NOTE: We have since written a more comprehensive blog post on the topic of creating the perfect software engineer resume. Read that post first, and consider this blog post as additional information.

My name is Luis Augusto and I work as a Senior IT Recruiter at X-Team. This blog post will pull back the recruitment curtain and tell you what CVs and X-Team Profiles catch my eye and why they do so. Read this post in combination with How to Make Your X-Team Profile Stand Out and you should have a serious leg up in the race for a job.

If you're an experienced developer who wants to join X-Team but hasn't created an X-Team Profile yet, go to our For Developers page and click "Join X-Team".

Consider Your Value First

Before we dive deep into the specific points that make a CV or an X-Team Profile stand out, let's talk fundamentals first. Whether you're unemployed or employed, when you're looking for a job, you want change. You want a better salary, a better job title, a better company, a better industry, etc. That's why, first and foremost, you need to think about the value you bring to the table.

Merriam-Webster defines value as relative worth, utility, or importance. Many of the things you have thought, said, and done in the past have value. Before you read guides on how to build the perfect CV, shoot DMs left and right, and start applying everywhere, first consider the value you can add to your dream role, company, or industry.

7 Tips to Make Your CV Stand Out

Once you understand the value you can bring to a role, the next question becomes: How do you show that value to a recruiter in the best way possible? Well, look at it from the point of view of a recruiter. They are working with Customer A who wants Person B with background C and skills D, E, F, etc.

Even in the tech industry, many recruiters don't have a technological background. While they know enough to fulfill Customer A's request, they might not know how to code and they certainly won't be experts in the many different technologies their customers request. That's impossible.

This is an important point, because it places some of the responsibility of making your CV as understandable as possible on you, the applicant. It's my first tip in making your CV or X-Team Profile as good as possible:

  1. The people who read your CV/Profile might not be technical. Present your Profile in such a way the recruiter understands the value you bring to the role. For example: you're a backend developer applying for a backend job that requires Node and Express. Your CV only mentions Express. There's a chance the recruiter doesn't quite know about the link between Node and Express. So you might as well mention Node on your Profile, just in case. Better safe than sorry.
  2. What language should you write your bio in? Your native language? English? Klingon? The answer will depend on the company you're applying for, but you can't really go wrong with English. If you have your CV in your native language, great, but create a solid English version too. In terms of what you should write in your bio, don't copy-paste (we can tell). Tell us your story instead. What makes you you? What's your value and what makes you unique? Whatever feels natural usually works.
  3. Don't lie. It's a recruiter's job to tell the liars from those who tell the truth. So be truthful and accurate. If you say that you love to work on open-source projects in your free time, but your GitHub profile is empty, that's a red flag. If you say you have ten years of backend experience in a technology that has only existed for eight, that's a red flag too.
  4. While there's an argument in favor of simplifying your CV, don't swing to the other end and oversimplify it either. Don't say you're a Software Developer or Software Engineer when you could say you're a Native Mobile Developer with experience in Kotlin, Android, and Swift. Be explicit with your value.
  5. Except for your bio, where you can tell us your story, stay on topic in the other areas of your CV/Profile. Don't add details where they don't matter. We don't need to know the company you worked for was founded in 1998. Instead, we need to know about the problems you faced, how you solved them, why you solved them, and which technologies you used to do so.
  6. Tell recruiters what you want. Particularly for X-Team Profiles, where you have access to many different jobs, recruiters sometimes contact interesting Profiles without them having applied for a role. It saves us a lot of time if you explain in your Profile what type of role you're looking for. If you were a Mobile Developer, but now you're looking for JavaScript Roles, let us know in your Profile. It will save both of us a lot of time.
  7. Be responsible for your online persona. There's no getting around it; recruiters read the things you post online. If we spot you cursing people on LinkedIn, that's a red flag. If we see you've written disrespectful, angry blog posts about previous companies or recruiters, that's a red flag too. The difference in quality between candidates almost always boils down to character. Make sure your online persona reflects the best version of you.

I hope that these 7 tips have given you some insight into how you can make your CV or X-Team Profile stand out. Best of luck in your search for a job and may the X be with you.