CV writing for software testers

I wrote up this article on LinkedIn and thought to share it here on my blog too — so here we go. CV writing for software testers.

I was thinking about acts of kindness and what I could do to help other people. So one of the things that I did is put out a message on LinkedIn to see if software testers wanted a CV review, help with a personal development plan or simply be a person who will listen to them. I was expecting perhaps a handful of people to respond, however, it exploded. 100+ people have requested for their CV to be reviewed.

What I thought to do is create a short article on CV writing basics to help other people. There are lots of different formats/styles/opinions on CV writing, so I asked in the Test Chat Community for thoughts on collaborating on this. Thank you to Mahesh Mallikarjunaiah and Brijesh Deb who have helped create this guide with me.

Top Tip 1 — Keep your CV to 1 to 2 pages.

Keep the length short. Hiring managers/recruiters look at a lot of the CVs, so you want to keep it short and to the point.

Top Tip 2- Spelling and grammar

Spelling mistakes and grammar problems is a bit sloppy, so make sure you put your CV through a spelling and grammar check. One way to use this is put your CV into google docs and run the spelling and grammar check.

Top Tip 3 — Remove your personal information.

We have seen a lot of CVs that have personal data in them — dates of birth, marital status, full addresses. Hiring managers don’t need any of this information to assess you. Delete it! It’s taking up space in your CV.

Top Tip 4 — Have a good Summary

We have see a lot of CVs that do not have a good starting line. A few lines about yourself — what are you up to at the moment and what you are looking for. Why do you want a new role? What excites you about a software tester role or moving to a new role — is it for career growth? Happy customers?

Top Tip 5 — Achievements

Write down your achievements. What are you really proud of? Is it completing a particular training course? Did you release a feature under tight deadlines? Once you have these, put these on your CV. It is good if you can add numbers such as I helped reduce the regression cycle by 2 days.

Top Tip 6 — Read the job description carefully and tailor your CV

Have a base version of your CV which gives an insight into a bit of everything about you. Then tailor your base CV based on the job description. Include the keywords based on the job description.

Top Tip 7 — Keep Work Experience short

Do not write long descriptions about what the company does or pages of what you did there. Hiring managers don’t have time to read it all — go back to top 4 and think about your achievements.

Top Tip 8 — Add a skills section on your CV

Add one word line of your skills e.g. Agile Testing, Test Automation etc.

Top Tip 9 — Use methods like STAR or SBI to describe your projects/work experience

For describing your projects/work experience use the STAR (Situation Task Action Result) or the SBI (Situation Behaviour Impact) method. STAR is my personal favourite. This way you can describe your work experience in no more than 5–6 sentences. This allows you to be precise in describing your work experience. Also remember quantified results have a greater impact such as 15% reduction in production bugs or 10% increase in deployment speed. That shows you are an achiever and not a doer.

Top Tip 10 — Check out recruitment websites, company websites, referrals or reaching out on LinkedIn

This is not related to CV writing, however, we want to include this to help you on your search. We would recommend Instahyre, glassdoor, linkedin, indeed, bigshyft, hirist, neuvoo, company websites or the best via referrals or directly reaching out to hr in linkedin

Top Tip 11 — Keep Information Confidential

Keep client names/project names anonymous. That way you are not sharing any confidential information. For example for Amazon you can use the world’s largest retail business or for AT&T you could use the largest telecom provider in the US.

Collaborators of this document

Melissa Fisher — https://www.linkedin.com/in/melissajfisher/

Mahesh Mallikarjunaiah — https://www.linkedin.com/in/maheshma

Brijesh Deb — https://www.linkedin.com/in/debbrijesh/

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