So, you need a web developer resume. Some people will tell you the job market has never been better. Others will say job hunting in the modern tech world is getting more and more difficult. Both claims are true. It’s a confusing paradox.
Here’s a rock-solid fact though: your resume shouldn't be a blunt instrument to secure a basic position. It should be your secret weapon in getting your dream job. Resume.io can help you achieve that result. As a leading international resource for job seekers, we’ve developed more than 300 occupation-specific resume guides and resume samples, along with professionally designed, field-tested templates and an easy-to-use resume builder tool.
This resume writing guide, along with the corresponding web developer resume example, will show you how to write a resume that is both professional and engaging, ensuring it won't get lost in hundreds of others. You’ll find out how to present your most highly sought skills and win over HR specialists, opening the door to top-level companies.
Above all, the tips, stats and hacks laid out here will help you make sure the hiring manager from your ideal company won't hit "delete" before even reaching the "skills" section. Instead, they'll rush to schedule an interview ahead of the competitors.
Here’s what we’ll cover:
- Role of web developers and the job market outlook
- General writing tips for a web developer resume
- The best format for structuring your web developer resume
- Advice on each resume section: header, summary, work history, education and skills
- Professional resume layout and design hints.
What does a web developer do?
Web developers design, create and maintain websites, using the latest industry software to provide a superior user experience that consistently delivers the customer/readership base that the website is seeking to attract.
The web developer job market
The web developer market is hot right now. Not only is it wide open for new candidates, but it’s projected to grow. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics estimates the number of web developer jobs will increase by 8% between 2019 and 2029, about twice as fast as the average for all occupations.
Here's the traditional StackOverflow survey: in 2017, web developers made up 70% of all developer respondents. In 2021 19, full stack, back-end, front-end, and desktop developers continued to account for the majority of all respondents. Web developer demand and popularity is high.
Positions are plentiful, but the growing number of specialists can translate into a bottleneck of hundreds of resumes per job listing. This results in short attention spans of recruiters and automate systems filtering applicants.
What's the conclusion? There’s a serious need to make your resume stand out. But you must also make it clear, professional and visually appealing.
For additional ideas and inspiration to help you prepare a job-winning web developer resume, check out these and other specific resume examples and writing guides in the information technology category:
- Systems Analyst resume sample
- Technical Project Manager resume sample
- Computer Science resume sample
- Network Engineer resume sample
- IT Director resume sample
- Software Engineer resume sample
- Film and Video Editor resume sample
- Motion Graphics Artists resume sample
- Network Systems Analyst resume sample
- 3D Animator resume sample
- Software Developer resume sample
- Web Developer resume sample
- Programmer resume sample
- Data Scientist resume sample
- IT manager resume sample
- Data Analyst resume sample
- IT Project manager resume sample
How to write a web developer resume
Great resumes can change people’s lives. So, let’s dive right in.
What your web developer should have in common with most resumes, regardless of occupation, is the structure. It should fit on a single page and include all of these elements:
- Employment history section
- Education section
- Skills section
Before going through these sections in detail, one at a time, let’s look at some general considerations for your web developer resume.
Imagine crafting a resume, only to have it rejected by an automated system and never reach human eyes. Or losing the recruiter’s attention due to a technicality. Or not mentioning a programming language that was actually a huge “bonus point”. Or ... you get the picture.
Applicant Tracking Systems (ATS) started out as a tool used only by the largest corporations. Today, it’s become a widespread way to streamline recruitment. In a nutshell, the ATS scans and scores your resume for keywords, skill placement, contact information and similar things to filter out (supposedly) unqualified candidates before passing the document on to HR.
Different ATS have different configurations, so there is no catch- all trick to pass through them. But we'll go over some effective tips and methods to give you a serious advantage, especially pertaining to web developers.
U.S. survey results show that, in general, 75% of resumes are never seen by human eyes. It can become a resume black hole. So, understanding how the ATS works is important.
As noted previously, recruiters are constantly flooded by resumes, most of which are very similar. This leads to a lack of patience for confusing wording and layouts. Beyond that, HR professionals are almost never simultaneously tech specialists.
So, it’s important to emphasize general human qualities and skills in addition to featuring your tech expertise. Later in this guide, we'll take a look at the specifics for each resume section.
