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Tips for building an awesome resumé!

moniquealtero profile image Monique Altero ・6 min read

Every dream job start with a resume screening and you should be able to show the recruiter that: you're smart and you're a good developer. I'm sure you are! So let's prepare your resume to highlight this!

0. Contact

You want to the recruiter get in touch with you, right? So remember to put your contacts at the very beginning of your resume. But remember:

  • It's easy to visualize when using icons, but keep it clean! We don't want to make a visual mess.
  • It's not recommended listing your address or age in your resume, let's keep it off.
  • If you're looking for a software position remember to include your GitHub account, Stack Overflow, portfolio link or anything that can show your abilities.
  • If your LinkedIn does not have a custom URL, create one. CLICK HERE
  • Remember to test all links and guarantee they are working.

1. Presentation Section (Summary/Objective)

This will seem obvious but: don't copy and paste. Seriously, I'm pretty sure you have an amazing life story, you should be able to tell it in your resume.

In summary section it's time to pitch yourself, so be sure to cover these questions:

  • Who are you? (Current role, where, years of experience...)
  • What's your background? (Studies, community experience...)
  • What's your job/technical experiences? (Overview, not everything!)
  • What are your precious skills?
  • What are you looking for?

Example:

I'm Software Engineer and a bachelor in Computer Science with almost 4 years of experience with software and coding. During bachelor degree, I had incredible opportunities that added a lot to me, including internships, and full-time jobs. But my favorite one was the opportunity to be an ambassador for an incredible project from Stanford University aiming to remove gender stereotypes in tech community.

I've already worked with large e-commerce applications and also with fitness ones. Furthermore, I have worked on the entire product development cycle, from requirements gathering, UI designing, coding to deployment phase. Moreover, I am a dynamic person and able to work with any type of technology or programming language because I truly believe that these are tools to solve problems, and we must use the best tool for each problem.

I'm looking for a place where I can go further with my skills and contribute to improve the codebase and to the team environment, sharing what I know and learning a lot with them too.

--
Be careful! I know this is kinda extensive but It's just an example so you can shape it in your own way.

2. Employment History (Experiences)

Your resume SHOULD NOT include your whole history, including every job you had. Let's highlight the experiences related to the job position you're applying to and experiences that can show skills meaning to the position as well.

This is the section that almost everyone fails. Why? You may ask yourself...

When describing your experiences you may show how much impact you made at that position not some generic phase.

Example:

  • I wrote tests routine using Jest. (now playing: Michael Scott - "No God, please no! ")

  • I improved the test coverage using Jest library from 45% to 85% of company's codebase, allowing to prevent several errors in production and increasing code maintenance.

Can you notice the difference? Tell your history, show them how meaningful you were in each position you have been.

Ohh, I almost forgot: list your job experience through bullet points. Please, do not write long paragraphs.

Think about it: recruiters receive thousands of resumes per day, make it easier to them.

Example:

  • Helped to coordinate interns backlogs applying Scrum fundamentals, test routines and mentoring them with technical issues.
  • Analyzed user needs and achieved them with several creations of user interfaces (UI Design) created with Figma's high level prototypes solutions to meet them.

It is easy, isn't it?

3. Projects (Extracurricular Activities)

This section has an especial place in my heart because, here, you have a chance to present yourself as more experienced, especially if you are in college or got recently graduated.

You can list your top 3-4 most relevant projects or open-source contributions. Use this section like the job experience one, thoroughly describe your achievements with your projects and you may also include the technologies you used in it (if it is a technology project).

Example:

Presenter for Android Fundamentals Class - Latin American Free Software Festival (Apr, 2019)

  • Taught 40 students on how to build their first app using native Android with Java language.
  • They learned Android fundamentals covering activating components, manifest file and app resources, after the theory, we built a basket game score app.

4. Skills (Programming Languages and Software)

"Software like Microsoft Office can almost always be cut. Technical software like Visual Studio and Eclipse is somewhat more relevant, but many of the top tech companies won't even care about that. After all, is it really that hard to learn Visual Studio?" - Cracking the Coding Interview, 2017

Once again, be concerned about what to list in this section. Do you really should list every programming language or framework that you work with? Or should you list the ones that you feel more comfortable with?Maybe the ones you want to work with?

A common mistake that I used to see is using level bars to show your proficiency. Seriously, what does 65% of JavaScript even means? Did you already use 65% of their methods? Did you read 65% of their docs? I DON'T KNOW! Please, do not use this because it's meaningless.

Level bar used for listing skills

Here's a professional way to list your skills:

- Languages: JavaScript (expert), C# (proficient), Java (prior experience).

Tip: The keywords as fluent, expert can be used as well.

5. Education

This is an optional section but you if you want to include it here some tips:

  • Show clubs and societies you were part of.
  • If you founded any initiative it's time to show here with a brief description.
  • Only include your GPA if it's really good.
  • If you own a Masters or PhD this is an important section to you, so let's highlight it.

Example:

B.S. in Computer Science, University Center Euripedes of Marilia (Jan. 2016 - Dec. 2019)

  • Activities and societies: Computing and Information Systems Research Lab
  • Founder of Compsi Girls, a mentoring group to support female students at the university and to promote community events focused on women in technology.
  • GPA: 9.5/10

Extra Tips

-"Moni, how many pages my resume should have?"

Well, this is a common question. The recommendation is: only one! The recruiters recommend having 1 page to less experienced candidates and 1,5 or 2 to more experienced ones, and with more experienced I mean 10 years or more of experience.

One page is nice because it's easy to see the information that's relevant and also easy to make an impact.

I know it's hard to sum up but it's an exercise you will really need to do.

-"Is there a kind of template to use?"

YES! Prefer the clean ones (you can show you designing abilities at Dribble or Behance) and choose the right typography, I mean, we don't want our resume written with Comic Sans, right? Just kidding, but It is serious, okay?

Minimalist resumes examples

You can find thousands of clean resume's templates on Overleaf Gallery. CLICK HERE!

> "Everything seems right, but I'm getting auto rejected."

In the last few weeks I've been studying more about interview steps. And I found that companies receives thousands of resumes per day, and they will not screen all this manually, right? So what happens? A script scan your resume and found keywords related to the job position and if you got a match a recruiter will check it. So it is very cool to describe in detail the programming languages and frameworks you used in past professional experiences.

In addition, build your resume with tools that help to index words through scripts. For example, Latex or with Microsoft Word. For example, I built a beautiful resume on Figma, generated the PDF and it was being rejected in seconds, so I transcribed everything to an Overleaf file and success!


Wow, I know this is long but I hope you can get your dream job with some of these tips! Also, feel free to share your feedback or personal tips.

Thank you.

Posted on by:

moniquealtero profile

Monique Altero

@moniquealtero

Hey, I'm Moni! I'm a Mobile Engineer and passionate about technology. I use my free time to read about a lot of stuffs and also to write some cool articles. Enjoy it!

Discussion

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I'm actually not looking for other job opportunities at the moment, but because I saw this post, I want to revamp my resume and follow this. I won't use it for now but would be good to have an updated one. Thank you for the tips!

 

Thank you for your feedback! I really appreciate it and I'm glad to hear that I could provide cool tips. 🥳

 

Thanks for the tips about the scripts and designing a CV in figma. I did the same. I'll have to update it in another format 😞