loading...
Cover image for My first CV (from 10 years ago)

My first CV (from 10 years ago)

gajus profile image Gajus Kuizinas ・4 min read

I get a pretty regular stream of emails from people who are just starting to code and who ask what to put in their CVs. So here is the CV that got me the first consulting job and a few tips.

The first time I needed a CV was late 2011. Everything I've done up to then was freelance work.

My CV started with basic contact information, read as a list of my experiences and included 3 references. This is what I have put down as my experiences back then:

2002 – 3 months (freelance)
Contemporary Art Center Lithuania

Created a website for hosting videos. The final website featured a blog-like multilingual frontend and PHP-GD generated design elements.

2003 – 6 months (freelance)
pazintys.lt

Developed interactive (Flash) ads and mini-websites to advertise pazintys.lt (a dating website) social events. Used PHP & MySQL & Flash.

2003 – 3 month (freelance)
UNESCO

Created a student management system and a newsletter system. The system parsed different types of Microsoft office formats, namely .doc, .exl and .csv, imported data to a MySQL database, allowed editing student details, and exporting data.

2003 – 6 months (freelance)
LaFesta

Developed a dating website. The system was based on AZDG dating platform. I've customized all templates and integrated SMS and PayPal payment gateways.

2004 – 3 months (freelance)
Lemita

Developed a system for managing game servers. The system I've built allowed basic admin functions, statistics and memberships.

2004 – early 2007 (studies and personal projects)

Developed personal Wordpress and Drupal projects, e.g.

  • Developed a Lithuanian-English online dictionary. Learned to use mooTools and jQuery.
  • Won the best-animated TV ad award.
  • Won Nokia Plug-in best design award.

2007 - 2010 (personal)

Built a Lithuanian language online thesaurus (sinonimai.lt). Used AJAX–HTTP to fetch requests. Implemented following Google AJAX content crawler-friendly guidelines. Used memcache to cache requests.

2008 (personal)

Developed a booking management system for hotels. Used different storage engines, including Amazon S3 and Google Storage. Implemented a custom template system using Django-like syntax. Used memcache to store rendered templates, APC to cache frontend objects. Integrated PayPal, Moneybookers, SecureTrading, Authorize.net and SagePay merchant support. Uses AJAX-JSON to process booking requests. Written using OOP PHP.

2010 – 1 month (freelance)
as:music

Built a Facebook app that allows users to upload their photo, edit it using jQuery and share with friends. Built using JavaScript and PHP.

2010 – 2 months (freelance)
NameLeaf Inc

Built a CMS for multiple websites owned by NameLeaf Inc. Used PHP, MySQL, jQuery and little LAMP configuration.

2010 – 1 month (freelance)
Yellow Dog Marketing

Developed an authentication wrapper for multiple apps (e.g. Basecamp HQ, Google Analytics, MailChimp). Allows users to create a session across different websites upon authentication to YDM client’s area. Used JavaScript and HTML.

2010 – 3 months (freelance)
Association to Invest In the USA

Developed Expression Engine modules for sending newsletters and a Flash banner rotation system for https://iiusa.org/.

2011 – 1 month (freelance)
YouWorkForThem

Developed Unicode OTF/TTF Glyphs map generator. Used PHP, Perl and GD.

2011 – 3 months (personal)

Built a Facebook marketing automation software. Used PHP, MySQL and Facebook SDK.

This CV got me many interviews and my first consulting job.

If you are just starting, there are a few takeaways that can be useful:

  • If you don't have previous work experience, do work for your friends and family. No one paid me for projects I did 2002-2004 – they were done for my friends and family.
  • If you don't have previous work experience, then start with freelance. Doing freelance work will allow you to pick up the relevant real-world skills and references.
  • If you don't have previous work experience, describe your personal projects, e.g. open-source work is a great way to demonstrate team work.
  • Be succinct. Highlight the key components that you developed and the key technologies that you've used. Your CV is only a tease for the recruiter to start the conversation.
  • Be prepared. Recruiters will ask you about different experiences in your CV. The more energetic answer you can give, the more likely you are to get the job.

If I had to criticize this CV today, the biggest red-flag is that none of it describes team effort. These days, when hiring, one of the first things I am looking in a CV is if the person is a team player (more about this in another article).

Probably not an issue for many that are just starting, but I would also not include anything that happened more than 3 years ago (esp. if that means including many freelance projects like above). It is likely that a lot of that experience is irrelevant and is not representative of your current strengths and ambitions.

These days, I don't really have a CV, but my LinkedIn profile is a good approximation of what I'd put in my CV. You should always:

  • Identify your role in the team
  • Identify the problem you were solving
  • Identify the impact your input had to the project success

Finally, if you are a complete newbie and have no previous experience, check out https://www.firsttimersonly.com/ as an entry point to making your first open-source contributions.

Good luck!

Discussion

pic
Editor guide