How to Write a Programmer Resume (With Template and Example)

By Indeed Editorial Team

Published 12 October 2022

The Indeed Editorial Team comprises a diverse and talented team of writers, researchers and subject matter experts equipped with Indeed's data and insights to deliver useful tips to help guide your career journey.

A programmer's primary function is to design and develop software by writing and revising computer programming code. When applying for a programmer position, an up-to-date resume that highlights your technical abilities is usually a requirement. Knowing how to write an effective resume can help you capture the attention of a hiring manager and get an interview. In this article, we discuss what a programmer resume is, outline how to write an effective resume for a programming job and provide a template and an example to help you write yours.

Related: What Do Programmers Do? (With Salary, Skills and FAQ)

What is a programmer resume?

A programmer resume is part of the application package you submit when applying for a computer programmer position, along with a cover letter and copies of your qualifications. A resume is usually a single-page document that represents who you are as an information technology (IT) professional. It summarises your most relevant skills, working experience and qualifications in a way that highlights your suitability for the position you're applying for.

How to write a programmer resume

To write an effective resume for a programmer position, consider following these steps:

1. Analyse the job listing

Before writing your resume, take time to analyse the job posting. Note the qualifications the company is asking for and any industry-related keywords that appear throughout the listing. As you compile your information, aim to include as many of the keywords as apply to you. This can help make sure any applicant tracking systems (ATS) recognise your resume as having potential, and the hiring manager sees that you align closely with what they're looking for in a candidate.

Tailoring your resume to each job that you apply for is a strategic way of presenting different sides of yourself as a professional in a way that matches each position. This can raise your chances of selection for an interview.

Related: Functional Programming Languages: A Definitive Guide

2. Choose the right format

Choose a suitable format for your resume to highlight your most relevant information, depending on the stage of your career. If you have over three years of experience, the reverse-chronological format is a good choice, as it front-loads your major skills and showcases the latest achievements of your career close to the top of the resume. This can make the document quicker and easier for a recruiter to read. For entry-level applications with little experience, consider using a functional resume that focuses on your skills and qualifications.

Related: Resume Format Guide (With Examples)

3. Include your contact details

Inserting your contact information into the header section of your resume makes it easier for an employer to contact you regarding your programmer job application. The information they typically require is your full name, contact number and professional email address. It's customary to include your home city and state but unnecessary to list your street address.

4. Write a professional summary

A professional summary is a brief introduction to who you are as an IT professional. In two to three lines, summarise your top skills, education, any notable accomplishments and career goals. When writing your summary, consider tailoring what you include to show how you can benefit the organisation. If your career goals align with the organisation's goals, your resume is likely to resonate with a hiring manager.

5. Include work experience

To make the most of your work experience, list your current or most recent position first. Thereafter, you can list your previous positions from the most recent to the oldest. Under your most recent or current position, add five bullet points that detail your achievements and accomplishments within your duties. Use these points to show how you may provide value to your employer based on your past achievements that match their requirements.

Related: Developer vs. Programmer (The Difference Between the Roles)

6. Include a section for programming projects

As a programmer, a large part of your focus is on the projects you've completed. Consider including a projects section with content that relates to the open position. For example, if you're applying for a gaming position, you can include links to creative, fun projects. If you're applying to a corporate tech company, aim for projects that highlight your ability to follow instructions and your programming proficiency.

Related: Learning How to Code: The Beginner's Guide to Coding

7. List your relevant programming skills

When including your skills on your resume, it's best to focus on the skills the job requires. If you're an experienced programmer with reasonable working knowledge of many programming languages, it may seem right to include them all, as it shows your full capabilities. Consider only including the exact skills an employer is looking for to show you're a suitable candidate for the position. Let the job post guide you on which skills to include. Listing basic software skills on your resume isn't necessary, as being a proficient computer user is a natural part of programming.

Related: 8 Beneficial Computer Programmer Skills That Are in Demand

8. Insert your education

Include your degrees and qualifications, listed in reverse chronological order. If you graduated within the previous five years, you can include the date. Some degrees an employer may look for include a bachelor's degree in computer science, information systems or mathematics. The knowledge of one or more of the major programming languages is usually a prerequisite. It may be possible to gain a programmer position with an undergraduate degree in a different field if you have sufficient additional courses and experience to equip you for working in programming.

Related: How to Improve Software Engineering Skills (A Helpful Guide)

9. List your certifications

List any certifications and licences you have and include the date awarded or the expiry date. As with the other sections of your resume, let the job post guide you regarding which certifications to include. Certifications can help an employer feel confident about hiring you, as they know you've met the industry standard.

Resume template for programmers

You can use this reverse-chronological template to help you create your resume:

[First name] [Last name], [Degree or certification if applicable]
[Phone number] | [Email address] | [City], [State]

Professional Summary
[Two to three sentences that highlight years of experience, relevant skills, education or certifications and achievements as a professional].

[Job Title] | [Employment dates]
[Company Name] | [City], [State]

  • (Strong verb) + what you did (more detail) + reason, outcome or quantified results.

  • [Job duty]

  • [Job duty]

  • [Job duty]

  • [Job duty]

[Job Title] | [Employment dates]
[Company Name] | [City], [State]

  • (Strong verb) + what you did (more detail) + reason, outcome or quantified results.

  • [Job duty]

  • [Job duty]

[Project title] | [Date]

  • [Project description].

  • [Project description].

Skills [Skill] | [Skill] | [Skill] | [Skill] | [Skill] | [Skill]
[Degree and major] | [Name of school or university]
[City], [State]
[Certification name], [Host organisation], [Year completed or expiration date]

Resume example for programmers

Review the following completed example of a resume:

Marsha Tipps, BSc Computer Science

+61-035-554-356 | | Hamilton, Victoria

Professional Summary
Innovative and technically adept programmer with 15 years of experience in computer programming. Designed and developed a test automation tool that reduced collective testing time by 52%. Valuable team player with extensive experience in supervising product testing, reviewing and analysing test results. Trained and fulfilled a mentorship role for 12 junior programmers.

Programmer | September 2012–Current
The Software Truck | Hamilton, Victoria

  • Lower software errors by up to 82% through a series of programming revisions and updates

  • Lead a team of analysts and programmers to facilitate new program development

  • Construct workflow documents before new projects to map out program ideas visually

  • Improve the efficiency of e-commerce software by over 62% through adapting the workflow

  • Analyse system administration programming input to improve the software design

Junior Programmer | January 2007–August 2012
The Digital Security Company | Melbourne, Victoria

  • Reviewed computer software functionality and made adjustments according to management feedback

  • Documented each update and revision of software in the instruction coding area

  • Tested software updates and delivered feedback to the senior programmer

Internal facial recognition software | 2012

  • Designed and developed in-house facial recognition software for employee security (the software is still in use by the company).

  • Created a user-friendly interface that allowed management to monitor employee attendance automatically (the software is still in use by the company to date).

Advanced knowledge in computer development software | Highly skilled in the use of database management tools | Organised and committed to task completion | Complex problem-solving ability | Strong attention to detail
BSc in Computer Science | The Computer Programming University
Melbourne, Victoria
Professional Computing Affiliation, The Computer Programming University

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