Feb 02, 2023
How to Write a Compelling Web Developer Resume
Web development is one of the most high-demand professions offering a competitive salary. The US Bureau of Labor Statistics estimates that the employment of web developers and digital interface designers will grow by 13% from 2020 to 2030 – significantly faster than other occupations.
However, the number of web developers is also increasing, so it might be challenging to get a job or even secure an interview.
For your web developer resume to stand out from other applicants, you’ll need to make it clear, comprehensive, and visually appealing. If you don’t showcase all your necessary skills strategically, hiring managers might not see you as the right person to join the team.
This article will guide you through writing an engaging and professional web developer resume for entry-to-senior level jobs. We will also share a web developer resume template to help you start immediately.
What to Put on Your Web Developer Resume?
The first step to becoming a web developer is to create a compelling resume. Recruiters don’t spend much time reviewing web developer resumes. In fact, they typically scan one for 6 seconds on average before deciding whether the applicant fits the job description.
With that in mind, aim to keep the resume as a one-page document. Be concise when adding the details, but ensure that no important information is left behind.
Check out the web developer resume sample below for inspiration.
Note that recruiters usually use an applicant tracking system (ATS) – automated keyword filter software for screening hundreds or thousands of resumes efficiently.
As the most important web developer resume keywords come from the job listing itself, try to identify and strategically place them throughout the resume.
Now, let’s go over all the sections of your web developer’s resume in more detail.
Putting Down the Contact Information
Put your contact information at the very top of the web developer resume so the hiring managers can easily find a way to call you back or check your online accounts and portfolio.
Here’s the information that you should include in the contact section:
- Full name – include your first and last name.
- Professional title – align it with the role you’re applying to, such as a “Full-Stack Web Developer.” Put it right under your name.
- Email address – use a professional email address, such as firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Phone number – if you’re applying for a job in the country you currently live in, this information is important since hiring managers might contact you via phone. If you’re applying for a remote position abroad, you may skip this detail.
- Relevant online platforms – put the links to your portfolio website and LinkedIn or GitHub profiles. This will show the recruiters your previous work, experience, and social proof like client testimonials. Make sure to use a quality web host so that recruiters can access your site with ease.
- Location – it doesn’t have to be a full address – just the city and state are enough. If you’re applying for a local on-site job, this detail can boost the chances of you getting hired. This is because employers see local talent as the safest option since they don’t have to pay a relocation allowance. Meanwhile, if you’re targeting a remote job, including this information will show the recruiters your time zone.
We recommend not to include a photo in your web developer resume. Resumes should display your experience and skills, and your photograph may engender biases and discrimination, distracting from the important information.
Furthermore, applicant tracking systems may have issues when scanning non-text details like images and graphics, resulting in an automatic rejection of the resume.
Finally, it’s better to use the limited space in the resume to include more valuable information that can help recruiters better assess your capabilities.
Emphasizing the Web Developer Resume Summary or Objective
A resume summary or objective is a short statement that gives recruiters an overview of your skills. The difference is that a summary better suits senior web developers, while an objective best suits junior developers with little to no experience.
Both a summary and an objective are not compulsory parts of a resume as recruiters can find the same information in the rest of the document. However, it’s a good idea to include one of them if you have had a career change or want to highlight a particular interest that aligns with the targeted role.
If you include this section in your web developer resume, remember to tailor it for each job you apply for. Indicate the relationship between your interests, skills, and experience with what the web development company is looking for.
The best practice is to keep it short and to the point. It should be no more than six sentences or around 50-80 words.
A resume objective should communicate your career goals, like becoming a junior web developer, and display your skills and experience. If you have never worked professionally before, list the tasks and their impact on the organizations you’ve helped in the past.
Check out these examples of entry-level web developers’ resume objectives:
The above example shows the candidate’s education and interest in the area. Still, it might not be convincing enough for recruiters since it doesn’t show the candidate’s web development skills and experience.
Let’s compare it with this web developer resume objective example:
The second example communicates more details about the candidate’s experience by specifying some tasks they have tried their hands at. It also mentions what type of organization their client was. They have also included their website development-related activities outside work. This helps recruiters see that the applicant is also pursuing their passion in their free time.
On the other hand, if you’re a senior web developer, a resume summary should communicate your experience in a specific field, what projects you worked on, what skills you have developed or used the most, and what value you can bring to the company.
