How to craft a balanced programmer resume?

You can detect a code smell like a pro. You make things work by employing your masterful programming skills, and the only thing you cannot stand is the other people's bad code.

There is no doubt that as a programmer, your role is fundamental in today’s digital-focused world. That is why the number of related job offers is on the rise. The catch is, however, that the number of your competitors is on the rise too.

How to break through then?

Well, let us start with building an impressive programmer resume that no one will say "no" to.

As a great programmer, you surely know that applying bad input will only bring bad output.

Let’s not adopt "garbage in, garbage out", and make your resume effective in pursuit of your dream job.

Still looking for a job? These 100+ resources will tell you everything you need to get hired fast.

1. How to spruce up your programmer resume with the best format?

You know how to make things functional, and it surely is a piece of cake for you.

Well, appearance can communicate function too. And what is more, it can convey a quality impression.

Make your resume neat and easy to read, and catch a recruiter’s attention from the very first moment. How to make it happen?

  • Set one-inch margins on all sides.
  • Use a reverse-chronological order presenting your most recent work experience first.
  • Employ a two-column layout. Distribution of individual sections has never been more productive. You will maintain a low page count!
  • Give your resume room to breathe, and use white space between your programmer resume sections.
  • Avoid using stylish fonts. Opt for a good old classic, such as Calibri, Arial or Cambria.
  • Ensure that your formatting is intact by saving your CV as a PDF document. Unless your potential employer specifically asks for a Word format.


2. How to create a thrilling professional summary for your programmer resume?

Writing an effective professional summary may require some time to brainstorm. After all, it is the first piece of writing on your resume that a hiring manager reads. And that is why it is absolutely crucial to make it shine.

Create, Read, Update, Delete. Well, do not delete. Just update, based on the job posting you are replying to. Tailor your programmer summary to each job you are applying for, and it will surely bear fruit.

  • Use keywords from the job posting you are replying to. This is how you catch a hiring manager’s attention before you say Java.
  • Think of your greatest accomplishments related to the job, and quantify them whenever you can. Avoid listing dull duties and responsibilities that talk a lot but say nothing.
  • Use impactful language. You may find the following examples of interesting adjectives and strong verbs useful: self-driven, enthusiastic, dependable, motivated, spearhead, demonstrate, implement, mentor, increase, etc.

Programmer professional summary example

Enthusiastic Programmer and Solution Architect with 5+ years demonstrated experience in designing, architecting and supporting enterprise-level internet scale solutions hosted on cloud and on-premise technologies. Led the optimization effort and realized a total savings of USD 5M per year. Implemented service auto heal system to auto-recover services from failures. Eliminated 2000+ service failure alerts and reached 200+ ticket reduction.


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3. What are the best skills to put on your programmer resume?

As a skilled programmer, you are surely familiar with more programming languages than one would need. It may be tempting for you to fill your resume with an array of hard skills, whether they are needed or not. Would it be effective though?

Each recruiter is looking for specific competencies. Tailor your skills section, and mention first those programming languages that are relevant to the position you are applying for. You can surely score by adding your proficiency in them.

Remember to add your soft skills speaking loud about your productive personality features.

The best programmer soft skills for your resume

  • Attention to detail
  • Communication
  • Organization
  • Teamwork
  • Patience
  • Accountability
  • Positivity
  • Problem solving
  • Curiosity
  • Motivation
  • Patience
  • Strong memory


Effective hard skills to put on your programmer CV

  • Python (Certified Professional in Python Programming 2)
  • SQL (superior proficiency)
  • ReactJS (advanced proficiency)
  • Angular (advanced proficiency)
  • PHP (professional)
  • HTML
  • CSS
  • C#
  • Java
  • Model-View-Controller
  • GIT
  • Azure DevOps
  • JIRA

4. How to effectively list work experience in your programmer CV?

Writing good code and seeing it go live must be a great satisfaction. Now the time has come for you to reap the rewards of hard work by getting a better job. The only thing you need is to present your work experience in the best light possible.

If you plan on mentioning every duty and responsibility you have had in your roles, you will need to debug.

The most effective job descriptions are the most relevant ones, filled with keywords from the job posting and quantified accomplishments.

Programmer work experience example

BMC Software, Austin, Texas
Senior Software Programmer

  • Developed and deployed various internal web applications.
  • Designed and supported enterprise-level internet scale solutions hosted on cloud and on-premise technologies.
  • Led the optimization effort and realized a total savings of USD 5M per year.
  • Implemented service auto heal system to auto-recover services from failures. 
  • Eliminated 2000+ service failure alerts and reached 200+ ticket reduction. 

5. How to make your resume education section sparkle?

Even if there were hardly any specific education requirements in the job posting in question, that certainly does not imply “no education”.

Your programming background is important, as well as the way you present it.

Whether you have a degree in computer science or not, you can make your education section stand out by adding relevant coursework and achievements.

Listing education in your programmer resume

Technical University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, PA, United States
MA in Artificial Intelligence

  • Area of interest: Computer Vision and NLP
  • Excelled in Software Engineering for Data-Intensive Sciences
  • Relevant Coursework: Computer Vision and NLP, Advanced Robotics 4.0, Applied Autonomous Driving, Artificial Intelligence, Advanced Mathematics, Software Engineering for Data-Intensive Sciences

6. How to properly list extra sections in your programmer CV?

When it comes to adding extra sections, it may be a tough nut to crack. How to define the most suitable additional sections for your resume?

Think of any award, project, conference or volunteering activity that has contributed to your programming skills or character traits needed for the job. 

  • Language Skills
  • Certifications
  • Awards
  • Projects
  • Accomplishments
  • Interests
  • Volunteering Activities
  • Training
  • Conferences

Listing awards in your programmer resume

  • Excellence Award in Operations Excellence, Casco Project, February 2019
  • Microsoft Gold Star Award, April 2029
  • IT Excellence Award, Bredson’s AI, March 2020