What should a good technical CV include?

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Hello fellow developers!

I've created an HTML version of my CV, based on some information I have on LinkedIn. However, while making this, I couldn't really come up with more things to add than:

  • my name
  • my current job title
  • email
  • link to my portfolio
  • my past jobs
  • education
  • my skills

Is there anything you miss that you think should be added to this? And specifically, is there anything you're missing on my CV as a developer?

Thank you for your time in advance!

Link to my CV in case you want a visual reference: my CV

twitter logo DISCUSS (11)
markdown guide
 

Not saying this applies to you, but for print format I would say: ideally stick to one single page. After 5 years working in software, evolving through different tech stacks, I have yet to find a reason to have two pages in my CV, for a few reasons.

  1. My experience from 5 years is only tangentially relevant anymore. No one cares if I worked a lot with jQuery 5 years ago. That means I don't need to write in detail about old jobs

  2. If I would write detailed descriptions of each job, I would repeat myself a lot.

  3. Most recruiters are not skilled enough to understand or care about long detailed resumes. They go with labels and buzzwords.

  4. Initial interviews always discuss my CV anyway. I always get questions on the line of "So you listed ; tell me more about it; how did you feel working with it?".

  5. Everyone knows the meme that says no one ever goes to the second page on Google - the same applies here. It's fine to add an extra page with interesting information, like side projects, hobbies, list of conferences where you spoke, etc, but everything relevant to the job you're applied should fit in the first page.

Note: you should probably add print-friendly CSS or a download to your resume in PDF.

 

Definitely agree with all of your points! I'll work on the print/PDF version. I initially made this to be a downloadable PDF, but after a long time of tickering, it never really worked how I wanted it. But I'm glad you confirm that it's important enough to actually go through with it.

Thank you for your in-depth comment.

 

Not disagreeing with your points but I have seen some people prefer to have relevant projects listed as well. Wouldn't adding projects add at least one more page?

 

Yes, they are definitely relevant. But it's all about picking what information deserver prime CV-estate. I don't think your comment goes against what I said.

With that said, if you are the type of guy that does 10 things at once - e.g. you have a full-time programming job, then a part time tutoring, then you organize the local dev meetup, talk in conferences, contribute to open source, etc, maybe you really can't fit everything in a single page while still having enough detail for each entry. But from my experience, 9/10 people don't have such busy lives.

 

One thought I had about your CV. What resulted from "automating the sales process"? Did you save the company a million dollars. Did you remove a massive pain point for customers etc... What I try to convey in my CV is the value I am able to bring through results based information.

 

Interesting perspective! So are you suggesting that instead of writing down "What did I do?" you'd write down "What did I accomplish?"? I've never heard this perspective, but that's definitely a very good take on a CV.

 

Yes exactly, or "what did my hard work do for the company."

This is a line from my current resume. It quantifies the impact rather than just a generalized statement. This doesn't work 100% of the time but I try to show the impact of what I've done instead of just saying I've done something.

"Developed and supported automated processes and systems that have managed over 50,000 customer interactions. Processed the workflow for 3,000+ online applications, 600 electronic
plan reviews, 1,700 code violations and many other business processes."

Another accomplishment I sometimes list, features the fact that I did indeed save my employer money with the ideas I implemented. I even received an award because of it.

 

HTML is missing from the skills-list. I'm not even kidding. Lots of HR-folks just compare lists of required skills with CVs and if HTML is missing, it's a pass. Add everything no matter how basic. Add HTML, CSS, Ajax, REST, jQuery. Don't just add the latest buzzwords. Lots of companies require knowing the old stuff, because they still use old stuff.

The other thing I'm missing is a more detailed description of your projects and your concrete role in them.

 

Good catch, I'll be sure to add those! About the projects, I was trying to keep everything on a single page, would the projects be something for a potential second page?

 

Yes, if it's on the web, you can collapse details. If it's a PDF you could add one or two more pages. TBH I don't get the 1-page-ism. It's not like printing or scrolling is super expensive. The only caveat is that it's easy to become messy, the longer it is. As long as it's readable, 2 or 3 pages are fine.

The 1-page makes sense if other devs read your CV and can infer most missing info (oh they worked 10 years in front-end, they surely know HTML). I think it's good to have both, one for the HR-departments, one for the informal intro.

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I'm a full-stack developer who loves to explore the right tools for the job. I enjoy writing and documenting my journey.
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