Category Archives: Technology

Posts about technology related subjects

14 Sections You Need To Check In Your Curriculum Vitae Before Applying For A Job

Experienced at Sri Lanka Job Bank as a project coordinator, and running my own recruitment website and have been working in couple of leading software companies in Sri Lanka; I have been interviewing and reading lot of CVs mostly received from undergraduates and fresh graduates during last few years.

Have been in shoes of both job candidate and recruiting personnel, I can share some tips to prepare a standing out CV ensuring not get it stopped by the trash bin. Please note that this article contain only my personal opinions and it does carry any views of the organizations that I am working for.

The main purpose of a CV is to showcase your qualifications and skills catering to a specific job opportunity in the market. It’s a document to market your capability. In here, I have paid attention to 14 areas most commonly seen in a CV. I am taking them to discuss one by one but not in a particular order. You may have these sections in your CV according to the document design/layout you have chosen.

1. Your Name

Your name should be the heading of the entire document. In here, just use the name that you are using in your day-to-day life. Having the full name same as in your birth certificate is not necessary.

2. Photograph

Including your photograph is an optional choice. If you want to include your photograph in your CV choose a professional looking photograph. A photograph of upper body with a smile or may be a photo taken during when you speak in a stage or a photo taken while you work are ideal choices. Please don’t choose mugshots taken for your identity cards or passports. 🙂

3. Career Summary

Share your career summary, vision and goals here. Make it personal, don’t copy and paste summaries you find in other CVs or in the internet. Don’t go much in details because there are other sections of your CV to explain details. Having few sentences to cover all those things is pretty much enough. Good grammar and spelling is a must!

4. Skills

Share your hard skills that is relevant for the position that you are applying for. Don’t put skills that is irrelevant to the position even though you are good with them. This is the point where you can convince the recruiter or HR personal that you are having a good understanding about the position that you are applying for. Adding few soft skill doesn’t do any harm only if you are really good at them. Putting rating for each skills is not necessary.

5. Contact Details

Mention essential contact information such as your mobile number, email address and city where you live. Mentioning the full postal address is not necessary here. Because nobody will write to your postal address at this stage.

Adding links to your social media profiles is not necessary but showcasing your online presence is advantageful sometimes. Be mindful to add relevant social links such as LinkedIn, Stackoverflow, Hackerrank or any other profiles reflecting your knowledge and skills.

Including links to your project portfolio, personal website, blog or links of your open source contributions such as Github will be a plus point definitely.

6. Personal Information

This is an optional choice to include in your CV. What we mean by personal information in here is details such as full name, birthday, NIC number, passport number, driving license number, nationality, marital status, etc. These information are not important at the early stage of recruitment.

7. Work Experience

Work experience section is to show your permanent, part-time or internship work experience. Make sure you have mentioned employer name, location, designation, period of work and duties and responsibilities (better in point format) of each experience. If your experience or learning outcome beneficial for the next position that you are applying for, explain your duties and responsibilities highlighting them.

If you have multiple experiences, include the most recent ones on the top. Don’t include any experience or position that is irrelevant to the position that you are applying for. Such information just distracts the person who will be reading your CV. Don’t write details about employers.

8. Education

Education section is to show your educational qualifications. Similarly to the Work experience section make sure you have included each educational qualification (degree, diploma or examination), respective institute (university, institute or college) and period of study at each.

When you add multiple educational qualifications, order them by the time of achieve which bringing most recent qulifications on the top. If you have taken really good grades/marks for your certificates mention about them. Otherwise don’t mention marks or grades.

One of the most frequently asked questions is “Do I need to add schools in my CV?”. If you are a recent school leaver, adding about your schools is fine. But in the industries such as IT, they really don’t care about schools if the candidate already have earned a degree or any other higher education qualification.

To be honest we still have the tendency to judge people by their school. Because it reflects a person’s attitudes as well as the social class they have been exposed and grown up. Ugly, but true! So if you are from one of those reputed/branded schools, just mention about them and take the advantage. (just my personal opinion)

9. Projects

Use this section to provide information about project you have involved. Include each project name, description explaining what it is about, period of time and technologies (for technical projects). Don’t forget to sort your multiple projects according to the time period same as work and education information. There are different types of projects such as personal projects, academic group projects/individual projects, professional projects, etc. So don’t forget to mention project type and your contribution to each project. Providing links to get more details about each project is really useful for anybody who care about them.

10. Certifications

Having a separated section for certifications section will bring additional credibility to your profile. There are mainly academic certifications and professional certifications. Keep this section for professional certifications because you have a separated education section to provide academic qualification details.

When you add certification details include crucial information such as certification name, organization, issued date and expiring date of each certificate.

11. Achievements

Having a separate section to telling us about your academic or professional achievements is adding extra colour to your profile. This is section is not mandatory to have in your CV. Please don’t add achievements such as winning sports meet events which is irrelevant to your profession.

12. Hobbies and Interests

This is not a mandatory section to have. If your CV is not lengthy and have enough free space, then add this section to fill it up. 🙂 You can show human aspect of your life everybody would like to see about.

13. Languages

This also an optional part to include in your CV. You can add this section to fill gaps in your document. When you add languages (ie. English, Sinhala, Tamil) mention the level of proficiency of each language too.

