How to hack your CV: 7 useful tips for students with no work experience

Mar 6, 2020 | Blog

The topic of writing your CV can be actually summed up in one sentence. Include your contact information, professional experience, education, other projects and maybe a few personal interests and you are ready to start applying to jobs. You have certainly heard about these golden rules many times before, but how to make your CV actually goodsucceed among a huge competition and land the position you really want? We have special tips on how to write a perfect CV from Red Hat’s recruiters directly!

Start your CV with a statement

Truth is, recruiters spend just a few moments reading your CV. Good practice is to start it with your personal statement, explaining who you arewhat you do and what you want to focus on moving forward. This is a great introduction that offers the basic essential information. What is more, by explaining your motivation, you might save some time on phone interviews.

Example of an IT student introduction:
“I am a recent graduate of Computer Science at Masaryk University, currently working as a Junior Automation Engineer in Google. My focus is on Python and Linux, which I would like to apply in Quality Engineering. I would like to make the switch from development to testing as it is just the best thing ever.”

Tailor your CV to the job description

Before applying to any position, you should make sure the information in your CV reflects what the job description mentions. Best practice is to emphasize what is relevant to that specific role, even pick up some key words the description uses. The point of your CV is not to list everything you’ve done since high school, rather to sell yourself as an interesting candidate.

Present your results

For each professional experience, list what specifically you worked onskills you gained and your biggest accomplishments. Mentioning just the name of the company and job title does not show your personal contributions.

Write your CV in English

Most of the companies have international employees these days. You might not know what language the recruiter or the hiring manager speaks. By writing your CV in English, you make sure it will not get rejected because no one understands it. At Red Hat, English is used on a daily basis and you can always sign up for language courses to improve! 

Look before you leap

No one wants to read a messy text or look at tacky graphics. Check that your spacing and formatting is uniformal. A disorganized CV might suggest the writer is disorganized himself. Ideally, your CV will present your work also visually. It is fine to try to make it look nice and original, but don’t go crazy.

Pro-tip: That unique CV template which came as a third result on Google? All recruiters have seen it a million times

Have something more than a CV

Web designers have portfolios. Models have Instagram. Jerry has a website. What tools do you have to showcase your work? Perhaps you write a blog or contribute to a community. This is what can differentiate you from all the average candidates and make recruiters think “wait a minute, this person could be fit for something much better”.

Consider LinkedIn

With a CV, you can apply to a position that is interesting for you. With LinkedIn profile, you get the possibility to have roles offered by recruiters. By filling out the sections well, you can influence based on what keywords you will be discovered. Do you want to use Golang and relocate to the Netherlands? Write it down.

All check? Is your CV hacked and ready to impress recruiters in Red Hat now? Ready to apply?

Look at our open positions!

Any questions or comments? Contact Simona at sliptako@redhat.com

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