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Programmer CV Example & Writing Guide

Programming is a solid career. If you know your C# from your Python, you need a programmer CV that proves it. Read our step-by-step guide here.
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Programmer CV Example & Writing Guide
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With more than 450,000 job openings in the United Kingdom, finding the right programmer position for you should be a cinch. As a professional with highly sought-after skills, you will find that opportunity comes knocking at your door. However, before you can land your dream job, you need to nail that all-important application. Luckily, we have created a stellar programmer CV example to give you all of the inspiration you need to make yours. 

Here at Resume.io, we have everything that you need to empower your job search. We’ve got loads of resources including 65+ CV examples, expert-backed writing guides, and loads of templates. No matter what your career aspirations are, we’ve got you covered. Within the following guide and the corresponding programmer CV sample, we will cover these topics: 

  • What a programmer actually does
  • How to write an expert programmer CV (plus a CV example!)
  • How to choose the right format for your programmer CV
  • Support for each CV section (summary, work history, education, skills)
  • Advice on how to design an eye-catching, professional CV

What does a programmer do?

Before we get into the meat of how to write a programmer CV, let’s talk about the job. In simple terms, these professionals write, edit, and test codes. The code creates software, applications, and websites. They often work with software developers and designers. 

Statistical insight

How much do programmers earn?

According to Payscale, the average base salary for a programmer is £31,156. Of course, as you move up in this esteemed career, you could make as much as £51,000 per year. The more experience you have, the higher the salary you can demand.  

Employment isn’t the only option. As a qualified programmer, you may choose to become self-employed and set your own rates per project. Keep in mind that if you go down this route, you will be responsible for paying your own taxes every year. 

One of the best things about this career is that it spans industries. You can work as a programmer in the healthcare sector, commercial world, or corporate industries. When you have completed your training and gained an entry-level role, the world is your oyster. You may choose to pursue a particular niche — such as games development — or try out different types of programming. Every new job will help to continue your tech education! 

How to write a programmer CV

Want to crack the code and write a winning programmer CV? First up, you need to know what elements to include. Your application should contain the following sections:

  • CV header
  • CV summary (aka profile or personal statement)
  • Employment history section
  • CV skills section
  • Education section

Ensuring that you have all of the above in your CV is just part of the puzzle. If you want to write a programmer CV that gets attention, you need to make sure that you tailor it well enough. As we have already covered, you can work in a variety of industries when you hold this position. However, different companies will expect different skills and expertise. 

When building your programmer CV, make sure that you research the company to which you’re applying. A quick Google should give you everything that you need. Take a look at the business’ website, its social media, and any news stories about them. This exercise will give you a rounded view of the company and help to inform your CV creation. 

Expert tip

Optimise your CV for the ATS! 

Want to beat the bots? When you send a recruiter your CV, it may not land straight on their desk. Many businesses and recruitment agencies now use Applicant Tracking Systems (ATS) to rank applications by how well each fits the job specification. 

If you want to get ahead, using the right phrases may be the answer. The software looks for specific keywords to see whether a CV is a potential match. Go back to the original advert and pick out some of the main words. Include these on your professional CV. 

Before you click that ‘send’ button, there’s one last thing you should do. Check your programmer CV for spelling and grammar mistakes. Even the most minor of errors could mean the difference between getting an interview and being flat-out rejected. 

Choosing the best CV format for a programmer

Next up, you need to decide on the right CV format for you. In most cases, a reverse chronological approach works best. That means that you start with your most recent skills and experience, and then work your way back in time as you move down the page. You might recognise this layout as it’s what most of us learnt to do when we were in school. 

However, if you are a career-changer or lack essential experience, you may want to try the functional CV format. Put your skills front and centre while your employment history takes a backseat. Read more about the layout options in our guide or look at our CV sample.

Expert tip

If you need some inspiration, we’ve got you covered. Why not take a look at our computer science CV sample, video editor CV sample, or project manager CV sample?

