Notes on Writing Resumes for Software Developer Jobs

My notes from Mayuko Inoue’s video on writing a resume for a software developer job.

December 16, 2021


The last time I was asked to send someone my resume, I did not even have a resume. Now, I don’t know for sure that the quality of my hastily put together resume was the reason I did not here back, but I would not be surprised if it was. So, I decided to watch mayuko’s video where she covers some tips on writing resumes from an ex-FAANG recruiter. Below are some notes I took while watching.

What Is a Resume

  • a 1-page document that outlines your relevant skills, experience, and background for a specific role
  • The first (and maybe only) thing that a company looks at when considering you for a role
  • Often the one thing you really need to apply to a job
  • The goal of the resume is to get noticed by the recruiter

Resume Process

  • (application → interview)
  • Upload and submit your full application
    • Includes resume at minimum
  • Application is fed through an Application Tracking System
    • A tool companies use to track applicants and what stage they are at in the recruitment process
    • Applications in the ATS are sent to a recruited who filters through everything and pick who they think might be a good fit
  • If the recruiter thinks your application is a good fit, they pass it along to the hiring manager
    • The hiring manager would be your manager if you got hired
    • Ultimately make the hiring decision

Recruiter Thought Process

  • Put yourself in the shoes of the recruiter
    • Think about all the factors the recruiter has to juggle in order to higher for that role
    • What skills are necessary to contribute effectively?
    • How experienced do they need to be?
  • The job listing will often give clues as to what the recruiter is looking for
    • Skills needed
    • What tools are used
    • Years of experience
  • It is really hard to capture into words exactly what the recruiter is looking for
    • Try to read between the lines of the job posting
    • What in the resume would give the recruiter a sign the you will succeed in this role
    • Can also look for clues based on the type of people already working there and the culture deck on the company website
  • Is the job opening going to be competitive?
    • Will they need to sift through thousands of resumes?
    • Assume the early career and internship roles are going to receive a ton of applications
      • Lower requirements means more people are technically qualified for the role
    • High profile companies like FAANG or really popular startup will also receive a ton of applications
  • What would the hiring manager think of your application?
    • The recruiter is trying to cater to the hiring manager

How to Craft Your Resume

  • The most important thing is readability
    • The resume needs to be structured logically and be super easy to ready
    • Always be 1-page

Five Main Parts:

  1. Contact Info
    • Keep it clean and simple
    • Name
    • Email address
    • City and State you live in
    • Link to your LinkedIn profile
    • tag line that briefly describes who you are
      • Example: Mayuko Inoue is an iOS Software Engineer with six years of experience.
      • Helps recruiters quickly identify what you do and how long you have been doing it.
  2. Skills
    • Relevant to this job
    • Programming languages you are proficient in
      • Example: Python
    • Technologies you are skilled in
      • Example: Docker
    • Tools you are comfortable with
      • Example: Visual Studio Code
    • Write the skills in the order you are most comfortable
      • Litmus Test: can you do an interview with a given technology
      • Litmus Test: can you explain a given technology really well to someone else
      • Really important not to lie or stretch the truth about your experience
      • Recruiters will use this part of your resume to craft your interview
  3. Experience
    • Projects or teams you have worked on that are relevant to this position
    • What role did you play for a given project
    • Was it a group project?
    • Add title to the project
      • Example: Lead Software Engine, Project Name
    • Start with power verb (an action word that has positive meaning) plus how you did it and what came out of the project.
      • Example: Implemented entire iOS app with SwiftUI and Firebase to create a delightful user experience for client to easily keep track of their grocery list.
    • For bullet points
      • Stay consistent
      • Example: if one section has three bullet points, make sure the other sections have 3-4
    • If you don’t have real job experience
      • Add internships
      • Non-related projects you might have done at work that share intangibles
      • Relevant personal projects
  4. Education
    • University
    • Degree
    • Graduation Year
  5. Anything Else (optional)
    • Stuff you think would be pertinent to tell the recruiter that does not fit in the above sections
    • Things like exceptional awards or achievements