CV Writing By : Mostafa Nageeb


Many students, third year in specific, asked me about how to write the C.V. to apply for summer trainings and internships?

First let me state that there is no right or wrong way to write your C.V. but there are some facts, DOs, and DON’Ts that don’t change.

Some facts to state first:

  • C.V. will not get you an internship or training, it will just get you an interview.
  • C.V. represents you ! Take Care.
  • The difference between resume and C.V. is explained here, but forget about it, most people think they are the same .
  • C.V.s are read in 10 seconds, if the reader didn’t find what he is looking for, He won’t continue reading it.
  • Never ever exceed two pages.

Now to the DOs

1- Know your recipient:

Big and medium size companies like LinkDev, ITWorx, Microsoft, Yahoo!, Google, IBM, Facebook …etc have a recruiter and HR department, which means that the first person to read your C.V. is not (very) technical, and follows something like a standard procedure to scan your C.V. and filter it based on a criteria determined by the company, like GPA/grade, Number of activities, Number of coding projects with a specific programming language related to the job, and other filters.

Small companies where the number of employees ranges between 3 – 40 don’t have HR department nor recruiters, and here the person reads you C.V. is either the manager/owner of the company, or the person you are going to work with. Mostly those people are overloaded because they already have another job to do and therefore they need your C.V. to be very clear and concise.

2- Objective:

The Objective is simply, What do you want to be in five years?  without mentioning the statement, “in five years.” I don’t know why people have to write objective, but as I know, HRs love it, and technical people don’t care about it.

Objective must be attractive, and related to the job, and I prefer objectives contains fabulous words.

Seeking a challenging, great …. bla bla bla, in a great good know international corporation …bla bla bla … to increase and develop my skills in ….

Don’t: Apply for a company and write that your objective is to be the manager of that company, or your objective is to have your own company, because this means why would we accept you and at the end you open your company ?

3- Education:

All you have to write is your university, please don’t mention your school, because you don’t want a second of your ten seconds wasted in knowing your secondary school. You have to state clearly the Grade (Good, Very Good, Excellent) or GPA, and if you are ranked on your department or class please write your rank.

One of the tricks I saw and it is recommended if you have a very low grade, is to write your education after activities, technical skills and experience, because if your experience and skills are high, they won’t care about your grade.

Don’t list courses you studied, because I saw many people doing this and this is not useful at all. Sometimes you may want to list the 2~4 main courses, so that the company know what you can do and what you can’t.

Also remember to explain your GPA system briefly (e.g. GPA 3.?/4.0) because there are different universities that give GPA out of 5, and even inverts the scale (0.0/4.0 is the highest GPA).

4- Experience:

Write all experiences sorted in a chronological order from newest to oldest.

  • Trainings/Internships
    • Company Name internship/training: your position, your role, what you did?, when was this (June 2010 to July 2010).
  • Competitions/Contests
    • Imagine Cup (Which competition, passed rounds, project description, and your role in the project).
    • ACM (National/World/CodeForces (Rating and handle)/TopCoder (Rating and handle)).
    • IEEE.
    • Google Code Jam (rank over Egypt, and passed rounds).
    • ThinkQuest.
    • Any other contest with achievement.
  • Projects you participated in. (Non Academic projects)

5- Activities:

  • Microsoft Student Partner
  • Google Ambassador
  • IBM student ….
  • Student Union
  • ACM Chapter
  • SCCI
  • IEEE Student Branch
  • LVAD
  • Life
  • Vision
  • STP
  • TE
  • Courses you delivered, or you were an assistant.
  • Any other activity.

You have to mention your role in each activity you participated in, and a very brief description about the activity itself. Sort them in the most important first order.

6- Technical Skills:

  • Programming Languages
  • Operating Systems
  • Databases
  • IDEs/Tools.

Don’t lie, if you write that you are good at something, they may ask you in it.

Be clever, if you are applying to Microsoft, maybe they will not care if you know Java well, so put it in the end of the list.

7- Languages:

  • Arabic/English/French … and how good are you in written & spoken.

8- Others (Optional):

  • Interests.
  • Readings.

And finally Don’t forget that “References Available upon/on request”

We hope you liked the post.

Written by: Mostafa Nageeb,  Edited by: Amr Samir

You can read this blog in his blog at


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