Back End Developer Resume: 8 Strategies For Writing One (+Resume Samples)

In this guide, we'll walk you through 8 tried-and-tested strategies to help you craft an impressive back end developer resume that really puts your technical skills in the spotlight, is tailored to the job ad, and sets you up as the top choice. 

Along the way, we include back end developer samples which you can use as your first draft. 

If you don't feel like reading and prefer watching a video instead, check out the front-end resume guide below. Most of the points it makes can be applied to your back end developer resume, too.

1. Choose the right resume format

Before diving into the details of your back end developer resume, it's crucial to decide on the format that best showcases your skills and experience. 

Generally, there are three main resume formats to consider:

  • Chronological (Classic). Focuses on your work history, listing your past positions in reverse chronological order, starting with the most recent job.
  • Functional (Skill-Based). Emphasizes your skills and expertise over your work history, grouping them into relevant categories.
  • Hybrid (Combination). A blend of chronological and functional formats, showcasing both your skill set and work history.

Out of these three, the functional resume format is an excellent choice for back end developers. 

Here's why:

  1. Skills-focused. As a back end developer, your technical skills are crucial. The functional format highlights your expertise upfront, catering to hiring managers' interests.
  2. Adaptable for any experience level. Whether you're an industry veteran or a newcomer, a functional resume easily accommodates work history gaps, limited experience, or an extensive career by emphasizing your skills and projects.
  3. Easily tailored for each job application. Functional resumes allow you to customize your skills to match job descriptions, showcasing your qualifications' relevance for each position, and increasing your chances of landing an interview.

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2. Elevate your back end developer resume with a powerful summary

A compelling resume summary can be your secret weapon in capturing hiring managers' attention and setting you apart from other applicants. 

Typically condensed to a few sentences, your resume summary is a brief introduction showcasing your key technical skills, experience, and accomplishments as a back end developer. 

Let's go through some tips to help you create an eye-catching resume summary:

  1. Keep it concise. Keep your summary to 3-5 lines, focusing on standout experiences, skills, and achievements to engage hiring managers quickly.
  2. Tailor it to the job. Customize your summary according to the job description, highlighting the skills and expertise that align with the employer's requirements.
  3. Quantify your achievements. Where possible, use numbers to quantify your accomplishments, such as the percentage by which you improved database performance.
  4. Mention soft skills. While technical skills dominate a back end developer's resume, briefly mentioning some relevant soft skills — like problem-solving, adaptability, or communication — can demonstrate that you're a well-rounded candidate.

Let's see how this can look in practice. 

Back end developer resume summary example:

“Adaptable back end developer with a strong track record in creating efficient, scalable web applications. Proficient in Java and Spring Boot, with a deep understanding of RESTful APIs and microservices architecture. Experienced in optimizing database queries, reducing query execution time by 40% and enhancing application performance. Skilled in implementing secure authentication and authorization mechanisms, ensuring data integrity and protection.”

3. Highlight your back end development hard (and soft) skills

As a back end developer, you rely on specific technical skills to perform your job. Naturally then, hiring managers pay a lot of attention to the skills section of your resume. 

While creating the skills section, don't just include every single skill/tool/software you've ever touched. Instead, you want to add skills that align with what the company is searching for.

You can do so by researching the job description and tailoring your resume around the specific programming languages, systems, and programs they want.

Best hard skills to include in your back end developer resume

  • Back end programming languages: Python, PHP, Java, C#
  • Back end framework: ASP.NET Core, Spring Framework
  • Front-end programming languages: HTML, CSS, JavaScript, Typescript
  • Front-end framework: Angular, React Native, WPF
  • Mobile framework: Xamarin
  • Operational routing APIs: Toutific, OnFleet
  • Databases: Oracle, MSSQL, MySQL
  • Version control: Git, TSF
  • Cloud services: AWS, Azure
  • Security compliance
  • DevOps
  • Docker, Kubernetes

Plus, you shouldn't completely ignore soft skills in your back end developer CV.

Best soft skills to put on your back end developer resume

  1. Communication. Effective communication helps back end developers collaborate with team members and explain technical concepts to non-technical colleagues.
  2. Creativity. Creative thinking allows developers to find innovative solutions and enhance application functionality, improving user experiences.
  3. Adaptability. Tech landscape is rapidly evolving; hence it's crucial for back end developers to stay up-to-date with new tools, languages, and frameworks.
  4. Problem-solving. Strong problem-solving skills help developers quickly identify and address code issues, maintaining project success and efficiency.
  5. Teamwork. Back end developers often collaborate with front-end developers, designers, product managers, and other stakeholders throughout a project's lifecycle.

