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Cover image for Resumé++
Kim Arnett 
Kim Arnett 

Posted on • Updated on


I enjoy building my resumé, mostly because it's a way to express yourself before the recruiter even talks with you. We're extremely lucky to work in a creative field also..we can get away with certain things (colors) on our resumés that other fields cannot. Colors, are argumentative, but I like to use them to draw attention to certain parts of the page that might not have been noticed otherwise. What's that crazy statistic, you only have 10-30 seconds to impress a recruiter looking at your resumé?! Okay, assuming that's true, I've gathered a few tips for you to polish it!

1. Position your resumé for the job you want, not the job you have.

Once upon a time, I thought it was impressive to list every language I've ever learned. After being thoroughly disappointed with the types of jobs asking me to interview, I realized that no one could tell what I was really passionate about. This doesn't mean you can't talk about that cool script you wrote once, but I would save it for a discussion, and save the room on paper for more important things. Which leads me to..

2. If !important*, leave it off.

** NOT important for you CSSer **

You only have so much room to sell yourself. Save it for the really impressive things, like that project you lead, or how you managed to reduce the code base by 30% and increase usability. Any professional or personal wins too! You'll have time to discuss in greater detail should they reach out to you, and there you can also bring up the things you had to leave off.

3. Format, Pleeeeeeaaaaase.

Do. Not. Go. Below. 12pt. Font.
It's tough to fit everything you want to on your Resumé. However, by following tip 2, make sure you have enough room to format everything to look easy on the eyes. I recommend this article by Nick Babich to use white space to your advantage.

4. After a few years of professional experience, your GPA is irrelevant.

Leave it off.

5. If you're fresh out of school...

List your GPA, unless it's going to hurt you.
Focus on any projects you were apart of, how you contributed, and how you shined.
Did you help out with any classes or help a teacher review code? Mention it! You want to list as much real-world experience you had exposure to as possible.

6. Consistency.

Whether it's formatting, or wording, or bullet points, keep the document consistent throughout. Keep your experience ordered by most recent first.

7. Any language you list is fair game.

To go along with my story in tip 1, any language you list on your resumé, your interviewer could, and probably will, ask you some questions about it. Only list languages you're comfortable with, and feel free to mention in your interview that you've dabbled with others.

Top comments (25)

chrisvasqm profile image
Christian Vasquez

Thanks a lot for the tips!

I'm currently focusing on finishing a few courses and building up my portafolio in order to change jobs from QA to Android Developer, and this will help me a lot ♥️

kaydacode profile image
Kim Arnett 

Good luck! I’m in iOS and it’s a great field to be in, mobile that is. 😊

codemouse92 profile image
Jason C. McDonald

Great tips!

le_newtype profile image
Nicholas ―M―

Point 7 is super true: when I got out of college, I listed "SharePoint" on my resume because I had worked with it at one of my internships and was still in my "list everything you kind of know because you haven't had a real job yet" phase. As a result, when I got hired at a consultant agency, the project staffer kept trying to put me on random SharePoint projects and it was alarming.

(Not trying to knock those out there who live for SharePoint development, but I certain don't want to do it 🙃)

ben profile image
Ben Halpern

Point #2 could be confusing for devs who write a lot of CSS 🙃😄

kaydacode profile image
Kim Arnett 

Lol! Oops. 😂😂😂

ben profile image
Ben Halpern

Keep it though. It's a wonderfully hilarious scenario. Maybe add a footnote 👣

kspeakman profile image
Kasey Speakman

Hah, I thought the same thing. !important in c-like languages = not important. In CSS, it means VERY important.

ben profile image
Ben Halpern

I'd love to learn how !important in CSS came to be. It's such an oddity in software development.

rjpsyco009 profile image
Ryan Norton

I was wondering... shows my lack of CSS knowledge! That's really funny!

stephanie profile image
Stephanie Handsteiner • Edited

I was thinking the same, while I read that.

Another one of CSS's oddities. 😆

damcosset profile image
Damien Cosset

.!important {
display: none !important;
visibility: hidden !important;
opacity: 0 !important;

Got it!

eljayadobe profile image

At my previous company, the director that hired me told me I had the worst résumé he had seen in a long time. Completely dry, boring, and utterly lacked pizzazz. Conveyed no passion.

Your résumé is your advertising flyer. You are the product. And what you are selling your services as a skilled software developer.

So, you really need to express yourself... sell yourself... while also making it pass the HR filters.

Good luck, go get ’em!

Also, networking and socializing can be very helpful in finding the right fit for both you and your potential future employer. In our industry, there are a lot of us who are very shy, very introverted. So try to polish your people skills, because about half of the work of software development is actually people skills, communication skills, and team skills. Even for the I.C. (stands either for "individual contributor" or "interchangeable cog") positions.

kaydacode profile image
Kim Arnett 


aershov24 profile image
Alex 👨🏼‍💻FullStack.Cafe

Good tips. One more to add to that basket is to keep your resume just one (!) sheet long. I would also recommend to check the service where you could build your Full Stack Resume in less than 30 seconds. Instead of writing all the content by yourself the service will generate it for you based on your unique experience using the minimalistic A/B tested resume template!

lexlohr profile image
Alex Lohr

I wrote my resume as a rather small, self-contained HTML file ;-)

evanoman profile image
Evan Oman • Edited

LaTeX + Continuous Integration is the way to go :D

yechielk profile image
Yechiel Kalmenson

I have a Markdown resume pinned to my GitHub profile.

waylonwalker profile image
Waylon Walker

💅 Customize

Honestly I completely dropped languages completely on my last version of my resume. I followed Ken Coleman's resume guide and it was a hit. Custom make your resume for the job, tell them why you want to be there, how you can add value and get a killer referral. I also went to their website and pulled their brand colors for all of the color (which is very minimal.)

👍 Examples

👎list of languages

On the other side of the fence I haven't been in charge of hiring, but I have been asked to pull a couple of resumes to the top of a big pile. One thing that I look for and was rarely found on a resume, was things you have actually built. Things that show me that you know how to actually think and solve problems with the tools that you are touting yourself on. This can be from past job experience, a side project, an assignment, anything that shows me that you can solve problems. The list of languages was the last thing that I looked at.

sneas profile image
Dima Snisarenko

Thanks for the useful tips!

A few days ago I decided to put my CV on GitHub and as a result this project's been born Feel free to use.

niorad profile image
Antonio Radovcic
  • make sure your photo is professionally taken
  • don't rate your skills via ★★★☆☆, nobody knows what it means
  • if you add a github/linkedIn/website, make sure they are not dead
thanakonjakkam profile image
aravind profile image
Aravind Putrevu

There is a Udacity course on resume writing. That helped me tune my resume. Please see that.

dinamiqo profile image
Christian Alvarado

Great tips. I will update my resume. Thanks a lot!

jnefoussi profile image
Jonathan J Nefoussi