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Ben Hamilton
about 1 month ago by Ben Hamilton

7 Seconds in the Spotlight

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​7 Seconds In the Spotlight.

It’s well documented that recruiters and hiring managers on average spend 7 seconds looking at a CV. Now more than ever, it’s important for Developers to support your CV and build a strong online presence to keep Recruiters and Hiring Managers engaged enough to invite you in for an interview.

Over the past 6 months we’ve seen the job market for Developers do a complete flip. Where there used to be an abundance of roles available with only a handful of Developers actively looking, now there are teams of Developers facing redundancy and competing for jobs with companies that are still able to hire.

Here are 5 pointers to help you grab the attention of the hiring manager and give them a good understanding of your skills and personality through your CV and online presence:

1) List the technologies you use regularly on your CV

Let the Hiring Manager, HR Manager or Recruiter know that they are looking at the right kind of Developer as early as possible. Listing the key technologies and your experience level makes it very easy to identify the CVs that match the kind of person from a technical point of view.

Make sure you list the tech stack you’ve used at each company you’ve worked at too. Unfortunately, many job boards and recruitment technologies these days use an SEO style AI to identify the most relevant people for a role before it’s looked at by a real person. If you have .NET CORE mentioned in your CV 3 or 4 times and it’s a main requirement for the job, you’re more likely to be put to the top of the pile.

2) Achievements not responsibilities

Developing new functions and features, maintaining legacy systems, bug fixing, mentoring junior devs, writing technical documents are all responsibilities that are expected of most Developers. It’s what you contribute to projects and achieves which is more engaging to hiring managers.

Give a short description of the kind of projects you’ve worked including the team size and make up. Mention where you’ve used your initiative, lead a team or found a solution where others couldn’t.

A great format for describing your achievements is shown below:

accomplished X as measured by Y by doing Z.

It’s simple but effective and gives you a good starting point to elaborate on when you get to interview.

Remember, your CV is a marketing flyer selling your best points and giving just enough information for a hiring manager to want to learn more about you through a conversation.

3) Add links to projects

You’re not a professional CV writer, you’re a Dev, so let people see what you can do.

Many of the best Developers I’ve worked with have a portfolio website with code examples and projects they’ve worked on. You may even have technical tests from previous interview processes that you can use as a basis for future interviews.

If you regularly contribute to public repositories or have accolades on Github etc. make sure these links are also on your CV. It’s a chance to back that “passion” that you mentioned in your bio is backed up with hard evidence.

Tip: Don’t use a company’s intellectual property on a public GitHub repository. It doesn’t look great to future employers and it’s a sure-fire way to have your employment ended early!

4) Keep your LinkedIn profile up to date

LinkedIn is a vital tool in the Recruiter’s toolbox for niche industries. Around 90% of Recruiters use LinkedIn to head hunt or vet individuals as profiles tend to be more up to date than a CV. It’s important to list the key technologies you use here too. Like it or not, keyword matching is part of the talent identification process.

Figures show that you’re 40 times more likely to be approached with roles if you have a fully updated LinkedIn profile. The more relevant you can make your profile to the job you are looking for, the more likely you are to be approached with that kind of role.

5) Network, Network, Network

Recruiters get a bad rep and for the most part, it’s fully earned. However, a good Recruiter can open doors for you that might not be open to others. Many placements are made by putting the right profile in front of the hiring manger at the right time, even if they aren’t actively hiring.

Building relationships with good Recruiters and Agencies is key right now. Make sure that as soon as a new relevant role comes out that you are the dev that they turn to first.

In Summary

Making these 5 changes will have the most impact on your pursuit of a new job. These ideas are there to help you land the initial interview and are based on reviewing 1000’s of Developer CVs.

What do you do from here?

If you want any further insights, please get in contact with me on ben.hamilton@mexasolutions.com. I’m speaking to Developers and Hiring Managers daily and have a wealth of knowledge in this area that I’m very happy to share.