Check out this example of a web developer resume summary:
This example shows the candidate’s skills and years of experience, but it doesn’t show what value they can bring to the company. Compare it with the following example:
This example of a resume summary shows the area where the applicant wants to grow professionally and reveals their skillset. As a result, even if the recruiter is not tech-savvy, they will understand that programming knowledge is necessary to create the 110+ pages mentioned.
This resume summary also presents the achievements in quantifiable metrics, helping the hiring manager estimate the value the candidate can bring to the company.
Describing Work Experience and Education
Senior and junior web developers need a different approach to showcase their experience and education in a professional resume.
In this section, we will discuss how to do that to help you stand out among other web developers.
How to Phrase Your Experience as a Senior Web Developer With Experience?
If you’re experienced web in this field and want to increase your web developer salary, it’s more important to elaborate on your work than education. Emphasize the past projects and technical problems you’ve solved.
When looking for senior developers, the most important aspects are their tech stack, technical and soft skills, experience, and what projects they have worked on. Those factors give a glimpse of what value the developer can bring to the table and their capacity to elevate the current team.
Here’s how to structure the work experience section of a web developer resume:
- Job title
- Company name and location
- Work period
- Responsibilities and achievements
List the experiences or work history in reverse chronological order where the latest one appears first. Select up to five responsibilities and accomplishments per job, and ensure that they fit the job description.
Check out these two examples below to understand how to describe your work experience and fill in the education section in a senior web developer resume:
The example above shows the candidate’s capacity for a leadership role. However, it might not be convincing enough as it doesn’t display the impact of the candidate’s work.
Use the APR formula to describe accomplishments in the experience section:
Action + problem/project = result
Then, provide the tangible results of your work by quantifying the impact.
Now, compare the previous example with the following:
This example works better as it explicitly presents the quantifiable outcomes of the candidate’s work that have improved the company’s performance.
If you don’t have the exact data to support your claim, use rough estimates, but make sure you can justify the metrics during the interview. Don’t exaggerate the data or present half-truths in the resume as this may harm your reputation.
It’s also a good practice to use action words, such as led, developed, fostered, and conceptualized. Doing so will help catch the recruiter’s attention as they will have probably already seen too many sentences starting with ‘worked’ and ‘managed.’
Next, for the web developer education section, include the degree, name of the university, and study period, as in this example below:
You don’t have to include the GPA since it will have minimal impact compared to the years of experience you already have.
How to Get Experience as a Junior Web Developer?
As an entry-level candidate, you may not have any work experience. Therefore, to demonstrate your ability as a web developer, create your own web development project and provide elaborate details about your education.
Let’s start with the experience section first. Here are some project ideas you can work on to fill your web developer resume:
- Help local charity or business – look for someone you know who may need your web development skills. For example, create a website for a friend’s business or a simple inventory management system for a local food bank.
- Experiment with your hobby – create a personal project based on your interests, preferably something that relates to the dream job you’re applying to. For example, when applying for a company known for its feature-rich web applications, try to create a web app for a screen time tracker.
- Solve a problem – create solutions to an issue you face daily. For example, build a website that informs freelancers about vacant tables in coffee shops, helping them find a place to work.
- Contribute to open-source projects – start with minor tasks like writing a piece of documentation or fixing minor bugs in a GitHub library you have used.
- Work on freelance projects – it can be an option if you already have a few samples of web development work to show to potential clients. Look for small freelance web development projects on platforms like Upwork or Fiverr.
Compare these two examples of the experience section in a junior web developer resume below:
While the most recent work experience is related to web development, the second job listed in this section is not. If your past work experience doesn’t have any relation to the web developer position you’re applying for, it’s better not to put it on the resume.
It’s best to take your time and effort to work on new projects. That way, you can list web development-related accomplishments that are more likely to be considered by a hiring manager, such as in the example below:
If you’re a junior developer, try to apply for a position at a small company at the beginning of your career. These companies will more likely give you more responsibilities sooner.
Now let’s move on to the education section.
This section is much more valuable for a junior web developer than a senior one as employers want to see the programming languages and technologies you’ve learned. Besides formal education, recruiters also want to know what courses, bootcamps, or coding schools you’ve attended.
It’s always flattering to see candidates who learn by themselves, not only at coding schools. It’s also a huge plus to show the projects you are currently working on or a GitHub link. This can prove your ability to create bug-free code for the tech team.
Also, include the classes you took in college that are relevant to the job posting. If your GPA is under 3.2, it’s better to omit it from the web developer resume.
Keep in mind to only include the highest education degree – if you have a college degree or are currently finishing it, there’s no need to mention your high school diploma.
