A quick guide to writing a front end developer resume
To impress IT managers, you need to create a front end developer resume that showcases your experience and skills. Think of it as being similar to a development project – you must transform your personal information into a visual document that is appealing and compelling.
In this 6-step guide, we will provide you with all the essentials you need to write a job-winning resume as a front end developer. You will learn about:
- What format to choose that best fits your experience level as a developer
- How to write a summary that is specific to front end development
- Key front end development skills to consider including
- How to write effective work experience descriptions that highlight your accomplishments
- How to include relevant front end development coursework
- Optional sections to add to show off your non-work experience as a developer
1. Consider which resume format best fits your needs
Before you even begin filling in the sections of your resume, you need to consider which resume format is going to serve you best.
Depending on how long you have been a front end developer, your work experience level may vary. For instance, if you are fresh out of undergrad you likely will not have an abundance of formal work experience to include.
With this in mind, let’s examine the two main resume formats to choose from: reverse-chronological and functional.
When to use a reverse-chronological resume format:
A reverse-chronological resume focuses on your work experience, listing the most recent job first and working backward from there. This is the format most commonly used in entry to mid-level job applications, and will likely be the format an employer is most familiar with.
The best time to use this format is when you have an abundance of relevant work experience that can fill an entire page.
Ideally, you will have 3 to 5 examples of past jobs that are within the field.
When to use a functional resume format:
A functional resume emphasizes other sections besides work experience, allowing a job applicant to focus on their skills or non-paid experience. Unlike a reverse-chronological resume, the functional resume paints a bigger picture that encompasses credentials gained through different avenues than formal jobs.
For front end developers, the functional resume provides the opportunity to showcase not just skills, but also certifications, freelance work, personal or professional projects, and relevant coursework.
There are many reasons to opt-in to a functional resume as a front end developer, including:
- If you are a recent grad with lots of educational experience but minimal work experience
- If you have been working as a freelance developer on a multitude of different projects
- If you have gaps in your resume or are changing careers to become a front end developer
2. Write a detailed front end developer resume summary
Once you have chosen a format that works best for you, it is time to write your resume summary.
A resume summary briefly introduces you to the IT manager reading your resume. Depending on how well you craft this summary, it can impress an employer enough to continue reading. However, a poorly worded or irrelevant summary can result in your resume being discarded prematurely.
The key to writing a strong front end developer summary is to keep it specific to the job and include as exact details as possible.
Incorrect front end developer resume summary example:
"I am a Front End Developer with strong coding and programming skills. I am fluent in more than 5 different programming languages and am extremely goal and project-oriented."
What's wrong with this example? This incorrect example is far too vague and speaks in the first person. You should always write a summary in the third person and include highly specific details.
Corrected front end developer resume summary example:
Why is this better? In this example, the applicant provides a quantifiable number to represent their years of experience, as well as listing the specific programming languages they are fluent in. Additionally, they highlight their area of expertise (landing page and web development), as well as their ability to work both independently and collaboratively.
3. Pack your resume with skills specific to front end development
As you write your front end developer resume, you should constantly be considering how to weave in relevant skills and keywords into your resume.
Best skills and keywords to put on your front end developer resume
- Web Performance Optimization (WPO)
- SCRUM and Agile Methodology
- DOM Manipulation
- Front End Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
- Website or Application Implementation
- UX/UI Assessment
- Version Control
- Object-Oriented Programming
4. Prioritize accomplishments within your work experience section
When writing your work experience section as a front end developer, you want to ensure your job descriptions help you to stand out from the competition.
Like with the resume summary, your work experience section should be a specific and quantifiable as possible.
When writing a job description detailing a past experience, you should prioritize your best accomplishments or credentials gained.
Here is an example of a strong and compelling front end developer job description
Front End Developer
Unum | November 2018 – Present | Chattanooga, TN
- Assisted in A/B testing of different UX components that resulted in a 25% increase in customer conversion rates.
- Built a unit testing infrastructure using Selenium that reduced reports of bugs by 10%.
- Optimized images and code to increase Time on Page by 30 seconds on 60+ websites.
5. Highlight related coursework in the education section
If you are a recently graduated undergrad or have pursued higher degrees (such as a Master's), you likely have a vast amount of relevant front end development coursework and school projects.
It is preferable to showcase actual work experience on your resume. However, if the majority of your experience comes from your academic career, then highlighting your relevant coursework and any achievements or projects gained through this coursework is key.
Here is an example of an education section on a front end developer resume
B.S. in Computer Science | Web Development Concentration
University of North Carolina Chapel Hill, 2018
Relevant Coursework: Object-Oriented Programming, UX/UI Design, Vectors, Web Architecture
6. Add extra sections to showcase certifications and projects
What do you do if you are a front end developer who lacks formal work experience, but has multiple certifications and a strong portfolio of projects?
You create dedicated certifications and projects sections!
Omitting a traditional work experience section in exchange for larger “optional” sections is wise when your biggest strengths lie in your training and project experience.
For certifications, you should include information such as:
- Program and certification titles
- Date of completion
- Name of certifying organization
For projects, you should include information such as:
- Project name
- Client, university, or company that sanctioned the project
- Specific and quantifiable achievements gained through the project (specific percentages, such as improvements in conversion rates, are key!)