Winning Tips to Level Up Your Developer Resume

Tyler Au
4 minutes
November 15th, 2022
Tyler Au
4 minutes
November 15th, 2022

Winning Tips to Level Up Your Developer Resume

Developing a resume is hard, let’s be honest. Finding the right words when writing about your experiences is as hard as writing a senior thesis on astrophysics (okay maybe not AS hard, but the sentiment is there). And for junior developer job seekers, that difficulty is 10x’d. Deep dives into projects, figuring out which skills to put for which jobs you’re applying for, wondering if you should put skills or experience first- the junior dev resume experience is a force to be reckoned with.

Here are 5 winning tips to help you build your junior developer resume and land that job:

#1 - Powerful Action Verbs and the BAR Format

Every resume has bullet points describing the writer’s action and impact; that’s a given. But what people don’t know is the way you optimize how you talk about the impact you’ve made in a certain experience. Starting your impact strong with an action verb can captivate your audience and push them to read the full bullet point.

Instead of “reduced,” you can say “consolidate.” Instead of “improve,” you could say “maximize”. Incorporating more action verbs in your resume allows you to hone in on the specific impact you’re demonstrating in the bullet point and has more bearing on the reader’s understanding of it.

The Background Action Result format, or BAR, is a method of formatting your resume bullet points in a way to provide context before and after your initial action at a certain company. An example of this format follows as so:

“Increased sales (background) by 16% over a 3 month period by restructuring the sales force and adding more fun Fridays (action), resulting in more employee satisfaction and optimized sales efforts (result)

This article by The Muse is a great resource for finding powerful actions verbs that can get your point and impact across with some ✨moxie ✨.

#2 - Quantify Wherever Applicable

Numbers are everything! Quantification and numbers tell stories- how you increased a company’s revenue by 50% using an internal work group, how you directed the lead generation efforts, and increased top-of-funnel interactions by 83% through a viral Tiktok. Quantifications show the impact you’ve made at a certain experience and how your skills have benefited your employer.

Numbers are huge for everyone, but especially junior developers! In a developer resume, adding quantifications in your bullet points directly shows the impact of your specific coding languages and what level of advancement your skill is. The higher the number, the more advanced you are based on one’s interference.

For example, take a look at this developer resume:

Almost each bullet point carefully adds quantifications, whether it represents a percentage, a group of employees, or even a dollar value in sales. These quantifications help paint a picture that complements the resume’s story- it’s like the gravy on top of a heaping pile of mashed potatoes. 

#3 - Put Experience and Skills at the Top

7 seconds.

That’s the time it takes for a recruiter to scan through your resume fully, seems fast right? With thousands of resumes flooding their inbox, recruiters must screen efficiently, meaning less concentration on your resume and more decisions made in that 7 second span. 

You’re probably wondering, “How can I optimize my resume so the recruiter gets my full story and pushes me to a hiring manager?” Here’s how: put your work experience / any applicable experience from clubs and skills at the top of your resume underneath your header. 

Chances are, your education history doesn’t tell your entire story when it comes to the impact you’ve made during a certain experience. Putting your experience and skills at the top of your resume, instead of your education, will prioritize these two sections in the eyes of the recruiter. Underneath your experience and skills could either be your projects or your education history, depending on your personal preference. This trick saves them time, saves you the headache, and can potentially save your spot in the following interview.

#4 - A Good Resume is like a Good suit, Tailor It

Have you ever bought an almost PERFECT piece of clothing but noticed that one thing was off? Tailoring performs miracles, and when it comes to your professional resume, this same concept applies.

Making your resume fit the best towards a certain role is vital, especially if the job description highlights integral skills that are part of your toolkit but aren’t usually featured on your resume. But how can you do this?

If the role calls for proficient knowledge in Python, Next.js, and SQL, be sure to pull these skills from your experiences and prioritize them in your bullet points. In addition, adding certain certifications or projects that heavily align with what the role requires will showcase a good applicant-role fit. Keep in mind that your resume should only be one page long, so prioritization when tailoring is key!

Coupled with strong action verbs and a killer format, your resume will be ATS proof! But what is the ATS?

The applicant tracking system (ATS) is a way for companies to organize their hiring processes and streamline resume screening, filtering out applicants from the get-go. Having job keywords in your resume will help it overcome the often strict guidelines of the ATS and push your resume to a hiring manager.

TLDR: Tailor your resume by having job description keywords and skill matching!

#5 - Add Your Github

I’m sure you know this, but just in case, be sure to add your Github to your header! 

Even though you’ve added your projects and experience onto your resume, having your Github can tell a better story of the impact you’ve made and the skills you’ve refined (doing this is little to no effort, so you really have nothing to lose)!

Current Job Market

If you’re reading this, you’re probably 1) someone currently recruiting for jobs right now, 2) someone who is planning to join the job market, and/or, 3) someone who just wants to improve their resume. 

With mass layoffs, a slow growing job market (in tech at least), and major budget cuts, applying right now might seem like a fruitless endeavor. Trust me as I say that even though right now might be bleak, the effort that you put in will be worth tenfold in the future. Even if you don’t get that dream job or don’t successfully pivot into your dream industry at the moment doesn’t mean you won’t ever be able to.

Keep on doing what’s best for you, you got this!

If you're looking to develop some in-demand skills and further compete in this confusing job market, click here to view our latest webinar!

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