6 Programmer Resume Examples and Tips to Get You Hired

Sakshi GuptaSakshi Gupta | 12 minute read | December 3, 2021
6 Programmer Resume Examples and Tips to Get You Hired

In this article

The market for programmers is at an interesting place in the USA. On the one hand, the nature of the job puts you at the center of the current technological revolution, which is a nice position to be in. At the same time, estimates suggest that the job market will shrink by more than 7% between 2016 and 2026.

Considering the downward trend expected over the next few years, your programmer resume becomes increasingly important. That’s the document that’s going to help you get your foot in the door and stand out in a competitive market. In this post, we’re going to take a look at programmer resume examples and tease out the details that constitute an impressive resume.

How Important Is a Programmer Resume?

With the social and digital landscape evolving, many new elements have entered the hiring process. For example, social media screenings have become a thing. One survey found that 70% of employers research potential hires on social media.

While some things have changed, some others have remained the same. And one of those things is the resume. Most recruiters still require candidates to send in their resumes and a majority of them spend some time reading through them to determine whether a candidate is a good fit for a company.

So is a programmer resume important? You bet it is. You can have a great LinkedIn and be very active on GitHub and all that, but you need to get your resume right in order for all of those other things to matter.

What Should You Include in Your Programmer Resume?

Most people are aware of the broad sections that need to appear on a resume. But there are a few finer details that put the best ones over. Let’s take a look at what those things are.

Name and Contact Information

programmer resume: Name and Contact Information

Always make sure that you use the same name that you have in your government IDs and online profiles. This might seem trivial, but it is possible to misspell your name or include a middle name in one place and not in the other. Watch out for those kinds of things.

There are two main pieces of contact information that you need to include in this section: your email address and phone number. Most recruiters will use one or the other to get in touch with you. You don’t need to mention your address unless the job mentions a location preference within a city.

The other pieces of information that you’ll include in this section are for screening and don’t necessarily serve as contact details. The first is your LinkedIn profile, which recruiters will almost always peruse as part of looking through your resume.

And since we’re talking about a programmer resume, let’s not forget about the importance of GitHub. Open-source contributions are proof of your ability to work on live projects and collaborate with others. They’re especially useful if you’re applying for an entry-level programmer job, so throw a link to your GitHub in the contact information section.

Education

List your educational background starting with accredited colleges that you’ve attended. Mention the name of the school, the name of your degree, and any coursework that you did that is relevant to the job that you’re applying to.

Any long-term bootcamps that you’ve attended will also come under the education section. If they were short courses or MOOCs, then you can add them into the certifications section, which we will come to.

Skills

programmer resume: Skills

This is the section where you demonstrate proficiency in the programming languages or methodologies that are relevant to the job that you’re applying to. So the first thing you need to do to get this right is to read the job description thoroughly and identify which skills matter to the employer the most.

A good way to organize the information in this section of a programmer resume is to group your skills by programming language, operating system, and tools. That makes it easier for hiring managers to skim through your resume. Within each of those categories, you can group your skills under three headers: beginner, intermediate, and advanced.

If you’re a more experienced programmer, then you can list your skills along with the number of years of experience that you have in each of them. Always be honest about your proficiency in different skills. That helps companies get the candidates they need and you find a job that you’re actually cut out for.

Certifications

The items in this section can be formatted much like the ones in the education section. But instead of colleges and degrees, you would mention the name of the certifying authority and the area in which you were certified. Courses that you’ve completed on platforms like Springboard, Coursera, and edX can also be mentioned here.

It can be tempting to list all your certifications and courses in this section but you need to resist that urge. Companies are looking for specific skills, so mention only certifications that are relevant.

Employment History

programmer resume: Employment History

The more senior you are in your professional journey, the more important this section is in your programmer resume. List your employment history in reverse-chronological order and include information on your roles and tenure at different companies.

One important detail to keep in mind is to write about your employment history in terms of your contributions to business outcomes. Consider an example where you worked at a company as a backend developer. You would describe that experience in terms of the quantifiable contributions that you made to the performance of applications.

Did you reduce an app’s loading times through more efficient interactions with a database? Then quantify the increase in efficiency and how you achieved it. That’s the kind of framing that helps employers envision what you can bring to their operation.

