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7 Practical Steps to Build Your Perfect Developer Resume

Land your dream job in just 6 moves


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Piero Borrelli

3 years ago | 5 min read

A good developer’s resume can change your career forever. It’s a matter of a few seconds. The right company sees it, they like you, and after some interviews, you get a better paying, more fulfilling job.

But building a perfect resume looks so hard. What should you include? How should you write your resume?

This process doesn’t have to be so hard. In fact, I’ve collected for you the best info about creating your coding resume, and I’ve put them here in a step-by-step approach to build a killer resume in under an hour.

Let’s do it.

1. Use the Right Format

There are different types of resume format, so there are different types of sections you can include. For its structure, focus your efforts on the most classic one, the most loved by recruiters: chronological resume format.

That format implies you will list your work experiences f jobs starting with the current one at the top, followed by previous ones below.

For the sections, focus only on these, as you only need a one-page, elegant resume with these important details about you:

  • A summary of who you are
  • Work experiences
  • Tech skills
  • Education
  • Projects section
  • Activities section
  • Contact section

2. Write an Amazing Short Summary of Who You Are

To write an eye-catching summary of who you are as a professional, you don’t need 200 lines of text. Just three or four of them. Just remember two simple rules:

  • Add a lot of your personal wins
  • Think about what you can do for the company, not what they can do for you.

Bad📛: Full-stack developer with four years of experience. Skilled in React, JavaScript, HTML, CSS, and Node. Looking for a job in Berlin.
Good🍀: Full-stack developer with four years of experience in writing high-quality code for international companies.

Eager to bring my skills to push forward and support the dev team at company X. Boosted production efficiency by 30% at company Y by building an in-house React components library.

This is just an example of what can be considered a bad and a good summary. A boring listicle of your skills won’t take you far. But the right relevant lines of text can make your summary unforgettable.

Provide details of what you did and what you want to do for a specific company. Look at their job description and seek what they’re looking for in a candidate. If they want someone who can increase the dev team speed, mention how you did that in your company.

Be honest, but try to make yourself shine. And remember, what you can do for them is the king mentality when writing your resume.

3. List Your Successes in Your Work Experiences Section

Again, the work experiences section is where you want to highlight your wins and success in your previous workplaces. Check the company job application, see what they’re looking for.

Try to make yourself look like a candidate who will perfectly integrate into a new team and be helpful in the blink of an eye.

That’s the secret. Companies want someone who can jump in and produce work.

For example, if a company is looking for someone to help them deliver a fantastic UI, make their words your, and describe your successes in that field.

Bad📛: Senior Web Developer — Beautiful cakes corporation
Senior web developer
Worked daily on the UI of our application
Collaborated with the design team
Good🍀: Senior Web Developer — Beautiful cakes corporation
Senior web developer with the role of increasing the usability, look and feel of our user interface.
Created a custom library of components to speed up the dev team efficiency at 30%.
Worked in strict contact with the design team, proposing new features and adjustments to the UI, increasing our app conversion rate up to 40%.

That’s so good. So refreshing for an interviewer. A candidate who clearly expresses his/her skills and how said person can help us

4. Tell Your Story in The Education Section

The education section doesn’t have to be a dull paragraph describing what you learned in college. Use it to tell a story. Make your personality shine, tell the interviewers about your passions and what drives you to be a coder.

Bad📛: MS in computer science — University of Pisa.
Studied C, C++ and Java.
Good🍀: MS in computer-science — University of Pisa.
Followed my passion for learning to code by taking programming classes.
Learned to design a complete system from the ground up.
Created and maintained over 10 real-world applications using C, C++, and Java.

5. Write Down a Few, Effective List of Your Tech Skills

For your skills section, only list them if they’re relevant to the job application and if you honestly possess them. First of all, you don’t want to look like an idiot if they discover you don’t know Angular or Vue, as you mentioned on your resume.

Second, if a company is looking for a skilled full-stack developer in the MERN stack, only mention the skills you have in that sense.

Bad📛: Skills: React, Angular, Vue, HTML, CSS, JavaScript, Git, Adobe XD, Python, PHP.
Good🍀: React/Redux, JavaScript, HTML, CSS, Git.

Make it easy for HR to skim through your cv and understand immediately if you’re a good fit or not.

Also, one thing, I would tend to avoid expressing your skills in percentages like many devs do. What does it mean you know 70% of JavaScript, 90% of React, and 40% of HTML?

6. Show Your Tech Muscles with a Projects Section

This is something I’ve seen not be recommended enough. In all my interview experiences (more than 50), I’ve always been asked for some of my code to show off.

This provides a way for the tech team to initially assess my skills and discuss some of my choices while building the project. It’s just another ammo your want ready for yourself to be as valuable as possible.

This section is critical if you have no previous professional experience or you’re trying to switch your tech stack of reference. Show them the best you’ve got in your portfolio. Mention your two or three best projects. Even only one if that’s really cool and impressive.

Good🍀:
Coding merch ecommerce app (Github link, deployed app link)
Built an ecommerce app using React and Typescript. I also integrated that with Next.js and a headless CMS on the backend.

7. Add More to Your Personality with an “Activities” Section

This is another occasion to highlight your personality. If you do cool activities, projects or hobbies, mention them here. You don’t need to brag, just talk about something you’re proud of. In my case, this could be:

Good🍀:
Written tech articles read by more than 350K developers worldwide.
Helping students from all over the world as a coding educator for a free initiative.
Created my mail list to teach people how to get a coding job in 6 months.

In the end, make sure of course that recruiters can find you and have relevant links available for them. Make sure you add a professional email, your phone number, Twitter/Linkedin/Github profiles.

Conclusion

Writing your developer’s resume is hard. But that’s like that just if you don't know what makes you stand out from the crowd. In this guide, I’ve hopefully helped you to master that process.

I’m confident that, in under 1 hour of your time, you can now go and make an amazing resume that will skyrocket your career with an amazing job offer.

— Piero

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