Selling the Story of You: Transform Your Graduate Tech CV

Last year was one of the hardest years to be a tech graduate searching for work. The uncertainty of covid coupled with the financial crash left very little in terms of job opportunities. As life slowly settles into a new normal and job opportunities open, it’s time to go out and get that job.

The prospect of finding work as a new graduate can be daunting, the first place to start is with a strong CV. Ideally the interviewer will be able to read your CV from top to bottom and be left wanting to read the sequel.

So, consider your current CV as a first draft, and get to selling the story of you.

Setting the Scene

They say don’t judge a book by its cover, but this is your chance to showcase your creativity and demand attention.

Tech startups and scaleups are less likely to take risks during their hiring process and will want to see a demonstration of your technical abilities, so, if they can gauge this from your CV then you are automatically opening doors.

There are some innovative CV formats out there that get the attention of tech companies. From designing your own website, interactive QR codes or even making your CV into a game; there are many unique ways to demonstrate both your tech ability and passion.

Consider this to be the opening pages of a book, you need to set the scene and keep your employer turning the pages.

QR code CV

Introduce your Character

Like in any good story, you need a protagonist, and in this case it’s you. On average, employers will spend no longer than 5-10 seconds looking at your CV, along with the use of ATS (Application Tracking Systems) to filter out CV’s that don’t match certain criteria. If they can’t pick out those key words or relevant programming languages, then they will move on to the next candidate.

 Many tech candidates find using a rating system useful to help illustrate their confidence in using a variety of programming languages. Websites like Vennage and Easel.ly offer a simple way of creating personalized infographics, great at lifting data from the page.

Game CV

Companies are looking for young tech minds to come on board and challenge traditional ways of working. Providing links to any online portfolios, Github projects, or websites showcases your creativity. You will find that as your portfolio grows, your CV will grow with it.

It’s never easy to make that step from student to graduate, so by creating a continually evolving body of work that you can link through QR codes or hyperlinks, you are creating a unique portfolio for a prospective employer.

Top 4 most common skills (sample of 1720 Software Engineer CV’s)

Making the Most of the In-Between

If every chapter in a book had non-stop action, there would be no room for character development; this notion also applies to your CV. Many graduates fret over career gaps on their CV, but in the current climate these are inevitable.

Instead of trying to cover these gaps use this as an opportunity to let your personality shine through. Maybe you took the initiative to participate in online courses or attend webinars. Did you learn a language or a new skill? It could be interesting to compile a ‘Lockdown Portfolio’ documenting any work from this time to really help you stand out to an employer.

Personal developments are just as important as technical developments. Did you start a new sport, like running? Perhaps you volunteered for a charity or took up a new hobby. Although these skills aren’t directly relevant in a tech company, to a potential employer, extracurricular activities demonstrate that you’re self-motivated and help showcase you.

Top 4 most common skills (sample of 377 Data Scientist CV’s)

All Good Stories Must End

By the time the employer reaches the end of your CV they should feel as if they know what you can bring to their company. Use this final chapter to reiterate why you are the person they need, don’t make the mistake of telling them why the job is perfect for you, instead make it clear why you are perfect for the job.

The tech market is competitive and finding work as a graduate can feel intimidating, but a solid CV is the first step to getting your foot in the door.

Captivated by the story of you, the employer will finish reading and reach for the phone, inviting you to your happily ever after.

If you’d like career advice or want to learn more about the opportunities available in tech, don’t hesitate to get in touch with our Director Alan Furley who has valuable experience working with graduates in the tech market:  0117 428 0600.

Information Technology