Choosing the best resume format for a web developer
If your web developer or IT career has followed a linear path of employee positions, the most commonly used, failsafe chronological resume format is will be ideal. It provides the most straightforward overview of your work experience in the employment history section.
But if the web developer position you’re pursuing would be a radical departure, or if you have often worked as an independent consultant in contract positions, you might want to consider an alternative resume format. Functional resumes, for instance, emphasize specialized skills or specific industries. Other web developers might opt for a hybrid (combination) resume format blending both chronological and functional elements.
Resume summary example: Let your story shine through
The summary of your web developer resume provides the first professional and human impression you make on the employer. It's your introduction. It's a confident statement with a dash of character.
Highlight your best accomplishments and projects in your summary (sometimes called a personal statement). Present your key qualifications and talents. Show the image of a seasoned professional. Be objective, but be positive about yourself. Modesty is a great quality, but not in a professional "sales pitch."
The technical side
An ATS-proof resume begins in the summary.
ATS software scans for keywords before sending your resume to a human. These keywords will encompass the skills (both hard and soft), qualities and experience relevant for the job.
How do you know which keywords should be in your summary and resume? There are three main sources: industry knowledge, the listed job description and word clouds.
Tap into your industry knowledge to identify coding languages that are on the rise (we'll get to that later) or what additional interests may attract the recruiter's AND also ping the ATS screening algorithm. For example, a survey by IEEE Spectrum shows that encryption and blockchain are among the top areas of interest for developers of many specializations. The same goes for knowledge of databases, client-server architecture and the basics of software testing. You don’t always need to be an expert in these; but if you have them, flaunt them (space permitting).
Posted job description
This is your best friend when it comes to keywords. Most ATS tests are configured to correlate with the advertised job listing. The more similar terms and connections there are between the resume and the job description, the more likely you are to pass the bot scan (and impress the recruiter). So, give the job description some love.
Sometimes the keywords in the job listing aren't that obvious. Word is an excellent little tool to analyze the text (and there are others like it) and see what words are used the most. It also shows hidden patterns and logic.
For example, if you see that the words "team" and "collaborate" are large in the word cloud, you'll know that describing yourself as a sociable team player is going to resonate with both the ATS and the recruiter. Likewise, if Python is very prominent and mentioned multiple times, it may be a great idea to note it first in your summary and skill list.
Don't overdo the keywords or make their placement too artificial. The ATS is just the first step. You still need the recruiter to sense that your resume was written by a living (and interesting) human being, not by AI.
It’s important to note that the principles and methods for finding and using the right keywords will help you even if this target employer doesn’t use an ATS algorithm. Analyzing job descriptions, using word clouds to find patterns and keeping up with industry stats — these are all powerful tools regardless of circumstances.
The human side
Most IT recruiters aren't technical specialists themselves. So, while they need you to present your qualifications, they also get bored by a litany of terms they don't always understand. A quick Google search will show you recruiter guides that start by explaining the difference between front-end and back-end. Or they might differentiate between a web designer and a web developer. You have to consider things from this perspective.
Your web developer resume summary is your savior in this regard. Make sure it describes a professional but injects enough character to make you feel like a real person. Make yourself stand out from the crowd. Job-specific descriptions should incorporate powerful action verbs (words that imply mental or physical action — ideas of movement, energy and determination). Portray your interactions with people on a team or your personal productivity on important projects.
Below is a web developer resume example summary you can customize.
Experienced Web Developer adept in all stages of advanced web development. Knowledgeable in user interface, testing, and debugging processes. Bringing forth expertise in design, installation, testing and maintenance of web systems. Equipped with a diverse and promising skill set. Proficient in an assortment of technologies, including Java, ASP.NET, C#, IIS, Tomcat, and Microsoft SQL Server. Able to effectively self-manage during independent projects, as well as collaborate in a team setting.
Bonus tip for junior developers and interns
If you lack experience, don't give up, it isn't a game-ender. Talk about objectives and extra credit accomplishments in the summary. Highlight the passion projects you've worked on (even the small or non-profit ones). Describe your fields of extra study and research (such as encryption and blockchain). Mention the conferences, hackathons and developer meetups you've attended.
