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James Mitchell, Associate Director for Calibre Search, specialises in recruiting Java Developers within the IT market and we enlisted him to put some tips together to help people like you with your CV. Read on to find out how to create a CV that will help you stand out from the crowd and really impress employers.



James Mitchell 0113 234 6047 - Associate Director at Calibre Search IT


1. Match yourself to the job specification 

Your personal profile is a chance to show how your previous experience makes you the right person for the job (if you’re not sure on this have a look at the ‘Job Description’ – our developer job adverts can be found here) by matching yourself to the job specification. It's worth investing time on this summary, because it could be your only chance to grab the employer's attention. If your specific objective is relocation, for example, but you don't mention this explicitly in your CV, you could be dismissed when they see your address is out of commuting range.

2. Give context

When writing your CV, give the skills some context – a list of Frameworks/Application Servers will lead to recruiters calling you, but the interview requests come from your skills being given some perspective. On a similar note, do the same thing with your projects – give them some background: your role, tech stack used and the outcome. It should read as what you have personally achieved while at that company.

3. Get the structure sorted

Keep your CV succinct and relevant – the work you did 35 years ago has little bearing on what you are doing today. Three to four pages will suffice, and always mention your responsibilities; ‘I’, not ‘we’. Your education history should always be at the bottom of your CV, unless you have recently graduated or have some qualifications that are particularly relevant to the role you are applying to. Oh, and never write in third person unless you want to be universally judged.

4. Your skills can pay the bills

Remember to mention soft skills. If your role requires a level of stakeholder management or bringing teams together then be sure to mention it, it could be important in your next role. Your hobbies and interests can be significant too – we all have friends (well, most of us) and telling the reader you enjoy socialising with them isn’t really considered a hobby. Take this opportunity to genuinely say what your interests are outside of work.

5. Clean it up

It sounds obvious, but you would be surprised how often we see it – your National Insurance number should remain private, you should not have this on your CV. Also, references are only needed at offer stage – if you’re approached by a recruiter who needs them as ‘part of their process’ you should be aware that it isn’t necessary to provide them at this stage.

Still stuck?

Don't worry, the art of CV writing is a tricky one. Our specialist IT consultants are experts when it comes to writing a great CV, and we're just on the other end of the phone – you can phone us on 01132346047 – alternatively my email address is and our developer jobs page can be found here.

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