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Writing CVs for more senior roles

A while back (checks notes, gulps) I wrote a fairly successful blog post on the types of CVs I liked receiving as one of the people screening technical applications, and some of the mistakes I was seeing applicants making.

What I didn't speak about at all was the "structure" of the CV; how to arrange it, and what sections to include/not include.

Today somebody asked me for an actual CV for the first time in… quite a while actually. The last couple of jobs both had their own interview process that didn't include one, so that means it's been at least 5 years.

Turns out that having been on the other side of the table a few more times now, and hiring for more senior candidates, my CV creation style has changed radically. The result is four broad categories of ways I've been effective in previous jobs, with a brief description of when I became senior enough to start doing that. So rather than having a big timeline of work history and education, I end up with things like:

Training and mentoring

For over a decade I have provided mentoring and training both to team members and as a service offered. This has ranged from people learning to code for the first time (CodeInstitute), to week long courses teaching professional developers new programming languages or architectural styles (@mavnn ltd), to giving talks at conferences on topics from the obscure to the philosophical (SDDConf, NDC, F# Exchange, Lambda Days, etc).

Apart from formal training I have mentored teams several times during the introduction of new programming languages, libraries, and techniques (15below, NoRedInk, Blissfully/Vendr).

Again - your mileage may vary; it's not like I've had any feed back on the application yet, or even that a single response tells you much about how the CV be received in general. But I can tell you that from the other side of the table that I'm much more interested in what you think are the areas you've made a difference, or that you're proud of, than I am in the job descriptions of your last 5 posts and where you went to secondary school.

One slight caveat: I did include my LinkedIn profile, which has all the gritty dates and things. It just wasn't what I chose to highlight in the part of the process that I can control. Your CV is your chance to control the narrative - take it.