• Andy Paul

    Thanks John, I’m finding your recent posts very useful since I’m looking for a Junior DBA job right now.  Number 4 is a very good point (I implemented this which saved the company £x vs. here is a description of my job).  Unfortunately it will require a re-write of a large chunk of my CV since I’ve done the job description thing really (doh!).  Thanks for the great info; looking forward to your next post.

    Andy 

    • http://www.johnsansom.com/ John Sansom

      Hi Andy, that’s great! I’m delighted that:

      1. someone is actually reading my blog and 
      2. it’s actually helpful :-)

      Writing a CV that demonstrates your value as a professional does indeed take some time and effort but then the payback of getting the job you want undoubtedly makes it all worthwhile.Best of luck with your job search sir and thanks for your comments!

  • http://twitter.com/SamuelVanga Samuel Vanga

    Hey John, I like the two page max, but it may be a tough one unless you are a geek with like lot of experience. Speacially when dealing with non-technical recruiters, they might just say the other guy’s CV is better becasue it is long :) It might not even be sent to the client.

    And, Sure people actually read your blog, lots of them actually. Not that you need reassuarnce though!

    ~Samuel.

    • http://www.johnsansom.com/ John Sansom

      Fantastic news Samuel! That’s now two confirmed readers we have here then ;-)

      I’m glad you highlighted my point of setting a two page maximum limit, I probably passed over the point too quickly.

      I appreciate what you are saying my good sir. Considering a re-write of a CV to demonstrate value to the reader can be quite a mind shift at first. That’s a good thing of course! It means we’re thinking differently about writing a CV, which is what we want. As technical folks we are naturally logically minded and so tend to communicate our value in technical terms too. In doing so we end up communicating to the reader the ‘how’ of delivering value as opposed to ‘what’ that value actually is.

      For those folks who don’t have a lot of previous technical experience to call upon, it need not be an issue. Value is not only demonstrable through our technical skills as Data Professionals. See my post 10 Character Traits of Outstanding DBAs for examples.

      Expanding the point of target readership further, consider that the audience of a CV is quite likely to be a non-technical person, a hiring manager perhaps or a recruiter, rather than a fellow data professional. If technical content becomes too low level or does not demonstrate value then it will likely be lost on the reader. I like to advise folks to author their CV with their potential audience in mind and that it likely contains some variety. All readers should be able to understand and see the clear value communicated through a resume.

      An excellent way to test the effectiveness of your CV at communicating your value is to give it to someone (who’s honest opinion you trust, you want constructive critic hence so your mum may not be a wise choice) who works in a completely different market to you. Sure they will not necessarily recognise direct references to technology specifics but your value should still be clear to them.

      Phew! A longer than intended reply perhaps but you raised some excellent questions.

      Thanks for your comments.

    • Perry

      My cv is 3 pages long and I’ve never had a problem securing a contract. Incidentally CVs don’t win the interview. You could have the best cv but if you can’t impress face to face then you’re not likely to be offered the job

      Regards Perry

  • http://vincepergolizzi.myopenid.com/ Vince Pergolizzi

    Hi John,

    Great post – I definitely agree about keeping it concise. I keep my own CV to 1 page, very streamlined and focused. No fluff.

    • http://www.johnsansom.com/ John Sansom

      Thanks Vince!

      That’s a super concise CV you have there sir, good stuff. I bet it achieves great results for you.

  • http://twitter.com/anishkumarck Anish Kumar CK

     Hi John,

    Nice and great article.The “KISS” magic :) I mean “Keep It Simple
    Stupid” , really works as per my experience.Producing a simple CV with
    our knowledge, is more than enough to get a new job.Great
    article!!Enjoyed and Hats off to you .

    Thanks,

    Anish

    • http://www.johnsansom.com/ John Sansom

      Thanks Anish!

  • Brandon Leach

    I tend to forgo the traditional skills section in my CV. I prefer instead to list them in with my experience.  I find this allows employers to see not just what tools/technology I’m familiar with but also how I’ve applied them to my work.

    • http://www.johnsansom.com/ John Sansom

      Agreed, I think that can be an excellent approach for the right role/reader.

      Out of interest, do you tend to use a one case fits all CV or tweak it dependant on the role?

  • Carlos B Vasquez

    Just simple enough to be prepared for the next job interview, I like this approach, KISS (e.g. Keep it Simple Stupid).

    • http://www.johnsansom.com John Sansom

      Thanks Carlos, glad to help.

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  • Ashvini

    Hi John,

    My question is regarding ‘sequence of contents’.
    The contents of resume includes below point,
    1. personal information
    2. education
    3. technical skill sets
    4. work experience
    5. role and responsibilities
    6. personal certification
    7. college project done

    Which sequence should we fallow to write winning resume?
    Thanks,

    Regard,
    Ashvini

    • http://www.johnsansom.com John Sansom

      Ashvini, ooh that’s a great question!

      I would say that it’s a commonly accepted practice for Personal Information to be the very first content section on a resume. What follows however, I think depends on a combination of your own personal preference and any industry specific practices. With this in mind I don’t think there is a winning formula per say for content ordering. My advice, do prioritise by your biggest selling points. It should be easy for the reader to immediately see why you’re the right person for the position on offer.

      I wonder what other readers think?

      For interests sake, here’s the content order for my own latest resume:

      1. Personal Information
      2. Personal Statement
      3. Key Achievements
      4. Key Skills
      5. Career History – Past 3 organisations worked for or past 5 years worth experience
      6. Education – Institutions and Certifications

      To get some more advice on resume writting, you might enjoy watching the recent Resume Tune Up webcast from Brent Ozar and the PLF Team about resume writing here.

  • IJ

    Articles like this are fine, but what comes across is that there is an awful lot of information to get into two pages.

    An example CV would be a fantastic addition (Doesnt have to be a real one), probably as valuable than the article itself.

    • http://www.johnsansom.com John Sansom

      I understand why it may seem that way at first however, if you feel there is too much information to get into two pages then perhaps there is! In other words you need to get more specific. Refining your own individual message and communicating your value is something that is unique to each person. It’s also because of this that I deliberately chose not to provide an example CV. The temptation to simply lift it and use as a template would be too great, thereby detracting from the posts message.

      Thanks for your comments.

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  • winsten

    Thanks for the tips John. While I can manage to write a decent resume, I find it really hard to format it and make it look good. MS Word is just difficult to work with.Lately, I’ve been using http://cvmkr.com to format my resume. Thought I’d leave a tip for anyone who’d fine it useful.

    • http://www.johnsansom.com John Sansom

      That’s a novel tip Winsten and if it gets results for you great! Thanks for sharing.

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  • Kulle Daba

    Thank you for your very important info. I just saw your blog today and found it interesting. I am looking for a position in SQL DBA/Developer, as a new career I just developed. However, there is not any employment notice out there that takes some one with no experience. I believe there should have been some place where new professionals are put into the task and gain experience. It is just a ridiculous career. I did the Microsoft certification and I handle the stuff well. But it is frustrating that there is no way to get in without some years of experience. What is the understanding in the business about this? How can a beginner get opportunity to show his potential, develop his skills and excel?