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Jessica Wilkins
Jessica Wilkins

Posted on

Common mistakes that developers make on resumes

I belong to a few developer communities, and I have seen an uptick in posts from new developers asking for feedback on resumes. During this time, I have seen a lot of common mistakes people make when trying to land their first developer job.

In this article, I will outline what I believe to be mistakes you should avoid making on your resumes.

Disclaimer: I am not an HR person or professional career coach. I am a career changer that switched from music to development offering my two cents on the subject πŸ˜„

Table of Contents

Broken or unsecured links

If you are going to include links in your resume, you need to make sure that they work. Before you start sending out your resume to a whole bunch of potential employers, please triple-check that all of the links in there are valid. You should also have your resume reviewed by other people and ask them to check the links too.

Another thing to consider is to make sure that all of the links lead to secure sites. We have all been in that situation where we have clicked on a site and the browser shows us the "Not Secure" warning. You don't want to put recruiters and potential employers through the same thing. If any of the links on your resume are labeled as "Not Secure", you will need to rectify that immediately.

Unprofessional email addresses

I have seen a few cases where people put some crazy things for their email addresses. It is important to remember to display yourself as a professional and ditch the wacky email addresses you created in high school. A nice safe email address would be jane.doe@gmail.com instead of partypants@hotmail.com.

If you don't have a nice clean email, then hop over to Google and create one real quick. You don't want to be passed over for a job, because they didn't take you seriously.

Lack of good project descriptions

If you are a self-taught developer or boot camp grad, your projects will most likely be the star of the resume. It is important to provide detailed project descriptions so people will know what your project is about. You want to avoid phrases like "React project that fetches data" or "Responsive website built with HTML and CSS". Neither of those project descriptions tells me what the project is really about.

When it comes to project descriptions, you should think about the following things:

  • Does this project solve a problem?
  • Was this project built for a business or organization? If so, how did your site help their business?
  • What are some interesting features of this project?

You don't need to write several paragraphs for these project descriptions. But you should provide a few sentences on what this project is about to get people interested in learning more.

Misspelling technology names

This one is a big one for me. If you are going to apply for a developer job working with certain technologies, you have to spell the names correctly. A common mistake would be the misspelling of JavaScript. Here are a few variations of JavaScript that I have seen on resumes:

  • javascript
  • Javascript
  • Java Script

You must provide a level of detail and care on your resume. Before you send out your resume, triple-check that all of the technology names are spelled correctly.

Spelling errors in general

This ties into the last section, but it is really important to reread your resume several times and have others read through your resume to catch all spelling errors. I would also highly suggest running your resume through a program like Grammarly to help you.

Skill bars

I have seen this come up a few times where people will add skill bars on their resumes to show ratings for different technologies. I think you should leave out skill bars on your resume because these self-ratings don't mean anything. Your potential employer is going to make up their mind on your skill level and so you don't need to take up valuable space on your resume with skill bars.

Generic Personal statements

Writing personal statements is difficult because you only have a few sentences to engage your audience. I hate writing personal statements on my resume and sometimes I will just leave it out. If you are going to include one, you have to be careful that it is not generic.

Phrases like "Hard working individual that wants to learn" or "eager developer that loves to code" unfortunately doesn't add a whole lot to your resume.

If you are interested in learning about good personal statements, then I would suggest looking at these articles.

Unconventional formatting

Sometimes developers will get creative with the colors and layouts for their resumes. You want to be careful about doing this because if you get too creative then it might be difficult to read your resume. I believe that you should keep the formatting consistent and conventional. There are plenty of times to get creative in your projects, but your resume should be straight to the point and informative.

Conclusion

Writing a good resume is tough because you only have a few seconds to make an impression. Getting a tech job is tough and you don't want to make it harder for yourself by not polishing up your resume.

I hope this article will help you avoid common pitfalls in resume writing.

If you want to learn more about how to write a good resume, please check out the following articles. πŸ˜ƒ

Top comments (5)

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weaves87 profile image
Andrew Weaver

Great list. Here's a few more!

  • Too long. Your resume should ideally be under 2 pages. It should be snappy
  • Dates should be very clear. It should be very obvious when you worked where, when you left, and where you're currently working. If I feel like I'm having to decode your work timeline, I'm probably going to pass on the resume
  • Tailor it for who you're applying for. Try to imagine the problems the company is trying to solve, and frame your experience in a way that would make you valuable for solving these problems
  • Skills section should be front and center
  • Not having an Objective section. A lot of companies weed out candidates if they think they won't be reasonably engaged in the position they're applying for. If I'm hiring you, I want to know that you're going to stick around. A good way to know that is if your objective aligns with the company's engineering objectives
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mhasan profile image
Mahmudul Hasan • Edited on
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rakeshkr2 profile image
Rakesh KR

well explained.

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jmfayard profile image
Jean-Michel Fayard πŸ‡«πŸ‡·πŸ‡©πŸ‡ͺπŸ‡¬πŸ‡§πŸ‡ͺπŸ‡ΈπŸ‡¨πŸ‡΄ • Edited on

How do we know for sure that something CV-related is good or not?
Candidates hear lots of opinions but they frequently contradict each other.

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codergirl1991 profile image
Jessica Wilkins

Well the ultimate test would be how many responses a candidate gets. If the candidate is able to land interviews or introductory conversations with recruiters, then their resume is working for them. If they are sending out 200+ resumes and hearing nothing back, then it is safe to say there is a problem.

There is always going to be variations on what people think makes a good resume. But I do think there are universal things that people should avoid like spelling errors, or poor formatting where the resume is not even readable.

Just my two cents :)

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