Before you begin writing your programmer resume, make sure that you really want to do this on your own. There are many professional resume writers and resume services you may want to hire to help you. Sometimes their expertise makes all the difference between getting and not getting that first interview.
If you decide to write your own resume, the best place to start is to analyze resume examples that utilize common resume formats. This will give you a good idea of the resume templates being used successfully today to land those lucrative programming jobs.
Next, look at technical and programming-related web sites and publications to help you choose the key words you need to emphasize in your resume so that scanning software used to identify strong job candidates won't pass you by.
When constructing a resume for a programmer job, write a skills-based resume concentrating on the skills, knowledge and achievement related to the programming world. Avoid the dry, functional, chronological listing of positions held and duties performed. You are not the only programmer applying for the job. Make your programmer job resume unique and stand out.
Your "objective statement" should be clear-cut and precise. Do not give any descriptive statements. Examples of good objective statements for a programmer job resume would be, "An entry-level position as a HP-UX/UNIX Systems administrator that enables me to demonstrate my ability to learn on the job" or "A position as a Project Manager in the EDA industry that lets me utilize my excellent communication and presentation skills."
An employer reads dozens of resumes a day. There is no particular reason why he/she should remember yours if you don't make your credentials and your experience stand out in your programmer job resume. Decide on what you want the potential employer to take note of. Try to convey your key messages by using specific points.
For instance, if you are applying for a position as an IT Help Desk Manager, this example might help:
- Four years' experience as a supervisor on an IT Help Desk for a medium-sized company
- Training staff in Microsoft Office products
- Degree in Office Technology from Kent University
- Author of plain language guide to database management.
For software engineers, refer to this:
"Software programmer - Duties include developing current release using C++ and Java, assisting in design of next release (J2EE), traveling to standard meetings at SNIA SMIS-S to represent Company, traveling to SNW, a semi-annual consumer conference to showcase product, and working closely with new developers in IndiaTechCenter."
Unless the employer asks for a specific programming skill, list and highlight all the operating systems you're familiar with, programming languages you have qualifications in and the software packages you have used. This example might be of some use while listing your skills in your resume for a programmer job:
- Operating systems: UNIX (FreeBSD, Solaris, Linux), Windows 95/98/2000/NT, Cisco IOS 7.x-12.x, plus some experience with AIX, HP-UX, OpenVMS, NetBSD, OpenBSD and others.
- Programming Languages: Perl/CGI/mod_perl, C/C++, HTML, UNIX shells and tools, awk/sed, SQL, Python, Pascal, and BASIC.
- Network Products: Cisco Routers, Cisco Switches, Cisco PIX Firewalls and Cisco IP Telephony equipment (ICS7750); Checkpoint FW-1; Linux/Unix firewalls (IPFilter, IPFW); Avaya Cajun products; Network General Sniffer, tcpdump, Ethereal, Snort.
- Network Technologies: FastEthernet, Gigabit Ethernet, FDDI, OSPF, BGP, ATM.
Don't forget to list your best skills first because the person reading your resume might only read the first three or four.
Related Activities and Interests:
Include additional activities and interests that will give potential employers a good idea of your competence and your special areas of expertise. This list may be helpful in highlighting your strengths and talents. There is no need to use all of these categories. Choose the few that suit you best.:
- Honors and Awards
- Language Competencies
- Community Involvement
- Avocations and Interests
- Leadership Activities
- Memberships and College Activities
- Travel or Study Abroad
In addition to these important guidelines for constructing your resume, there are many resume tips plus simple resume formats to follow that will help you compose a great resume. Some of the more important rules are as follows:
- Never write more than two pages.
- Use a format that makes the resume inviting and easy-to-read.
- Think about your accomplishments and make them the focus of the resume
- Tell the truth.
- Use buzzwords and keywords.
- If possible, tailor your resume for a specific job, not just a specific industry.
- Include computer proficiency levels for almost all jobs.
- Ensure all dates link up and leave no suspicious gaps if you are using a chronological format.
- If there are gaps in your work history, use a functional resume format.
- Make sure your cover letter is as good as your resume.
- Practice your job interview skills.
- Don't forget to follow-up with a thank-you note.
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