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Programmer Resume Example & Writing Guide

  • Why use this programmer resume example?
  • How to write a great programmer resume
  • Which key skills are relevant to a programmer resume?
  • Programmer resume example

A programmer, also known as a computer programmer or coder, is a technology professional who designs, develops, and tests software, ensuring that it is built according to best practices in functionality, performance, reliability, and security. They can work on developing code for computer and mobile applications, video games, websites, and anywhere else that software is utilized. Computer programming is a big industry and continues to grow as our usage of computer-based technology expands in all areas. On the flip side of the coin, it is a very popular area for job seekers, so the competition for good programming jobs is stiff. That makes it more important than ever to have an outstanding resume.

Why use this programmer resume example?

The beginning of your resume is critical because recruiters and hiring managers only spend seconds reading it before they decide whether to continue reading the resume or discard it. Most resume formats start with a summary, objective, or personal profile/statement. The purpose of this section is to provide a brief (a few sentences at most) overview of your skills and background. You must communicate very quickly what makes you the best candidate for that great programming job. Include only your most impressive, biggest, and most relevant skills and achievements. Use creative wording, but don’t exaggerate.

Your summary needs to be concise. It is an opportunity to tout your abilities and successes. Use action verbs when describing a task or achievement, and adjectives that express your best professional traits. Keep each sentence short to save space. The intent of your summary is to show your professional personality by describing yourself and your career success highlights to convince recruiters that they need to interview you.

The largest section of your resume will be your employment history. The exception to this may be students and others that are just starting their careers. The employment history or professional experience section lists your work or jobs. The most common resume format lists your experience in reverse chronological order, starting with your most recent job. As with the rest of your resume, you must strive to be concise. This means using as few words as possible and making each word count. Avoid simply listing generic tasks and responsibilities of each job. Instead, use significant efforts you have worked on and how you solved difficult challenges. Make each job description interesting, because you do not want to bore the recruiter.

How to write a great programmer resume

The profession of programming is highly technical but can be done from anywhere in the world. This means you are competing with candidates from all over the world. But don’t get discouraged because there are a huge number of programming jobs worldwide and programming skills are sought after by just about all major companies. Making your resume stand out and grab the attention of hiring managers is crucial.

The first review your resume must get past is applicant tracking systems (ATS). Today, most companies use ATS to reduce the number of resumes human beings have to review. It's designed to eliminate resumes that don’t meet certain criteria. As a programmer, you know how algorithms work. ATS software algorithms scan and rank resumes, removing any that don’t make the cut.

There are many different applicant tracking systems available, and some companies even create their own. It is nearly impossible to create the perfect resume that will be guaranteed to pass every ATS. The good news is you don’t need to do that. To optimize your resume for a targeted job:

  • Customize your resume to include the keywords and phrases mentioned in the posted job description. But don’t repeat keywords or phrases too much because many ATS will negatively flag that.

  • Use simple formatting. Avoid tables, headers, and footers. Some ATS have problems interpreting these things.

The key tip here is to find the right keywords. But how do you find the most important keywords and phrases? The job description will probably repeat them more than once. They also tend to be in the first few requirements or are emphasized with strong wording and technical terms. If you need more help, you can use a word cloud application like or 

Use the above tips to tailor your resume to the job, and you will maximize your probability of getting past the ATS as well as impressing the humans too!

Which key skills are relevant to a programmer resume?

The skills section on your resume should be an overview of the talents demonstrated in your job descriptions. Your list of skills should not be too long, about five to ten is ideal.

Include skills that match up with the job you are going for and list them in order of importance to the job or by your strength in each. Don’t forget to include soft skills like communication, creativity, and organization. Anything you can include that will make your resume stand out and show you have a well-rounded skill set will give you an advantage.

Some important soft and hard skills for programmers:

  • Analytical

  • Attention to detail

  • Communication

  • Creativity

  • Continual learning

  • Programming languages and frameworks

  • Databases

  • Data structures and algorithms

  • Source code control

  • Quality assurance

Programmer resume example

Summary example

Highly motivated and results-focused professional with a passion for creating elegant code and designing innovative applications to target diverse audiences.

Employment history example

Programmer at Yard Inc., Santa Barbara California

2014 - Present

Design and program apps for this leading property management software company serving real estate clients across the globe. Review requirements to ensure final product aligns with expectations and user needs. Identify and recommend solutions to technical challenges. Key Projects & Achievements:

  • Commercial Café Mobile: Solely responsible for programming and deploying iOS and Android mobile apps version of website, providing users with ability to review lease documents and submit maintenance requests from any device.

    • Android: and iOS:

  • Commercial Café AngularJS: Converted website platform used by commercial owners and tenants to manage property to AngularJS. 

    • Performed full stack development from frontend HTML to backend API calls.

    • Enabled site to load twice as fast and reduced server load by factor of four.

Commercial Café: Supported legacy website platform developed in VB.NET with SQL backend.

IS Intern at Amgen, Thousand Oaks, California

June 2012 - September 2012

Gained hands-on experience supporting a secure case file database for this major multinational biopharmaceutical company. Key Achievements:

  • Worked with IS Business Associates of Law Department to implement and maintain court case files in secure database.

  • Salvaged 99% of corrupt files, saving approximately $10K in labor costs.

Education example

Bachelor of Science in Computer Science, California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo, CA.

Skills example

  • App development

  • Website enhancement

  • HTML and Angular JS

  • Team Building

Profile Garland Brewster

Garland Brewster

Garland is a writer and technology consultant that lives in far west Texas, USA. He is semi-retired from a successful 25-year career in the Information Technology industry, and now spends his time writing for various websites (mostly career development related). Garland holds a bachelor’s degree in Accounting and Finance, and a master’s degree in Economics and Computer Information Systems.

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