Get To Know Other Software Engineering Students

Pritisha Kumar

Pritisha Kumar

Software Engineer at Dialpad

Read Story

Abdelkareem ElSharief

Abdelkareem ElSharief

Software Engineer at Bread

Read Story

Alyssa Menes

Alyssa Menes

Software Engineer at Progyny

Read Story

Projects

Personal projects that you’ve worked on or open-source contributions that you’ve made can be included in this section. Both of those are evidence that you probably enjoy working as a programmer and don’t just do it when you’re on the clock, which recruiters like to know.

When talking about your projects, highlight the goal that you started it with and the skills that you used to hit those goals. Also, quantify your results as opposed to just saying that you built an app. For example, if you built an Android app to track your daily calorie intake, describe its performance in terms of response times, throughput, and so on.

Awards or Recognitions

programmer resume: Award or recognition

With competitive programming and hackathons becoming more popular, programmers have vast opportunities than ever to win competitions and get recognized for their work outside of a professional environment. These are things that you can include in a resume to set yourself apart from your peers.

As with the other things you would mention in a programmer resume, describe the programming languages and skills that you used in a competition in detail. If you’ve received recognition, then highlight the organization that conferred it on you and the criteria based on which you were selected.

Programmer Resume Examples

We’re going to now take a look at what an ideal programmer resume looks like based on which stage of your career you’re in.

Entry-level Programmer Resume

  • If you have work experience, then mention that first. If not, lead with your educational background.
  • Recruiters like when entry-level programmers have contributed to projects because it’s evidence that they can turn what they know academically into writing actual software. So highlight projects and open-source contributions that you’ve made.
  • It helps to have internships under your belt. Add a section titled “Internships” if you have multiple ones that you can mention and list quantifiable results achieved.

Example 1

Source: Beam Jobs

This entry-level programmer resume is well-formatted and makes great use of colors to separate distinct pieces of information.

The details that are mentioned under the education and projects sections are especially impressive. Mentioning how your work helped “improve ingestion and processing speed of data by 87%” is exactly what you want to do as opposed to listing your responsibilities in a project.

Furthermore, notice how only relevant courses from a college degree are mentioned and not all of them. This makes it a lot easier for hiring managers to identify the areas in which you have at least an academic understanding of the field.

Example 2

Source: Zety

Here we see a programmer resume with a few things that could have been done better. The first is the font that’s used in the headings. With recruiters dedicating just a few seconds to each resume, you want to choose a font that’s both readable and formal.

For that reason, stick to sans-serif fonts in your resume and use basic font styles like Times New Roman and Arial since they’re both tried and tested resume fonts.

Secondly, the education section is low on detail about what the candidate learned in school that could be relevant to the job. We see information on the school and GPA, but there’s no mention of specific coursework. Recruiters are looking for signs that you’ve studied things in school that can help you at work, so list those subjects in your resume. For example, if you’re applying to a front-end development role, you’d mention courses you’ve taken in areas like UI design, HTML/CSS, and frameworks like Angular.

Senior Programmer Resumes

  • All senior programmers should lead with their work experience in their programming resumes. At this stage of your career, you’ve already got enough professional experience to talk about, so you don’t need to mention your education or certifications first.
  • Include details about how the work that you did as a programmer helped your company achieve its business goals. That is to say, don’t talk in terms of the work that was assigned to you, but what the work that you did helped your organization achieve in terms of sales, customer satisfaction, lead generation, etc.
  • Many senior programming roles are leadership positions where you would be required to handle teams and build strategies to drive business and growth too. If you’ve led teams, then mention that experience in your resume.

Example 1

programmer resume: Example 1
Source: VelvetJobs

This senior programmer resume can do a better job of describing the candidate’s professional achievements. We see examples of what they did at different jobs, like unit tests and process improvements, but not what those actions contributed to the project or the company.

The skills section is a long list of soft skills, programming languages, tools, and levels of proficiency. This can be formatted better by, as we said earlier, grouping skills (programming languages, OS, and tools) and listing them based on your level of proficiency in them.

Example 2

programmer resume: Senior software engineer certificate

Source: Resume World

Here we have a senior programmer resume that’s both detailed and well-formatted. The descriptive information contains plenty of quantified information on the candidate’s achievements in a role. The details about “35% incremental revenue” and “97% customer satisfaction rate” look impressive on a resume.

The skills section is simple and lists several languages and frameworks. This is a route you can take if you’re at a stage where your experience speaks to your skills in a strong way.