Take a look the examples of an education section below to see which one is more suitable for a web developer resume.
The example above only provides the information on what the applicant has learned but not how they learned it and what they’re interested in. It makes it hard for recruiters to estimate the applicant’s interest and career projection.
The example above helps the recruiters see that the candidate has a genuine interest in website development and AI, which they prove by participating in a related online course. The candidate also shows further effort in contributing to the computer science and arts field by having written a publication.
Displaying Your Skills and Certificates
The skills and certification section is vital as it reveals an applicant’s technical skills and proficiency. It’s also the best place to include keywords in a web developer resume.
However, hiring teams usually use both an ATS and manual review. Including many keywords in a resume won’t make you more valuable than other job seekers with similar skills, as the hiring manager may see it as keyword stuffing.
Showcase your advanced knowledge by only listing the programming languages and frameworks that you excel at and desire to work with the most and which are the most relevant to the job description. Listing every tech stack that you have ever tried can be a red flag for recruiters, indicating that you only possess elementary knowledge of them.
List the technical skills directly in one list or break them into subheadings to group similar skill types. It will make the recruiters’ job easier, letting them quickly find what they’re looking for.
Check the following list to see examples of technical skill types to add to a web developer resume:
- Databases: SQL (MySQL, SQL Server, PostgreSQL, SQLite)
- Cloud infrastructure: Google Cloud, AWS, Azure, Heroku, DigitalOcean
- Utilities: Git and various source control tools (Gitlab, GitHub, Bitbucket), UNIX, Selenium, project management systems (Asana, Trello)
- Other relevant skills: Adobe Photoshop and Illustrator, WordPress, wireframes, debugging, DNS management, responsive web design, APIs, Agile and Scrum development process, performance testing, cross-browser compatibility, UX & UI
Always check what tech stack a company is using and reflect that in the skills section of your web developer resume. We recommend not applying to companies your tech stack doesn’t match.
If you’re not sure what tech stack a company uses, reach out to the hiring manager. You can also find out by exploring the company website or checking out its employees’ GitHub to see what toolsets they use in their projects.
Furthermore, note that this section should only be for technical skills, so don’t include soft skills here. If you have web developer certifications related to the technical skills you’ve listed, don’t hesitate to showcase them in a certification section to serve as proof of those skills.
Here’s the example:
A university degree is good for you as a professional, but it’s not the main thing that employers will rely on. Certifications, courses, and conferences indicate that a candidate is constantly learning. If you like to seek more advanced knowledge by yourself, don’t hesitate to show it.
Including Additional Information
This section can include any other relevant details outside work experience, hard skills, education, and certification.
Here are some types of additional information to include in your web developer resume:
- Hobbies or interests
- Charity or volunteer works
- Language proficiency
It’s an excellent way to make the recruiters see you as a well-rounded candidate who has both the necessary technical know-how and people skills to bring more value to the existing team.
It’s always good to see a candidate’s hobbies or interests outside of work. Maybe you’re a math tutor or a volunteer at an animal shelter – don’t be afraid to demonstrate your personal side. It shows not only your interests but soft skills too.
See the following example:
Some companies may have special interviews or tests to evaluate candidates’ soft skills. These companies may not be looking for a soft skills section in a web developer resume as they will check them during recruitment by evaluating your communication and interactions with colleagues participating in the process.
However, some companies still expect applicants to explain their soft skills. Instead of creating a dedicated section, incorporate this type of skill in your resume’s objective, summary, experience, or additional info section.
Here’s an example of soft skills to include in a web developer resume:
- Critical thinking
- Project management
- User psychology
And here are some examples of how to incorporate those soft skills into various sections of a web developer resume:
In the Experience Section
- Working closely with the C-suite, product team, and the head of marketing.
- Leading the website team and mentoring junior developers, increasing onboarding efficiency by 13%.
In the Activities Section
- Hosted monthly meetups of Develover, a web developers’ community.
The points in the Experience section imply that the candidate has strong collaboration and leadership skills. They prove their communication skills by regularly utilizing them within their off-duty activities.
Note that even though you can include items not directly related to the web development industry in this section, they must add value to your resume. For example, being a chess champion may indicate that you possess an analytical mind, while regularly writing opinion columns for a local newspaper implies you’re a creative critical thinker.
Help recruiters see your worth by adding some standout details on your additional info. Don’t just throw random facts to fill the remaining space in the resume.
Here’s an example of how not to include additional information:
The first point doesn’t explain further about the event, which the hiring manager may not be familiar with.