CV summary example

Your CV summary sits below the header of your CV. This short bio tells an employer why you are right for the job. Be sure to tailor the two-to-three lines for each new application. You need to keep things short and sweet — no fluff, no nonsense. Cut out any lengthy or unnecessary sentences or words. Take a look at our summary CV example.

Adaptable summary resume sample

Technically proficient programmer with experience in programming applications, firmware and operating systems. Exceptional attention to detail, able to write hundreds of lines of clean, reusable code and code libraries. Well-honed communication skills; build relationships with colleagues, managers and other cross-functional stakeholders. Exceptional work ethic with commitment to delivering results aligned with requirements.

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Employment history sample

Experience is everything in the world of programming. Recruiters will want to know what projects you’ve worked on and see the fruits of your labour. In each case, include the company name, the years of employment, and your position. Beneath that, you can add some details for colour. For example, you may want to name-check certain projects. 

Adaptable employment history resume example

Programmer, Apple, Inc.,York
January 2016 - Present

  • Decreased development time and increased quality by building code library from scratch to organise and store reusable code.
  • Created hundreds of reports for business users in C#.NET, SQL Server, SSRS, and Microsoft Visual Studio.
  • Collaborated with team to reprogram Website to increase usability and reduce load time.
     

Programmer and Coder, Computer Services, Inc., York 
January 2015 - December 2015

  • Coded applications for clients using C, C#, and C++.
  • Ensured high-quality, error-free products by collaborating with quality assurance testers.
  • Maintained clean, well-documented code to assist team members in making future changes and enhancements.
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CV skills example

Whatever job you have your sights set on, you need a robust set of skills on your CV. Include both hard skills and soft skills on your application. If you need some help along the way, let’s take a look at some of the main CV skills for programmers: 

  • Languages (Java, Python, C#, etc.)
  • Organising technologies
  • Problem solving
  • Communication
  • Intrapersonal skills
  • Database management tools (Hadoop, Sybase, MongoDB, etc.)

Consider which skills the hiring manager may be looking for. You might find that the skills they need are listed in the job advert. If that’s the case and you have those skills, list them! 

Adaptable skills section resume example
  • C++ Programming
  • Java Programming
  • JavaScript
  • Node.js
  • React
  • SQL
  • HTML & CSS
  • PHP
  • Python
  • Docker
  • Kubernetes
  • Code Libraries
  • Collaboration
  • Communication
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Programmer CV education example

You may have studied computer science — or a related subject — at university. However, people often get into this sector after learning a programming language (or two!) on a private course. Whatever your educational background, it’s time to show it off. Be sure to list your school, university, or institute, the years you attended, and your grade. In some cases, it may be appropriate to include the modules you took or languages you learnt.

Adaptable education resume example

Master of Science in Computer Science, University of Hertfordshire, Hertfordshire
September 2012 - December 2014

 

Bachelor of Science in Computer Science, University of Leeds, Leeds
September 2009 - May 2012

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CV layout and design 

Ready to put the finishing touches on your CV? To give yourself a fighting chance, you need to make sure that the document looks good! Here are some golden rules for the layout and design.

Do
  • Keep your CV layout simple.
  • Include plenty of white space on the document.
  • Select one or two fonts to use.
Don't
  • Go overboard with colour.
  • Try to needlessly cram too much information onto your CV.
  • Include graphs, photos, or pictures.

If you are unsure how to design the perfect application, you can save time and energy by using our field-tested CV templates.

Key takeaways for a programmer CV

  1. There are hundreds of thousands of jobs for programmers in the United Kingdom. Having the right CV gets your foot in the door!
  2. Make sure you tailor your CV to suit the industry and company to which you’re applying. This small trick will help you to get ahead.
  3. Choose from either a reverse chronological or functional CV format.
  4. Take the hassle out of designing your document with our field-tested CV templates!
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