London Technology Week took place a few months ago and I went along to some of the events to take the temperature of the recruitment market for graduates interested in the digital sector.
First up to talk on recruitment trends was John Ridpath, Head of Product at Decoded. John’s talk was particularly interesting as it highlighted the changing nature of recruitment into technology roles – particularly amongst Technology Start Ups and Small to Medium Enterprises – but also made me think about wider implications for the CV.
One of the key challenges I hear about from employers is how to get to the bottom of the technical skills of potential recruits. While a CV is still required for most roles there is an obvious need for graduates with digital skills to demonstrate their aptitude in different ways. Similar to how we know graduates who want to be journalists have to develop a portfolio of their writing, students who want to be developers or data scientists need to show how they work, and also how they communicate.
A great example highlighted was a coder called ‘MrDoob’ who created the online portfolio Threejs and uses his Github extensively. This showcase of work and working out is a great way for a Chief Technical Officer, who is looking to hire seeing, what you are made of. In addition getting involved in communities like Stack Overflow is another good way to showcase, not only your technical skills, but also your communication skills. This article from Wired Magazine about the ‘Reputation Economy’ puts it a lot better than I can:
Shortly after the site launched, Atwood and Spolsky heard that programmers were putting their Stack Overflow reputation scores on their CVs, and headhunters were searching the platform for developers with specific skills. “A CV tells you what schools they went to, what companies they worked for and how well they did on a standardised test when they were teenagers,” Spolsky explains. “But if you read the writings of someone on Stack Overflow, you immediately know if they are a skilled programmer or not.”
So maybe I am being a bit ‘click bait’ with the “Death of the CV” headline, perhaps instead we are seeing a new type of CV that exists beyond two sheets of A4.
If you want some guidance about how to demonstrate your technical skills visit one of our Careers Consultants, and keep an eye out in October for our Focus on Technology programme of events which will cover this in more detail www.careers.qmul.ac.uk/events. Don’t forget you can also easily create an online portfolio with the Groups and Portfolios functionality on QMPlus which you can keep private until you are ready to share with employers or online.
Employer Engagement Manager