Ayesh Karunaratne: Full-time traveler, freelance software architect and security researcher
Sun, 2014-08-31 03:46
I could work with some clients who wanted me to choose some front-end developers and designer. Being a back-end developer who deals with CV upload forms and stuff, I could learn a lot about writing a smart CV, especially for Web Developer positions. I read CVs of some of my friends recently, and I'm now sure HR managers reject those horrible CVs in seconds, and consider giving the job to applications with a decent CV even if they don't have much experience in the development field.
No matter you are Homer Simpsons or Jeff Atwood, decent CV writing skills is a great addition to your career.
Bio Data, Resume and CV
Before everything else, you need to understand the difference between these three. In professional jobs, you need to write a Resume or a CV, but never a Bio-Data.
Bio Data: Focuses on more of your body and its attributes. Your name, age, height, weight, etc. Unless you are applying for a job that is significantly biased by your body attribute, such as a physical trainers, junior sales, or delivery man (no offense to food delivery men: You are demigods!).
Resume: ré·su·mé: One can say CVs and resumes are synonyms, but in real life, a resume generally refers to a brief summary of your details, such as education, professional experience, skills, etc.
CV: curriculum vitae: You should be writing a CV in almost every case. Generally, a synopsis of your professional experience, education, and basic information. When you are asked for a Resume or CV, write one just for the position you are applying for. Bio data papers will not do any good.
Document size and format
Choose A4 size, and send the file to them in PDF format. You can find creative examples of CVs as videos, web sites, and many other formats. But don't you dare to send the raw .docx file.
Chances are, an actual human will read your resume. He can decide whether to reject your application or take you to the next level. Try to make the first impression last longer. Even Homer Simpsons knows using Comic Sans is Typographer's nightmare. Consider using a generally used font, with 14px, 16px, or max 18px font size. Use bold faces to highlight field titles, and manage alignments well.
You can omit field titles since the people who are reviewing your CV know how to identify email addresses, telephone numbers and URLs. I would personally go for a minimal design with a lot of white space in it.
If you get the job, you will have to work with a lot of web pages and designing to some level. Show off what you are capable of doing before they hire you!
Your online presence
This is an Internet-related position, so you better have a good online presence.
Your Facebook cover photo of you holding an imported will make things much worse. Search Google your own name and see what appears in first few pages. You can tighten up your Facebook profile privacy to make Google not show your profile.
If you have a personal web site, see if it pops up first. Better yet, if you do not have a personal web site, you can spend a little money, buy a domain name for yourself, and create a decent site there.
The other thing is your email address. Those funky email addresses can take you far off from the job. Get rid of
SiripalaRox@yahoo.com; create a Gmail.com email address with your name in it. If you have a personal domain, create an email address with it (you can easily forward emails to your regular email account).
Create a LinkedIn profile, and try to keep it professional.
If you have StackExchange account(s), or github accounts with a lot of reputation, you are halfway in landing your job!
Let maths kick in
When writing your experience and achievements, be exact.
PHP: from 2009, 5 years
Drupal: from 2008, 6 years. Started working with Drupal 5, and vetted Drupal developer on drupal.org since 2011
I'm sure you will notice the latter above can put the former to the shame. It's the same experience, but you are giving some sort of authenticity to it.
For the achievements, section, include when you achieved it, and why it's a real achievements (compare it with others)
Ask the people you are listing if they would like to recommend you for the position. Academic staff of your institution is the de-facto in most of the CVs. Try to keep the contacts relevant to the job you are applying for. If you are leaving your current company, it takes a lot of courage to list your current boss as a contact, and things can go wrong sometimes. In that case, you can get a friend to call your boss pretending it's a company so you know what they will tell to your new HR in advance. Don't forget to mention their position and where they work. Referees from reputed and trusted companies will be an advantage for you.
aS u can see, bad english skills can amlost defiantly make ur cv look terrrible , so, get a friend to reeview the CV 4 u.
Bite the bullet and send it
If you are emailing the CV, give the email a meaningful subject: Include your name and position you are applying for. Write a brief cover letter. If you know the name of the person, include it when addressing. "Dear Mr. Karunaratne" > "Dear sir/madam".
The PDF file should be named in a meaningful way as well. "CV_Kasun_Gunasekara.pdf" > "cv.pdf"
Good luck guys!