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Programmer Resume: Examples and Tips

Programmers are responsible for writing computer code which enables software and other computer applications to function. A programmer should know computer languages, such as C++, Java (J2EE), XML or Python, have a strong aptitude for learning new technology and be comfortable working under deadlines.

To make your programmer resume stand out, use our resume examples and tips to present your qualifications.

Top 4 Characteristics of a Best in Class Programmer Resume

  1. Summary This short paragraph should highlight your best professional skills, abilities, and experience. Use this section to portray yourself as a strong candidate who’s the right fit for the job. Include skills and experiences that speak directly to what the job requires. For example, if experience with project life cycles is an important prerequisite, express your proficiency in this area: “Talented senior programmer with extensive project life-cycle experience.”
  2. Skills List your skills in concise bullet points. You can also break them down into subcategories such as the following, to better display your wide range of abilities:
    Technical skills: Knowledge of coding languages integral to computer software development
    Industry-specific skills: Skills that are specific to the computer software industry, such as“troubleshooting” and “testing”
    Non-technical skills: Intangible abilities such as communication skills and the ability to collaborate with other team members are important for computer programmers.
  3. Work history This section should emphasize your work-related accomplishments rather than just list your work tasks. Use punchy, concise phrases to highlight your responsibilities and the skills you used and developed while working for a company. For example: “Executed code builds to test third-party software support” or “Resolved user-submitted problems and queries.”
  4. Education Programmers are typically required to hold a bachelor’s degree in computer science or computer programming. In this section, also include any additional training or certifications you have in areas such as HTML and JavaScript.

See Why My Perfect Resume is a 5-Star Resume Builder

Resume Templates

Don’t waste your time searching for the right style for your resume — use these three employer-approved templates to build your own programmer resume:

Pacific

This template utilizes a solid header, which sends the message that you aren’t afraid to be noticed.  Each section is organized in straightforward fashion, making it easy to scan.

Fresh

This template uses a strong header and clean dividing lines between sections to present a crisp look. The section headings are arranged by themselves in the left margin, making it easy to pinpoint the right details.

Contempo

This template showcases your work history and skills in separate columns, creating a distinctive yet professional presentation.

 

For more employer-ready designs you can use for your resume, visit our resume templates page.

Do’s and Don’ts for Creating Your Resume

  • DO include soft skills Excelling as a programmer requires interpersonal skills just as much as technical knowledge. In addition to being oriented towards end users, programmers need to be effective at communication and collaboration with clients and internal teams. Intangible qualities like ‘problem-solving,’ ‘efficient communication’ and ‘ability to work around feedback’ should be listed on your resume.
  • DON’T add unnecessary and irrelevant information The longer your resume, the more chance your most important information is going unnoticed. Keep your document short, with all your information specifically addressing the job’s requirements. Where you can, trim information down to its essentials. For example, use concise statements like “drove system architecture decisions and lead projects from concept through the release process” rather than “handled projects for international clients, making administrative and technical decisions related to system design and overseeing projects until final delivery to end consumers.”
  • DO use strong action verbs Instead of beginning sentences with first-person pronouns or passive verbs such as “was responsible for,” begin statements with strong action verbs like “developed”, “trained,” “conceptualized’” or “delivered.” These verbs portray you as a confident, proactive worker. For example: “created and enhanced robust network applications” makes more of an impact than “was responsible for robust network applications.”
  • DON’T use negative phrases Negative phrases, even when used to display your expertise, can sometimes give employers the wrong impression. Instead of writing a statement : “fixed widespread networking problems” (which might open up some questions about why the problems were widespread in the first place), write “proposed and implemented solutions to efficiently improve intra- and inter-company networking.”
  • DO create different resumes for different jobs No programming job is exactly the same as another, so why use the same resume for every job application? Customize your resume for each individual job you apply to, updating your skills and work experiences to best reflect with the job requirements. For example, for a programming job that requires debugging and modifications of programmable logic, give examples of similar projects you’ve worked on in the past, or your debugging skills.
  • DON’T forget to proofread Precision is a must with programming — so should it be with your resume. Before sending in your resume, debug it with a final read-through, checking for typos and grammatical errors. Proofreading is also an opportunity to review your information to make sure it’s accurate and appropriately addresses job requirements.

Programmer Resume FAQs

1. What are some skills that best fit the job role of a programmer?

Hard skills:Soft Skills:
CodingInnovative
Writing computer instructionsProblem-solving
Designing computer structuresLogical thinking
TestingAnalytical skills
TroubleshootingCommunication skills
DebuggingTeam-work
Editing source codeUser-oriented
Updating software and firmwareAttention to detail
Building and analyzing algorithmsMultitasking
Managing database and operating systems
Technical support
Documentation processing
Expanding existing networks
Hard skills:
Coding
Writing computer instructions
Designing computer structures
Testing
Troubleshooting
Debugging
Editing source code
Updating software and firmware
Building and analyzing algorithms
Managing database and operating systems
Technical support
Documentation processing
Expanding existing networks
Soft Skills:
Innovative
Problem-solving
Logical thinking
Analytical skills
Communication skills
Team-work
User-oriented
Attention to detail
Multitasking

2. What are some examples of training and certifications that fit this specific resume?

Certifications exist for nearly all programming languages and vendor-specific programming products. Add to your credibility by gaining certifications as a CTT+ or Certified Technical Trainer, or as Certified Information System Security Professional. Other certifications that are worthwhile including on your resume are C and C++, Chef software or Microsoft Certified Solutions Developer App Builder.

3. How should you incorporate keywords in your resume?

Employers use applicant tracking systems (ATS) to filter out resumes based on whether they have relevant phrases/skills/keywords which are used in the application. To pass the ATS, look through the job description, pinpoint the qualifications the employer prioritizes (e.g., knowledge of version control systems), and include them in your resume skills section (e.g., “proficient in version control”) or work experience section (e.g.,”Implemented and updated various version control systems”). You can even include keywords in your resume if they reflect one of your top skills (e.g., “Enthusiastic programmer with 5 years of experience in version control systems”).

4. How should you format your resume?

If you have more than 5 years of experience in programming, go with a chronological format, as this allows you to elaborate on all your important work achievements and experiences. If you have less experience, go with a combination format, which features more of a balance between skills and work history, or a functional format, which focuses primarily on your varied skill set.

5. How should you craft your resume if you’re looking to take the next step forward in your career?

  • Get more involved in the entire application life cycle, from planning to deployment and maintenance.
  • Continue to gain a better understanding of application codes, databases and application services.
  • Move towards taking on more managerial responsibilities, such as designing complex systems that are implemented by junior developers.
  • Continue training in specialized areas of programming, and keep up on the latest programming developments and languages.
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