Many software developers are more comfortable speaking through code than writing a resume—an inevitable but frustrating part of the job hunt.
Here’s the good thing: software developer resumes don’t have to be a work of art—they simply have to get your foot in the door for an interview. As you’re writing your resume, include these five things so you stand out from the competition.
Include Side Projects
Many software developers cut side projects from their resumes to make more room for job descriptions or educational background.
That’s a huge mistake. Side projects prove that you have passion for what you do and you enjoy exploring things outside of your work hours.
That’s why hiring managers love to see projects like this on your resume and put more value in them than your grades or GPA.
Side projects are also a good way to enhance a thin resume if you don’t have much experience or a very diverse portfolio. It could also be a strategy to show a more diverse skill set if you haven’t done a certain type of project in any of your past roles.
Also, be sure to include a link to your GitHub account on your resume. This lets hiring managers see code you’ve written and gives them an idea of the projects you’ve worked on.
Describe Project Outcomes
When you include projects on your resume, be sure to also include their effects. In other words, be clear about your impact on the team or company. Hiring managers want to see that you have the ability to deliver systems that provide real value.
Do your best to connect your work with measurable outcomes. This could include improvements in operations efficiency, reduction in processing time and operating costs, or even an improved security model that reduced downtime.
For example, instead of saying this:
- Developed a phone queue system for the support team.
- Created a phone queue system that allowed the support team to answer 20% more calls each hour, providing a better customer experience and reducing churn.
Cut Irrelevant Information
When writing your resume, be sure to include only the information that is most relevant to the job you’re applying for. Including information that doesn’t relate to the role clutters your resume and makes it seem like you haven’t taken the time to understand the company’s needs.
Information like what high school you attended or listing all six jobs you’ve held since you graduated from college aren’t helpful to the hiring manager. Basic skills like Microsoft Word also aren’t worth including on your resume; they are assumed skills in today’s job market—unless you’re an Excel pro, or have another niche software expertise that’s relevant to the job.
Information like the languages you can code in and operating systems you can work with is something that hiring managers look for on a software developer’s resume.
When applying to software development roles, don’t underestimate the value of your people skills. Most hiring managers weigh skills and cultural fit when looking to hire for new positions. If you get along well with your team, you are more likely to enjoy your role and contribute to the team’s output in the long run.
But instead of simply listing your character points like “resourcefulness” or “communication”, try to illustrate it through descriptions of your past projects and roles.
You can prove your skills by including a description of the process it took to complete a project with your team, like challenges you were met with and how you overcame them. For example:
- Created new features and pushed updates to phone queue system based on feedback provided in interviews with support team.
Everybody says they have great problem-solving skills, but if you can’t provide examples of how you’ve solved problems, then the hiring manager has no reason to believe you.
Customize, Customize, Customize
Customizing your resume for the job you want improves your chances of getting an interview. With so many applications to go through, hiring managers often ignore boilerplate resumes and cover letters.
Research the company to get a feel for their values and approach to their products or service, then look for ways to insert references to these key values through your resume and cover letter. Always provide concrete examples to illustrate your knowledge and experience, when possible.
Software Developer Resume Templates
Ready to create a resume that gets you hired? Here are some templates to get you started:
“Professional Pack” – Microsoft Word Template
Resume Genius’ professional pack features five color options for your software developer resume. Our favorite part is its clean, timeless approach that puts the emphasis on your experience and not flashy design.
User Centered Resume – Sketch Template
This template was originally created for user-centered designers, but it’s a valuable asset for any job title. Download it on Nicole Rushton’s Medium article.
The Sir David Attenborough – Microsoft Word Template
This template is a winner by name alone. Add modern design, loads of white space, and options for customization (like changing skills to side projects), and we’re in love. Get it from Gum Road.
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