A Software Engineer CV that converts

When creating a CV it is important to keep in mind who your audience will be. In other words, ask yourself who will be seeing my CV? The answer… someone from Human Resources or a recruiter from the Talent Acquisition tean.

Human Resources or a recruiter from the Talent Acquisition team is usually the first one to see your CV and decide whether you should be invited for the screening interviews. As such, you need to create a CV with the HR and TA as your primary audience and the engineering team as a secondary audience.

Making CV for HR and TA team: things to consider

So if your primary audience will be the HR or the TA team, it is important to understand what they would be looking for. As most of the HR and TA are non-technical themselves, they are often transactional looking for certain points. We will go over what the HR and the TA will be looking for in this topic.

1. Do you have the skills listed in the requirements?

When they review your CV the first thing they do is check whether you have most of the skills listed in the requirements. This is a simple keyword matching on your resume with the requirements section of the job description. Having a good match with the requirements listed in the job description is a must, while having a good match with the desired skills will be a bonus point.

As such, the first thing your CV must have is to make sure that most of the requirements in the job description are listed in your CV as well.

2. Are you jumpy?

In Japan, employers are more sensitive to the jumpiness of the candidate. A candidate is considered jumpy if he has stayed in one company for less than 3 years. If you have an employment history that has less than 3 years (excluding part-time, contract, and internships), it is important to list one or two sentences that explain why you have left the company prematurely.

3. (Optional) Have you worked in the industry before?

This is an important question especially if you are applying for internet/SaaS companies. Often, the companies develop services that will be used by more than a million users. As such, the scale of the service/application is massive and engineers must understand how to build service/application that can scale.

How HR and TA filter for this is to see whether you have worked in a similar industry before or whether you have experience building scalable service for a large number of users.

Again, this is industry-specific and I would say that it is not a must to have this. Your chances of getting invited to the screening stage, however, improves significantly if you have.

Summary on HR and TA

An important take-away is HR and TA people are often keyword matches, comparing how closely your CV matches with the job description. As such, if you read the job description carefully and customize your CV to include most of the requirements, you have a strong chance of getting invited to the screening stage.

A good tool to use to see how good your CV matches the job description is Jobscan.co where you can upload your CV and the job description to get a keyword match score.

Always use a simple, basic, 1-2 page CV

The HR and TA team often receive hundreds of applications weekly and have to screen large quantity of CVs quickly. Studies suggests that TA/HR takes only 6 seconds to review your CV. As such, a clear, simple, and basic 1-2 page CV is the most effective.

Simple CVs make it easy to understand your profile quickly and HR/TA really appreciate not having to go through 10 pages to understand who you are. An added benefit of a basic and short CV is that Applicant Tracking Systems (ATS) will be loving your CV! When you apply ATS parse your CV and simple, basic CVs parse much better compared to complex long CVs.

You can download a CV template below