Top Tips for Graduate Software Developers
Have you just graduated from University or are you planning to graduate next year? Have you been looking at your friend’s CV & wondering what on earth you can write to get a job?
Common misconceptions. . .
- “Keep it simple”
- “Make sure it fits on one or two pages”
- “Write EVERYTHING you have ever done”
- “Make it colourful”
These are some of the things I can probably guess you have been told in the past or at least thought to yourself at one point.
Fortunately, I can tell you (from experience) there is no recommended page count for a CV. Please don’t feel the need to cram everything into one page, if you have enough valuable & relevant IT related experience that takes 4, 5 or even 6 pages then put it all down.
So, what else is relevant?
- Skills Matrix – I can probably guess during your time at university / college / Codeclan you focused on a couple of technologies, but really took a liking to others. It’s definitely a good idea to show what you worked with, but please remember try not to list every technology you’ve ever looked at – just the ones you feel comfortable working with & most importantly the ones you enjoy.
- Honours Project – I can bet you spent what felt like forever writing your honours project as part of your last year & hopefully this involved some of your best coding. Then if so, why not show it off? A brief paragraph explaining what you’ve done, how you’ve done it & what tools you used is such an effective way to show off your knowledge. Additionally, any links where people can publicly access this is very insightful!
- IT Placements – Now getting relevant placements is easier said than done, as we are all aware. However, if you can manage to secure a temporary placement (voluntary or paid if you’re extremely lucky) then try to describe what your role was, what technologies you worked with – & if possible, even briefly describe a project you worked on with links to access this.
- Personal Projects – A lot of employers are really interested to find out what technologies you may engage with outside of studying or work. Do you have access to GitLab or Github with active repositories – would you feel comfortable showing them off? This is honestly one of the most effective tools to grab an employer’s attention.
What isn’t relevant?
- I appreciate during your university period you have probably worked in a non-related IT position. I definitely recommend putting that in somewhere too as it shows you have work ethic – but please don’t go overboard. You are applying for an IT related role not for another opportunity at a clothing store, or a restaurant… I hope!
Now, hopefully this has helped at least give you a general idea for what to write if you’re struggling. If you want to talk about this blog, or just for a chat you can get me through the usual channels or on 0141 404 3757.
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