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Dos and Donts for writing a great CV in IT

A little bit of history

The curriculum vitæ seems to have surfaced for the first time during Leonardo Da Vinci’s time, in 1482.  He composed a manuscript listing his skills that he sent out to Duc de Milan, in the hope of acquiring a job in times of war. The letter was handwritten in 11 points and featured exclusively what Da Vinci could accomplish: weapon creation, vehicle manufacturing, strategize roads and bridges, etc. This very first CV, tailored to the needs of the employer, summarized the essence of the most crucial information to incorporate his accomplishments and skills.

In the 20th Century, the CV evolved rapidly with the digital era. While it started out as a simple formality in 1930, it became a requirement in 1950. With the eruption of Microsoft Word in 1983, the Internet in 1994, and the PDF format in 1996, the CV becomes standardized based on said formats. In 2002, a new type of interactive CV is born with social media becoming more popular and online profiles (Linkedin, Youtube, and Github) allow individuals to stand out from the crowd.

Nowadays, CVs are the ideal opportunity to differentiate ourselves, because recruiters spend only a few seconds on each application before making a decision. Therefore, it is very important to highlight your most notable accomplishments, experience, and skills.

The Do’s

Writing a CV is not an exact science, but there are several things you can do to to wow your recruiter and ultimately get an interview.

Tailor your CV to the job you want

It is necessary that you tailor your CV based on the job description you are interested in. It does not mean you should rewrite the different sentences but you should rephrase your own text to demonstrate how you can apply the skills they are looking for. Through this method, you will showcase how your accomplishments and skills can contribute to the job.

Use quantitative data

When highlighting your accomplishments, you can use a simple formula based on your previous experiences to quantify them event if you do not necessarily work with numbers. It consists of including a frequency, a percentage, or a change.

For example: I developed and implemented a career management plan that helped increase employee retention of new employees within the first 6 months by 20%.

Try to justify your actions with numbers based on your previous roles. It is not about listing tasks, but emphasizing major quantifiable achievements.

Clearly state your skills

Your skills are a representation of your work capabilities and you should make sure you highlight the most important and relevant ones. Focus your approach on what will make you stand out from the crowd, which means adding standardized skills like Microsoft Office, Internet or social media can be eliminated. Do you know how to code? Add the coding languages you are able to work with.

 

The Don’ts

Do not apply to all the job postings within the same company

Sometimes, the company you are applying is so important to you that you do not pay attention to the actual job itself and your ability to perform that role. Therefore, it is important to research the different job postings before finding the right one for you, based on your knowledge and experience. In fact, at Big Bang, we want to help you achieve your career milestones which is why we help you build a career plan based on your own objectives and aspirations to transition into the role of your choice.

Do not hand in a CV full of spelling and grammar mistakes

It is crucial to proofread and review your CV before handing it in. Avoid spelling and grammar mistakes, typos, and the use of jargon. Failing to do so will show a lack of diligence on your part and will give the wrong idea. Nowadays, there are so many tools and softwares you can use to review your CV that it is almost unacceptable to include errors. Moreover, make sure you use the right format (Microsoft Word document or PDF) before you submit your CV. Avoid .txt formats.

Do not include hobbies that are not relevant to the job you are applying for

Since it is important to limit the number of pages for a CV to 1 or 2 pages maximum, we strongly suggest you optimize the space you have by only providing information that is crucial to your skills and experience. This is what we, the Human Resources department, look for in a CV before anything else. Therefore, you do not have to include a “’hobbies” section and add interests like art, drawing, or even ski.

However, evidently, we enjoy the opportunity to get to know you, as a human, when send in your application. This is why, in the case of Big Bang, we ask all our applicants to include a “fun fact” about themselves and their work environment. We give potential candidates the opportunity to be creative and impress us with their personality.

At Big Bang

We value your time

All the CVs at Big Bang are analyzed in detail by our Human Resources department. We are aware that your time is precious and we want to make sure you receive an answer – whether it is positive or negative – by email. We also follow up rigorously on the progress of your application at every step of the Big Bang hiring process.  

We know you may not have all the relevant experience

We try to make our job descriptions as detailed and specific as possible so applicants are able to relate to them. However, we are aware that the responsibilities we require and the number of years suggested are not always accessible to everyone. Therefore, we strongly encourage you to apply even if you do not satisfy all the requirements in the job description. We have been able to see so many amazing consultants evolve in our approach and we always enjoy the possibility of meeting individuals with unique backgrounds.   

We are constantly looking for talented candidates to join our fabulous team. Does the field of consulting strike your interest? Visit our career page and apply today.

Watch the video here.

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References:

https://www.google.com/amp/s/www.slate.fr/story/97853/de-vinci-cv%3famp

https://www.blog-emploi.com/l-histoire-du-cv-de-1482-a-nos-jours/

Julie Brunet
Julie's passion for tech and Human Resources make her a great asset to Big Bang. As a visionary, Julie uses her tech knowledge to bring her ideas to life to improve the Human Resources department with new ideas and processes. When she is not hiring new team members or working on HR operations, Julie works with different department executives to reinforce individual employee goals and set a clear career path at Big Bang. Her vast experience in scanning and hiring new team members has allowed her to be a good judge of character and give good advice when it comes to CVs and online presence.