14. Referees

Providing information of non-related referees is a subjective matter. Human resource department of some organizations looking for this information of candidates because checking with referees is a part of their recruitment process. Usually they tell about this in their vacancy advertisements. So you could provide referees information based on the requirement.

If you add referees section to your CV you have to add details of 2 non-related referees which is the standard way. Make sure you have mentioned their name, designation, organization and address including their contact information such as Email and telephone.

Summary

A CV is document that we use to market our qualifications and capabilities catering to a specific job opportunity in the market. There is no absolute right or wrong way to write it. You could personalize it. A good CV is always tailored to a specific position or job domain in the market. In other words, the target position or job could be apparent just by reading your CV. Researching and having a solid understanding about the job position would result a brilliant CV. A good CV has a good presentation of information in consistent manner maintained throughout the entire document. Even though discussing the presentation of information or the layout was not the main focus of this article, we paid attention to each areas of a CV discussing them with what are the do’s and don’ts need to be followed.

Disciplines of Computing (A Guidance to Choose Your Degree)

The field of computing is growing day by day. There is a huge growth in career opportunities in different fields of computing and lot of students consider about following a degree in computing as a good choice nowadays.

But the problem is when they try to choose a degree program they find a lot of degrees choices in this domain such as computer science, computer engineering, information systems, information technology, software engineering, and many more offered by different faculties of different universities in both government and private sector.

Many questions naturally arises such as what are the differences between these degrees? What are the dissimilarities between these degrees? What are the prospective career opportunities available for each degree? How can I make sure the future is safe?, etc.

This post has been written to explain the characteristics of various undergraduate degree programmes and to help you to determine which programmes are most suited for your goals and circumstances.

There has been a dramatic increase in the number of computing related degree programmes during last few years. But this post focus on five major disciplines what are prominent today.

  • Computer Engineering
  • Computer Science
  • Information Systems
  • Information Technology
  • Software Engineering

The Plot

To illustrate the areas covered by each degree programme, the following graphical chart is used. In this chart the horizontal range runs from theory, principles and innovation on the left side to applications, deployment and configuration on the right side.

The vertical range goes from computer hardware and architecture on the bottom to organizational issues and information systems on the top. As we go up in this axis we focus on people, information and organizations, and as we move down the focus is to devices and data shared among them.

Computer Engineering

The shaded portion is the representation of the computer engineering discipline. It is spreaded all over the bottom because computer engineering covers the full range from theory and principles to the practical application deployment and configuration of hardware and software. It narrows towards as we move upwards because computer engineering interest is getting less as we move away from hardware and electronics.

Computer engineers should be able to design and implement systems that involve the integration of software and hardware devices.

Computer Science

The computer science discipline covers most of the vertical space between extreme bottom and extreme top because computer science generally doesn’t deal with computer hardware and organizational needs. Computer science focuses on everything between these two areas aiming to develop all types of software from system infrastructure to application technologies. Computer science aims to create these capabilities but do not manage the deployment of them. Therefore the shaded area narrows as we move to the right side.

Computer scientists should be prepared to work in a broad range of positions involving tasks from theoretical work to software development.

Information Systems

Information systems discipline covers the top most level because it has been designed with a focus on the relationship between information systems and organizations that they serve. Information systems professionals involved in systems deployment and configuration and training of users. The shaded area dips downward because information systems professionals tailor application technologies such as databases according to the needs of the business and they often develop systems that utilizes other software products that suit business needs.

Information systems specialists should be able to analyze information requirements and business processes and specify and design systems that are aligned with organizational goals.

Information Technology

In information technology discipline, the shaded area extends down most of the right side of the graph as it focusing on applications, deployment and configuration needs of organizations and people. Information technology has some overlap with information systems but IT has a special focus on satisfying people needs with the technology. IT shaded area goes leftward in application technologies towards theory principals because IT professionals develop web enabled technologies more often and this need a relevant theoretical foundation.

IT professionals should be able to work effectively at planning, implementation, configuration, and maintenance of an organization’s computing infrastructure.

Software Engineering

Software engineering discipline covers most of the area between extreme bottom and extreme top. Software engineers fills a wide range of need in large projects with software expertise. The main goal of software engineering is develop reliable models and techniques to produce quality software on time within the budget. These concerns extend all the way from theories and principles to daily practice. This discipline also extends up into organizational issues because SE professionals interested about developing information systems that appropriate to client organizations.

Software engineers should be able to properly perform and manage activities at every stage of the life cycle of large scale software systems.

What is the ideal choice for your your career prospect?

The horizontal range of this chart runs from theory, principles and innovation on the left to application, deployment and configuration on the right. So, someone who is interested to working inside a laboratory to invent new things or in a university to explore and invent theories will want to work in the area that occupies the left. Conversely, someone who is interested to help people with the technology and who want to integrate software products to solve business problems will want to work in the area that occupies the right.

The vertical range of the chart runs from the computer hardware and architecture at the bottom to organizational issues and information systems at the top. So, someone who is like the idea of working with electronics and curious about computer inner workings will care about the bottom range. Someone who is caring about how technology can work for people or who is curious about technology’s impact on organizations, will care about the upper portions.

But we should not forget the fact, there are many kinds of job roles that fall between the extremes, one should not just look only at the extreme left or right, or extreme top or bottom but also consider possibilities between these extremes.

Resources: The Association for Computing Machinery (ACM), The Association for Information Systems (AIS), The Computer Society (IEEE-CS)