A Software Developers’ guide to writing a CV in 2017

sam brand
It’s 2017 and the software development jobs market is booming. You want a new role, but hate the look of your CV? Or worse, you haven’t written a CV for a decade and have no clue where to start? 
If this sounds familiar, don’t worry – help is at hand!

I’m Sam, and I look at hundreds of software development CVs every day. Trust me, I’ve seen the good, the bad and the ugly when it comes to CV’s. In this blog I will give you a very simple and easy structure that WILL increase your chances of securing that dream job!


Recruiters want to get in touch with you, so make sure your details are prominent! Include your name, telephone number (mobile and home), email address, home address, LinkedIn profile and links to your personal portfolio website or projects hosted on GitHub.

Keep this section concise. Please do not tell me your life story. All we want to know here is your goals, what drives you and what sets you apart from others. This bit can be professional, corporate and serious, or quirky and showing the odd bit of humour, depending on your personality and the type of company you are applying to.

Technical Skills
We want to see your entire skill repertoire – the longer the list of skills the better! You could display this section with bullet points, or in a table. Be sure to include the number of years of commercial experience you have with each particular skill-set.

Providing it looks neat and tidy and includes all your skills, the job’s a good ‘un. Here’s an example:

experience table





Career History

‘JavaScript Developer – Google
January 2017 – January 2018’
Recruiters and employers will be scouring this section, looking for everything you did in your time at company X. You may like to start with an overview of your role and then go into detail about the projects you worked on, and any achievements you were particularly proud of.

A common mistake here comes from developers who have worked at a company for 5 years and can barely manage to string a few sentences together about their time there. This tells me one of two things: either you couldn’t be bothered writing your CV to a high standard, or you didn’t actually do much during your time there. This section doesn’t need a short novel, but some context and detail can really illustrate even a handful of career achievements.

*Tech Stack* – always include a list of technologies you have used during employment at the footer of each role; e.g.: ‘JAVASCRIPT, HTML5, CSS3, JQUERY, ANGULAR.JS, SASS, LESS, PHP, NODE.JS, ELASTICSEARCH, REACT’

‘1st class BSc Computer Science – University of Manchester
The content in this section is entirely down to how your course was structured and what projects you took part in. Avoid huge paragraphs – just highlight relevant projects and achievements during your degree.

In all honesty, unless you are a graduate OR the role you are applying for requires a certain grade, this section isn’t the be-all and end-all of your CV. This is about your, experiences and what you have done in your own time. Your personal website / portfolio and/or GitHub projects would look great here too.

Let’s put coding to one side for a moment, unless coding is also what you do in your spare time! It’s always great to see the other side of a candidate and what else you spend your time doing. Are you into sports, reading or gardening? Tell us! This can really make you stand out from the crowd.

Thank you for taking the time to read this. I really hope it helps with any problems you might have writing your CV. If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to contact me, via email, LinkedIn or Twitter. I wish you all the best and I hope 2017 is a great year for you!

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