Building your Resume
So you are ready to start jumping into the job search. The first stop on your journey to your next job is your resume. So what information do you need to have on your resume?
Giving employers and recruiters a method for contacting you is vital. You want to make sure you give more than one outreach method and links where they can see your work.
Use your full professional name; this is the name that your application is filed under and used when verifying information about you.
If you have a preferred name, it is recommended you still use your full name, but it ok to add your preferred name in parentheses if you choose —for example, Kathlyn (Kathy) Harrison.
Having a professional email address is vital. You want to keep in mind that an employer may use this email to schedule an interview, send over an offer for employment, and any paperwork you need to complete. Here are some dos and don'ts of email:
- Use a professional email address
- Use your first initial, last name, or full name if possible.
- Create a custom domain if you want to match your email address to your portfolio
- Use an email address such as "email@example.com", while it is personal to you, it doesn't appear professional. It also doesn't let your recipient know who is sending it, and it could end up in a spam folder.
Here are some examples of professional email addresses.
- First name only: firstname.lastname@example.org
- First name and last name, without punctuation: email@example.com
- First name and last name, with punctuation: firstname.lastname@example.org
- First name, last name, and middle initial, with punctuation: email@example.com
- First initial and last name: firstname.lastname@example.org
- First and middle initial and last name: email@example.com
- Custom Domain: firstname.lastname@example.org
Note: It is important to remember that Dots don't matter in Gmail addresses
Need more help crafting the right email address?
- Professional Email Address
- 3 Rules to Choosing a Professional Email Address
- How to Choose a Professional Email Address
Having your phone number on your resume is essential to help employers reach you quickly. Employers having access to your phone number means that you should maintain a professional voicemail recording and keep your voicemail available for messages. You don't want a "full mailbox" to stop you from getting your dream job.
When it comes to listing your phone number on your resume, several different formats are considered acceptable: 727-867-5309 | (727) 867-5309 | 727.867.5309
You can also choose to put a label in front of your phone number such as "Tel:", "Ph:", "Phone:", or "M:" (for mobile).
Note: Google numbers are easy to create and useful if you want to protect your number
Adding your GitHub link to your contact information not only shows you know how to use GitHub, but it also gives employers and interviewers quick access to examples of your work. Listing is as github.com/username and making it a clickable link is acceptable and understood by other developers.
Similar to having your GitHub link on your resume, having a link to your portfolio gives employers, and interviewers access to your work. If your portfolio URL is too long for the space available, it is ok to use a Bit.ly link for a better visual flow.
This section should be a brief paragraph (three to five sentences) that shows the value you bring by highlighting your skills and a couple of big career wins.
Here are some things to think about when writing your Career Summary:
- Grab a hiring manager's attention right from the beginning, remembering you have only 25 few seconds to make a good impression.
- Spend time developing a summary that immediately gets their attention, and accurately and powerfully describes you as a solution to their problems.
Listing your skills on your resume incorporates the right keywords to optimize your resume for applicant tracking systems. Think of your skills as three possible categories: Technical skills section Relevant skills section Additional skills section Listing your skills, especially when changing careers, can help boost your resume and showcase your ability to work in languages a position requires. You don't have to list every minute skill you may have. Stick to skills that benefit the position or organization.
Need more help with finding what skills to add: Resume Skills Section: How to List Skills on Your Resume
It's essential to list your most relevant projects on your resume to communicate your experience and skills, but also to highlight hands-on examples of how you applied your capabilities to find a solution.
You can use your homework assignments or capstone project for this section if you are in the program or a recent graduate.
Need an example of listing a project:
Project Name | GitHub Link
- Skills Used: HTML, CSS, React, .Net
- Brief Description of the project (two-three lines)
When starting to list your Professional Experience, you should list your most recent job experience first, then the job before that, and so on. There are some exceptions to this rule, but most employers are expecting your resume to follow this format.
So what information should you include?
- Name of the employer
- Your job title
- Years of employment
- List three to four bullet points describing your most impressive achievements in that position. Focus on your accomplishments rather than your day-to-day responsibilities.
Note: The projects that you complete as a student at SDG can be listed as experience if you choose not to have a separate Projects section.
Need more examples on how to list your Professional Experience:
- How to write your professional experience section
- Should you use a chronological or functional resume?
If you have a limited educational background, don't panic. Lucky for you in the development community, many organizations and teams need skill and a good fit over someone with a specific degree.
If you have a degree or other educational background, please include it, even if it is not related to what you are doing now.
So what information should you include:
- Name of the school
- Location of the school
- Degree or Certificate obtained (if applicable)
- Field of study
- Graduation year (if applicable)
- GPA (Note: You may not want to include this if it's not above 3.4)
- Relevant honors or academic recognition, coursework, activities or other achievements obtained during your education
Need more examples on how to list your Education: How to List Education on a Resume
Listing volunteering and community service programs that you are involved in can help employers know what passions you have outside of work. Adding your volunteering is not mandatory, so if you are running out of space, leave it off but be sure to talk about them during each interview.
Need more examples on how to list Volunteering on your Resume: How to List Volunteer Work on Your Resume
So you have written your resume, formatted it to your liking, and now realize that it takes up multiple pages. The length of your resume depends on the amount of information you need to share.
"In a survey of employers, 66% said an entry-level resume should be one page Meanwhile, 77% said seasoned workers should have at least a 2-page resume, and maybe longer. Shockingly, 39% of experienced workers say their resumes are only one page long." - zety.com
One page resumes are easier to read, which is why so many people think resumes should be limited to one page. When you think about it, resume readers have to look at a large number of resumes daily, so having less information to scan makes sense. So how do you know if a one-page resume is right for you?
- Are you an entry-level worker?
- Are you a recent graduate?
- Are you making a career change?
- Do you only have a few years of work experience?
- If you answered yes to any of these questions, a one-page resume would work for you.
What should you do if your level of experience requires you to have more than one page for your resume? First, start by taking a close look at the experience you are listing. If you are going back to positions and experience that can be supported better by newer experience, it is ok to start eliminating unneeded positions. A general rule of thumb is that the applicant should be able to fit 10 years of work experience onto each page of their resume.
Something to keep in mind: the second page of your resume may not get as much attention as the first page, and it can even be separated if someone prints them out. You want to make sure that the first page contains your most vital information to make an impact on the reader.
Need more information to help you decide the right length for your resume:
Need more examples on how to list your Professional Experience: How to write your professional experience section