But above all, be sincere about your goals, determination, productivity and desire to grow.
Here is a resume summary example for less experienced web developers.
Determined and productive web developer with a passion for creative solutions. Proficient in Java, C# and HTML. Dedicated to learning additional technologies and coding languages (currently enrolled in a C++ course). Regularly attend the Boston Morning Hackathon and various DevOps meetups. Created a non-profit website for a local arts project at the Boston Youth Gallery. Looking for an entry-level position at a great company to be a hard-working asset to any team, to learn, grow and develop long-term.
Employment history sample: A trail of success
There's a way to present your professional milestones that makes you look like a superhero, without exaggerations or half-truths. Here’s some good news: web development and coding has never been more accessible. This means you no longer need a decade of experience to apply for an awesome job. Consider that 20.5% of developers learned to code less than five years ago and 45% have less than 10 years of experience. However, there’s a golden rule you still need to follow for your resume’s employment history: put your best foot forward.
List your most relevant and recent positions first. Many candidates searching for unicorn opportunities have companies like Google, Microsoft and the like on their resume. How do you compete with that?
Eye-tracking tests have shown that recruiters take around six seconds to decide if they should move on to the next resume. Conclusion: presenting your best achievements first is vital. Provide special attention and care when describing your duties and achievements in important positions.
Strive to provide better, more satisfying job descriptions than the others do. List duties, achievements, milestones and team accomplishments. Faced with a choice between someone who just dropped a big name and someone who actually painted a picture, HR managers will choose the latter.
Illustrate with numbers, procedures and percentages if possible, as there's nothing more satisfying for a recruiter than seeing concrete data. If you don't have specific numbers to present, make sure to provide context. Did you work within a team? What policies and standards did you follow? Were there any specific features of your job that could be useful or that demonstrate your qualities?
Project-based accomplishments are also great. They prove you can stick with a long-term goal until it's complete, get along with colleagues and meet deadlines. Be specific and note as many important achievements as you can (believe me, everyone has them, just take a minute to analyze your experience). Once again, insert some energy into the descriptions. Action verbs are always good for that.
Below is a web developer employment history resume sample you can use while writing your own.
- Planned, developed, tested, deployed and maintained web applications.
- Provided effective troubleshooting and remediation for web applications.
- Wrote SQL statements and stored procedures.
- Worked well independently and within a team setting.
- Effectively translated client requirements into application designs and systems requirements.
- Followed policies and procedures related to application methods and quality standards at all times.
Web developer education section: Intelligence and growth
Web developer jobs are not always strongly associated with formal education. But in your CV (which is what resumes are called outside the U.S. and Canada), don't miss the chance to present an image of intelligence and self-improvement.
Data for 2019 shows that 45.3% of developers have the equivalent of a bachelor’s degree and 22% have a master’s degree. The same percentage of surveyed specialists have no higher education diploma at all. A staggering 85.5% taught themselves at least one language or framework without taking a formal course, including 60.1% who did so through an online program.
Does this mean formal education isn’t important? Not really. Take a look at a job listing for Google or Apple today and you’re likely to find a strong requirement for a BA or MA diploma.
However, the takeaway point here is that web developers have a reputation and image as self-starters with a strong culture of learning things out of passion, sometimes without outside help. So, additional certificates, self-taught knowledge, online courses are not only a huge asset, but are almost expected by some HRs.
For example, one of the common certificates that many companies would like to see from an IT specialist is a Scrum certification. When it comes to general rules, it's important to make the education section clean and easy to read.
Beyond that, here's some useful advice: adding extra accomplishments, grants, courses and similar things to an education section doesn't hurt (unless you're bloating your CV, of course). If I'm the hiring manager reading your resume, I'll always be glad to see someone who isn't satisfied with just a college degree. People who write papers, apply for grants, attend specialized seminars and receive professional certificates are seen as treasures to be snapped up quickly.
If you've got a college/university degree, including info about your high school isn't a necessary. Most recruiters won't pay much attention to that. Include it if you've got the space or don't have a degree higher than BA.
Below is the education section from a web developer resume example.
