What should go in my CV?

My situation probably isn’t all that rare. Since graduating university I’ve had only two jobs. This means I can’t show off a long list of roles, and how I was valuable in each one. That’d be a pretty short CV.

MyBuilder, June 2012 – January 2014

  • Was a key part of the team that migrated project to Symfony2
  • Designed and implemented voucher code system
  • Wrote hundreds of unit tests to ensure easy maintenance, now and in the future

BEA Solutions, June 2010 – June 2011

  • Wrote stock management system, for companies to track and sell stock
  • Integrated this with a custom e-commerce system
  • Created customer management portal

And it’s really boring.

Instead, I like to tell much more of a story. I have a tone in my writing which I know some people like. And surely I want to be working with people who enjoy the way I write? They’ll be reading an awful lot of my writing, so we best start off with it up front.

I really feel like this shows more about me than the above version.

MyBuilder.com – Software Engineer June 2012 – January 2014

Symfony2, intensive refactoring, Postgres, Varnish, TDD, DDD, JavaScript.

I joined MyBuilder just as they were migrating from Symfony 1.4 to Symfony2. So I was a core part of the team that rewrote the application from the ground up; Symfony2 and MVC architecture is second nature now.

Refactoring overly complex code was a key responsibility for me, and making a 200 line controller into a 5 line controller wouldn’t be possible without the hundreds tests I’d written.

As a true startup, MyBuilder allowed me to touch other areas of the business when I felt I could be of help. In my time there, I’ve helped with marketing activities, recruiting, product design, and leading a small project or two.

I entered this position as a junior developer, but definitely left with a wealth of experience with teams, project management, and most important being a cleaner coder.

It’s a good bit longer (which many people would see as a negative), but surely that shows a lot more about my personality. That’s what I want an employer to care about most. I’ve managed to get across where my experience lies, but also that I’m passionate. The last paragraph is pragmatically useless, it’s only there because it adds a bit of my personality and how much I care about progression.

I feel like there should be a ‘In my spare time’ section, but I’m not sure what to put in there. I’ve seen job advertisements saying "please don’t bother sending us you’re CV if you’ve written ‘I like going to the cinema’." But I do like going to the cinema! And I’m quite passionate about other mediocre things too: reading, podcasts, board games, photography. If employers look down on those things, I may as well just miss out that subject entirely.

So, I guess that’s my CV.

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