Since we opened a position at our team (Academy Engineer at OutSystems), I’ve had the pleasure to review some CVs. One of the CVs I’ve seen had an interesting particularity: there was no date of birth, no starting and finished dates for the degree the candidate had, and not even the final score of the degree.

I’m not sure you know this, but here in Portugal people with a degree go places (or used to). Its probably the only country where anyone that has a degree is called a “doctor”. Yes, even if your degree is in advocacy, or arts. I could not make this up. So I’m sure that for many companies, simply mentioning that you have a degree on your CV will land you a job, or at least will land you an interview opportunity.

But for most tech companies, you’ll only be able to have an interview opportunity if you have education or relevant field experience. It’s not that these companies reject candidates that don’t have had formal education. Is just that since there are lots of people applying for the company they get to be picky.

Also, these companies prefer to err on the safe side. It’s better to not hire a great candidate than to hire someone that sucks. The reason for this is that a candidate that sucks will also take a toll on the team’s performance. So at the end of the day it’s better to have a team with one less person, than having a team with someone that holds the team back.

When anyone is reading your CV, they are trying to understand if you fit their company, and if you really have the skills that you mention on the CV. The best way to evaluate this is to understand if you went through some hard selection processed. If you CV lists top notch universities that everyone wants to be in and consequently reject lots of people since they can be picky about who attends and who doesn’t, or companies that I know are very selective in their hiring process, you are going to their my attention.

If the university you attended is not difficult to get in, and on top of that you omit the time you took to complete the degree and your final score, then people are going to assume that you are not proud of your own performance. If you completed the degree in the expected time, and had done so with a high final grade, I’m sure you’d be proud to list that on your CV.

Now, if I had lots of CVs to review, I’d make two piles: one to interview, another to discard. If you omit these “details” and there are lots of other people that list them, in which pile do you think your CV will end?