Computer Science CV Example and How to Write (+Template)

An education in computer science opens the door to a bewildering number of career paths. From database administration through cybersecurity analysis to the most esoteric and bleeding-edge fields of research that require a PhD at entry level. As a computer scientist you’re virtually guaranteed a job.

 

If low-hanging fruit doesn’t interest you, though, then things get extremely competitive astonishingly fast. Your application has to stand out like a fully-worked proof to the question of whether a depth-first search tree can be constructed in NC posted on Stack Overflow.

 

In this article you will see a computer science CV example and learn how to write yours. With plenty of UK-specific examples and advice, you’ll be surprised just how painless an experience it can be.

 

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Computer science CV example

 

Gabriel Cooper

P: 077 6666 6666

E: gabriel.cooper@lcmail.co.uk

LinkedIn: linkedin.com/in/gabrielcooper

GitHub: github.com/gcooper

 

Personal statement

 

Well-rounded and creative computer scientist with 5+ years’ experience working in microprocessor architecture design and computer vision engineering. In current role, researched, developed and helped to implement the image processing algorithms that run on a client’s laparoscopic visualisation platform, ending the implementation cycle 15 days ahead of schedule and 13% under budget. Eager to apply knowledge, research skills and ingenuity in helping FSI Global get its envisioned biometrics-based solutions to the market.

 

Work experience

 

Computer Vision Scientist

NCQ Ltd, York

August 2017—present

  • Designed a suite of multi-object detection and tracking algorithms that achieved a record high 73% accuracy in in-house testing.
  • Optimised existing image processing algorithms, boosting execution speed by 9% and user-perceived visual performance by 38%.
  • Turned three research prototypes into robust and well-engineered code that is now a key part in two larger projects valued at a combined £23,000,000.
  • Made recommendations to the research team regarding improvements and modifications to object detection, classification and tracking algorithms that theoretically yield identical results at a 36% greater efficiency.

 

Computer Science Graduate

Armsco Microprocessors, York

September 2015—July 2017

  • Verified that microprocessors met expected performance targets, helping design engineers to identify performance anomalies, saving the company as much as £200,000 on a single project.
  • Developed new methodologies utilising novel software techniques to improve modelling efficiency by 19 percentage points in aggregate.
  • Interacted closely with CPU designers to analyse CPU bottlenecks, identifying ways to lower overhead by a total of 7% with only minor micro-architectural modifications.
  • Developed an in-house architecture simulator that is over 30% more efficient than previously-used modelling techniques.

 

Education

 

MSc Advanced Computer Science, 2015

University of York, York

 

BSc (Hons) Computer Science (2:1), 2012–2014

University of York, York

 

Skills

 

  • Teamwork: worked closely with engineers and developers to analyse and implement software solutions, including detailed benchmarking and bottleneck assessments.
  • Communication: successfully presented and defended many proposals in front of Town Hall-styled meetings that included both technical and non-technical stakeholders.
  • Technical writing: prepared technical documentation for internal and external circulation and co-authored several papers presenting research findings in both academic and industry publications.
  • Experimentation: found creative and novel approaches to generate empirical data to either confirm theoretical findings or identify areas for further theoretical probing.
  • Software development: oversaw the development of software destined for end users as well as independently developing applications for in-house use.
  • Agile management: comfortable working in an Agile environment with a 100% on-time record.

 

Programming languages

 

  • Basic programming languages: C++, Python (including PyTorch)
  • Specialised tools: MATLAB (including Simulink and Stateflow), Mathematica, TensorFlow, OpenCV
  • Hardware description languages: VHDL and Verilog/SystemVerilog

 

Professional body memberships

 

  • Registered as a Chartered IT Professional, BCS

 

Now you know what a model CV looks like. Let's write your own now.

 

1. Start your computer science CV with a personal statement

 

Your computer science personal statement is your opportunity to introduce yourself to recruiters, it’s a snapshot of you as a computer scientist and a professional. This is that make-or-break moment, the proverbial elevator ride during which you can make your pitch and argue your case.

