The curriculum vitae, often abbreviated as simply CV, is one of the most valuable tools in your professional life, so it is very important that it is well written and updated, especially if you are in an active job search.
A good CV is the best advertisement you have as a candidate, its main objective is to get you invited to an interview and start the evaluation process of your application. For this reason, people who are part of the hiring process must be able to find the relevant support quickly.
Basic information includes full name, home or cell phone number (where you can be easily reached) and email address. It is advisable to have an email address that is exclusive for your work matters and that you check frequently. You don't want your invitation to an interview to be abandoned in an inbox that you never check.
Regarding the photograph, there are many specialists who recommend not to place it to avoid any bias in the selection process. In fact, in some countries, CVs with photos are automatically discarded. For the same reason, it is also not advisable to include date of birth or age.
If you are going to publish your CV on any social network for free public access, remember to remove sensitive information such as your contact details and address.
This is one of the most important sections. In fact, many recruiters only read this part of the CV. Many people put the traditional phrase: "Apply my knowledge to develop the company". However, aside from sounding trite, this gives the employer no clue as to why you are the best candidate for the job. Therefore, in this section you should include the value that your experiences and skills could bring to the company if you are hired.
Remember to mention the keywords that appear in the offer to ensure that your profile is aligned as closely as possible to the ideal candidate and increase your chances of getting more interviews.
Include work experience in reverse chronological order, i.e. start the list with the most recent. Each entry in this section should include: company name, job title, duration, a brief description, and accomplishments.
In the description you can include the typical functions of the position held, especially if it is related to the position you are applying for. But the most important part of this section is to present your professional achievements and demonstrate that you are capable of achieving results that are beneficial to your employer. For example, let's imagine you are a logistics analyst, instead of writing: "Negotiate with suppliers the purchase of construction materials", it is more powerful to write: "I negotiated with suppliers of construction materials new discount levels, achieving a savings of $30,000 in the first quarter of the year for various projects". Objectives and KPIs from your previous jobs can help you define quantitative achievements that you can include on your resume.
In this section you should include name of your academic degree, educational institution, location, and start and end dates of training. You may also include research interests, thesis/project from your undergraduate studies and any published works if they are relevant to the position you are applying for. In addition, you can mention any recent courses you have taken, especially if they are related to the job you are seeking.
Be careful when incorporating details about your additional education, as unnecessary information could cause some distortion in your candidate profile and confuse the reader.
Your academic background takes on more importance when you do not have specific work experience. In this case, it is best to include more details about academic projects where you have participated and that are related to the competencies required in the vacancy. This is of vital importance for people who are recent graduates and who want to write a CV without experience.
This section is dedicated to those projects or jobs that have complemented your professional career and are somehow relevant to the position you are applying for. Side projects on your CV can demonstrate that you possess a number of important skills, such as creativity, initiative and the ability to work independently. So there is no doubt that having a side project on your CV makes you more attractive to potential employers.
Just like work experience, it's important to highlight the results you achieved with these side projects. They are a great way to showcase what you can do outside of your comfort zone.
Here you list languages and a compendium of your hard skills plus soft skills. Don't forget to include specific technical knowledge such as office software, programming languages and other skills that are required to perform in your potential new job. In the case of languages, indicate the level of fluency you possess. Remember that for some positions, social skills and communication skills are critical.
The level of mastery of some skills may be very subjective, so it is ideal to mention any certifications related to these competencies. Avoid using graphical elements such as bars or stars to indicate your level of proficiency, as these graphical elements are not captured correctly by the computer systems that analyze resumes and screen candidates.
Social networks are an excellent way to create your online profile, get noticed and show recruiters that you are the right person to fill the vacancy. In addition, social networks such as LinkedIn can be used to define your personal brand, present data about your achievements and publish portfolios with samples of your work. In case you consider it pertinent, you can include a link to your website or blog, as long as it works properly.
For the particular case of software developers, it is highly recommended to add in the resume some platforms such as GitHub, if the information published is related to the position you are applying for.
You can include details about hobbies or volunteer activities that demonstrate that you have the skills related to the position and give some idea of your interests outside the work field. However, be careful about mentioning leisure activities such as traveling, skiing, running, or playing tennis. While these activities make for interesting conversation, they may not relate to the skills needed for the job in question and may detract attention from some of your more important qualities.
Another popular name for the Curriculum Vitae is "resume" which, according to Wikipedia, is a summary of the set of studies, merits, work experience acquired throughout the working or academic life. But the resume should be just that "a resume", not a book. Ideally, it should be a document of a maximum of two pages. Even if you have many years of experience and you are tempted to include absolutely everything, it is better to filter the content and place strictly the essential details to demonstrate that you have the required competencies for the position.
As always, presentation is important. Make sure the text is clear, legible and clean. Don't use too many different fonts, maximum two. Verdana and Century Gothic are some examples of fonts that are highly recommended. For the background color of the CV, it is better if you use white.
Keep in mind that nowadays many companies use software tools to filter candidates. So if your CV has very complex designs, text in columns, tables or graphics, it is possible that its content will not be captured by the system and your application will be rejected. Therefore, it is advisable to use templates where the information of interest appears clearly to the interviewer, but can also be read by the computer systems of the selection process.
It is highly probable that a poorly written, badly structured resume or one with serious spelling mistakes will end up being automatically rejected. Nowadays there are several programs that integrate a spell checker. However, it is always a good idea to read the document out loud from beginning to end and ask a friend or family member to proofread it before sending it to the recruiter.
Make sure that what your resume says is true. This means you should be honest about everything, even if it looks like a little lie. If you lie, you will probably get caught sooner or later, with serious consequences for your career and your image as a person. The consequences of lying on your resume could land you in prison, you could be charged with perjury, fraud or worse.
If you're only going to take one piece of advice from this article, hopefully this is it. Massively sending the same resume to every position and every company is a huge waste of time and effort. They say that optimizing effort is key to success, so it's better to send 10 well-prepared and focused resumes than 80 identical copies to everyone. In fact, a customized resume for a specific application, accompanied by a cover letter that shows the benefits the employer would have if he/she hires you, are a powerful combination to boost your job search and get more interviews.
On the internet there are several tools to create a resume, but at ATS Hacker we have tools to generate several resume customizations so you can apply with the best combination of experiences, achievements and skills specific to each position.
The objective of your resume is to demonstrate to the recruiter that you are the ideal candidate and that he/she will call you for a job interview. A well-developed resume that clearly shows your capabilities and the results you have achieved will capture the recruiter's attention and improve your chances of being hired.
I hope that with this article you are now clearer about what to put on a CV and that you will keep some of the tips to make your job search successful.