Throughout my career I met many technicians of diverse backgrounds, but with one thing in common.
They could not introduce themselves in a proper way with a well-crafted CV and therefore struggled with their career wanderings for years. Don't get me wrong, I used to have the exact same problem and it took a good deal of experience to overcome.
The main reason, why people fail at CV creation, is an overly formal perception.
I will sound contradictory, but no one is interested in your CV. Nobody wants to know what exactly and when did you do in your life or career. That is simply boring!
Your recruiter will probably have just a few seconds before they screen you in favour of another candidate. Make an impression and do it fast.
Therefore, you should keep the following bullet points in your mind:
- Create a specialised CV for a position you wish to land, extreme enough to throw whole positions and organisations you worked for out, unless relevant for the job you are applying to now;
- Do not list your duties in your former roles, mention your achievements. Not "was responsible for", but "accomplished, finished, performed, achieved". Your future employer should see your value, rather than your previous job description. Works best with numbers. Attempt to make your success measurable and showcase it;
- Put yourself into shoes of your employer and remove all unnecessary noise, that does not add value to your story. Make it hit the right keys;
- Avoid grammar errors, check that your CV is perfect. In the end it is just a few pages;
- If your CV requires 2 pages, then go for it. Do not attempt to squeeze years of your work into one page, despite widespread advices. It is good if you can, but most of the time you will find yourself too limited.
A decent CV demands a good thought, preparation and multiple revisions, unless you can get it perfect. As you might have understood, most people do not do it, there is no class in school or at a university on how to write a professional resume, while it should have been.
However, this is a golden spaceship, that skyrockets you to interviews in the best world's companies.
It is often vital to enumerate key skills in technical CVs, the more frequently you specify your target skills, the better it is. You should integrate them into your accomplishments and everywhere reasonable.
These days, soft-skills are becoming increasingly important, therefore just listing all languages and technologies that you may know, won't get you anywhere. Recruiters are directly matching job requirements against your CV, so what is obvious for you is not necessary clear to sourcing people (e.g. Bash knowledge means you know Linux. Do not hesitate to mention Linux directly, or you will be repeatedly asked basic questions probably even fail some automated CV screenings).
And remember: do not rely on applications via websites. Especially true with regard to larger companies. Most of the time you would work for a trash bin. A much better option is contacting recruiters directly over LinkedIn/Other job network, or maintaining an eye-catching LinkedIn profile to get yourself noticed.
The reason is, large companies usually publish job postings as a formal requirement only, having already found relevant resources within the organisation. Even if this is not the particular case, rarely someone does read hundreds of CVs, which this kind of companies receive.