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Space in CV's is very limited resource, often forcing to find a compromise between amount of listed information and brevity.

In case of software development CV's, which of these approaches do you think is better? Maybe you can think of another approach? Personally I'm aiming towards game development (programming) position right now, but I think answers will be similar for any kind of software development.

  • Let previous positions and personal projects speak for themselves, including some info about used technologies in their descriptions.
  • List skills as separate section on CV, but only very basic info about previous positions and personal skills
  • Expand resume to 2 pages to include both skills section and details about previous positions and personal projects
  • Be sure not to include projects, skills, etc., that are not relevant for the position you seek. That will help you free space on your resume. – DarkCygnus Jul 24 at 19:52
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    @seventyeightist responding to edit as I don't see option to edit my previous comment - I'm fresh out of university, and - while I do have some professional and personal experience and achievements, I don't think it's enough to fill 2 pages yet. – Mac70 Jul 24 at 20:13
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    @seventyeightist I have enough info to fill roughly 1.25-1.5 page, not enough for entire 2 pages. If empty space at the end or some additional informations not directly related to jobs I plan applying for is not the problem, I can make the CV longer. – Mac70 Jul 24 at 20:26
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    "Starved for space" implies that you have too much information to fit. It sounds like you have too little. – Mike Harris Jul 24 at 20:45
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    @MikeHarris OP has too much information for a single-page resume/CV, but not quite enough for a full 2 pages. – seventyeightist Jul 24 at 20:56
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In your specific case, I don't think you are "starved for space" so I would want to challenge that assumption. You have enough information for potentially 1.5 pages or so (I'm assuming from your possible option to "expand CV to 2 pages").

2 pages is an acceptable length for a resume/CV if you have enough information to include there which isn't just a dump of everything in your history (for example).

I would suggest you add your skills/programming languages/methodologies (e.g. if you have experience with Agile) in a specific section.

Then experience with your previous positions: responsibilities and achievements. If personal projects have a significant place in your experience you could add a section for that.

Of your 3 options - the 3rd is the closest.

Don't leave things to "speak for themselves" on a CV/resume (Edited to add: you are in charge of the narrative). There's always someone in the hiring chain (recruiter, HR, other screening people) who won't be able to 'draw the inferences out' and potentially screen you out from the process.

Make it explicit, but without including too much mundane-level detail.

You need to get across "these are the things I can do" and "this is my experience doing the things".

Edited to add in response to your comment: You don't need to completely fill all the pages. If 1.5 pages is the natural amount to capture your skills and experience -- that should be fine. Don't add stuff to "pad it out" to completely fill the 2nd page, but also make sure you include (concisely) things that are relevant.

  • By "speak for themselves" I mean including these projects in CV as examples of practical applications of skills I'm listing in their description. :) – Mac70 Jul 24 at 22:19
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Focus on both! No two jobs you will be applying for will ever be the same. As the Job Description calls for it let one or the other shine. And as you go through your career you will have more choices to make, in regards to what skills, methods and strategies you are familiar with and capable of using.

Tips:

  • Focus on relevant projects, key words, and tools you have used
  • Show that you are responsible, and relevant using proper terms that someone with your experience (or what the JD calls for) would have
  • Ensure your resume and cover letter are not cluttered and are easy to read both in digital and printed mediums.
  • Ensure your cover letter and resume match what is being asked for and are of an appropriate style for your industry.
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Why Not Both?

Build projects that demonstrate principles.

Also, this is a nifty link for resumes. I found it to be a good place to start when thinking about resumes.

I would also add an "Achievements" section, for whatever work you have done that mattered.

  • I think my current CV draft does this - shows projects that demonstrate principles and shortly describes what they are and what technologies they use. This doesn't leave much space for separate skills section through and even if it did, some informations would repeat. – Mac70 Jul 24 at 20:11

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