Get your job hunting complaints resolved with our expert guide to writing a customer service CV that’ll open a support ticket to more interviews than ever before.
You came to the right place to write your computer science CV. Just give this a thought first:
You did it. You got your degree in computer science. It’s a brave new world where anything is possible.
Unfortunately, a stack of computer science CVs 300 deep stands between you and that bright future.
In that stack, you are Frodo wearing the ring.
To attract attention, you’ll need to write a great computer science CV.
We’re here to help. Using the tips below, you’ll go from run-of-the-mill to “holy cow we’ve got to interview this one.”
Of course, you won’t land that dream job if you don’t know the difference between Python and PHP. That said, the best computer science CV is all about how you present yourself.
In this article, you’ll find:
- A computer science CV example better than 9 out of 10 other CV.
- How to write a computer science CV that will land you more interviews.
- Tips and examples of how to put skills and achievements on a computer science CV.
- How to describe your experience on a CV for a computer science specialist to get any job you want.
Here's a sample CV for a computer science professional made using our CV builder.
Want to save time and have your CV ready in 5 minutes? Try our CV builder. It’s fast and easy to use. Plus, you’ll get ready-made content to add with one click. See 20+ CV templates and create your CV here.
Sample Computer Science CV—See more templates and create your CV here.
OK, computer science whiz-kid! Are you perhaps targeting a specific position in computer and information technology? Read:
1. Use a Good Format for Your CV
Computer scientists solve problems using technology. In fact, the term computer science can refer to software and web engineering, networking, or graphics among others. For maximum impact, your computer science CV must be tailored to a specific job offer.
The average recruiter spends only seven seconds looking at a CV.
That means you’ve got to make your CV jump out.
A good computer science CV will stand out like it’s made of neon, but it won’t look needy. How can you complete this Thor-like task?
Your first and biggest friend is format.
There are 3 CV formats you can use:
- Reverse Chronological
In general, your best bet is the reverse-chronological CV format.
Because it shows your best points first.
Make good use of white space, legible fonts, and clear, stand-out headings.
Save your CV using a PDF format. A PDF preserves the formatting. Make sure the company accepts PDF CVs. Some don’t.
Pro Tip: Say more with less. A Google recruiter said over half the computer CVs he saw used two pages. Try and use one page only.
2. Write a Compelling CV Objective or Summary
Which will make the hiring manager realize she is dealing with a future Bill Gates? A CV summary or a CV objective?
Do you know the difference?
A CV summary is for those with oodles of experience.
A CV objective belongs in an entry-level computer science CV. It also works for applicants who are changing careers or computer science students.
Let’s look at each in turn.
Computer Science CV Summary
Here’s a computer science CV example summary. Note the focus on experience.
|Engaged, creative computer science professional with 15+ years experience. Seeking to leverage exemplary leadership skills, analytical skills, and coding skills as a project manager for Cisco Systems.|
When making a CV in our builder, drag & drop bullet points, skills, and auto-fill the boring stuff. Spell check? Check. Start building your CV here.
When you’re done, Zety’s CV builder will score your CV and tell you exactly how to make it better.
Computer Science CV Objective
Here’s a sample CV objective from a computer science major CV. It’s for those with no experience, or people changing careers. It’s engineered to stretch out those six precious seconds of coveted eye-time.
|Inquisitive, energetic computer science specialist skilled in leadership, with a strong foundation in maths, logic, and cross-platform coding. Seeking to leverage solid skills in collaboration, communication, and development as a programmer for Google.|
The first example makes the job seeker's computer science college CV stand out like Mark Zuckerberg at a NASCAR rally.
The second makes it look like all the rest.
Pro Tip: Center your computer science CV objective around the benefit you hope to provide to the employer. “I’m looking for a job” can’t hold a candle to, “I want to double your efficiency.”
3. Describe Your Computer Science Experience
“Wow. We’ve got a live one here.”
The experience section in your computer science CV template should get that response.
Start with your most recent job first. List up to six responsibilities and achievements.
Lather, rinse, repeat.
Tailor your bullet points to fit the job description. To become a Jedi at this, brainstorm all your past achievements. Make a spreadsheet with fifty things you’ve done for work.
Next, read the job description carefully. From your spreadsheet, pull the most impressive items that fit best.
Consider a job opening that values SQL and leadership skills.
