Breaking Down a Great Web Developer Resume

There are many positions for professional web developers available today. To secure an interview and get hired for your dream job, a strong resume is critical. Writing the perfect one is not easy and Many candidates struggle with what it should include.

“Every corporate job opening on average attracts 250 resumes,” says Glassdoor and only four to six of those applicants will receive an interview. That’s why the art of crafting a resume must not be approached lightly.

In this blog post, we’ll break down each section of what a great web developer resume looks like to help you impress recruiters and land your dream job. Take a look!

Job Outlook

Proficient developers are in high demand across many industries. In a recent CoderPad survey, 35% of recruiters stated they’re planning to hire more than 50 programmers in 2022 alone. The number one skill they’re looking for? Web development.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, employment of web developers and digital designers is estimated to grow 13 percent through 2030, with 17,900 job openings projected over the decade. In the United States, the average salary for a web developer is $67,535 per year. In Denver, Colorado, the average salary is $72,510 — 7% above the national average.

While employers’ main priority is seeking out knowledgeable candidates, they’re increasingly hiring outside of traditional universities and schools — expanding their talent pool to include individuals who demonstrate significant potential. One of the ways employers are transforming their hiring process is by seeking out online boot camp students to take advantage of their practical skill sets.

Breaking Down A Technical Resume

Applicant Tracking Systems

Before we dive into the first section of a web developer resume, It’s important to understand the software that scans your resume in a matter of minutes.

ATS stands for Applicant Tracking Systems and is a type of technology used to parse and organize the content of a job seeker’s resume while looking for keywords. 99% of Fortune 500 companies, as well as a growing number of small and mid-sized businesses, filter resumes through an ATS before handing them off to a human decision maker.

Why do companies use these automation tools? To simplify the recruiting process and filter out noticeably unqualified candidates from the initial applicant round. This way, recruiters are not spending hours manually reviewing hundreds of individuals for each open position.

To improve the odds of your resume successfully passing through these systems, focus on keyword optimization. ATS are seeking keywords that have been specified for each position, so it’s important to incorporate the top skills or words in the job description you’re interested in to appropriate sections of your resume. Make sure the keywords you’re including are relevant to your career experience and try to include synonyms whenever possible.

Here are some helpful tips to keep in mind when crafting your ATS resume:

  • Do not use tables, instead use lists with bullet points
  • Use the same font size and style (e.g. Georgia, Times New Roman, Verdana)
  • Do not include images and graphics as ATS are unable to process them
  • Steer clear of submitting your resume multiple times so you don’t drown the system
  • Do not include extra spaces or special characters as ATS are unable to read them
  • Skip abbreviations and spell out acronyms to ensure ATS read your information properly

Breaking your resume out into logical pieces for optimization of ATS scanning, while also making it more recruiter friendly, is critical. The key sections to include are: Header, Summary, Skills, Projects, Work Experience, and Education.

I. Header

Your header should be near the top of your resume, or in plain view, so a recruiter can easily identify your contact information. This section typically consists of your:

  • Full name
  • Email address
  • Phone number
  • City, state, zip code
  • Online social links

Your full name should be the largest text on the page, anywhere between 18-22 points. Similarly, your contact details should mirror the font size of the body of your resume. Ensure that you’re including a professional email address consisting of a Gmail or iCloud account. For example:

  • Do: janedoe@gmail.com; janesdoe@gmail.com; jane.doe@gmail.com
  • Don’t: janedoe1990@gmail.com; allthat@yahoo.com; thedoefamily@yahoo.com

If your resume extends to a second page, continue including your full name within the header on the top of the page. Not only will this help recruiters accurately track your submitted paperwork, but it can also prevent ATS from inadvertently missing additional content.

Lastly, it is highly recommended to write out all links on your resume. Why should you do this, especially if you’re applying for the majority of jobs online?

Occasionally, ATS will not process hyperlinks and this will lead to recruiters being unable to access your email, view your portfolio, or visit your LinkedIn. Additionally, if an employer physically prints out your resume, your hyperlinks will no longer be visible nor accessible unless you’ve written them out.

II. Summary

Your opening statement is about who you are and your qualifications — the summary section is an overview of your career highlights and skills. What sets you apart from other candidates? What value do you bring to the table?

This is a recruiter’s first written impression of who you are as a professional. Think of it as your own personal elevator pitch, so how you position yourself is incredibly important.

Try structuring your summary by following a brand statement format:

  1. Introduce yourself
  2. Address key career highlights
  3. Touch on significant soft skills
  4. Address what sets you apart

Try to not go over five lines in length, to avoid overwhelming the reader with too much copy. Each line should be carefully written to add value, cover the essentials, and effectively paint a picture of your expertise in the field.

Here’s an example of a well-written summary from a coding boot camp student:

Front-end web developer with a background in psychology. Trained at [school name] coding boot camp and earned a certificate in full-stack web development. Innovative problem-solver passionate about developing apps; focused on mobile-first design and development. Strengths in creativity, teamwork, and building projects from ideation to execution.

Don’t confuse your summary with an objective statement. While both may seem similar, they offer two different perspectives. Objectives plainly state your career goals and add redundancy to your resume — especially since you’re already applying for the desired role in mind. However, a summary succinctly listing your strengths and highlights the reasons you’re a great fit for the position.

