If you are trying to line up your next job interview in the current career landscape, it can be tricky to stand out from the pack of the other potential job seekers. Moreover, hiring managers have to go through dozens, if not hundreds, of applications like yours.
It will take them only a few seconds to build a mental profile of your skills by scanning your resume. And much like anything else, first impressions are crucial here. Knowing how recruiters assess your candidature can help you craft a winning resume for your next developer job. Here are a few methods on how you can dress up your resume to impress your potential employers.
Comb Through the Job Description
It is a common mistake to check only the title of a job description. The body often contains tons of valuable information that you can use to your advantage when compiling your resume.
If the position mentioned requires the skills you know you possess but that aren't included in your resume, you should fix that oversight. Otherwise, chances are that the applicant tracking system will weed you out.
Make sure you include all the relevant keywords and highlight all the applicable skills in your application. Creating a custom CV for every job you apply for may take some time. But it is definitely worth it. For example, if you are applying for a Python developer job, make sure that your resume shows your previous Python projects.
Pick the Right Template
Resume templates have come a long way. A simple black and white Word document simply won't do. Luckily, there are plenty of commonly available options to choose from. But with the abundance of choices, it can also be pretty hard to pick the right option to present a convincing case to the recruiter.
If you need more insight in choosing the right template, it will be best to get professional advice from career resources. A resume writing service can showcase your work experiences as well as help you get more interviews by improving your resume. They can also keep your resume format focused and concise.
Structuring your Resume
We are used to seeing chronological formats in resumes. However, this style is gradually becoming outdated. If you need to catch the recruiter's eye, you need to put forth the relevant info first. For instance, if you have substantial work experience, make sure the most important parts of it are listed first.
On the other hand, if you are a new developer or a boot camp grad, recruiters will want to see your projects listed in this order:
- Any real-world experiences, projects, or internships.
- Your contribution to the projects
- Details about your education
- Other projects related to the programming industry.
- Any leadership positions you held during your school years.
Stand Out by Showing Your Impact
According to our career advice expert, employers no longer want to read through a list of responsibilities anymore. Instead, they are looking for specifics that tell them what value you can bring to the table. In order for you to stand out, you have to be specific when it comes to your projects.
Here are some of the ways you can do that:
- Quantify your role whenever you can. Add numbers - be it the number of customer queries you attended to, or the number of projects you worked on.
- Talk in terms of the results you helped achieve in a project. For instance, instead of writing "Helped fix bugs to improve the user experience," try "Reduced the user-reported bugs by 40% by identifying the root causes and fixing them within a week". The second version gives the employer a clear impression of your value as a professional.
- Mention the specific technologies and languages you used if it fits the context. This will give them more details about your skills and makes your resume more interesting to hiring managers.
Proof of professional growth is one of the most important factors in the tech industry. Certifications are the best way for you to gain more experience and exposure to different programming languages and aspects of technological development.
As such, it is crucial that you highlight what certifications you have. If the hiring manager uses an ATS system, you want it to scan your certifications as well, as it could easily put you higher on the list.
Attend to the Details
At some point in the recruitment process, someone who is an expert in your industry will look over your resume. So you want to make sure that you have submitted your qualifications in the right manner. For instance, as our recruiters point out, many developers write JAVA instead of 'Java' in their job applications. However, this is not required as Java isn't an acronym.
If your hiring manager likes to nitpick things - having such mistakes on your resume can cost you dearly. As developers scan through lines of code swiftly, they will also be able to pick up any smaller inconsistencies on your developer resume. Do not assume that simple typos will be overlooked, regardless of which industry you are applying for.
Beyond your Resume
Your CV is only one part of your job application process. There are other elements that can help to elevate the chances of you landing an interview, such as:
Employee referrals - if someone within the company can refer you to the hiring manager, it can significantly increase your chances of getting noticed. If you do not have any connections, take advantage of social media to reach out for a cold referral. Mention why you think you will be a good fit for the job, and give them an easy way out if they do not feel comfortable referring you.
Cover Letter: The impact of your cover letter will depend on the hiring manager. The general etiquette is that if you are sending an email, you can include your cover letter as the body. If not, you can provide it as another attachment. Regardless, cover letters can be the opportunity for you to explain any gaps in your resume.
Most importantly, even if you are not looking for a job change right away, do not wait around to invest in your professional network. A larger network can make it easier for you to get referrals and find jobs when you need them the most. Now, with LinkedIn and other professionally-tailored resources, it has become easier than ever to reach out to people.
To sum up, when writing a developer's CV, make sure that it is focused and designed around the job description. Follow our guidelines, and you will be able to give a fresh new look to your resume that will indeed catch the attention of any recruiter.