1. Steps to take before drafting your CV
  2. CV layout
  3. What to do if you have no work experience
  4. Including your salary expectations
  5. Looking for openings
  6. Going through a job interview

Steps to take before drafting your CV

Outline your career track. This is your personal career development path, from your starting point to the desired position. Each step on the path is a specific role with a list of essential competencies and experiences. With the outline, you can evaluate your skills and decide if you need to upgrade any of them to level up in your career. For instance, to transfer from a junior to a senior data scientist, you will need not only longer working experience, but also knowledge of a great number of libraries and algorithms.

Make a list of potential employers and vacancies. Compare your expectations from the job to the requirements of your desired companies. Then choose the most compatible options – the ones where you meet the greatest number of criteria. You can look for open positions on dedicated websites or social media pages, at university career centers, or by reaching out to your friend network.

It’s Your Call! educational forum. Credit: Dmitry Grigoryev / ITMO.NEWS

It’s Your Call! educational forum. Credit: Dmitry Grigoryev / ITMO.NEWS

CV layout

Another role, another CV. Your desired position should be stated at the start of your CV. According to Anna Vyazovich from Sberbank’s digital talent acquisition department, HR specialists are aware that students wish to try their hand at different things – and thus apply for different positions. However, it is important that your CV is tailored to a particular position. If you are applying for the role of a mobile developer but would be happy to test software, too, don’t just list these positions in one CV: instead, prepare a separate document for each position.

Include your contact info: full name, email, phone number, and another way to reach you – maybe, your Telegram account. Make sure to use your name or parts of it in your email address and match the language of your CV to the language used in the vacancy announcement. Save your CV as a PDF file.

Include a recent picture of you. This will help the HR manager evaluating your CV to form their first impression of you. The picture itself should be somewhere in the middle between a passport picture and an informal picture you’d use for your social media. Speaking of social media, it can be good to set a similar picture for your profile there to help HR managers find you online.

Describe your education. First, include information about higher education: the name of your university, your graduation date, and specialization. Then, list any additional training you received, such as schools, workshops, or courses that equipped you with relevant skills.

List your relevant work experience in chronological order. Apart from mentioning the name of the company and your job title, briefly list your responsibilities on the job. If you switched specializations and your actual responsibilities didn’t match your job description, your employer should know about it. Importantly, if your experience is irrelevant (e.g., you worked as a waiter but are now applying for an IT position), it might be better to omit it in your CV. 

It’s Your Call! educational forum. Credit: Dmitry Grigoryev / ITMO.NEWS

It’s Your Call! educational forum. Credit: Dmitry Grigoryev / ITMO.NEWS

What to do if you have no work experience

  • hard skills that will be helpful in your future work. You can start learning such skills by doing freelance jobs; working on pet projects or studying the relevant development tools (programming languages, algorithms, and other services) on your own; participating in hackathons, contests, and competitions; or applying for internships. Add links to your projects (using GitHub, for instance), diplomas and certificates that confirm your achievements, and describe what sort of problems you’ve solved and the results that you achieved during an internship or a hackathon.
  • soft skills with the description of specific cases where you used them. A good example would be leading your team to victory in a hackathon as its captain. This case shows the potential employer that you are good at teamwork, management, task allocation, and leadership.
  • what interests you about the job. Describe your motivation as concisely as possible. Explain why you are interested in working for this particular company and what are the goals that you want to pursue there. For instance, you want to grow from a junior to a mid-level developer over the next three years. Tell the recruiter how and using which skills you plan to achieve that.

It’s Your Call! educational forum. Credit: Dmitry Grigoryev / ITMO.NEWS

It’s Your Call! educational forum. Credit: Dmitry Grigoryev / ITMO.NEWS

Including your salary expectations

There is no single definitive answer to whether you should put salary expectations on your resume. According to Anna Vyazovich, it is best to avoid that, especially if you are just applying for an internship. After all, different companies can vary greatly in their expectations. There is a chance of either under- or overselling yourself, which will lead to your resume being dismissed.

However, if after doing some research by looking into the job market and getting an idea of the average salary in your field, you are confident in your skill level, then you can go ahead and add salary requirements to your resume, says Elizaveta Lavrova, an IT Recruiter at Sberbank’s HR Department.

Looking for openings

Employment websites such as HeadHunter are your main tool when looking for a job opening. Company websites are another good option, for instance, Sberbank’s website lists job opportunities for both beginners and experienced specialists. Such web pages often offer additional information and have exclusive job postings. Some openings can be found via social media communities. 

If you are acquainted with someone who works at the company you are applying to, you can ask them for a letter of recommendation. This could ingratiate you to the HR, while the employee who recommended you may receive a bonus if you are hired.

It’s Your Call! educational forum. Credit: Dmitry Grigoryev / ITMO.NEWS

It’s Your Call! educational forum. Credit: Dmitry Grigoryev / ITMO.NEWS

Going through a job interview

  • Before an online interview, make sure that your camera and microphone are functioning properly.
  • Follow a business casual dress code, and be polite with the HR specialist.
  • Do not hesitate to ask questions, and find out if you can use the internet before starting on the test task.
  • The interview can take a while, so it is generally a good idea to have a glass of water nearby so that you can reach it without interrupting the conversation.
  • In case you get sick, write to the HR specialist and request to reschedule.
  • If your interview wasn’t successful, don’t get frustrated and keep applying for other jobs. The more interviews you go through, the more experienced and well-prepared you will become.