Other Programmer Resumes We Like

Example 1

programmer resume: programmer resume
Source: EasyResume

We like this resume for two main reasons. The first is that the candidate has visualized their level of proficiency in different programming languages and related skills. This makes it easy for recruiters to glean this information quickly and without having to wade through walls of text.

Secondly, there’s a clear connection established between the candidate’s work and the business’ progress. The candidate is able to say that his upsell application boosted sales by 14%. That shows not just programming chops, but the ability to understand how their role fits into larger organizational goals.

Example 2

Source: Monster Jobs

This resume does a great job of what we said regarding grouping your skills. As you can see, this candidate has three categories under which they’ve listed their technology skills: programming, software, and systems. This shows awareness of where your skills fall in the larger software engineering scheme of things and makes it easier to quickly gather information.

The only thing we would change is the header text, “Computer programmer,” which feels a little archaic. It’s better to use a more contemporary term like ‘mid-level software programmer.’

Tips for Creating an Awesome Programmer Resume

Creating a good resume is an almost algorithmic process, so programmers can quickly wrap their heads around the process. Here are a few points to keep in mind when you’re creating yours.

How To Stand Out

Customize Your Programmer Resume to the Role

Don’t be lazy when it comes to applying to new jobs. It’s easy to make one resume and send it off to all the jobs you’re applying to, but that reduces your chances of getting a callback. Instead, mention only skills, experience, and coursework that a specific job demands.

Double Down on Your Strengths

Structure your resume based on your strengths and the stage of your career that you’re in. If you’re new to the game, highlight internships, bootcamps, and tutoring experience. More senior programmers should lean towards listing all of their professional experience and just job-specific certifications.

Make It Easy To Scan

Hiring managers aren’t too generous with their time when sifting through resumes. To account for the small amount of time that you have to make an impression, put all your content in a single column if possible. Don’t use too many different font colors and styles. Make sure that all the information flows in a predictable way.

Focus on Results, Not Responsibilities

Responsibilities are what your company gives you, but results are what they want out of you. Recruiters don’t care so much about what responsibilities you’ve shouldered in the past; they want to know what results you achieved. So when listing your achievements, quantify the results of the work that you did.

Identify Keywords

When you read a job description, you will realize that there are some keywords associated with the role. That could be languages like Python or libraries like React. Identify what those keywords are and use them in your resume. Recruiters’ eyes will usually dart towards the sections that mention them.

What to Avoid

Large Blocks of Text

Recruiters simply don’t have the time to read through blocks of text. Wherever possible, break your resume down into bullet points and categories. The only part of the resume where you can have a small block of text is the summary section.

Listing All Your Skills and Programming Languages

It’s natural to assume that recruiters are going to be impressed by all the different languages you can code in and tools you can use. But every programming job has specific demands and your resume should reflect that. So if you’re applying for a front-end development role, you’d mention things like HTML, Javascript, and Angular. The cybersecurity certification you picked up along the way doesn’t need to make it onto that resume.

Where To Find Programmer Resume Templates

If you’re looking for more inspiration while putting your programmer resume together, you’re in luck. Below are a few websites where you’ll find some great examples. You can use these to guide both the structure and formatting you use in your own resume.

Programmer Resume FAQs

Should You Customize Your Programmer CV for Each Job?

Yes, you should customize your programmer resume based on the job that you’re applying to. Mention only the programming languages and tools that are relevant to the role. Ideally, you would create a new version of your resume for each type of role that you apply to.

How Long Should a Programmer Resume Be?

Your resume should ideally be a single page. You can go up to two pages at most, that’s if you’re a very experienced programmer. Otherwise, in any case, your resume should be just one page long.

What Skills Should You Put On Your Programmer Resume?

You should mention skills that are required for the job that you’re applying to. Let’s say you’re applying to be a mobile programmer, then you would mention skills like Android development, app design, UX design, and so on. If it were a different kind of job, then you would mention a different set of programming skills.

Since you’re here…
Interested in a career in software engineering? Join our mentor-led Software Engineering Bootcamp or our foundational Software Engineering Course if you’re just starting out. We help people make the switch every day (just peep our reviews). You can do it, too!

Sakshi Gupta

About Sakshi Gupta

Sakshi is a Senior Associate Editor at Springboard. She is a technology enthusiast who loves to read and write about emerging tech. She is a content marketer and has experience working in the Indian and US markets.