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5 Resume Writing Tips for Programmers
Jobscan has you covered with a detailed resume guide that covers each part of the document, but there are six tips a programmer should keep in mind.
Tip # 1: Be the perfect applicant, not the perfect person
You’re applying to a specific company for a specific job, not listing reasons your parents could be proud of you. Adapt your resume to each new job, showing the company how you would fill a given position.
Read the job description very carefully and write down any keywords or skills that come up. If at all possible, work that language into the document. Ensure that ATS tags the right qualifications, and identify the strengths you would bring to a team.
Tip # 2: Prioritize important and relevant information
Don’t overwhelm your reader with material they don’t want. Your resume is not the place for every side project or hobby—unless those projects demonstrate expertise necessary to this job but difficult to show through previous work experience.
Your resume isn’t even the place for every job. That summer you spent lifeguarding does not belong here. If you’re more experienced, you may even need to cherry-pick your relevant work.
In skill lists, start with your most advanced and relevant hard skills. Don’t make a hiring manager hunt for any mention of Python if the job posting states upfront that a prior command of the language is necessary to the position.
Tip # 3: Include a summary statement or an objective statement
This component is optional for a resume, but you should exercise that option. At the top of your resume, right under your headline, craft a few bullet points or a two-sentence summary.
Answer the following questions:
- Why are you right for this job?
- Why is this job right for you?
Again, you want to make things easy for personnel who go through hundreds of these things. Give them a brief and easy-to-grasp vision of you at the company and a theme that helps them process the rest of the information.
Tip # 4: Think in terms of wins, not responsibilities
No one gets excited about your ability to handle the obvious and ordinary duties of your previous position. Use your resume’s work experience section to identify concrete—preferably quantifiable—achievements that benefited your previous employers.
Tip # 5: Focus on hard skills, but also include soft skills
You’ll find this tip debated between people who work in the job industry. Soft skills are hard-to-test buzzwords that are easy to write and easy to dismiss.
There’s no question that you should highlight hard skills. These demonstrable abilities fundamentally qualify you for the job. When it comes to the most important, high-level skills, add measures to your mastery where you can. Are you an expert in SQL or merely proficient? Work this information into your resume in the form of years of experience or certifications.
But the skills section is also a place to let your prospective employer know what you think makes a good employee. They are unlikely to be programmers themselves and want reassurance that you value interpersonal skills as well as technical ones. Choose soft skills important to programmers such as communication and flexibility.