Work Experience Section Samples
June 2015‒March 2017
Above, the first computer science CV sample section zeroes in on leadership and SQL.
The second misses the target like a storm trooper.
What if You Don’t Have Experience?
The good news is, everybody has experience. We just need to find it.
Dig deep into computer science tasks you’ve performed at non-computer science jobs. Think about projects you worked on in college or even high school.
If you still hear echoes when you try to brainstorm your experience, go get that experience. Sound like a catch-22? It’s not.
Almost anyone can get some quick work experience to fill a computer science student CV.
Consider the following short-term work sources:
- Freelance on job sites that offer short-term, piecemeal work. The pay might not be stellar, but you’ll collect some street cred.
- Chip into open source projects. A little work on Github can rack up experience employers can validate with ease.
- Create your own projects to build a personal portfolio.
- Apply for a part-time computer science internship at a big-name company. Even a small position with few hours can make a CV pop like a praxis effect.
Want examples to build the best college computer science student CV or internship CV? Check out our guides: Internship CV: Sample and How to Write (10+ Templates) AND Student CV: Template + 20 Examples [Also With No Experience]
Computer Science Student CV with No Experience
Start your inexperienced or undergraduate computer science CV projects section with college moonlighting. You did the jobs below for fun or for free, but they still count as experience.
Freelance Software Developer
May 2012‒March 2017
Recent college graduate. No experience yet but eager to try.
Working on small projects and then including them in your computer science CV sample can help you grab the recruiter’s attention, even if you’re not exactly Elon Musk yet.
Pro Tip: When picking projects to work on, think of your career goals. An entry-level computer science CV with small, focused projects can teleport you in the right direction.
To make your professional computer science CV glitter, use action words.
4. List Your Education
Everybody knows real world experience matters more than education in computer science.
Recruiters yawn at education, so you should too.
Well, just a second.
Yes, education can be boring. If you let it. It’s true hiring managers don’t care as much about a school’s name or status in computer science as they do in other fields.
But we’re not asking how to make a boring CV. We’re asking how to make an awesome computer science CV like Tony Stark’s.
So, take some time. Brainstorm what you did in school that might turn heads. Make a long list. Even something you forgot about three years ago might dazzle an employer.
- Degree Type
- University and Location
- Honours, Awards, and Other Academic Achievements
Computer Science Education Section Examples
The example below shows how a computer science engineering student can look like a proto Dennis Ritchie.
The University of Warwick
How to Beef Up a Weak Computer Science CV with Education Mastery
So you’ve finished your computer science undergraduate CV. It takes up about one fifth of the page. The rest is blank.
Feeling a little like Sheldon in The Big Bang Theory’s “Desperation Emanation” episode?
Put that CV on steroids with a hard look at your education section.
To GPA or not to GPA?
Should you put your GPA on an entry-level computer science CV or leave it off?
Some experts recommend leaving off the GPA unless it’s 3.7 or above. Others call that a hint to the recruiter that your GPA is 1.1.
We say, it depends. Learn as much as you can about the job offer and the employer. From your findings, are they the kind of company that wants to see your GPA?
Base your decision on the individual job opening, not a cookie-cutter rule.
Tout Your Fauvorite Classes
Want to catch the recruiter’s attention? Don’t have enough experience?
Add a couple fauvorite classes. Add courses you excelled in. Add subjects you’re passionate about. This step can make you stand out in a sea of grey-faced applicants.
Pro Tip: Don’t ignore the things you did in high school. Especially if you lack experience, high school achievements can show you do more than the bare minimum.
We want your entry-level IT CV to make you look like Peter Parker. Not Biff Tannen.
The simple tip of adding high school education kudos can make even a freshman computer scientist CV shine.
Need more examples to help you write the best CV education section possible? See our guide: CV Education Section: Examples & How to Include It
5. Put the Right Skills on a Computer Science CV
Skills. They’re everything to that overworked computer science hiring manager. Aren’t they?
You’d be surprised.
Yes, the hiring manager wants to see your list of skills. But do they make you different than applicants #2 through #1138?
What a recruiter really wants to know is, can you walk the talk? Can you use those skills you list?
Further, does your arm-long list of skills dovetail with the job opening?
Build your comprehensive list of professional computer science CV skills in a spreadsheet. In your CV, add the ones that fit this job description.