- 2004-2006 UCLA, Master of Computer Science, Los Angeles, CA
- 2001-2004 UCLA, Bachelor of Computer Science, Los Angeles, CA
CV skills section resume example: Your superpowers
Your skill list is your arsenal, your talent pool. It satisfies the automated systems and presents a professional developer image for the recruiters. So, here’s how to beat the bots (the ATS) and impress the humans.
The technical side
You already know how to pick out the keywords from a job listing. Your skills will be prominent among those terms. List them in the order of priority, depending on the job description.
But what if you’re designing a general-purpose resume, or want to add some additional computing skills from your personal portfolio? On the coding side, you can take a look at current tech trends and match them to your competencies. Put the most important ones in your list first.
If you’re interested in the top earning technologies, statistics show that Clojure, F#, Elixir, Erlang and Perl are the languages that are associated with the highest salaries (varying somewhat by country).
Check out a web developer resume sample for the skills section below.
- Visual Design
- User Interface
- Database Management
- Strong Leadership Skills
The human side
Once again, remember those soft skills for the sake of the recruiter. Even if you’re a technical guru, put yourself in the shoes of a layperson reading the resume. Most people look at developers as problem-solvers, creators and collaborative specialists. You want to underline that you’re focused, attentive to details, can work in teams and like finding creative solutions.
This applies for the skills and employment sections, as well as the summary. Show that you have the technical knowledge, but also know how to apply it in a team/project setting. Remind your future colleagues that you're human, friendly and able to interact (unless you're looking at a remote position ... which, to be honest, requires teamwork and interaction too).
To summarize, here are three golden rules:
- Think your skill list through before putting it on your resume. This will prevent it from being chaotic or illogical. Use research if needed.
- Make sure the skills correspond to the job description from the company (trust me, the hiring manager will appreciate your attention to detail).
- Make sure your skills cross-reference with the descriptions of achievements, duties and talents listed in the other sections (summary and employment history).
- Think about your list of talents and strong qualities before filling out the skills section.
- Describe relatable social, teamwork and self-management skills in addition to coding languages and such.
- Write your skills in a hurry, thinking of them for the first time when filling in your resume.
- Make your skill list dry and technical with no soft skills.
Resume layout and design
The visual appearance of your resume is the key that opens the door to further consideration by recruiters. Make sure it's a skeleton key. There is no hard rule on what the layout/structure/format of your resume should be. Rather, there are some very important principles and tips to follow.
The first and most important principle is this: make your resume layout and design visually clean, easy to read and symmetrical. I can't tell you how many amazing professionals weren't hired because their resume was cluttered and chaotic. A recruiter can read hundreds of CVs per day. Imagine not understanding what WebAssembly, Ruby, C++ or Powershell are, and reading a messy word-scramble of them all day. You tune out and think about Netflix.
Of all resumes in the U.S. (the most lucrative developer market), 21% run into problems or don’t pass the ATS due to having confusing layouts, charts or images. Resumes created in text editors often have information "buried" in the header and footer. This can automatically fail the ATS test, as the system can't identify your location, contact info or skills.
Use field-tested resume templates backed by metrics. They are clean, crisp and attention-grabbing. They will also help you avoid hidden technical "traps." Otherwise, you risk spending countless hours trying to create a masterpiece and still misfire because you didn't know some obscure insider detail.
What resume layouts are best for a web developer?
Layouts have character. No surprise there. Humans are visual beings and we draw conclusions from visual cues. Most recruiters expect web developer resumes to look "technical" or "technological." What does that imply? Progress bars, prominent skill lists, a clean, logical layout with structure.
Resume.io's collection of field-tested resume templates gives you a wide variety of layouts to choose from. Those with a sectioned structure and visualized skills/experience align very well with web developer jobs. Choose one and make it your own using our builder tool.
Key takeaways for a web developer resume
- Web developers are in high demand, but there is also a huge flow of applicants for great jobs. This means your resume needs to stand out and be of the highest quality.
- Your summary is your story, your elevator pitch. Paint the image of a skilled technical developer, but remember that you’re human. Inject some social energy.
- Your employment history should present your most recent jobs and impressive achievements first. Put your best foot forward and include details to compete with other developers.
- The skills section is your superhero toolbox. Make it clear, concise and coordinate it with the other sections.
- The resume layout is very important. It imparts "technological" character. It should be easy to read, clean and symmetrical.