10 Quick Tips for a Stellar Programming Resume

Here are my 10 quick tips for getting your resume noticed by tech companies and recruiters!

1.Always use a PDF version
When you use a .doc version of your resume, you risk the resume being altered after it’s sent, the format changing when opened on another computer, and those ugly squiggly lines under any spelling or grammar items that Microsoft Word wants you to change!

2. Numbers add credibility!
Whenever possible, add in numbers to give context and build rapport. For example, if you say that you managed staff, include the number of staff members you managed. If you worked across different departments, include how many instead of simply saying “multiple.” This takes your resume to the next level!

3. Focus on accomplishments over responsibilities
When completing the employment experience section, focus on listing bullet points of accomplishments, instead of responsibilities. It’s more impressive to say that you “increased web traffic by 25%” instead of “responsible for increasing web traffic”.

4. Include a *clean* hyperlink to your LinkedIn profile
Always include a link to your LinkedIn profile on your resume, but make sure you customize it first. A non-customized link will have a lot of numbers after it, while a customized, clean link will not. Directions on how to customize found here.

5. Save as your first and last name, year, & position.
This will help the Recruiter & Hiring Manager keep track of your most recent, relevant resume!

6. Bullet Points – white space is your friend.
Avoid long paragraphs of information under your experience sections. Bullet points are a great way to showcase the most important information without losing the reader’s eye in the middle of a large experience paragraph.

7. Begin every bullet point with an action word/term.
What sounds better? “Responsible for updating the appointment calendar” OR “Strategically prioritized, scheduled, and managed all incoming appointments.” ACTION!

8. Reverse chronological is the way to go.
In general, steer away from a functional resume. List out your employment experience in reverse chronological order. The exception to this rule? If you worked in the programming field many years ago, took a break, and now are returning to the field — you can use two different sections. One section of “Relevant Experience” and another section of “Additional Professional Experience.” Within both sections however, still stick to reverse chronological listing of experience.

9. Study the Job Description – highlight applicable skills & keywords.
If you want the best chance at getting the job, tailor every resume to the job you are applying for! Look at the job description & see exactly what skills they are asking for (along with their style) – use the exact same language to highlight where there is overlap in your experience and the job description. This helps the reader easily picture you in this role, and a part of this company.

10. Avoid personal interests or hobbies
Unless you are applying to an action sports company and you were the Jr. Snowboarding Champion in the Pacific Northwest, I recommend leaving out the personal interests. Allow your personality & passion to come through your resume as you describe your experience, without dedicating one section to “Hobbies & Interests.” The interviews are also a great time to show who you are outside of coding :)

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