Meanwhile, the second point doesn’t start with an action verb, which makes the sentence delivery feels less impactful for the reader. Furthermore, it also doesn’t specify the event’s name or the organization that created it.
Additional Tips and Tricks for Writing a Web Developer Resume
Now that you know the most important information to include in a great resume, let’s check out some tips and tricks to apply when writing it:
- Use a simple layout – give the recruiters an excellent first impression by applying a well-organized and easy-to-skim resume layout. Text-wise, use bullet points with short and simple sentences. Visually, provide enough white space so the resume doesn’t feel overwhelming. Don’t use a highly elaborate design on the web developer resume as it can take the recruiter’s attention away from the core content. You can use an online resume builder to save designing time.
- Choose simple fonts – use standard fonts like Arial or Garamond as they’re easy to read by human eyes and ATSs. Avoid complicated fonts that are not standard on most operating systems since they may be converted improperly by an ATS and ruin the resume’s layout.
- Use the right font size – this will vary based on the font you choose, so use your own judgment to determine the most appropriate sizes. We recommend sizes 10–12 for the body text, 12–14 for past job titles, company names, and working periods, and 14–16 for section titles. Your name at the header can be around 20–24 points.
- Opt for understated colors – use colors to emphasize the important parts you want to draw the recruiter’s attention to. The best practice is to use black for the text, white for the background, and tertiary colors, like light blue or sage green, for the resume header or to highlight important parts like the technical skills list. Avoid using bright colors as they can be distracting or make the web developer resume look unprofessional.
- Consider how the design is translated to grayscale – sometimes resumes are photocopied or reprinted in grayscale to be passed around. Make sure the contrast between the text and background is high to make it possible to read in a grayscale setting.
- Emphasize with bolding and italicizing – bold the most important items like section names and job titles, and italicize text that is less important but still needs an emphasis like previous working periods and company locations. This will help with easier skimming. Choose what to bold or italicize wisely to achieve the optimal effect.
- Avoid underlining – it’s not ATS-friendly. Underlining can cause an ATS to read some words inaccurately as the line will cut through letters like j, p, and y. This may result in important keywords not being parsed correctly, making the information in the resume less likely to appear in the search results.
- Double-check the grammar, spelling, and punctuation – proofread your web developer resume before sending it to a hiring manager as they might reject a resume due to poor grammar. Ask someone to read it or use a language review tool like Grammarly and ProWritingAid. However, we recommend sparing some time to do the final review by reading it thoroughly yourself.
- Save the resume as a PDF – it keeps the layout and formatting locked in place, regardless of the device used to view the resume.
- Optimize the resume with ATS scan tools – free tools like Jobscan and SkillSyncer will scan the resume and provide suggestions based on how an enterprise-grade ATS algorithm assesses such documents. The recommendations include keyword ideas, formatting errors analysis, and an ATS compliance check.
- Create a master web developer resume – make a master list of every job experience, skills, activities, and awards you’ve ever had, including details and personal accomplishments. Next time you create another web developer resume, pick items from the list that reflect the job description the most.
Download free resources to hone your skills as a web developer
Having the right skills as an experienced or entry-level web developer is not enough to get you that dream job – you also have to present those skills compellingly. Usually, you only have a one-page web developer resume to catch the attention of recruiters.
Use the following checklist for the sections you should include in a web developer resume:
- Contact information – include your full name, professional title, email address, phone number, location, and relevant online platforms such as a web development portfolio website, a GitHub profile, and a LinkedIn account.
- Resume objective or resume summary – write a resume objective if you’re an entry-level web developer or use a resume summary if you’re an experienced web developer.
- Work experience – include the position and company name, location, work period, and bullet points of responsibilities and achievements. Use a reverse-chronological format for this section.
- Education – should include the name of the degree, major, name of the school, and years of attendance. For junior web developers, include your GPA and relevant courses you have learned.
- Skills and Certificates – should feature the list of your technical expertise, such as the types of programming languages and frameworks and the certifications related to those skills.
- Additional sections – if there’s still enough room, add more relevant information such as awards, publications, and volunteer projects to engage the hiring managers who review your web developer resume.
Keep in mind that the aim of a resume is to score an opportunity for the first interview. This means you don’t have to include all the details about your past experience. Be concise and focus on the most valuable information to assure the hiring managers that you’re the right candidate for the job. You can elaborate more on those details during the interview.
Moreover, make sure to customize your resume to reflect each web developer job you apply to.
Good luck creating an impactful web developer resume, and all the best for your upcoming web development journey.