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I'm a junior developer with only one year of experience. Because of this lack of experience I decided to use the hybrid CV format.

In my understanding, the most important part is the key skills section.
I'm struggling to make this section look attractive. I don't want to ask a "please review my CV" question. But please let me list two bullet points from my CV as an example:

  • C# .NET WCF experience with cloud-based web service application.
  • Effective communication skills developed from real work experience prior to IT career.

Is this good enough to grab potential employer's attention?
If not, how would you word these two points?
I need some guidelines and hopefully I can pick up momentum and get the ball rolling.

  • "real work experience" seems kinda nebulous, but it would admittedly be less so with the supporting evidence of work experience... Whether that's enough, I'm not too sure, so I won't throw myself behind an answer yet – Filipq Mar 20 '14 at 14:43
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When you are a young junior just starting out, it is normal to have little to mention under skills. No one expects you to have the Great Wall Of Keywords that a senior developer would have. But there is always room to improve.

In your circumstances, I advise the following:

Don't Pad the Skills section

Those of us who interview new developers get these resumes regularly, and the truth always comes out in the interview the minute we ask the candidate to actually whiteboard something related to the keyword.

You are already instinctively avoiding peppering the skills section with dishonest keywords of which you have no real knowledge. So good for you! Your honesty is a great asset. And that means we can move on to my next advice:

DO Pad the Skills section

Wait, what!?

Just don't do it like those keyword-shotgun types I mentioned above. Instead, do one (or ideally both) of the following:

  • Find the skills within the skills.

For example, your C# WCF experience. Maybe you had to document parts of the API as you wrote it. Clear, concise documentation is a skill. Maybe you wrote a suite of test scripts to validate your work as you went along. Test-oriented development is a skill.

Chances are, you have more skills than you are listing. Identify them, and make them part of your resume.

Ask former coworkers if you're not sure, especially the ones you worked well with. A simple "What do you think are my primary strengths?" can enlighten you to some things you didn't even realize were skills because you just do them naturally.

  • Acquire more skills, on your own time if you have to.

You're young, and you have probably only had one job, where they used one language every day and mostly followed one development paradigm.

Soon you will have another job, where they use one language every day and mostly follow one development paradigm.

At this rate, you will accrete skills over time but it will be a sloooooow process. The proactive solution is: do not depend solely on your work to advance your knowledge.

Join an open-source project and submit some pull requests to Github.
Teach yourself node.js and write an Esperanto chatterbot.
Create a web app that consumes the Bandcamp API to let your friends in bands track their sales.

Do something, anything, that will require you to teach yourself something you don't know. Finish a project using that something, and you will probably find at the end that you have not only one new skill, but two or three.

For example, a lot of open source projects have an international team behind them. Not only is new language X++ that you learned because of the project a skill, "Able to bridge multiple time zones and language barriers working with an international development team" is also a skill. If your old job used SVN and you did the project on Github, Git is also a skill.

I am my own example for this. I was an English major. My only formal computer training in school was learning Logo in 4th grade. Trust me when I say that you can build an entire career on what you are able to teach yourself.

If you really want to accelerate your career growth, treat yourself as a garden and start planting seeds.

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