Our tip is to only add skills you know in-depth and that you’re comfortable discussing in an interview. But if you feel it’s important to also list some other technologies, you can divide your skills section into “Key skills” and “Other technologies”.

4. Create a custom personal projects section

Naturally, your resume should include standard resume sections, like:

But if you want to get noticed, you need to give hiring managers something extra.

Adding personal projects section to your CV can help you do just that, plus it will make you a more qualified candidate. Some even say this section is a must-have for people looking for a back end developer position.

And which projects can you include in a section like that? It can be a blog, a mobile app, or a personal website — really anything programming-related that you created by yourself and in your own time. 

It will show the hiring manager your passion for programming — and hiring managers love that!

Just create a separate section called “Side projects” or “Personal projects” and include:

  • Name of each project
  • Short description
  • Tools and technology you used
  • Respective links

By the way, if you're bound by an NDA and cannot really talk about your past projects, there's still a way to include those projects in your resume. Our resume vs non-disclosure agreement guide can help.

5. Include your back end developer courses and certificates

This section is a great place to let the hiring manager know you’re someone who likes to stay up to date with new softwares and programs.

Jot down relevant courses and new cloud-based certificates either in the education section or in a separate section called “Courses & Certificates” (in case you have more than 2 of them).

List your certificates in reverse chronological order, beginning with the most recent one. 

Don’t forget to include:

  • Name of the certification
  • Dates
  • Authority
  • URL or code for the online badge

6. Education section tips for young developers

For young back end developers who may be lacking significant work experience, your education section can play a vital role in showcasing your skills, passion, and potential. 

Here are some tips to enhance your education section and make it stand out to potential employers:

  • Highlight relevant coursework. Mention any courses or workshops relevant to back end development, such as programming languages, data structures, algorithms, or web application development.
  • Include school projects. Showcase your hands-on experience by listing school projects that demonstrate your coding abilities, problem-solving skills, and familiarity with development tools. Briefly describe the project, the technologies used, and any notable achievements.
  • Showcase internships and hackathons. Including internships, hackathons, or coding competitions can demonstrate your initiative and practical experience. These experiences show employers that you can apply your skills in real-world situations.
  • Describe your thesis. Show your in-depth understanding of a specific topic and the tools you used. Highlight if your thesis project was picked up by a third party or company and is now being used in real-world applications, demonstrating the practical relevance of your work.

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7. Tailor your resume for specific job ads

One key factor in making your back end developer resume successful is tailoring it for each job application. A simple, yet effective trick.

Customizing your resume can significantly increase your chances of landing an interview, as employers can easily see the connection between you and the role. 

Plus, it helps get you through applicant tracking systems (ATS) that may be used to scan resumes.

Here's how to tailor your resume using keywords and other elements from the job description:

  1. Analyze the job description. Carefully read the job ad, taking note of the required technical skills, qualifications, and other attributes mentioned by the employer. Look for specific keywords and phrases that stand out and are repeated throughout.
  2. Match your skills and experience. Review your resume to ensure it highlights the same skills and qualifications mentioned in the job description. Swap out or rephrase your skills to match their terminology.
  3. Incorporate keywords throughout your resume. Use the identified keywords strategically throughout your resume, including your summary, skills, and experience sections.

8. Link your GitHub

GitHub is very similar to LinkedIn for technical roles. Don't panic, we're not saying they're the same. 

What we mean is that most of the hiring managers will either look your GitHub up or ask for it anyway. Just like they look at LinkedIn profiles.

Apart from getting noticed and showing off your programming skills, a GitHub profile is a great way to show off attributes that simply cannot be conveyed through your resume. 

For instance, it shows you know:

  • how to write a clean code;
  • that you can read code;
  • and that you have great collaboration skills.

And how to include GitHub on your resume? Simply put a link to your best GitHub project at the very top of your resume, right next to your contact details.

Don't forget to set up your repositories to showcase your best work, as employers may browse through your projects.

Lastly, only put GitHub on your resume if you deem it as your advantage.

Published on May 22, 2023

Klara recently graduated from the University of St Andrews in Scotland. After having written resumes for many of her fellow students, she got an opportunity to write full-time for Kickresume. Klara is our go-to person for all things related to student or 'no experience resumes'. At the same time, she has written some of the most popular resume advice articles on this blog. When she's not writing, you'll probably find her chasing dogs or people-watching while sipping on a cup of coffee.

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