Writing a strong job application can feel tricky, but when you have sought-after skills like the ability to write code, it becomes much easier.
This is the look and feel you should be aiming for, so remember to refer back to it throughout your CV writing process.
In today’s fast-paced job market, recruiters and employers are often short on time. If they can’t locate the information they’re searching for within a few seconds, it could result in them overlooking your application.
- Length: Two sides of A4 makes for the perfect CV length, though one page is okay for less experienced applicants. This forces you to make sure that every single sentence adds value to your CV and ensures you avoid unnecessary info.
- Readability: To help recruiters quickly skim through your CV, it’s important to format your section headings with bold or a different colour font and break up lengthy paragraphs into short sharp bullet points. This enables them to easily identify important information and assess your suitability.
- Design & format: Your CV needs to look professional, sleek and easy to read. A subtle colour palette, clear font and simple design are generally best for this, as fancy designs are often harder to navigate.
- Photos: Don’t add profile photos to your CV unless you work in an industry or region which prefers to see them. Most employers in the UK will not need to see one.
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When writing your CV, break up the content into the following key sections, to ensure it can be easily digested by busy recruiters and hiring managers:
- Contact details – Always list these at the very top of your CV – you don’t want them to be missed!
- Profile – An introductory paragraph, intended to grab recruiters attention and summarise your offering.
- Work experience / career history – Working from your current role and working backwards, list your relevant work experience.
- Education – Create a snappy summary of your education and qualifications.
- Interest and hobbies – An optional section to document any hobbies that demonstrate transferable skills.
Now you understand the basic layout of a CV, here’s what you should include in each section of yours.
Kick-start your CV with your contact details, so recruiters can get in touch easily.
Here’s what you should include:
- Mobile number
- Email address – Make sure it’s professional, with no silly nicknames.
- Location – Your town or city is sufficient, rather than a full address.
- LinkedIn profile or portfolio URL – Ensure they’ve been updated and are looking slick and professional.
Quick tip: Avoid listing your date of birth, marital status or other irrelevant details – they’re unnecessary at this stage.
This short introduction paragraph should summarise your skills, experience, and knowledge, highlighting your suitability for the job.
It should be compelling enough to encourage recruiters to read through the rest of your CV.
How to write a good CV profile:
- Make it short and sharp: The best CV profiles are short, sharp and highly relevant to the target role. For this reason, it’s best to write 3-4 lines of high-level information, as anything over might be missed.
- Tailor it: The biggest CV mistake? A generic, mass-produced document which is sent out to tens of employers. If you want to land an interview, you need to tailor your CV profile (and your application as a whole) to the specific roles you’re applying for. So, before you start writing, remember to read over those job descriptions and make a list of the skills, knowledge and experience the employers are looking for.
- Don’t add an objective: Leave your career objectives or goals out of your profile. You only have limited space to work with, so they’re best suited to your cover letter.
- Avoid generic phrases: If there’s one thing that’ll annoy a recruiter, it’s a clichè-packed CV. Focus on showcasing your hard skills, experience and the results you’ve gained in previous roles, which will impress recruiters far more.
- Experience overview: Start with a brief summary of your relevant experience so far. How many years experience do you have? What type of companies have you worked for? What industries/sectors have you worked in? What are your specialisms?
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Core skills section
In addition to your CV profile, your core skills section provides an easily digestible snapshot of your skills – perfect for grabbing the attention of busy hiring managers.
It should be made up of 2-3 columns of bullet points and be made up of skills that are highly relevant to the jobs you are targeting.
Front-End Development – Using HTML5 and CSS3, to build user interfaces that are visually appealing and responsive.
Version Control – Using version control systems like Git to collaborate with other developers and manage code repositories.
Responsive Web Design – Creating websites that adapt and function seamlessly across various devices and screen sizes.
Cross-Browser Compatibility – Ensuring that web applications work consistently across different web browsers, addressing compatibility issues.
Performance Optimisation – Using techniques and best practices to optimise website performance, including reducing page load times.
API Integration – Integrating third-party APIs and services to enhance the functionality of web applications.
Quick tip: Our quick-and-easy CV Builder has thousands of in-demand skills for all industries and professions, that can be added to your CV in seconds – This will save you time and ensure you get noticed by recruiters.
Recruiters will be itching to know more about your relevant experience by now.
Kick-start this section with your most recent (or current) position, and work your way backwards through your history.
You can include voluntary and freelance work, too – as long as you’re honest about the nature of the work.
Structuring each job
Lengthy, unbroken chunks of text is a recruiters worst nightmare, but your work experience section can easily end up looking like that if you are not careful.
To avoid this, use my tried-and-tested 3-step structure, as illustrated below:
Start with a brief summary of your role as a whole, as well as the type of company you worked for.
Using easy-to-read bullet points, note down your day-to-day responsibilities in the role.
Make sure to showcase how you used your hard sector skills and knowledge.
To finish off each role and prove the impact you made, list 1-3 stand out achievements, results or accomplishments.
This could be anything which had a positive outcome for the company you worked for, or perhaps a client/customer. Where applicable, quantify your examples with facts and figures.
Partner with IT teams craft resilient and interactive web, mobile, and desktop experiences, for a global company that offers consulting, technology, operations digital, cloud, and security services across 40+ industries.
- Liaise with colleagues to translate concepts into functional and technical deliverables.
- Leverage relevant modern frameworks and libraries (e.g., React, jQuery, Angular, Vue.js) to construct cutting-edge software.
- Handle asynchronous operations and data fetching utilising AJAX, Fetch or other technologies.
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At the bottom of your CV is your full education section. You can list your formal academic qualifications, such as:
- A levels
Hobbies and interests
Although this is an optional section, it can be useful if your hobbies and interests will add further depth to your CV.
Interests which are related to the sector you are applying to, or which show transferable skills like leadership or teamwork, can worth listing.
On the other hand, generic hobbies like “going out with friends” won’t add any value to your application, so are best left off your CV.
Always tailor your CV to the target role, even if it means creating several versions for different roles.
Additionally, remember that the structure and format of your CV needs just as much attention as the content.
Good luck with your job search!