inhire.ioBlogJob in TechHow to make your CV stand out in IT? Tips from Ulam Labs

How to make your CV stand out in IT? Tips from Ulam Labs

Job in Tech

Even though the IT sector is known to be hiring constantly, picking the best talent is not that easy–despite receiving dozens of CVs. The reality is, most of them are not well-written, have typos, and, in general, present the applicant from the wrong side.

While we may take greater care to go through the applications that we receive, on average, recruiters spend around 6 seconds analyzing CVs. Surprising? Not if you know the background I’ve mentioned.

That’s the reality today, especially in the IT industry, where the pace is high. Now, with your proverbial 5 minutes reduced to just a few seconds–do everything you can to make your CV stand out from the dozens of other candidates applying for the same position.

My name is Natalia and I’m an HR Specialist at UlamLabs. In this blog post, I’ll share with you a knowledge pill and some tips on how to amaze an IT recruiter with your resume. 

Job description–your best chance for success in recruitment

When we are looking for a new job and want to increase our chances of getting hired, we usually send our CVs to several companies at once. There is nothing wrong with this, but it is then important to remember to create a CV for a specific job offer. What does this mean in practice? It’s not about sending a generic and universally prepared CV for every position that you’re interested in.

The key is to carefully read the job description for which you want to apply, and it is on this basis that you should prepare your application document. It can help you a lot when creating the skills and work experience section of your CV.

  • Tip 1: it is really helpful to pay attention to the bold passages in the offer description. They are intentionally bolded so that the candidate will pay attention to them – let’s not waste this opportunity.

  • Tip 2: try to include the same wording in your CV that is used in the requirements section–this increases the chance that the recruiter will not miss any key information and finds it quickly. 
  • Tip 3: if a job offer is prepared in English or another language, prepare your CV in the same language.

I’ve read the job description. How to use it to create the perfect CV?

Once you have carefully read the job description for the position you are applying for, you can proceed to create your CV. A perfect CV must be divided into the following sections:

1. Personal and contact information.

At the very top of the document, you have to include your first name, last name, mobile number, email address, and location (especially if you would like to work remotely–time zones sometimes matter). If you have an account on LinkedIn, GitHub, Behance, etc., add links to them as well.

Tip 1: Use a professionally-looking email address, such as [email protected] or similar. Leave [email protected] for other occasions.
Tip 2: You don’t have to include your marital status, citizenship, date, and place of birth.

2. Professional summary.
Right below your personal and contact information, you should briefly describe yourself, and your professional goals and present your motivation to achieve them. It shouldn’t be longer than 5 sentences.

3. Professional experience.
That’s the most important section for every recruiter! Here, you need to include your current & previous employers, roles, and responsibilities–the recruiter wants to know your daily tasks. If you are applying for a technical position, the key information here are technologies that you were using.  It is equally important to specify the duration of cooperation, preferably in a start-to-end date format.

Tip 1: Try to describe your employees chronologically, with the most recent one at the top of the list.
Tip 2: In case you are applying for your very first job in the profession, try to find elements that fit into this section, despite not being employed by any company, such as a project you did in college or your own projects that showcase some experience.

4. Skills.

Make a list of your skills that are most important for the job offer. They can set you apart from other candidates for this position. A list of 5-7 of your strongest skills should be fair enough.

Hard skills are more important for technical positions, but remember to include soft skills that highlight your ability to work with team members and customers! You’ve mastered time management? That’s what’s the most important for developer and project manager positions! Maybe you like to share knowledge and mesmerize your listeners? You will perfectly fit our culture and have the opportunity to actively attend meetups and knowledge-sharing events!

Tip 1: It looks better when skills are divided into hard (professional/technical) skills and soft (social) skills, you should use this division when listing them.
Tip 2: Go back to the requirements section of the job description and enter the ones you meet.

5. Education.

In case your education is directly related to the position you are applying for, be sure to show off your graduate major and the name of your university. Attach information on the years you studied.

Tip 1: Have any academic achievements (e.g. rector’s scholarship for the best students, award in a provincial Olympics) or additional academic activity, such as membership in a students club, or student organization? Go ahead and show it in the education section!
Tip 2: You don’t need to write about high school/technical school or elementary school.

6. Courses, Training, Certificates. Show your documented confirmation of the skills mentioned in the previous sections.

7. Foreign languages.

Make alist of languages you are able to speak with corresponding skill levels. Enter the level that best represents the facts. This will help you in a situation where your skills will be confronted during a face-to-face or online interview.

Tip 1: It’s best to use the scale:
                        B1 or lower – I don’t always feel comfortable communicating in that language,
                        B2 – I feel fairly confident communicating,
                        C1 – I’m fully fluent in business/technical communication,
                        Native – I’m a native speaker of the language.
Tip 2: If you are taking tutoring, you can mention this by stating that you are constantly improving your language skills.

8. Interests/Hobbies.

This is an optional section, where you can also present your personal side. We are not just the job we do, we do many things in life and a job is one of them. You can be sure that when joining Ulam Labs, you meet people who after work are really passionate about different things–we have travelers, marathon runners, cyclists, real bookworms, or yoga practitioners on board!

Tip 1: Enrich your description with examples. If you are a fan of reading books, you can add what specific titles you are interested in, or if you like sports–a description of the disciplines/activities you do and why exactly these are.

9. GDPR/RODO clause. You should include one sentence at the end of your CV: “I consent to the processing of my personal data by (company name) for the purpose of recruiting for the position I have applied for.” There are many versions of this clause on the Internet, but this shortened form will do it completely.

Tip 1: You can also add a clause that will allow the recruiter to contact you in other, later recruitment processes: “I consent to the processing of my personal data for future recruitment processes.”

To paste a photo or not to paste a photo? Here’s how I see it.

Wondering if you need to add your photo? It is not necessary for us! But, if you do decide to post it, you must keep in mind that it should be appropriate. A random photo can be disadvantageous to you–especially if you are applying for a higher-level position, so avoid attaching a vacation photo or a selfie.

Tip 1: It’s a good idea to smile a little when taking a photo.

Tip 2: In Western countries, it is more and more common to not attach your photo. In the US that could even be inappropriate! In Poland, there’s still no set standard and photos are still common.

Some extra tips.

  1. It is best to save your CV as a pdf file. This gives you almost 100% certainty that the recruiter will open your file correctly on any device.

  2. Try to make your CV no longer than two pages. There is no need to spread out over many pages, only specific information counts. With each additional page of your CV read, both the recruiter’s focus level and the chance of inviting you to the next stages of the recruitment process decrease.

  3. Try not to make any stylistic and orthographic errors or typos. Your CV should be flawless, as it is your business card, and your business card should be polished 100%. If you are creating your CV in English, the Grammarly plugin can be very helpful. LanguageTool plug-in for Chrome covers even more languages.

  4. You’ll find many free templates for creating CVs online. Sometimes it is better to use one of them than to create a CV from scratch in, for example, Word. There is a risk that the font, paragraphs, or graphics will get spread, and it will look unsightly. Here’s one decent free CV creator.

Is CV ready? Send it to us!

Now, you’re ready to apply! We are constantly looking for savvy people for Backend and Frontend Developers, Product Designers, QAs, Project Managers or Marketing Specialists Check out our openings and send us your CV. I would be more than happy to check it out! You will find our open positions below the article👇

Author: Natalia Pesta, HR Specialist – Ulam Labs