9 Key Things the Hiring Manager Is Looking for on Your Developer Resume
There are many, many things that a hiring manager looks for on a software developer's resume. Here are nine of the most important ones.
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1. Your Career Path
While experience obviously matters, it’s your actual career trajectory that hiring managers will be most interested in. Demonstrating a career timeline that matches up to the position you’re currently seeking is highly important because whoever is reviewing your resume will want the direction of things to make sense. For example, if you were developing things on the front end at your previous job, what would a hiring manager think if you’re now seeking something at the back end? Would he or she consider the possibility that you want to put together a block of experience that covers both sides of the development process, or is there a chance that he or she would interpret this in a way that suggests you’re just throwing darts and hoping to snag any job you can find?
A great way to explain a career shift that might be open to interpretation to a hiring manager is to include an objective statement section on your resume. In addition, if you use your cover letter to explain your reasoning in a positive, logical manner, that could also go a long way to clear up any ambiguities.
2. Customize It
Depending on where and what you’re applying for, you most likely want to be flexible with the story you present. A good way to do this is to put together a project master list that covers everything significant that you’ve done during your career. When you’re actually working on your resume, insert the projects from the list that are most relevant to the position you’re applying for.
If the requirements for a position say you need to be proficient with X-type projects, then look back to your list, see if anything matches, and include it on your resume while taking out work experience that’s not as relevant.
3. Don’t Exaggerate Or Make Things Up
The key to customizing your resume is to put your most relevant abilities and experiences center-stage to demonstrate how they’ll make you an optimal employee. However, you don’t want to massage the truth so much that a hiring manager will think you’re the perfect applicant. One way or the other, the truth will come out. If you claim on your resume to be a wizard at something that you’re not, then you’ll most likely be found out in the interview and that could bring the process to a quick and permanent halt.
So, just be honest and create a resume that presents you in the best, but also most accurate, way. There are a lot of writers for resumes if you ever need any help. This is a great way to go.
4. Get Those Keywords In
Keeping things in line with honesty, you’ll want to insert any keywords into your resume that are also listed in the description for the position you’re seeking. Tech companies, in particular, utilize keywords as a way to filter the resumes of applicants that best match what they’re seeking.
One key note: although a computer will be screening your resume first, once it makes it past that stage, an actual human will be going over your application. You want it to be written in a smooth, natural way.
5. Include Relevant Links to Social Media Sites
It’s a good move to preemptively satisfy a hiring manager’s curiosity by including whatever links to professional social media profiles you’d want him or her to be able to find. This not only makes things easier for him but will also help keep him from running an actual Google search on you – and you never know what can turn up with one of those. On top of that, if you’ve got a great-looking website that you built that shows off your technical prowess, then, by all means, include a link to it.
6. It’s What’s Inside That Matters
You want to use your resume to impress a prospective employer with your experience and skill set. While creativity has its place, most hiring managers are solely concerned with a candidate’s relevant qualifications, not their sense of resume design style.
Thus, in a developer’s case, you want to use your resume as a place to outline your familiarity with the most cutting-edge programming framework, reveal the successful results of relevant projects, or insert a script you came up with when figuring out an intriguing issue or problem.
7. Do Not Name Your File “Resume”
Believe it or not, a lot of candidates submit a resume through email with the title “resume.pdf.” Not only do these prevent you from standing out, but they’re also a headache to search for since a ton of other documents will all come up when searched for. So, as a simple but highly effective tip, include your full name on your file.
8. No Typos
It doesn’t have to be the greatest piece of prose ever written, but you want to be grammatically correct and, most importantly, spell every single word right. Thanks to the wonderful advent of spellcheck, it should be quite simple to avoid turning in a resume with typos. Additionally, not correcting what the computer catches might just turn a hiring manager to toss your resume aside.
9. For the Love of God, Don’t Include a “Questionable” Email Address
Keep your email address very, very bland and simple. Using one that’s humorous, “R” rated, or just flat-out weird could cause a hiring manager to change his or her mind about you on the spot. My recommendation is to go with your first and last name and that’s it.
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