Through the years I’ve heard programmers say that they only need a resume if they want a normal job. However it’s been my experience that a resume is required for traditional job interviews, freelance clients, and even raising money for a startup. With that in mind I’ve put together this guide of developer resume tips.
Developer Resume Tips
I’ve been on both sides of the hiring process. I have been in the place of sending out resumes to hundreds of companies, hoping for a response. And I’ve also been on the receiving end where I was sent countless resumes from applicants.
The list I’ve developed has been fine tuned throughout the years. With the strategies coming from the resumes that resonated the most with me along with the elements that worked best when I sent them to potential employers.
In this guide I’ve compiled three straightforward developer resume tips that will optimally position you with hiring managers.
Keep It Simple
Starting off the list is keep it simple. I have passed over many resumes that included pages of extensive descriptions and explanations of a developer’s experience. If a developer sends me a resume that’s over 1 page it’s rare that I will take the time to go through the information.
The resume firm Novoresume created a resume for Elon Musk where they condensed Musk’s career down to a single page. And if Musk can have a single page resume, so can you.
So with this in mind, what pertinent should you include in your resume? A well crafted resume will typically include information such as:
- Your name and contact information. You’d be shocked how many individuals will write multiple pages listing their accomplishments but forget to leave their email, phone, and social media links.
- Your education. And when I say education I don’t only mean traditional education sources such as your high school and college. The education portion of a resume should include any bootcamps or online educational institutions that you completed.
- Your work experience. In your work experience section, brevity is a virtue. Hiring managers don’t want to read through every little detail of every project you’ve been involved in. They simply want to ensure that you will be a fit for the position that they’re looking to fill. That’s it. It’s not that complicated.
- Your skills. Another common mistake I see from applications is forgetting to list out their full set of skills. As with all of the other resume elements, keep this list simple as well. For example, I summarize my list of skills down to a few lines that discuss the programming languages and frameworks that I work with.
- Your achievements. Lastly you should list out any achievements or certifications that you’ve earned in your career.
Keep It Relatable
Next on the list is to keep it relatable. If you are applying for a front end developer position, customize your resume to revolve around your front end skills and experience. When I was sending out my resume to companies I customized the content of the resume for each organization. If a company said that it was looking for a server side specialist I created a resume that highlighted my server side expertise.
If you think that creating custom resumes is sneaky you’d be wrong. Hiring mangers typically make a decision on whether or not to contact you within a few seconds of glancing at your resume. By creating a custom resume that outlines a set of skills and experiences that fit the company’s needs you are helping to make the hiring manger’s job easier. So it’s a win/win scenario.
Keep it Professional
Third on the list of developer resume tips is to keep it professional. Company hiring managers really could care less that you like animals or that you enjoy running marathons. You can discuss your hobbies during the interview process. However on a resume hobbies take up precious page real estate that can be utilized by listing out additional skills or experiences.
In summary, writing a resume is truly an art form. Resumes should be succinct, customized to the job position, and clearly describe why you are the best person to fill a position. If you have never written a resume before I highly recommend that you work with a service or individual that can help you with the process. Services such as Novoresume are great for this type of work and you can also hire an experienced resume writer from sites like Upwork for under $100. Considering that a well written resume can make the difference between getting a job or not, I think it’s a wise investment.