2018/12 - My old CV's - Learn from my mistakes!
I've made quite a few blunders on my CV's over the years, so I figured I'd try to help out folks before they made the same (And in some cases obvious) mistakes that I made. There were plenty of problems, particularly with my earlier CV's, so hopefully someone out there learns what NOT to do at the very least! I also have some tips on what I've learned from others, and general feedback that I've gotten from folks online, as well as offline. If this helps you (Or you get a laugh out of it), drop me a line! In some cases the order of events might not make sense as I describe them, this is because for some CV's I could only get my hands on one copy. For example the first CV was used to get me my first internship at Sonru, to which I added the experience to my CV right after finishing said internship. Little changes like that might throw you off, but just ignore them.
CV #1 - That got me my first job and my first internship (Somehow). I was pretty new to professionalism in general:
In general, this is just a really bad CV:
- It doesn't mention college projects at all. I distinctly remember working on a PHP CRUD application in my second year of college that I should have put online and linked to for this CV.
- No internships (Until after Sonru) that would have helped me out a lot. I had quite a bit of free time during the summer holidays that I didn't take full advantage of.
- No real online presence apart from my github and LinkedIn. A wordpress or blogspot blog would have helped.
- Clock bullet-point formatting for my old list of skills? I'm not sure why I thought that looked good at the time...
- This was two pages, but could have easily been one instead.
- The ordering of sections is wrong. Experience trumps education, so it really should have come first. Honestly, I should have put Sonru in its own "Experience" section and either left the other two out altogether, or put them under some other section while also explaining what duties I had at Sonru, etc. Hobbies/Interest sections are also redundant in my opinion.
- No side projects, although being a poor college student that couldn't afford an android phone or web hosting makes this a bit more understandable. I still could have made some minor game in Java, possibly using LibGDX or even Unity, but back then I honestly did not know how to teach myself new technologies.
CV #2 - That ended up getting refactored into CV 3:
A good bit better than the previous one, but still plenty of improvements to be made:
- There's way too much white space. Everything is far too much spaced out, I must have thought at the time that a CV "had" to be two pages or something!
- "SQL-baseS report creation". Proof-reading!
- "These are my skills" - with no hint or idea of how how strong they are relative to each other, aside from "I also have experience in the following areas".
- The interests/hobbies section is still pretty pointless.
- The secondary/high school details could have been removed.
CV #3 - That got me into my University College Dublin:
You might have noticed that this version is muuuuuch better than the previous two. That's largely due to help I received from my sisters partner, who has more job experience than I do. This one was the first CV I actually had that I thought was pretty damn good:
- Ordering of sections is much improved.
- Much better use of space.
- Missed a LOT of content from my first job.
- Should have stressed the Errigal work experience much more.
- Still lacking much of an online presence or side project content.
- Customer support should never be listed under a position, unless you want to become a customer service representative! Most jobs require client/customer interaction, but listing it as customer support can give folks the wrong idea.
CV #4 - My current CV:
My current (as of August) and (so far) best attempt at a CV. I would have saved a lot of time/effort by simply using my college and Universities careers resources, or just hiring someone to write my CV for me:
- Much improved, but needs to be more results-oriented. Needs to have more of an "I did/achieved X", rather than an "I used/learned Y".
- Titles look better with shading. The formatting is much better now, and the content is plentiful enough to warrant two pages, as well as being of much greater substance.
- Decent side project list. All those late nights and weekends are worth it!
I often update my CV with technologies that I'm using in a position when I'm learning/using them, as I think it's a bad idea to wait until you're looking for a new position to so. If you wait until it's time to move on, you will almost certainly forget some of them even if you're perfectly capable of remember how to use them in a few hours. Always try to keep your CV up-to-date, emphasize experience, save your hobbies/interests for culture-fit interviews, check your formatting and spelling, and you should be good to go!