How to Write a Résumé as a Computer Programmer

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Writing your resume is not as difficult as you think. For each position you apply, you just have to make sure your resume can effectively demonstrate the knowledge and skills that you possess so that you present yourself as the best fit for the job. So let’s say you are looking for a job as a computer programmer, you need to create a resume that can effectively bring out your strengths and suitability for the job.

Since this field is incredibly competitive, the job applicant who seems to be more skilled in terms of qualifications and experience is the one who stands out. If you are hoping to get a computer programming job here is a guide on how to structure your resume:

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1. Write a summary, not a career objective

Computer programming is a vast field, and you can get a job in nearly any type of business. While this is a good thing, you may be destroying your chances of getting hired by including a career objective on your resume. That’s because a career objective narrows down your options and gives the false impression to employers. If you want to include an objective, the only way you can do this is by making it as applicable as possible to the job advert and the long-term prospects of the position.

In this case, a summary of your experience and skills is a good way to start your resume. It can tell employers the areas of your expertise without limiting your choices for employment. Here, you should refer to how many years you have worked in the industry, generic and technical skills that are associated with the job.

Here’s an example:

Have five years of experience in development as a programmer. Expertise in creating web applications and adept in every phase of the development process including analysis, design, coding, testing and implementation. Skilled in various operating systems and frameworks including Windows, OSX and Linux Ruby on Rails and Node.JS.

2. Qualifications are important

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In most fields qualifications won’t make much difference in the decision-making of employers as to whether you are fit for the job or not. But when you are after a job in the tech world, qualifications do count. Education should come first on your resume – and right after the career summary. This is to help employers understand your educational background that can tell them a lot in terms of what you could do on the job or not. If you have any degrees – preferably also an MA, in computer science or web development this is the time to show them off.

3. Focus on your work history

In your work history, you should refer to your main responsibilities and get to specifics. You can use bullet points to make it more engaging instead of long boring paragraphs and describe what you did in your last job. For programmers it is important to say which programming languages you were using or feel more comfortable with. This is to show that you have experience in using the coding language they are using and help employers assess your level of efficiency.

4. Refer to technical skills

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Just like educational qualifications are important to land a job in computer programming, skills also need to be evident on your resume. If you want to let your experience speak for itself, you need to highlight those skills that are most relevant to the job you are applying for. So, even though you have mentioned some in your career summary, in this section you need to go in more depth and explain employers what are you really good at. Focus on your computer skills and talk about the different programming languages you have used (Java, .NET, Ruby, Python, C, C++, JavaScript, HTML, CSS etc.), databases (Oracle, Access, MySQL) Frameworks (Meteor.JS, Node.JS, Ruby on Rails) and operating systems you are familiar with (UNIX, OSX, Windows, Linux).

5. Highlight achievements

As a computer programmer, you will be expected to develop, test and maintain programs through coding and as such making processes more efficient and easy to use. Considering that this is what every employer is looking for – someone who can simplify things, you need to show how exactly you can do that. The best way to prove your worth through a resume is to give examples from previous work. This is where your achievements and accomplishments come into play. So, if you have done something that you feel proud of or you have done something exceptionally good let them know.

The success of a resume is determined by its ability to get you invited in for a job interview. Creating a resume that follows these rules, should help you make a good impression on employers and get you the job you are looking for.

Have you ever applied for a computer programmer job or similar position? How did you manage to market your skills on your resume? Let me know in the comments section below…