Resume Template for Programmers

Jacob Comer
6 min readOct 21, 2021


Sales is an important discipline to study, even if you write code for a living.

Companies invest a lot of money into finding the perfect fit, and every job posting is a competition between you and the rest of the engineering world.

If you aren’t able to effectively convey your value to hiring managers, you might get (rightfully) passed up for a candidate who looks more promising.

Fortunately, this is a trainable skill you can get consistently better at. 🙂

This article will cover my resume template for software engineers, and explain how each element can help frame your skill set in a positive light.

Analyzing hundreds of applications for an open position takes time.

As a result, most recruiters will give your resume about 7 seconds before deciding if they should stop reading. You would do the same in their shoes.

Companies are parsing through mountains of information at this stage, and we need to provide a clean, minimalist design that’s easy to skim through.

Resume Template: Google Doc

Clean typography, lots of white space, long lines to highlight your skill set, and a single-column layout (so your eyes don’t need to jump around).

We get a few brief seconds to make a good first impression, and need to cut out jarring visual decorations if they make your resume harder to scan.

Contact Information

More people are working remote than ever before, and your resume likely won’t be printed onto a physical piece of paper. Take advantage of that.

Providing clickable links here will make the recruiter’s life easier, as well as the computer scanning your resume into the applicant tracking system.

Resume Template: Google Doc

Objective Statement

Dynamic and creative software engineer with 10 years of experience developing full-stack web applications for enterprise SaaS companies. Specialities include Ruby on Rails, JavaScript, and AWS system administration. Looking for technical lead roles, with an emphasis on mentoring small teams of 3 – 4 junior engineers.

I’m not a big fan of including these summaries at the top of a resume.

They eat up a ton of visual real estate (in a way that’s hard to skim), and often look better in your initial email to the recruiting department.

Most recruiting software will automatically attach this intro email to your candidate profile, so everyone involved in the hiring process can still read it.

By cutting this header from your resume specifically, we can free up more space to emphasize your professional accomplishments and side projects.

Learn More: Writing Effective Cover Letters

Relevant Experience

Your future employer wants to invest time into a proficient engineer who can make business problems disappear in an automated, scalable way.

They don’t need your full list of current job responsibilities, but they do need to walk away feeling confident you’ll hit the ground running.

Provide evidence that good things happen when you join software teams.

Resume Template: Google Doc

What were the 2–3 most impactful results you produced for each employer?

Our goal is to frame your accomplishments in the form of “They handed me a huge business challenge, and I made it disappear without any hiccups”

Languages and frameworks are important, but they get stale pretty quickly.

By formatting work highlights this way, we can separate out raw technical skills from how your actions helped move the business forward. Coding is a means to an end. Focus on how your software positively impacted things.

This is also a nice way to prevent technical jargon from slipping into these bullet points. Your resume will be read by multiple departments, and everyone should be able to understand your value as a potential coworker.

Be precise when describing your responsibilities. We want to help hiring managers answer the question “What sort of work can we trust you with?”

Did you lead the feature revamp that resulted in a $900k revenue increase, or did you just patch up a few small bugs toward the end of the project?

The latter is important work, but it shouldn’t be making your highlight reel.

Irrelevant Experience

Similarly, don’t hesitate to cut out jobs that weren't related to programming, and the short-lived positions where you quickly realized it wasn’t a good fit.

Why waste a company’s time with that information if it won’t help them get closer to a hiring decision? Resumes are a brochure, not an autobiography.

Passion Projects

Have any cool side projects or engineering blog posts to highlight?

While you don’t need extra-curricular activities to land a job, giving back to the industry in your free time will always make you a stronger candidate.

Resume Template: Google Doc

If you’re looking for your 1st engineering job, this is a great spot to highlight how productively you’ve been spending your free time. Junior engineers are hired for their potential and ambition, not their professional track record.

Programmers are busy people, and only have a few minutes to review your work before their next meeting. Focus on quality, not quantity. It’s better to highlight 1 or 2 exceptional projects, as opposed to 8 average ones.

Here are a few ideas that might be worth mentioning…

  • Side Projects + Source Code
  • Engineering Blog Posts
  • Open-source Contributions
  • Online training completion certificates

Get creative. You don’t have professional accomplishments yet, but you’re clearly passionate about breaking into the industry. Show evidence of that.

Exporting Your Resume

When reaching out to a company directly, export your resume as a PDF.

We use a lot of technical buzzwords in this industry, and PDF’s remove the red underlines that Microsoft Word adds whenever it thinks it found a typo.

That said, send DOC files to any external recruiters you’re working with.

There’s a good chance they’ll want to attach their company’s official branding to your resume before sending it over to the hiring manager.

Resume Template: Google Doc

Thanks for making it to the end!

If you found this post valuable, you might enjoy some of my other ones…

Write Code Faster in Vim
Mastering your text editor is an investment that will pay dividends for the rest of your software engineering career.

Bridging the Gap Between Junior and Senior Engineers
The value senior engineers provide, and a few reasons to stop worrying about your technical skills becoming obsolete

I mainly use Reddit, Instagram, and YouTube if you want to stay in touch.



Jacob Comer

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