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Writing a Great CV - The Recruiter's Guide

Let’s face it – nobody enjoys writing a CV, but it’s one of the most important documents you will ever have to create.

Your CV or Résumé is your opportunity to showcase your skills and stand out from other applicants, so it’s crucial to get it right if you want to land your perfect job.

As a specialist IT & Tech Recruitment Specialist, Oscar Technology’s team receive literally hundreds of résumés each day and have shared their top tips to ensure your CV gives you the best chance of making it through to the interview stage.

Create a Real Time CV

If you have decided to apply for a new job, we will bet good money that one of your first thoughts was “uh oh, when did I last update my CV?!”

One of the most daunting aspects of searching for a new position is the thought of reconstructing your CV – racking your brain to recall all of the technologies, coding languages, qualifications and experience you have gained and responsibilities you have held since your last update.

But this doesn’t have to be the way.

A top tip given by a number of career coaches for enhancing your job prospects is to create a Master Résumé – a document in which you can freely catalogue all of your skills and experience in real time.

Whether you expect to be looking for a new job in the near future or not, your Master Resume will contain an exhaustive list of the IT skills, experience, projects, performance data, key responsibilities and more in your repertoire.

Then, when the time comes when you actively decide to move, or a Recruiter contacts you out of the blue with the job of your dreams, you can quickly and easily cherry pick the points which are most relevant to that position to create your new job-specific CV.

Make Your CV Job-Specific

Most recruiters can easily tell the difference between a “one size fits all” CV and one which has been specifically written for job in question.

Read the job spec and pick out the specific Tech skills, experience, qualifications etc which the ideal candidate requires. If your skill set matches, ensure these are all clearly listed within your CV and personal statement so your consultant can instantly see that you’re a perfect match.

Give Your Recruiter a Technology Snapshot

Include a list of your technical skills and break the section into subcategories so it is easy to identify programs, applications and languages. Make it easy for the Recruiter to find the skills they are looking for.

Don’t list every technology you have ever used, going back to that one time you read a book on Node.js during the third term of your second year of Uni - focus on the skills you have which are relevant to the job you are applying for and only mention programs / technologies you could confidently discuss and demonstrate in an interview.

Back Up Your Achievements with Data

When discussing your projects and achievements, giving tangible results is a powerful way to showcase your success and boost your credibility.

Give facts and figures where possible instead of making vague statements.

Rather than simply stating that your project “increased conversion rates and reduced bounce rates,” explain that “within three months, conversion rates increased by 25%, gaining your client approx. $95,000 extra revenue per annum, and that bounce rates have fallen by 15% to below the target of 30%.”

Showcase Your Tech Skills

Where possible, include examples of your past Technology work. If you have an online portfolio, in Github for example, why wait until interview stage to show off your work? Enclose the link in your CV.

Have you developed a game which made it onto the App Store or authored a successful tech blog? Name drop it.

These are things which will set you apart from many other candidates who have experienced less commercial success, or even worse have forgotten to put it on their CV.

Don’t Waffle

Your CV should be completely clutter free. Always keep your sentences concise and to the point; don’t use 12 words when you can get your point across in eight.

Leave out irrelevant information and minimise your education section as you gain experience. After sufficient commercial experience list only the basic details – Educational institution, Course, Grade, Dates attended.

Spell Check!

Old but gold. A CV with spelling and grammatical errors is an instant turn-off for recruiters and employers as it shows a lack of due care and attention.

You get one chance to make a first impression, so be sure to run your CV through a spell checker, then read through it at least twice to flag any grammar mistakes. Remember, your spell check will not highlight where you have written “there” rather than “their.”

For best results ask your partner or a friend to read it through for you. A fresh pair of eyes can make a big difference.

Ask for CV Feedback

If you are unsure about any aspect of your CV or would like advice on how to improve it before applying for a job with Oscar, please contact your local consultant who will be happy to help and advise.