Then, back those important-to-this-job skills up elsewhere in the CV. Put one as a fauvorite class in the education section. Link others to achievements and responsibilities under “experience.”
Sample Skills Section
Important Skills to List on a Computer Science CV
Why should you worry about adding computer science CV keywords?
A recruiter will use software to sift through CVs in search of keywords.
Find the keywords your recruiter searches for by digging for them in the job description.
Below is a list of keywords you can add even to a computer science CV for beginners.
What to Put on a Computer Science CV?
|"Hard" Skills||Languages||"Soft" Skills|
|Web Development||Java||Creative Thinking|
|Open Source Experience||C#||Communication|
|Networks||Ruby/Rails||Diversity of Interest|
Want to find more computer science skills to list? Look on jobs boards and LinkedIn. Search job offers there to see the skill keywords valued by employers.
Pro Tip: Differentiate yourself. In your skills section, list the common skills that every computer science hire needs. But add something no one has to catch the eye.
6. Add Other Sections for Greatest Impact
Want to look exactly like every other applicant?
Then cut and paste from sample computer science CVs on the web. Use the sample CVs to get ideas, but make your computer science CV unique.
To stand out, add separate sections for hobbies, awards, certifications, passions, or publications.
Show something about yourself that makes the hiring manager slow down.
Have you attended a hackathon? If not, can you? Have you published articles about computer science? Attended conferences?
Put these things in special CV sections to add a little spice.
Examples of Additional Sections
Below is a section from a computer science intern CV sample.
Interests and Passions
Interests and Passions
Suggested "Extra" CV Sections
Computer science pros love to tinker. That shows interest and looks great on a CV. The following sections can create a good container for your past successes:
Projects - In this section, put independent work like video games you’ve developed, sites you’ve worked on, or apps you’ve developed.
Activities - An activities section is a great place for job seekers who attend hackathons or belong to clubs to showcase their interests.
Don’t have enough details to fill two different sections? Combine them into a Projects/Activities section.
Pro Tip: Almost everyone has something about them that makes them glitter. If you don’t, add some shine by contributing to a blog, attending a conference, or participating in a hackathon.
Need some brainstorming examples while you write your computer science CV template? See our guide: Best Hobbies and Interests to Put on a CV
7. Do Write a Computer Science Cover Letter
“No one uses cover letters anymore.”
Now let’s explode that. Pow! Imagine the MythBusters guys firing an exploding chicken at it.
Cover letters are still “literally a thing.” Without one, 45% of all recruiters will chuck your beautiful computer science CV into the phantom zone.
So, now that we know we need a cover letter, how do we write the one that gets the hiring manager interested in your CV?
Here’s the hack: Learn.
Learn everything you can about the company, about the hiring manager, about the job offer. Custom-fit your CV to match that info.
Then, whether you’re an old pro or you’re writing a computer science internship cover letter, make it an at-a-glance version of how well you fit the job.
Your Cover Letter is the Icing on Your CV Cake
A cover letter for a computer science CV should show you’re sharp, creative, brilliant, and you have the skills.
So how do you make your cover letter do those things? You come right out and say them, right?
Tooting your own horns falls on deaf ears. You need to show you are those things. Pick past achievements, experience, responsibilities, and passions. Choose projects you worked on and things you did in school.
In other words, stuff that cover letter with a highlights-reel-type list of info. Doing that will make you glow like you went swimming in a vat of yellowcake uranium.
Plus, a great cover letter that matches your CV will give you an advantage over other candidates. You can write it in our cover letter builder here. Here's what it may look like:
Want to blow that computer science cover letter out of the water? Check our general cover letter writing 101: How to Write a Cover Letter: A Complete Guide
Even with sample computer science CVs at your fingertips, making your own good version isn’t easy. Use the hacks below to pass the gate guards.
- Be sure to make your computer science CV eye-friendly and beef up your experience section. A computer science CV with no experience is a one-way ticket to the pit of despair.
- You want to join them, so make them need you. Touch it up with action verbs and impressive achievements to wow them. Paint the best picture of yourself.
- Be sure to tailor everything to the job description. If you can do all that, you're well on your way to landing a job.
Do you have any questions on how to make a computer science CV? Can we help you write the best computer science student CV? Give us a shout in the comments section!