computer programmer resume

7 Computer Programmer Resume Tips That Can Shorten Your Job Search

Posted on 24. Nov, 2014 by in resume

Computer programmer resume. I get tons of questions about the computer programmer resume. If you are a computer programmer searching for a new job, you are not alone. Make no mistake, a great computer programmer resume remains in great demand. However, like any other profession, recruiters and employers receive many a computer programmer resume. Yet, most of them are quickly discarded. But a great computer programmer resume will yield unending calls from employers and recruiters alike. Is your computer programmer resume generating these types of calls? Here are some tips to help get your computer programmer resume in shape.

1. Computer Programmer Resume Skills Summary

The most important detail for any computer programmer resume is your specific technology experience. Why? Because employers, recruiters, resume reviewers, and application tracking systems all search resumes for keywords relevant to specific job positions. Imagine an algorithm that scored your resume against the job posting based on keywords/skills in the posting. The computer programmer resume skills summary allows you to ensure you get all of those technologies listed on your resume to score higher on these reviews.
One of the most important things you can do with your computer programmer resume is to make it easy for a resume reviewer to find your experience with specific skills on your computer programmer resume. For this reason, you should always include a Technical Skills section on your computer programmer resume. There are several approaches for your technical skills summary. The most common approaches are to provide a bulleted list, a short table, or even a short paragraph. Some list skills on their computer programmer resume organized by technical area, such as database, programming languages, networking tools, etc. Keep you list brief, after all, it is just a list of skills. Specifying versions is not usually necessary for the skill listing. The key purpose of this technical skills list is to make your skills easy to find. You want a reviewer to quickly see your key skills on your computer programmer resume, such as databases, programming languages, testing tools, etc.

As a resume reviewer, let me share with you a tip related to your technical skills summary. After I see the list of skills, I then look further in the resume to identify the specific places that skill was used and assess how much experience a candidate has with the skill. Problem is, many times, candidates never mention the technical skill anywhere else. In most cases, I just assume they really don’t have experience with that skill and are just listing it to catch my eye. So, remember to follow through and ensure that the skills you list are also spelled out in your position write-ups. Do not make the assumption that a resume reviewer will know that you did x, y, or z. More often than not, they do not make those assumptions. If it is spelled out in the IT job posting or ad, make sure it is on your resume in your technical skills list and experience writeup.

2. Computer Programmer Resume Key Words

As a computer programmer, you understand logic and algorithms. Take advantage of this and apply it to your resume. Understand how methodical the prescreening process is for online computer programmer resume submissions. These screens are done using logic in software applications. Other screenings are often done by human resources or other non-technical personnel who may not fully understand the technologies behind the position for which you are applying. That is why it is so important to use keywords on your resume. Let me say that again, it is so important to use the RIGHT key words on your resume.

Most initial computer programmer resume screenings are done using a checklist of items that must appear on the computer programmer resume to get it to the next stage, whether screened by computer or staff. If you don’t have the correct ratio of keywords on your resume for the position, you don’t make the cut. So why do so many candidates for computer programmer jobs not take the time to ensure the correct keywords are on their resume for each individual position for which they apply? That is a good question.

As I mentioned earlier, do not assume that a reviewer will be familiar with terms and concepts that can substitute for the ones in the position announcement. That may or may not be true. Best advice is to use the potential employer’s terminology from the job posting since that is most likely what reviewers will be looking for. Again, do not assume that the initial reviewers are familiar with the technology involved with the position. They may not be. Make it clear that you meet all of their requirements by ensuring your technical skills summary, experience summary, and experience details all generously use the correct keywords for the position you are seeking.

3. Summary of Experience

When a computer programmer resume reviewer determines you have experience with the required technologies, they are going to next try to determine how much experience you have with the required technical skills. Remember again that your job is to make this easy for the reviewer which in turn will improve your chances of passing the resume screening. Reviewers don’t spend a lot of time on individual resumes. If it is too difficult for the reviewer to determine if you meet the requirements, chances are they will just move on to the next candidate.

Do not put an Objective section on your computer programmer resume. It’s not very valuable to anyone. Use the limited space on your computer programmer resume wisely and provide a short one paragraph (2-3 sentences) summary of your qualifications for the position. Include things like years of experience and the types of experience and perhaps a few of the most important technologies related to the position. Use this section to make the reviewer’s screening process easier and improve your chances of passing the initial screening. Use it to your advantage.

As I mentioned earlier, take the next step and make sure that each of the write-ups in your experience history (your job summaries) include these details as well. When I get into a detailed computer programmer resume review, one of the first things I do is map the summary to the details. I want to see where and when you had the experience I am seeking for the computer programmer job. If it is not there in the details, I typically assume you don’t have it, regardless of what your summary says. This is why it is so important for you to pay attention to these details because, as a reviewer, I most certainly do. The job summaries are key to getting past the initial resume screening. Take time to make sure the details line up with what you said in your experience summary and technical skills list.

4. Certifications

The importance of certifications depends on the individual employer. A lot of employers find these incredibly important, often even requiring them for certain positions. Yet, other employers may prefer candidates with certifications, but do not require them. Others may really not pay much attention to them at all. At any rate, you just don’t know where the company falls so you should always list these if you have them.

My experience is that, more often than not, professional certifications for major vendors and professional associations carry the most weight and are well worth the investment of time and cost. They are definitely good things to have and can often give you an edge over other similar candidates being considered. In the computer programming area, certifications from Microsoft, Oracle, and the like are definitely in demand. Highly sought after certifications from professional associations include A+, Network+, and Security + from Computing Technology Industry Association (CompTIA); Certified Information Systems Security Professional (CISSP) from International Information Systems Security Certification Consortium (ISC)²; and Project Management Professional (PMP) from Project Management Institute.

