Although a professional portfolio is a great way to present your skills and talents to prospective employers, a web developer still needs a resume that highlights their skills and experience in order to land crucial job interviews.
What’s the purpose of a web developer resume? It fills in the blanks for the recruiter and/or hiring manager. It should highlight or explain things that aren’t always obvious from your work samples, such as your area of specialization, the kinds of challenges you’ve solved, your aptitude for teamwork, and your role progression. Most importantly, it should also show the value you can deliver, via the results you’ve achieved (which can also help when negotiating a web developer salary).
In this guide, we’ll cover the major steps to creating an effective web developer resume, as well as delve into some things reviewers look for when evaluating these resumes.
Work Backwards to Move Forward
When Arno Markus creates a resume for a web developer, he works backwards.
A certified resume writer, CEO and founder of iCareerSolutions, Markus starts by reviewing job postings for the role the candidate wants to pursue. He then tailors the resume’s content to the main job requirements and ensures it contains enough keywords to make it past applicant tracking systems and the scrutiny of non-technical reviewers (who may not be familiar with the nuances of the position).
Beginning with a career goal or personal vision for the future also allows him to create a resume focused on the future, not the past. “Resumes should be geared toward the job you want, not the jobs you’ve had,” Markus explained.
Creating a resume that showcases your potential and qualifications starts in the profile section, with a title that matches your dream job. Follow that with a strong personal branding statement and a brief summary that lets employers know who you are, why you’re qualified, and the value you offer. Finally, conclude with a list of key strengths, including knowledge, proficiencies, skills and talents.
“The title and branding statement needs to support the job you’re aspiring to,” Markus said. The actual profile should be no more than five lines and focus on high-level achievements and your strengths, not granular details, he continued. Here’s an example for a candidate aspiring to a senior web developer or technical lead position:
Senior .Net Developer
OPTIMIZING PERFORMANCE AS A STRATEGIC WEB DESIGNER & DEVELOPER
Strategic and creative website developer delivering highly impactful websites while serving as both a developer and technical lead. Leverage strong technical acumen to achieve strategic solutions, resolve complex issues, and improve operational effectiveness. Extensive exposure to cutting-edge web development technologies, software development, and project management, consistently meeting tight deadlines. Lead dynamic teams to maximizing results.
Website Design & Maintenance
Revenue & Profit Growth
Training & Development
Provide Examples of Relevant Success
Maximize space and provide context for your accomplishments by giving a brief, high-level overview of each position in your work history section, detailing the primary job duties, responsibilities, and position scope along with the essential tools and technologies you used.
Rather than providing a laundry list of projects under each position, focus on the examples of your work that were most impactful or challenging but also present your mastery of the critical skills and expertise that match the specifications for your targeted position.
“Create an addendum if you want to highlight additional projects, or add additional work samples to your LinkedIn profile, where you have more room to show off your professional chops,” Markus advised. That way, you have the flexibility to provide more detail when appropriate without overwhelming reviewers.
To succeed, you need to set yourself apart from the competition. How? Today’s resumes must be “results-driven” rather than the task-driven. Emphasize the impact of your work by working backwards, again. Start each bullet point or statement with the outcome you achieved in boldface type followed by the “how-to”: the tasks, activities, best practices and tools you used to achieve the result. (In other words, the reverse of the popular Situation, Action, Result or SAR format.)
Also, make sure to start each statement or phrase with a power verb. Markus provided the following examples (You can view the entire sample resume here.)
Universal Technical Resource Services, Picatinny Arsenal, NJ (Gov Ctr) 2015 – Present
Created and executed first-ever functionality that allowed efficient tracking of individual users visiting applications on new server set up; this was achieved by pulling user information from server headers and storing content in user object within the applications’ session pipeline.
Designed Oracle JSF application in collaboration with team members while holding little experience in front-end framework; quickly gained knowledge of framework through extensive research to achieve desired results, driving ample customer satisfaction and earning a $10K raise.
Streamlined operations by improving the ability to track projects through the TFS portal utilizing Git; studied TFS web portal to achieve a successful project management solution.
Led the conversion of Oracle Java / JSF Trinidad application to ASP.NET MVC leveraging advanced expertise in REST API Web Services; trained team members in .Net MVC utilization and concepts; converted Oracle JSF / Java to Bootstrap 4 ASP .NET MVC application with an API layer.
Final Tips and Characteristics of an Effective Web Developer Résumé
To further highlight and validate your web development skills, provide a summary and links to a collection of your most relevant work samples, portfolios, apps and websites right below your work history.
Provide a skills inventory or toolbox: Provide a summary of your skills by category (such as operating systems, client side, server side, development tools, database etc.) and show how you applied them in your work experience summary.
Align your LinkedIn profile with your goals and resume: Whether they initially view your online profile or view your resume first, potential employers will consider multiple sources of information before deciding to move forward with interviews. That’s why your resume and online profiles need to complement each other, and highlight specific qualities, skills, work samples and affiliations that support your career goals.
Be sure to include hot certifications and coursework: You should include formal education as well as top certifications and coursework that demonstrate expertise in fundamentals or advanced skills and a passion for continuous learning. (In addition, more specialization and skills will allow you to potentially negotiate for a higher salary.)
Match the job description: To capture the attention of automated and human reviewers, make simple modifications/customizations to match the requirements in the job description and your area of specialization—before hitting ‘Send.’ Even better, use a free tool like Jobscan or Résumé Worded to compare your resume to a specific job description, make changes, add the right keywords, and get past applicant tracking systems.