21 January 2022

How to write a compelling CV

The Power of the CV

It may sound obvious, but when it comes to job hunting, your CV is very important. It's your first chance to make an impression on a potential employer and the first step to getting the role you want. A well-written, properly structured and engaging CV can make the difference between an invitation to interview and a rejection at the first sift.

General Tips

  • The one page rule. Unless you are a junior candidate with little experience to write about, we do not recommend this. The length of your CV depends on the experience you have but we suggest 2-4 pages
  • Presentation. Keep the layout simple, consistent, logically and chronologically ordered and avoid over designing it with boxes and columns
  • Always tailor your CV towards each job and be honest about your abilities
  • Always add your full contact details, education and qualifications
  • Spell check, grammar check, proof read and spell check it again

Where to begin?

1. Profile Summary
Crafting a concise and strong profile summary at the start of your CV is a great way to begin. It should summarise your career, your strengths and give a broad indication of the role you would like to secure. In the old days it would form a cover letter but we recommend you include this at the start of your CV as an engaging introduction about your abilities and career aspirations.

Once complete, this section should be tailored for each job you apply to once you’ve established what the job entails and how you match each requirement.


An enthusiastic and highly experience Software Engineer with 11 years’ experience in embedded C/C++ and 4 years’ in Java.

I completed my BSc (Computer Science) at Edinburgh University in 2003 and am currently studying towards my Prince2 Practioner exam.

I have a keen interest in innovative emerging technology trends and good human interface design principals and after 5 years at Never Software in Glasgow, I am seeking a new position that will allow me to combine both my low level C programming experience and my skills in managing projects.

I have experience of working within both Agile and Waterfall methodologies and have led and mentored a small team of 3 Software Engineers since 2011. I consistently meet project deadlines, sometimes working under extreme pressure to get the job done on time. I have also received numerous commendations throughout my career for completing projects on, or under, budget.

In my current position I am required to work on projects end to end, acting as both Software Engineer and Project Manager working closely with clients. I particularly enjoy this aspect of my job and am aiming to secure a Senior Software Engineer role where I will have this broad spectrum of responsibilities.

2. Education and Qualifications

Prince2 Practioner / due 2014
Conflict Resolution, The Conflict Resolution Company, London / 2009
British Computer Society Member (MBCS) / 2008
University of Edinburgh, Scotland – BSc (Hons) : Computer Science / 1998 – 2003 St Andrews High School, Scotland / 1993 – 1998

3. Technical Skills

Be honest and only list technologies you have commercial experience with.

Programming Languages Libraries/Frameworks Scripting Languages Operating Systems Databases Methodologies

: C, C++, Java
: STL (Standard Template Library), COM and OOPS concepts: Unix Shell Script, Perl
: Linux, HP Unix, Solaris, Windows
: SQL, INGRES, MS Access, Flat Files
: Agile

4. Career History
Use assertive and positive language in this section and try to relate the skills you have acquired to the job you are applying to. Always list:

  • the company name and a brief description of the business and include a link to their website
  • your title
  • dates of your employment
  • your responsibilities
  • any major achievements


Software Engineer

Jan 09 – present

Description: Never Software provides software solutions to the Oil & Gas industry and has offices in

Glasgow and London. www.neversoftware.co.uk


  • Designed and developed software in C and C++ for multiple client projects across the UK working in an Agile environment
  • Mentored a team of 3 junior Software Engineers, conducting yearly performance reviews
  • Testing development of scripts using PL or SQL, UNIX
  • Involved in partial automation of the tools given by client to synchronise with project requirements.
  • Involved in debugging and testing of the application.
  • Interacted with business owners for collecting business requirements
  • Analysing the results and communicating status with the client
  • Supporting the testing team in solving the issues and setting the environment.....etc


  • Contribution to strategic planning and long-term business development
  • Software design of new products and their positive impact on the company or their clients
  • Implementing new development process in to the company ie: Agile
  • Project management and the subsequent financial success
  • Staff management or leadership towards a company goal

5. Interests
Noting down a few non-work activities can be a good way to demonstrate your dedication, personality and culture fit.

IT related groups you participate in, a non-profit cause you do voluntary work for, athletic activities, etc

6. References
You can list details for your referees on your CV. We would always seek your approval prior to contacting them.

Be-IT’s Trends, Intentions & Salary Benchmarks 2024

Whether you’re looking for a role or looking for a raise, looking to hire tech talent or looking to keep your team intact, our annual Salary Benchmark and Market Insight Report is essential reading.

We’ve collated data from our survey, aggregated the figures with our CV database and cross-referenced the results against the best market benchmarks. The result is vital insight into salaries and day rates for a range of roles – equipping you with vital knowledge for whatever you want to do next. All we need is a few details:

Salary gate
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