III. Skills

We’re now entering the detailed portion of your resume. This section should list the hard technical skills that you’ve acquired through school, a boot camp, or previous professional experience.

Keep in mind that while you may feel the urge to include all the skills you may possibly know, any technical skills you do list on your resume can be further asked about in an interview.

If you’re a beginning web developer, you may think that filling up this section with a multitude of skills will make you look better. On the contrary, having a short but strong list of technologies that you’re capable of using during a whiteboard interview is more important than listing skills you have not fully mastered.

Keyword optimization is just as important in this section, so try to tailor your technical skills to the description. If you’re including an overabundance of skills that may seem too lengthy, break them out into sections (e.g. front end, back end, programming languages, frameworks)

Here’s an example of hard skills you can include in your web developer resume:

  • HTML5
  • CSS3
  • JavaScript
  • jQuery
  • Bootstrap
  • AngularJS
  • Firebase
  • MySQL
  • Security and session storage
  • User authentication
  • MERN Stack (MongoDB, Express.js, React.js, Node.js)

Please note that soft skills and foreign languages should not be included in this section. Instead, they should be incorporated into your summary.

IV. Projects

This section of your resume is your chance to show employers what you know.

After working hard at school or successfully completing a coding boot camp, showcase your abilities in the projects section of your resume. A good rule of thumb is to include up to three projects that demonstrate your abilities relating to the position you’re applying for. Avoid including irrelevant or outdated projects.

A great web developer resume will include a GitHub repository for each project and include the following:

  • Clean and commented code
  • Complete ReadMe’s with GIFs or screenshots
  • Detailed descriptions of what each project entails
  • Relevant skills or technologies used
  • Deployed and functioning project links

The more descriptive you can be with each project, the better. Employers want to know more about the inspiration and initial idea behind each piece of work. What inspired you to bring this project to life? How did the app evolve over time? What obstacles or bugs did you have to overcome?

For example, let’s say you created an application that shows all available coffee shops in the area. Instead of describing it as such, you can be more specific and better demonstrate your skill set as a developer by stating “A JavaScript-based application inspired by my passion for artisan coffee that dynamically displays locally-owned coffee shops as the user inputs their zip code or moves the map on the screen using React.js.”

For beginning developers, your resume is your professional business card so any references to homework or assignments in your project descriptions, titles, or links should be omitted. Ensure that each project you’re listing out has the proper application name. If you collaborated with classmates, list your role in the project and briefly explain your responsibilities during this period.

Project Name | linktoproject.com
Description of project. Tell your reader what problem this app solves.
Role in project
Technologies used

Again, don’t forget to write out each link or use a URL shortening service as ATS is known to break hyperlinks!

V. Work Experience

Your work experience should be listed in reverse chronological order. In this section, include any and all relevant full-time, part-time, contract, and seasonal positions, as well as volunteer and freelancing experience from the last 10 years.

But, what if you’re switching career paths and have no prior experience in the field you’re applying to? Not to worry. Candidates with little to no work experience can include internships, projects, or any other professional experiences they have acquired throughout the years.

Web developers come from many different backgrounds — technology is not always their first endeavor. Having a diverse skill set that is not just limited to programming is a strength, and you can highlight this in your resume (e.g., soft skills: communication, organization, critical thinking).

Each experience in this section should include the following:

  • Job title
  • Job description
  • Company name
  • City and state
  • Dates of employment

Note: ensure that you’re using past tense when listing out previous roles and present tense for current positions.

You want to make each work experience as impactful and quantifiable as you can. How? By adding 3-6 bullet-point descriptions for each role. When it comes down to it, data is everything — so don’t miss out on going back and evaluating how you added the most value in terms of percentages, dollars, or hours.

Are you able to include company data? Do you have access to significant metrics from performance reviews or annual reports? Did you hit certain goals within a specific time frame?

Sit down and scan through each task you managed in the past to show how you impacted the company as a whole. Start the beginning of each description with a strong active verb (but avoid repeating the same ones) and incorporate descriptive adverbs that translate you not only did your job but exceeded expectations.

10 Active Verb Examples

10 Adverb Examples

Achieved

Actively

Aided

Competitively

Built

Creatively

Composed

Efficiently

Corresponded

Logically

Designed

Proficiently

Executed

Reliably

Generated

Significantly

Initiated

Successfully

Resolved

Technically

Updated

Thoroughly

VI. Education

The typical entry-level education for a web developer is a bachelor’s degree, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. The tech field is ever evolving and major companies like Google and Apple offer opportunities for professionals without degrees.

List out your higher education, beyond your high school degree, in reverse chronological order with the degree title, the institution, and the location where you attended. Again, do not abbreviate any degrees — list each one out in its entirety (e.g. Master of Business Administration vs. MBA).

If you completed a coding boot camp, include this under the education portion as a certificate program, rather than as a boot camp or certification (e.g. Certificate in Full Stack Web Development).

Getting Started and Taking the Next Step

It may seem daunting to start building out your web developer resume — especially if you’re just starting out in the field. But, by keeping these helpful tips in mind, you can stand out from the large talent pool of potential candidates and break into a new role.

We’ve also included a sample resume to look through below, as well as a downloadable template to help you get started. Happy job searching!

Check out our sample resume below for even more tips:

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