We have all been there (or might arrive to this point) - the moment when we feel like it is time to finally jump and try to get a first job or internship in IT. It is stressful, but exciting at the same time. There is a lot of company research, emails, preparations , interviews involved.
You might think that you have all the necessary tools, skills , characteristics for a position that you seek. However, let's be honest - if your resume is bad, you won't get the chance to prove your worth !
In this post, I would like to share some tips that I have learned going through this process myself.
- it will let you stand out among others
- it is an opportunity to showcase your strengths
- it is the HR first impression of yourself
Firstly, it is visually appealing. To make one, I personally suggest Canva. You do not need to pay in order to have a nice resume !
Secondly, it has a good structure.
Thirdly, keep it short. No long paragraphs . No more than 2 pages.
Lets start at the beginning .
Start with your name as the main title and your current position as subtitle, even if you are unemployed or never worked in IT before. I recommend writing , for example, Full-stack Web Developer trainee or similar.
It is not mandatory. However, the person looking at the CV might remember your application better if there is a nice picture attached to it. My career coach very strongly advised against selfies, even if you think you look good in there. Ideally the picture is a portrait of you against an even background.
A very brief description of yourself, what do you currently do and importantly - what are you looking for .
If you are looking for an internship , state it in the end of your bio! A good example would be : Looking for a Backend internship starting August 2022.
If you are in a career change, it is very important to mention it too.
Even thought you think that you sent your CV in an email, therefore, the employer must have it, do not rely on it. Those people receive many emails during the day, so the contact section will allow you to be reachable.
Ideally, the contact information block should consist of :
- work email
- phone (sometimes the emails can go to spam where they can be unnoticed)
- location (does not have to include the full address, it can be just a city, country, or postal code)
- a link to your portfolio website, or GitHub, or both. Putting hyperlinks on your PDF is super handy!
Mention the skillset and technologies that you know or have experience with. You can use percentages and bars, but in this scenario it is not absolutely necessary .
Your latest Degree and perhaps some qualifications ,for example, _"08/2021 - 01/2022 Full Stack Web Development course Riga Coding School" _ Note how the date, the title and the location are mentioned.
Here is where the bars , percentages or other levels come in handy.
So here is the tricky part.
I struggled with this section the most , because I thought my previous job experience was so unrelated, that it was not even worth putting it in. I was wrong.
Do mention your experience, do not be ashamed of it, and do try to see what kind of tasks you did there that might be useful in your new position. No long sentences, use bullet-points to describe your tasks.
It might not be relevant for everyone, but it might be useful for those who are currently Trainees or in an Internship looking for a Junior position - do not be afraid to list your latest projects (max 3 ) on your CV ! Put a title as a hyperlink to the hosted website or GitHub repo and a small description of which technologies were used in the project. Especially if you do not have a portfolio!
If you have won or participated in some Hackathons, Conferences, it is worth to mention.
I also suggest to clean your GitHub before applying to positions. With cleaning I mean - make sure they have nice ReadMe files with good descriptions . The projects that you are most proud of are pinned, and your profile itself has a good ReadMe too !
I hope this helps a little ! Good luck job hunting!