 

The best computer science personal statements do three things and do them well. They introduce you and summarise your experience, they show what you have to offer in a fully objective and quantified way, and they show how your professional goals fall perfectly into line with the employers’.

 

A good personal statement for a computer science job will be 3–4 sentences long and contain 50–150 words. You’ll also need to write a new one for each application you send out. This is one of the most important ways in which you can tailor your application to each position—something’s that’s absolutely crucial.

 

This can all seem a little discouraging, but the good news is that you can easily and painlessly achieve all of the above in your computer science personal statement. Simply use a total of 3–4 sentences to answer these questions:

  • What are you like as a computer scientist? How many years of experience do you have?
  • What industries, niches, or specialisations have you been working in?
  • What’s a relevant achievement that you’re particularly proud of?
  • What’s your most unique achievement? (Optional)
  • What is it that you hope to achieve in this job? Think of benefits to the employer, not yourself.

 

That’s all there is to it. Answer these questions, make sure everything flows together nicely and you have your algorithmically-generated computer science personal statement done. Coming up with relevant, measurable achievements is by far the most difficult part, but there’s a procedure for doing that as well.

 

An ‘achievement’ is a brief description of actions you took (usually to solve a problem) and the benefits that ensued for your employer as a result. Use accomplishment statements to help structure your achievements. Start each statement with a verb like created, oversaw, implemented, and so on.

 

Your application is likely to be processed by an Applicant Tracking System (ATS), so be sure to mention the company by name and the job title for which you’re applying somewhere in your computer science personal statement. Pay attention to keywords used in the advert and try to mirror them in your statement.

 

Your job descriptions will be populated entirely with quantified achievements, so the work you do now will help you write your work experience section and vice versa. For this reason, you may find it helpful to come back to your personal statement once you’ve finished your job descriptions.

 

Computer science personal statement example

 

Well-rounded and creative computer scientist with 5+ years’ experience working in microprocessor architecture design and computer vision engineering. In current role, researched, developed and helped to implement the image processing algorithms that run on a client’s laparoscopic visualisation platform, ending the implementation cycle 15 days ahead of schedule and 13% under budget. Eager to apply knowledge, research skills and ingenuity in helping FSI Global get its envisioned biometrics-based solutions to the market.

 

A strong CV summary will convince the recruiter you’re the perfect candidate. Save time and choose a ready-made personal statement written by career experts and adjust it to your needs in the LiveCareer CV builder.

 

Create your CV nowcv builder

 

2. Add quantified job descriptions to your computer science CV

 

Dealing with computation in so many of its forms, you no doubt have a good sense of the importance of conventions and the effects of user expectations on efficient interfacing. The same holds true for your computer science CV template: it’s best to use any conventions to your advantage.

 

Use a chronological format for your CV, starting from your most recent work experience and working your way back from there. This is what hiring managers are used to dealing with and it’s also what ATSs can parse most easily—although you’re probably in a position to know best when it comes to ATS algorithms.

 

This is not a good CV format for a lecturer in computer science, though. An academic CV format is the better choice for a computer science lecturer CV. Similar to a chronological format in many ways, it’ll include much more information on your academic publications, conferences and teaching experience.

 

Use this template to create a subheading for each job description:

 

[Job Title]

[Company Name, Location]

[Dates of Employment]

 

Populate each job description with up to six bullet points. Each and every bullet point should be a quantified accomplishment statement. Don’t pad your job descriptions with responsibilities, stick to that which is concrete and measurable.

 

If you’re writing a computer science undergraduate CV or computer science graduate CV and don’t have much in the way of experience yet, then focus on any projects you’ve completed independently or on a volunteer basis as well as any internships and placement work you’ve done.

 

Computer science job description

 

Computer Vision Scientist

NCQ Ltd, York

August 2017—present

  • Designed a suite of multi-object detection and tracking algorithms that achieved a record high 73% accuracy in in-house testing.
  • Optimised existing image processing algorithms, boosting execution speed by 9% and user-perceived visual performance by 38%.
  • Turned three research prototypes into robust and well-engineered code that is now a key part in two larger projects valued at a combined £23,000,000.
  • Made recommendations to the research team regarding improvements and modifications to object detection, classification and tracking algorithms that theoretically yield identical results at a 36% greater efficiency.

