remember there is no progress without pain! My name is Marcelo for those who don’t know me I run this youtube channel SapoDeOtroPozo with my wife Monika. Expats living in Edinburgh, all the best and I wish you good luck with your dream job!