Software developers are in high demand and the market is very competitive, so how can you get your resume to stand out from the crowd?
The difference comes down to details and formatting. It’s important not to be vague with your experience. Most times, the first person to view your resume is not the hiring manager you will be interviewing with, but rather someone in HR or another non-technical individual who may not be familiar with your day-to-day responsibilities.
As a technical recruiter, I have seen hundreds of resumes from software developers and I can determine almost immediately whether it will be placed at the top of the pile or tossed to the side.
Here are five tips that will help your resume move to the top:
Define your role within the team.
Titles can be misleading when companies use different terms and buzzwords to identify their employees’ responsibilities. Rather than typing your specific title, identify your role based on your current team size and where you fall within that team, such as a junior, mid or senior developer.
Example title: Mid-level Java Developer on a product team composed of 5 developers, BA, QA and Project Manager
In addition, break down how you are responsible for architecture vs. development vs. support/maintenance.
What is YOUR specific role within the team? Provide details on your contribution to each application/project you were assigned to.
Describe your application work in detail.
Are you working on an existing application or did you build one from scratch? Are you refactoring legacy code? Migrating to a new platform? Working on greenfield development? What is the purpose of the application/project you are working on?
Is it a customer-facing or internal LOB (Line of Business) app? What is this app for and who will make use of it? Ex. Contributing to full stack development of greenfield SaaS financial application used by corporate banking institutions to process insurance claims.
Is it a desktop, web, or mobile app? This question is VERY important! By default, most recruiters think they are looking for/talking to web developers, which can be frustrating if you’re a desktop or mobile developer. You may be a web developer who builds mobile-responsive applications. It’s important to be as specific as possible to avoid confusion.
What is the business purpose of the application you are developing? Some people only mention this on their resume or don’t mention it at all, but it is important to remember to integrate the tech with the business to help tie everything together.
Identify where you placed your code.
Are you a front-end, back-end or full-stack developer? Depending on your team size, you may wear multiple hats or just have a single focus. If you’re part of a larger team, your responsibilities are more likely focused on contributing code to a specific layer within the stack. If you’re part of a smaller organization, you may be a full-stack developer while also holding other responsibilities within the SDLC.
Are you a full-stack developer with a focus on optimizing and tuning the back-end? Or are you mainly responsible for creating enticing user interfaces and have an understanding and ability to integrate your work with the back-end? What changes are you making from a technical standpoint? It’s important to be be descriptive as possible!
Example: Implemented new systems to consume and provide services using Java Spring framework, Spring Boot, Jersey and Apache CXF framework using JAX-WS and JAX-RS APIs.
List technical environment under each workplace environment.
This list includes programming languages, frameworks, unit testing, platforms, tools, build, continuous integration, methodology, and more.
It’s not good enough to just throw everything in a skills section. If you’re a contractor or have worked at more than one company throughout your career, you need to identify the technical environment for each workplace. You want the person who’s reading your resume to be able to quickly identify which skills you used at a specific place and how you used them. This is important because most employers are looking for candidates with relatable experience. A good idea is to add your skills as one of the last bullet points in each section using the word “Environment:” or some other indicator so recruiters know what you’re referring to.
To increase your shot at securing an interview, ALWAYS tweak your resume to reflect your experience as it relates to the job description.