 

Computer Science Graduate

Armsco Microprocessors, York

September 2015—July 2017

  • Verified that microprocessors met expected performance targets, helping design engineers to identify performance anomalies, saving the company as much as £200,000 on a single project.
  • Developed new methodologies utilising novel software techniques to improve modelling efficiency by 19 percentage points in aggregate.
  • Interacted closely with CPU designers to analyse CPU bottlenecks, identifying ways to lower overhead by a total of 7% with only minor micro-architectural modifications.
  • Developed an in-house architecture simulator that is over 30% more efficient than previously-used modelling techniques.

 

3. Include a concise education section in your computer science CV

 

It’s virtually impossible to become a computer scientist without having an appropriate degree with many roles even requiring a PhD. So make sure your education section includes a clear and concise rundown of your academic background. Use the following template to set out your university degrees:

 

[Degree Type] [Degree Name](Degree Class), [Years Attended]

[Institution Name], [Institution Location]

 

If you’re currently studying a particular degree, then include an expected graduation date. If you’re writing a computer science undergraduate CV, then use the following templates to detail your high school education:

 

A-levels: [Subject Name 1], [Subject Name 2], [Subject Name 3]

[School Name], [School Location], [Years Attended]

 

[n] GCSEs (including Mathematics and English)

[School Name], [School Location], [Years Attended]

 

where n is the number of GCSEs you completed.

 

Just graduated from university and don’t have much experience yet? Put this section above your work experience section and add bullet points highlighting your academic achievements and areas of excellence. 

 

Computer science CV education section example

 

MSc Advanced Computer Science, 2015

University of York, York

 

BSc (Hons) Computer Science (2:1), 2012–2014

University of York, York

 

You don’t have to be a CV writing expert. In the LiveCareer CV builder you’ll find ready-made content for every industry and position, which you can then add with a single click.

 

Create your CV nowcv builder

 

4. Showcase your hard-won computer science skills in your CV

 

Your achievements will speak to your general computer science skills but it’s important to include a more explicit list of skills for recruiters (and ATSs) to compare with their requirements. Research has also shown the importance of paying attention to soft as well as hard skills in IT and related fields.

 

Start by making a master list of your computer science skills in a separate document. List as many of your computer science skills as you can. Once you start running out of ideas, go back and add a sentence onto each skill that shows how and when you demonstrated that skill at work.

 

Any skill for which you can’t add such a sentence doesn’t make the cut. Save your list of demonstrated computer science skills—it’ll come in handy for future job applications. Copy 5–10 skills from your master list into your computer science CV, being sure to at least cover those mentioned in the advert.

 

Pay attention to the keywords used in the advert and substitute synonyms as necessary to better mirror them in your skills section. This will help ATSs more accurately filter your CV and it’ll also help recruiters see more easily that you’re the one they’re looking for.

 

Computer science skills

 

  • Teamwork: worked closely with engineers and developers to analyse and implement software solutions, including detailed benchmarking and bottleneck assessments.
  • Communication: successfully presented and defended many proposals in front of Town Hall-styled meetings that included both technical and non-technical stakeholders.
  • Technical writing: prepared technical documentation for internal and external circulation and co-authored several papers presenting research findings in both academic and industry publications.
  • Experimentation: found creative and novel approaches to generate empirical data to either confirm theoretical findings or identify areas for further theoretical probing.
  • Software development: oversaw the development of software destined for end users as well as independently developing applications for in-house use.
  • Agile management: comfortable working in an Agile environment with a 100% on-time record.

 

5. Make good use of extra sections in your computer science CV

 

It’s a truism at this point to say that a computer science degree can lead to a huge variety of career paths. As a result, the term ‘computer scientist’ means many things to many people. Paint a clearer and fuller portrait of yourself as a computer scientist by adding extra sections to your CV.

