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22 April 2015

Get yourself noticed – the perfect ASIC design CV

Caroline Pye

Caroline Pye

Principal Consultant

Caroline is a senior consultant heading up the digital IC design recruitment team. After graduating…

There is a sea of information out there telling you how to write the perfect CV. What there isn’t much of, unsurprisingly, is information on how to write a great CV specifically for a career in chip design. Here is some advice on what hiring managers in the ASIC design world really want to see on your resume, which will increase your chances of getting an interview.

CV length

For an experienced engineer, a CV should be no more than 4 pages. For graduates, CVs should ideally be 2 pages. You want to make your CV as easy and attractive to read as possible.

Your profile

This should be a few lines stating what you are, the amount and type of experience you offer and what you’re looking for. Graduates – make sure this profile is tailored for the sort role you are applying for; for instance, if you’re applying for a role in digital IC design, avoid mistakes such as stating that you’re looking for a role in embedded systems. Be specific!

Technical content

This can be tricky, as it can be difficult to know how much technical information is too much, or not enough. Most importantly, make it crystal clear what you have done. For instance:CV

Have you designed IP blocks / modules, or have you done chip level design?
Have you been responsible for chip level architecture?
Have you architected an SoC, or implemented something from a specification?

These are all things that managers will want to find out. Make sure to include several paragraphs to illustrate your main projects and what your specific responsibilities were. A list of bullet points is never enough.

In general, managers really want to see the most recent projects (the last 2-5 years, which for complex projects should only be 2 or 3 projects), with detailed descriptions of exactly what you did in these projects. How did you do it? What tools / programs / methodologies / languages did you use? This approach is preferred to a description of the project as a whole, or what you did within the wider team. Managers will want to find out what you have coded, how you’ve verified that code, and the tools you have used in the flow.

Layout and format

Bad formatting is a huge turnoff. Make your CV easy on the eye, and make sure your formatting is neat. Avoid using tables, and make sure to space out your text. Clear white spaces between paragraphs go a long way!

Career gaps

If you’ve been out of industry for a while, it’s a good idea to say what you did during this time. Gaps in your career history aren’t typically considered a bad thing, so don’t be afraid to say you went off to try something new for a bit, travelled round the world, or were job hunting – the main thing is to avoid unexplained question marks.

If you would like any advice on how to make your CV stand out from the crowd, I’m always happy to help.   Feel free to contact me.  Please also check to see if you might be suitable for the ASIC design jobs we am currently recruiting for.



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