Computer programming is a big industry and continues to grow as our usage of computer-based technology expands in all areas. It's also a very popular role that attracts lots of job seekers, so the competition for good programming jobs is stiff. That makes it more important than ever to have an outstanding resume.
Your programmer resume should showcase your strong abilities in the design, development, and testing of software aligned to best practices in terms of functionality, performance, reliability, and security. Whether you’re developing top-notch code for computer and mobile applications, video games, or websites, or delivering great software solutions, making your resume stand out and grab the attention of hiring managers is crucial.
Recruiters and hiring managers only spend seconds reading your resume before they decide whether to continue reading or move on to the next candidate. A strong start is therefore vital. Our professional profile is a great example of how you can provide an engaging snapshot of your skills and expertise, communicating very quickly that you’re the perfect person for the job opening. This is closely followed by details of your technical proficiency in a clear and concise format so recruiters know you have the required technical capabilities for the role.
The professional experience section lists your employment history in reverse chronological order, starting with your most recent job and showing your progression in the workplace. Concise paragraphs that outline your core responsibilities are balanced with bullet points listing specific achievements that back up the programming skills being put forward. Action verbs are used when describing a task or achievement, as well as compelling adjectives that express your best professional traits. In terms of format, our resume example has a clean and easily modified layout that you can easily tweak to your needs.
The skills section on your resume should be an overview of the talents outlined in your work experience section. Include skills that match up with the job you are going for and 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. Here’s some key skills to include:
Specific programming languages, platforms, and software
Client relationship management
As with the rest of your programmer resume, be concise in the work experience section and make every word count. Avoid simply listing generic tasks and responsibilities of each job. Instead, detail significant efforts you have worked on and how you solved difficult challenges. Bear in mind that applicant tracking systems (ATS) and hiring managers will be on the lookout for keywords that closely match the specific job opening. Using the job description as your guide, identify keywords that are prioritized, repeated, or emphasized as important so you can include them in your work experience section (just don’t overdo them as this can work against you).
List your experience in reverse chronological order, and include your job title, years of employment, then a short paragraph of your job responsibilities. Follow this up by showcasing projects and accomplishments via a bullet-pointed list and include any facts and figures to demonstrate your impact. In terms of projects, you don’t need to go into the weeds when describing the project, rather give a brief synopsis including any project wins. You can always go into more detail on specific projects at the interview stage.
Your professional summary is your opportunity to tout your abilities and successes. Creating a resume branding statement (a short, catchy snapshot of your expertise summed up in 15 or 20 words) will tell the hiring manager the added value you can bring to the job opening and company. This statement should blend hard (industry specific) with soft (highly motivated, results-focused) skills.
Follow this up with four core statements of your unique expertise and use bullet points for maximum impact. Here you can go into more detail on the specific skills, experience, and successes you have had in your programming career to date. Use action verbs when describing a task or achievement, and adjectives that express your best professional traits. Finally, tag on a technical proficiency section that categorizes your programming skills in terms of languages, platforms, and software.
Creating a targeted education section will improve the performance of your programmer resume. Here’s some key areas to focus on:
Experience tends to trump education in a programmer’s resume, so place your education section after work experience. If you’ve completed a degree, you can simply list the degree level, subject, educational institution, and location as well as the year (if completed within the last five or ten years maximum, otherwise simply omit the year).
Make sure to include any professional certifications you’ve completed or are working towards in the field of programming as these credentials can help set you apart in the candidate pool.
The structure of your resume needs to be organized, professional and impactful, all qualities an employer will be on the lookout for in their next programmer. Stick to a chronological resume format, clean and modern resume design, and clear sections that make the resume easier to read for the hiring manager. This is also the best approach in order to get past applicant tracking systems (ATS) that many companies now use.
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: http://bit.ly/2mdTMgD and iOS: http://apple.co/2mQSbkh.
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.
Bachelor of Science in Computer Science, California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo, CA.
HTML and Angular JS
Helen is an experienced freelance writer with a strong background in job search and career advice, in particular resume best practices, interviewing, and personal and professional development. Before Career.io, Helen worked for high-profile recruitment firms and in the field of HR management, so she has a strong sense of what recruiters are looking for in a potential employee as well as experience in supporting career growth and development.