As I mentioned in a former post, I decided to focus this year on posts around hiring and recruiting, I thought it’d be nice to give the readers an understanding of what happens behind the scenes when you send your CV…
As a person that interviewed around 50 people last year and saw So much more CVs! I have to give you some insight into how’s this process is going.
Your motivation is simple, get to an interview and set expectations using your CV
- You want to convey who you are using a page (yes, yes 1, 2 tops! – we’ll get to that later).
- You need to able to back-up what you wrote in your CV in reality (if you worked on Mongo 5 years ago and you don’t know how to do a simple find, just remove it…)
- You want to tell the reader who you are and what you can do in the big picture, less on the task level (if you are a Senior Backend Web developer I assume you have built APIs and can and did design RESTful)
- You want to represent the role you want in your CV. if you are applying for Hands-Off position and your CV is all about the Hands-On, you are sending a wrong message.
Behind the Scenes
Why 1 sheet (max 2 pages), why the big picture? why convey who you are as a person?
- 1 page (max 2) is to help the reader (me for example) to see who you are in no time, take into account that I’m going over so many CVs, I will not read after page 2, it’s nothing against you, I just can’t afford it… Also, when I print it, I will only print 1 sheet (that’s why 2 pages are still fine, it’s still 1 sheet). If you have more than 2 pages you have redundant things there… going back to the Seniority level, if you are a Senior, talk about the projects you lead, I’ll assume you can do the basics! if you are a Junior, talk in minor details, but be able to back them up.
- Why the big picture? As a hiring manager, I’m looking to see what you can do, not what tasks you have done… for example: when you write that you’ve initiated and implemented Health-Endpoints to your systems I get so much info from this:
- You can push for things
- You care in general
- You care about quality
- You can deliver
- You know how to implement API endpoints
It’s less to read, but says so much more!
- Why add personality to your CV, well… this one is a fail-safe, it’s not intentional, but after reading many many MANY CVs, a Hiring manager/HR might stop seeing the person behind the CV and see only the data, as a Hiring manager I try to never fall in that trap, but I might, when people add Hobbies/A joke/Personal touch it makes me have a personal connection to the human side of the sheet of paper in front of me
So, it’s simple
- Keep your CV accurate and to the point
- Be able to back it up
- If it’s not relevant, remove it!
- Tell a story, don’t count tasks
- Give space for your personality in your CV
- Adjust your CV for the role you want!
And just to be transparent I added my CV to this post, yes yes, I summarized 12 years of experience into 1 page, font size 10, take into account that I removed most tech stuff as I’m hands-off, but I kept some to remind the reader I know and have done Hands-On before (I also didn’t give any info about my past position beside the last 3, aside from the name of the company, position, dates – if my interviewers would want to know more they can ask me during our interview.
Happy to get your feedback, My CV can be found here