Getting a spiffy new tech job isn’t as easy as handing in a resume with all of your work experience. With high salaries, great benefits and telecommuting opportunities, everyone wants a tech job. So your resume needs to be exceptional.
We’re going to help you perfect your resume so you’re one step closer to that made-for-you coding job.
What Is A Coder?
Coding means using the languages understood by computers to relay commands and process requests. As a coder, you feed commands to a computer in a language the computer understands, which enables it to perform tasks.
Programming, on the other hand, is a list of code statements arranged sequentially, which results in the completion of work. Programming includes a series of smaller tasks written in code that directs your system or smartphone to perform a specific task and bring it to completion. Programming is more complex and requires a wider range of skills.
So, to make things simple, programming always contains code but coding isn’t always considered programming. If you really want to dive into the differences between coding and programming, we’ve got you covered.
Best Practices for Your Coding Resume
Coding is undisputedly one of the most in-demand skill sets in today’s tech world. In fact, a 2016 Burning Glass report suggested that jobs in programming are growing 50% faster than the overall job market. The truth is, companies from all industries (financial services, healthcare, banking, and beyond) need coders and programmers. However, as a result, more people are now learning to code. And, as you could probably expect this means more competition.
Because of the increase in competition, you need to follow some specific steps to land a good job as a coder. Having experience is not enough anymore. In fact, being an exceptional coder isn’t even enough! Companies looking for coders are already drowning in applicants, so what really matters is getting the attention of your potential employers. The first step towards achieving this is to create an impactful resume, and we’re going to help you do that today.
- General Requirements
An effective tech resume clearly reflects a candidate's technical expertise. One of the most influential ways to include technical knowledge in your resume is to add a tech-summary or tech-expertise section to your resume. This helps simplify your resume and ensures that your employer doesn’t have to sort through the whole resume to find the important info.
Then, break the tech-expertise section into subcategories so that the reader can easily and quickly scan through your knowledge about programs and applications. Some examples of these categories are technical certifications, hardware, operating systems, networking/protocols, office productivity, web applications, and database applications. Again, this helps to make everything easier for the employer.
When adding other sections to your resume, make sure to include your soft skill expertise too. Your employer wants to know that you’ll be a good fit for the team. You need to be able to understand what the employer and users want from you, and you need to understand how to effectively communicate as well. Some other beneficial soft skills include being a team player, patience, a willingness to take on challenges, a positive attitude, and more.
- Tailor Your Resume to Coding
Every industry is different, and you need to make sure your resume is catering to the right one. If you want to land a job as a coder, you can leave out your experience waiting tables - but you might want to mention your experience volunteering to build a friend’s website. The tech industry is unique, and your resume needs to be too.
To cater to the specific job posting, you’ll want to check out the company you’re applying for. What keywords are they using? What skills are required for the role? What is their company all about? Once you’ve found the answers to those questions, it’s time to tailor your resume to show how you can benefit the company in all of the ways they want.
The more you relate your past experience to the current position you’re applying for, the more convincing an employer will find you. Remember, it’s not about where you worked in the past, it’s about the skillsets you obtained from those positions. Make sure you highlight those skills.
- Discuss Your Impact in Previous Roles
Think of your resume as a platform to highlight your expertise in various fields such as programming languages, frameworks, databases, or other software. Create a “Key Projects” section in your resume and mention your recent projects with links to them.
In this section, focus on the particular ways you made an impact in your current and previous roles. This is your time to really show your value to your desired employer. For example, if you made a nominal contribution to a platform that transformed the way your company’s attendance system operates, you’d want to highlight that. Your resume is not a place to be humble and hide your accomplishments, it’s your time to shine.
- Avoid Common Mistakes
There are certain mistakes that candidates end up making. However, the good news is that almost all of them are easily avoidable, provided you’re aware of them.
- First, skip the conventional objective or summary statement. You probably hate writing them, and recruiters can’t bear reading them. Write a profile statement which defines who you are, and showcases your professional brand instead.
For example, “I am an inquisitive coder, with a passion to produce effective code in various languages through understanding my users and practicing logical and critical problem-solving skills”
- Next, push the education section to the end of your resume. Unless your graduation year was in the last six to 12 months, leave it out. The same goes for the GPA--skip it unless you’re a new graduate and it’s an impressive GPA. Employers would rather see what skills you have than where you got them.
- Lastly, it’s extremely important that there are no spelling or grammar mistakes. Get as many people to proofread your resume as possible. Chances are an employer will not take you as seriously if your resume is full of errors, regardless of how much experience you have.
Prepare for the Interview
You now know how to create a solid coding resume. Along with your resume, you’re going to need a cover letter and a portfolio of your work experience.
By having a strong cover letter and portfolio (along with some solid interview preparation), your chances of getting hired as a developer are high. If it feels tedious spell-checking that resume for the fourth time, just think about how good it will feel to get that job offer down the road.
And remember, you deserve to land a job you’ll love, so go for it. If you’d like more guidance on how to kickstart your career in tech, our team is ready to guide you in the right direction.