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 😄
- Broken or unsecured links
- Unprofessional email addresses
- Lack of good project descriptions
- Misspelling technology names
- Spelling errors in general
- Skill bars
- Generic Personal statements
- Unconventional formatting
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.
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
email@example.com instead of
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.
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.
- 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.
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.
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.
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.
- How To Write a Personal Statement on a CV (with Examples)
- How to Draft a Resume Personal Statement in 2022: With 20+ Examples
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.
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. 😃
- How to Build Your Developer Résumé Without Job Experience
- How to Write a Résumé – Practical Guide with Example Résumé
- How to Get Your First Dev Job – Insights from Reviewing Career Switchers' Résumés
- How to Write a Developer Resume that Recruiters Will Read
- How to Write a Developer Résumé Hiring Managers Will Actually Read
- Why Your Resume Is Being Rejected - and How to Fix It