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Developer Careers Guide 10: Supplementary Information

The supplementary information you put into your CV covering education, interests and references may not make or break your job application, but you want to make sure you get the very best out of your CV. Here’s how you do that.

Education

Details about your education are important and must be honest. Remember, many employers will check and your application will be instantly dismissed if they find you are claiming qualifications you don’t have. Include any relevant education that you have had including A-Levels, BScs, BAs, MScs, MAs, PhDs, or overseas equivalents, and any other relevant certification that you have received. Keep it very simple. If you are a graduate applying for your first role it is worth explaining your course in more detail, listing details of the subjects/areas studied, the individual grades and results and what you achieved in your final project.

Hobbies and Personal Interests: Technology

To many technology is more than just a job: it’s a passion. Many developers spend quite a lot of their spare time working on personal projects, open source software, attending evening events and conferences or reading books on the latest technologies. If this is you, then mention it at this point on your CV. Many employers will love to see this sort of thing and it will take a CV straight into the “yes” pile. Remember that honesty is key: be prepared to talk about what you have done, read and heard!

Hobbies and Personal Interests: Other

It is also important to show a bit more of your personality. Do you like sports, travelling, music, scuba diving, socialising? It is good to give away a few details about what you do in your spare time. Don’t include them as a list but write a sentence to show your level of enthusiasm and any achievements you have in your chosen discipline.

Be very careful not to include anything here that could count against you though! Once the client gets to know you and value your work, I’m sure they will understand your horror movie fetish, but to include it on your CV may not give the best first impression.

References

It may surprise you, but there is no reason to include anything about references on your CV. Adding reference details takes up a lot of space on a CV, and they will only be needed once you successfully complete an interview: at which point you will be asked to give contact details for a reference. Many people include phrases such as “references available on request” in their CV. Of course references must be available on request so there is really no point in making such a statement. The information is obvious, scores no brownie points and wastes valuable space on your CV, so it really is better to leave the statement off your CV altogether.

Next time… We’ll be finishing off our advice on writing a CV by sharing some of the tips that make the top 2% of applicants so successful!

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