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Bootcamp Highlights: CV 101, Victoria University

By Ella Halstead
May 8 2019

Posted in Blog

What you need to know:

Your CV needs to convey these key things: who you are, what you want to do, what you can do for them and why you’re interested in them.

Jaymesh and Harriet walked us through how to write a CV and what you need to do to get your foot in the door for an interview.

What was covered?

– What is the purpose of a CV?

– How do you make sure people read your CV?

– What does a good CV look like?

What is the purpose of a CV?

The average recruiter spends 6 seconds deciding if they want to read further so we need to catch their attention and keep it for as long as possible. CVs are your first impression and they’re the first contact that the person reading the CVs will probably have with you. Jobs are connected to people so if you can have an interaction with someone before they read your CV you will be way more likely to get to the top of the pile.

Meetups are a great place to meet, and talk to, employers. You need to let the person reading your CV what you’re good at and what you enjoy. A quick tip for you, if you say that you are passionate about coding make sure you are super passionate about coding because we see people who say they are passionate about coding all of the time but then we can’t see that passion throughout their CV.

Your CV is only the starting points so once someone has read your CV and they’re interested you then have to prove what you said in your CV. Most employers will look at your GitHub to see what you’ve done. Having personal projects where you take the opportunity to learn or participate in open source project will reinforce what you’ve said in your CV.

Who’s Reading your CV? The answer is bots, HR and recruiters. So how do you tailor your CV for them, the easier you make their jobs the better.


While bots aren’t commonly used in NZ they are used overs seas to filter through a large amount of CVs. The easiest way to get through the bot filter is to use keywords, especially the key words used in the job advert.


They’re making sure that you meet the jobs description, that you are worth putting in front of the recruiter. The best way to do this is to tailor your CV for each job you apply for so it only takes HR a very short amount of time to put you in the next pile.

The Recruiter

This might be someone who is responsible for hiring applicants or might even be the team lead for the position that you are applying for. You want to make sure that you prove to them that you deserve an interview. So how do you do that? What does a good CV look like?

Before we can go into what your CV needs to look like we first have to look at what a normal CV includes. A normal CV will list the things you have done, the jobs you have had and the result you have achieved. So what’s wrong with this? Why doesn’t it work? It’s because it doesn’t tell them what you’re good at! The other thing we need to mention is that you should never use the Careers CV builder, we have seen so many of them and they limit what you can say. So what do they want to hear from you?

What do you need to put in your CV?

– Describe what you can do for them

– Why do you want to work for them?

– What are you good at?

– What are your core skills?

– Use synonyms of key words from the job listing

If you’re a designer don’t be afraid to go wild with your CV, show off your skills. If you’re a developer and you think you could code it, code it! Take the opportunity to show the employer what you can do.

What does a good CV have?

– Your CV should be 1-2 pages

– A personal promise, who you are and what you want to do

– A technical skills summery of 4-5 skills. With proof!

– A qualification summary

– Career history including personal projects

– References* *Only put references on your CV for summer of tech. For all other applications you should state that references are available on request. This is so that you have time to let your references know that someone will be calling.

If you can fit your CV on one page you should, there is something very satisfying about reading a concise one page CV.

How should you describe your skills? You should always try and use OAAR, it not only shows that you are capable of setting goals but also that you can reflect on your performance, even if it didn’t go as planned. Here’s a quick breakdown or OAAR: – Objectives: What were the goals? – Analysis: What analysis did it take? – Actions: What action did you take? – Results: What were the results, even if they weren’t positive what did you learn? OAAR shows behaviours that lead to core competencies, thats exactly what employers are looking for; experience! In other words what did you learn (the skill), through what actions (proof), to prove what result? Try to include 2-3 technical skills as well as 1 or 2 people skills, remember that the order is important.

A final message: The number one predictor of someone being successful in their application was gong to these workshops. The more workshops you attend the more contact you have with employers and the more experience you get.

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