 

You could include sections for awards you’ve won, volunteer work you do, languages you speak, even your hobbies. As long as it’s relevant to the job at hand, it’s fair game. A section on programming languages is particularly beneficial in a computer science CV, rather than mixing these in with your other skills.

 

Computer science CV additional sections examples

 

Programming languages

 

  • Basic programming languages: C++, Python (including PyTorch)
  • Specialised tools: MATLAB (including Simulink and Stateflow), Mathematica, TensorFlow, OpenCV
  • Hardware description languages: VHDL and Verilog/SystemVerilog

 

Professional body memberships

 

  • Registered as a Chartered IT Professional, BCS

 

6. Write a winning computer science cover letter to go with your CV

 

Just as you wouldn’t hand someone a pile of research or raw data without introducing and summarising it, you shouldn’t just send your CV in without a cover letter. It’s true that some employers don’t care about cover letters but you don’t want to send a bad one to one of the many employers who do.

 

Complement your computer science CV with a cover letter that follows the standard UK business letter format, including:

  • An appropriately set-out header
  • The right salutation for your situation
  • A properly laid-out body
  • A sign-off that matches the salutation.

 

Make a strong case for why you’re the best computer scientist for the job by structuring the body of your cover letter like this:

  • Start with a compelling, attention-grabbing opening
  • Showcase your most impressive achievements
  • Wrap up your arguments and end with a confident call to action.

 

Your finished cover letter will be between half an A4 page and a full A4 page, about 250–400 words in total. You can skip writing a cover letter if and only if you’ve been explicitly asked not to include one—you’d be doing your application a huge disservice otherwise.

 

What else to remember about when writing a computer science CV?

 

Before you send your computer science CV to the recruiter, check its contents once again and follow these rules:

 

Spelling and grammar

 

Nothing could be more basic or important. Code only works if it’s correct down to the punctuation mark, make sure your computer science CV and cover letter demonstrate that same attention to detail. Get a second pair of eyes on your work and use an app, web app or built-in spelling and grammar check.

 

Layout and file format

 

No one enjoys reading monolithic chunks of code, no matter how functional or even well-commented out. Let your CV and cover letter breathe and keep recruiters on your side. 

  • Don’t bury your contact details, leave them near the top of your CV.
  • Include your GitHub profile URL or a project URL with your contact details if you have relevant code on there. 
  • Use subheadings and lots of white space to clearly demarcate sections.
  • Choose a sensible CV font, Noto, Garamond and Arial are fine, as are the default Liberation and Calibri.
  • Pay attention to file type requirements, the wrong file format might trip up an ATS. Default to PDF, for obvious reasons.

 

Length

 

When it comes to the perfect CV length, aim for a single A4 page, two at most (and only if you have 20 or more years’ experience).

 

Following up

 

Check in with the recruiter if you haven’t heard back after a week. This certainly can’t hurt and might even make a significant difference. At the very least, you’ll get an update on the progress of your application.

 

A cover letter alone simply won’t be enough—you need an impactful CV, too. Create your CV in minutes. Just follow our wizard and fill in every CV section with ready-made content. Get started by choosing a professional CV template.

 

cv builder

 

The LiveCareer online CV maker lets you build a professional CV fast and download it as a PDF or DOC.

 

Create your CV now

 

I hope this article has been helpful in getting your computer science job application together, from the all-important personal statement through to an expertly-targeted cover letter. Is there anything you’d like more information on? Please leave your questions, comments, feedback and experiences below.

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LiveCareer Editorial Team
LiveCareer Editorial Team

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Since 2005, the LiveCareer Team has been helping job seekers advance their careers. In our in-depth guides, we share insider tips and the most effective CV and cover letter writing techniques so that you can beat recruiters in the hiring game and land your next job fast. Also, make sure to check out our state-of-the-art CV and cover letter builder—professional, intuitive, and fully in line with modern HR standards. Trusted by 10 million users worldwide.

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