Why your tech CV sucks
And here's how we can help
You are a liar
People lie to recruiters because they know we’re stupid and liars as well. So that makes it OK, does it?
You need to meet my goddaughter’s mother; she founded the biggest CV-checking business in the country. For a few dozen quid they will check the facts and look for gaps. This isn’t high-tech privacy invasion, that’s too expensive, but they do check your qualifications, your history of employment as well as your credit history and Google you a bit. They have simple procedures because they’re cheap and if what you say doesn’t exactly match what they see then you get flagged.
It’s my fault and your problem
As above, I am apparently not worth the truth. But you need to be consistent in your contempt for me. I’m too ignorant to spot that BSD is a form of Unix, or that GCC can compile C++, and I’m buzzword driven. Managers give them to me and I type them into a search field. One day soon the clients will do that without me being involved at all. If you want a job, don’t make me think too hard because I can’t.
Your education is pitiful
Why do you think I care that you went to the top engineering school in Australia? That might be true, but you need to understand that I’m prejudiced as well as stupid. I have formed extremely negative views about Fordham in New York and Reading in the UK and good views about other places. Some of my opinions are no doubt entirely wrong, out of date and spiteful, but you just make yourself look desperate by saying your university is good.
For better or worse we have a global labour market, and I approve of this and have scorn for dimwit arts graduates like Theresa May, who doesn’t even seem to be able to implement an immigration policy competently. But it’s the law, so if you were born in a different country to the one you want to work in, or have a name that makes that a question, put the fact that you can legally work here right at the top. Some people born here resent that advice. Fine, I resent having to give it, but my job is to tell it like it is.
You need to get your CV read by a native English speaker. This game uses a specialist dialect and things that look good in essays look dumb in CVs. That advice unfortunately also applies to many native speakers as well - buy a beer for a mate and hand him your CV.
Lastly, I’m greedy
My job is recruitment. To get a job, harness my lust for cash by providing me with good ammunition. I'll put it another way: learning Apache Struts with Java is about 20 times as much work as fixing your CV even though the latter pays back more. ®
Dominic Connor is a tech headhunter in the City of London. If you want to send him your black and blue CV, you'll need to find him first.