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7 CV Writing Tips for a Software Developer Career

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Whether you are a junior developer or someone with extensive experience in software development, it can be challenging to stand out during job application processes. According to Dice, about 19 million developers operate worldwide, 13 of which are professional programmers, meaning that roughly a third represents self-taught or casual developers. Given the complexity and steep learning curve of software development, it’s no wonder that the competition is fierce.

According to data by Hired, 53% of software developers pursued their career because they simply enjoy it, with Python, JavaScript and Java leading the pack. When it comes to writing a CV for the sake of career development, however, standing out as a noteworthy candidate is extremely important. So, how can you optimize your CV and write an attractive value proposition for your would-be employer in order to get the position you want?

  1. Don’t omit or embellish

Software development is an industry with numerous cogs in its machine. Everyone from front-end developers to QA testers needs to be familiar with the languages and operations required to develop and launch a software app successfully. As such, you should never embellish your CV in any way to avoid unnecessary problems for yourself and your employer.

While you may reach the interview stage based on embellished information, the interviewer will quickly see through the veil. The same can be said about omitting certain crucial information from your professional career or formal education in relation to software development. Present yourself as you are a person with perks and flaws who is willing to develop a successful career in the industry.

  1. Less Fluff, More Keywords

There is a good reason as to why companies differentiate CVs and resumes from motivational letters. While the latter may be treated as an essay, the former should focus on raw information relevant to the job application. This is why it’s good to rely on software development specific keywords to improve your hiring prospects.

Limit your CV to a one-page format and outline your previous experiences, hard and soft skills, as well as personal or freelance projects in a succinct manner. You can add numeric KPIs or outcomes of each project in short and address individual items during the interview. According to Small Biz Genius, corporate job posts receive around 250 CVs on average, with most recruiters taking about six seconds to review a CV. Save your interviewer’s time by optimizing your CVs length, and they will undoubtedly be grateful for it.

  1. Customize it Per Employer

Different companies and development teams will naturally gravitate toward different skillsets in the candidates they consider to hire. Thus, a company centred on mobile development will look for different things in their candidates as opposed to an IoT development startup.

This is why it’s important to cater to individual employees instead of writing a universal CV and hoping for the best. “If your company is looking for an iOS developer, take out the skills and languages you deem irrelevant to the position. No one likes to receive copy-pasted CVs since it showcases unprofessionalism and a general lack of care toward the potential employer”, says Melanie Sovann, an editor and senior writer at term paper service company EssaySupply. Make it as easy as possible for the interviewer to review your resume and decide if you are a good fit for them.

  1. Project your Career Aspirations

It’s always a good idea to project your optimal career path to the employer through your CV. If you are a junior developer fresh out of college, you can add a small roadmap of your career goals for the next 5-10 years. Likewise, if you are a senior developer with goals to develop soft skills through project management, why not let the potential employer know?

This information, while only a projection, will prove that you are a noteworthy candidate available for long-term employment. Companies in search of developers who can lead teams or manage multiple projects concurrently will undoubtedly react positively to your ambitions. Same as before, keep this section of your CV short and to the point to avoid unnecessary fluff or delve into motivational letter writing.

  1. Link your Social Profiles

Your employers will likely do background research on you if you pass the initial selection process. Typically, this consists of reaching out to past employers and searching for online profiles under your name. Spruce up your social media profiles, especially on LinkedIn, before you add them to your CV.

You can also establish a GitHub profile and publish code snippets or project outlines of your previous software development work as a bonus. Be proactive and let your employers access the social media profiles by including their links in the CV itself. It will showcase that you have nothing to hide in regards to your persona, past employment or the validity of your data.

  1. Professional Contact Info Matters

Companies tend to pass on candidates with unprofessional email address handles and questionable social media content under their name. In order to maximize your odds at employment, do your best to revise any digital contact information you may want to include.

Create a separate, work-only email account under your name and surname. Omit any nicknames or anonymous handles from your social media accounts – instead, use your given name to allow for easy checkups of your identity. Project an image of a trustworthy and dedicated software developer to potential employees, and they are sure to return the favour in spades.

  1. Proofread & Format Properly

It’s pivotal that your CV is free of grammar errors, spelling mistakes or a general lack of formatting. When it comes to software developer CV writing, you don’t need to worry about creating custom templates or design solutions.

However, you are required to showcase professionalism and care when it comes to proofreading and editing prior to reaching out to an employer. Tools such as Grammarly and Hemingway Editor are perfectly suited to help you spruce up any grammar inconsistencies or legibility issues. Make sure that the template you choose to use is minimalistic and allows your information to “pop” without unnecessary graphical elements.

Software Developer CV Writing Mistakes to Avoid

  • Avoid Buzzwords and Hyperboles

Modesty can go a long way in making sure that you establish good relations with potential employers. Using hyperboles such as “best”, “fastest”, “top quality”, etc. will likely be met with disdain. Don’t oversell your skills as a software developer – there is plenty of fish in the sea, and you need to stand out as a professional.

  • Wrong Information per Job Posting

It’s essential that you carefully analyze each software developer job posting before you write your CV for that company. Don’t include information which isn’t required and make sure to check off all the important boxes. Failing to do so will result in automatic disqualification from potential employment more often than not.

  • Lack of Specialization

Lastly, you can’t be a cyber-security engineer, a web developer and a mobile developer at the same time in your CV. Specialization is a key element in any software developer’s career if you want to stand out and attract the attention of lucrative employers. Don’t try to appeal to every aspect of software development in your CV, and it will increase your likelihood of employment.

In Summary

The most important element of any CV is that it speaks volumes of who “you” are. Don’t write a generic software developer’s CV and hope that one of the companies will hire you out of sheer necessity. This can lead to uncomfortable situations where you might end up mismatched with a company you don’t see yourself with.

Summarize your professional growth and write a CV which will showcase who you want to be down the line. The right employer will recognize your talent and find a place for your career development within their ranks.

Guest Poster – Dorian Martin

Dorian Martin is a Writer, Editor, and Business Communication Specialist with the best college paper writing services review site. His professional career is devoted to research and content creation in the fields of AI, IT, and business development, as well as digital marketing. Dorian is keen to learn as much as possible about data science and mass communication, which is why he writes about all things digital.

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