If you don’t have certifications, why not begin training for the one most applicable to you? These can ease a career transition proving your knowledge in new areas where you may not have as much work experience. There are many great online or in-person training programs to prepare you for the certification exams. Check some of the following great resources:

  • Amazon provides a great variety of training preparation materials for many different IT certification exams so you can work at your own pace.
  • Kaplan SelfTest. Kaplan SelfTest provides career opportunities to technology students and IT professionals who prove their technical proficiency through guaranteed certifications success. Sensible and straight-forward products help you start or further your career and become the IT professional you strive to be.
  • Transcender. Transcender exam preparation products reinforce learning objectives and validate knowledge so you know you’re prepared to conquer even the toughest IT challenge and the certification exam. Courses area backed with a pass the first time guarantee.

5. Education and Training

Make sure you list any degrees you hold. Many employers want to see these. If you have work towards a degree, but are still pursuing or have never finished but you may someday, list it as in progress.

Do not forget to include a listing of relevant technology training courses you have taken. Many candidates forget to list these items out. They can be very important to demonstrate expertise and exposure to different technologies, especially for a less experienced candidate. I usually recommend putting Training last on your resume, often paired with Education. They also tend to help add key words to your resume and improve your results on resume screenings.

6. Action Verbs

Verbs are important so choose them carefully. I see so many resumes that use very poor verb choices and, as a result, they are not very engaging. There are definitely skills to great writing, and using the right words to convey action and make things interesting is one of those skills.

Make sure that your sentences convey that you did something. I know this sounds silly, but consider these two sentences:

  • This approach was an improvement over the previous standard operating procedures.
  • This approach improved the standard operating procedures.

While both sentences convey the same meaning, the second sentence is more active. That is, the subject of the second sentence (this approach) actually did the action (performed). In the first sentence, the subject is the same (this approach), however the verb (was) does not convey direct action. Try your best to make your sentence convey action by using action verbs. If you are struggling in this area, you may wish to consider working with a professional resume writer as discussed in the section below.

7. Results, Not Responsibilities

One of biggest mistakes on many a computer programmer resume is that in discussing their job experience, a candidate talks about what their responsibilities were. To clarify, a reviewer does not care what your responsibilities were, they care about what you did. One tip here is to avoid using the word responsibility or responsibilities on your resume so you don’t fall into this trap.

As you discuss your experience, talk about results. Talk about what results were realized because of the work you performed. Be quantitative. Reviewers love to see numbers and results. Talk about how many desktops or users you supported, talk about how many database you administered, talk about the percentage of network uptime you maintained, talk about percent reduction of security incidents your achieved, etc. Get the idea?

The current trend in job candidate evaluation is behavioral with the idea being that your past performance is the best indicator of your future performance. So, toot your horn a little and make your accomplishments known. Quantifying your experience is usually the most difficult part of preparing a resume for any person. So take some time, think it through, and detail the results you achieved in each of your positions relevant to the one for which you are applying.

Top Computer Programmer Resume Writers

Computer programmers notoriously despise documentation. They would rather do anything else than write documentation. Some computer programmers are great writers, others are not and avoid writing like a bad disease. Luckily, there are many great computer programmer resume writers who specialize in preparing resumes for computer programming jobs.

If want to use a top computer programmer resume writer, then let me suggest the following who do excellent work and know how to prepare computer programmer resumes. If you don’t enjoy writing or are not good at it, the investment up front in a well written computer programmer resume could make a huge difference in bringing in the interviews for your next great computer programming job. The ones listed here are among the best at getting results!

Top Resume Writer

Years in Business


Social Media Help


Great Resumes Fast

5+ Years


LinkedIn Profiles


Call to Career

20 Years


LinkedIn Profiles



How Good Is Your LinkedIn Profile

Computer programmers should have a great LinkedIn profile. Potential employers and recruiters use LinkedIn every day to search for potential candidates. How much easier is it to have someone find you than you find them? But for that to happen, your LinkedIn profile must be written similar to your resume, identifying your experience with specific technologies that are being searched. Remember the discussion we had about keywords? They are just as important here since potential employers and recruiters are searching on those key words. You want your profile to be included in their search results, so take time and develop it well.

You might consider contacting one of the computer programmer resume writers I mentioned above to assist you with your LinkedIn profile as well. It could be the difference between getting and interview and not getting an interview. And if you do get an interview, most likely your profile will be reviewed by the potential employer before you arrive at the interview. It better match your computer programmer resume. That’s why professional resume writers often prepare the resume and LinkedIn profile together. Take a look and see which best fits your personality, need, and budget. However, you can expect to spend anywhere between $150 to $400 for a complete computer programmer resume and LinkedIn profile package depending on your experience level. Here are the top picks again:

Post Your Computer Programmer Resume

Post your computer programmer resume to the top job boards on the Internet to get on the radar of top computer programmer recruiters. Each board will have a different variety of users, so make sure you post on several. Some companies do not have the budget to pay for access to all of the top sites, so they may only use one or two. Don’t bypass a site and lose out on a great opportunity. Here are the sites you should definitely have a presence on:

Good luck and if you are not getting calls within two weeks, you need to go back and revisit your computer programmer resume again to make it work better for you. Yes, your computer programmer resume is a living, breathing document that needs to be continually updated and rewritten for the computer programmer job market.

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