If you want to stand out against the competition, you will need a resume that shows your ability to handle and execute for the job you're applying for. Considering most entry-level developers lack professional experience, it’s important to include information which will allow you to differentiate yourself. Here are some tips to provide the edge you need.
Look Beyond Internships
Internships can be a great first step in the professional world, but it is possible to get some real-world experience before you land your first full-time job. In addition to any internships or school projects, try doing some programming for a non-profit organization, a family business, or a personal project to grow your skills. When listing these projects, don’t forget to mention the technology and the development techniques you have used. For instance, you may mention using Ruby on Rails for building a website for a local golf club, GitHub for version control, Twilio for supported messaging, or MySQL for storing data.
Highlight Your Experience in a Developer Environment
Employers prefer to hire developers who already have been exposed to a software development environment. Skills like version control, time estimation techniques, ticket management, etc. are not part of a conventional computer science degree, but these skills denote a large part of the tasks that a programmer must carry out every day. If you have any experience with these skills from any activity such as an internship, definitely list them on your resume. However, if you are a fresh graduate with no mentionable experience, you should read How to Write a Resume When You’re Just Out of College!
Include Relevant Information Only
One of the most common observations by hiring managers is that entry-level developers clutter their resume with unnecessary or unrelated facts. If you are an entry-level developer having trouble filling a one page resume because of not enough experience, it is still better to focus on job-relevant experiences. List one or two projects from college courses, and stick only to the most important aspects, such as mentioning which programming languages or frameworks you have used. Do not forget to mention other essential skills beyond doing programming, such as team work on a group project or managing the project timeline.
When you are preparing an entry-level programmer resume, keep in mind that your main goal is impress the hiring decision maker and let them know that you have what it takes to successfully perform the duties of the position you’re applying for. The hiring manager needs to be able to quickly identify your skills and experience, regardless of whether you are just starting out in the field or if you have many years of experience.