Computer programming is one of the work fields that is expected to thrive also during and after the current on-going changes in the business world, as it is a profession and a job that can often be done remotely.
As a result, computer programmers tend to have almost endless work opportunities, but so do employers, and to be considered – you need a good resume. Check out this guide to how to write a competitive computer programmer resume, complete with a full resume sample at the bottom.
Resume objective for computer programmers
The BLS (Bureau of Labor Statistics) highlights a potential issue for computer programmers, and that is how easy it often is for employers to hire someone remotely, from a country where the wages are lower and will cost the company less. In other words – you have competition.
However, this only enforces the importance of proving your worth through your CV and comes to show why you should take yourself the time to put together a compelling computer programmer resume.
The first step is to catch the hiring manager’s interest, and you can do this by starting your CV off with a resume objective.
The resume objective for a computer programmer should give the hiring manager a basic idea of who you are, what you can do, and what you hope to bring to the table if hired.
Creative computer expert with excellent problem-solving skills and a talent for developing unique and user-friendly solutions. Bachelor’s degree in Computer Science, 3 years of freelance programmer experience, knowledge of Proc Report, Python, Java, and SAS/Macro, and the ability to adapt to new situations.
Resume skills for computer programmers
Computer programmers tend to be in-demand due to the increase in global digitalization, and now is a great time to apply for a new job! Due to the technical aspect of the job, it is easy for a resume to get a little impersonal and – with the lack of better words – boring. We don’t want that.
By adding a skill section to your computer programmer resume, the hiring manager can see right away what you can do and what you have to offer – making it easier to visualize you as part of the company.
Working as a computer programmer is so much more than just sitting in front of a computer, and as Indeed.com points out – being a natural problem solver and having excellent communication skills is essential.
You need to be able to follow direction and communicate with other people in your team, and you obviously need to have knowledge of Python and other coding programs and languages.
If you have a relevant education and/or work experience – this can also be mentioned here.
Inquisitive I Communicative | Strong Writer | Math | B.A in Computer Science | Multiple Coding Languages | Attention to Detail | Patient | Abstract Thinking | Dedicated
Computer programmer work experience
Put yourself in the shoes of the hiring manager or employer – would you hire someone without documented work experience? Having work experience shows that you know what you are doing, and that you have experience with workplace dynamics and teamwork.
That said, you can still find work as an inexperienced computer programmer, so don’t give up just yet if you don’t have too much work experience.
We sampled 20 job posts to see how important this was to employers, and we noticed about 60% asked for previous work experience while the others did not. About 20% of those wanting someone with work experience also used the term “preferably,” which means it is likely possible to bypass it.
According to Study.com, having the right education and potentially certification is essential, but they mention little to nothing about work experience.
Use the work experience you do have, even if not directly related to computer programming, such as anything tech related.
Sample Work Experience
Bozzuto’s Inc, Cheshire, CT
Computer Programmer, 2018 – 2020
Worked with programs like ASP.Net MVC, Web Api and C#, collaborated closely with a design team, fixed system bugs and maintained excellent organization and code quality.
- Improved data transfer processes between excel spreadsheets and computer services, by creating SQL Server DTS packages.
- Enhanced the function of Visual FoxPro tables and other software programs, which are now being used for billing customers.
- Developed a new interface that was more user-friendly and easier for less tech-savvy individuals to navigate.
- Produced complex reports in a variety of formats, such as XML, HTML and VRXML.
Cognizant Technology Solutions, New York, NY
Computer Programmer, 2015 – 2018
- Initiated a project that centered on repairing the overall department image.
- Improved customer responsiveness by improving the existing user interfaces.
- Worked on a Red Hat Linux server to implement and optimize a MySQL database.
- Used COBOL and ISMS database to implement and further develop Fairfax County Manpower Systems.
Bozzuto’s Inc, Cheshire, CT
Computer Programmer Intern, 2013 – 2015
Assisted the programming team with elaborate testing of software applications, application development, and learned from mentors and experienced software engineers.
- Responsible for the maintenance of multiple servers and databases.
- Presented ideas for how to improve user-friendliness, which was later implemented.
- Provided product tracking, monitoring, and support.
Computer programmer education
The educational requirements for a computer programmer tend to differ, but while a few employers might be okay with an undergraduate certificate or an associate’s degree, most have a tendency to ask for a bachelor’s degree in for example mathematics, computer science or information systems.
There is no point in listing a High School diploma on a computer programmer resume, due to the additional educational requirements, so include only relevant degrees and academic achievements.
In our research, we also saw a few job posts requiring a relevant masters degree, but this was a minority of the sampled posts.
In the resumes sampled for this article, there was an even divide between applicants with only a Bachelor’s degree and those with an additional Masters.
Northeastern University, Boston, Massachusetts
Masters in Computer Science, 2011 – 2013
Texas State University, Houston, TX
Bachelor of Information Systems, 2007 – 2011
As a computer programmer, knowledge is power, and it is something employers will likely look for in your resume. A great way to boost your resume is to add specific courses that attest to your knowledge and expertise.
Restrict yourself to courses that are directly relevant for the job, and avoid taking up space on your resume with additions that the hiring manager is unlikely to be interested in.
There are many courses available online, and you can also opt for highlighting specific coursework from your university education, if you believe it would be of relevance.
- Java Programming and Software Engineering Fundamentals
- Python for Everybody
- Introduction to Computer Science and Programming
- Google IT Automation with Python
- Introduction to Scripting in Python
There are existing computer programmer certifications, but there is no national requirement to be certified in order to get a job in the business. That said, having certification is a great way to demonstrate a certain level of professionalism and competence.
You will usually obtain certification in the different programming languages, and some employers may have certain requirements or preferences. It is crucial to look for such requirements in the job post before completing your computer programmer resume.
The below certifications are only examples, but can – among others – be listed to strengthen a computer programmer resume.
- Cisco Certified Networking Technician (CCENT)
- Cisco Certified Network Associate (CCNA®)
- Microsoft Certified Systems Associate (MCSA)
- CompTIA Network+
Complete computer programmer resume sample
To further demonstrate how to write a competitive computer programmer resume – we have put together an example. Below is a real job post, followed by a complete resume sample.
There is only one requirement, which is a Bachelor’s degree, but the responsibilities listed give away important information if you look carefully.
The company needs someone who is a decent writer, understands a variety of programmer languages, has experience compiling program documentation and analytical abilities.
Detail-oriented software development expert with a Bachelor’s degree in Computer Science and 4+ years of relevant work experience. Innovative and driven with excellent attention to detail, and knowledge of both object-oriented-, procedural- and functional programming languages.
iDimensio, Piscataway, NJ
Computer Programmer, 2017 – 2020
Responsible for testing and improving code for specific computer programs, to ensure maximal function and improve the user interface for the benefit of the company.
- Researched and gathered data on system vulnerabilities, to improve safety and lower the risk of infringement.
- Improved documentation and manuals to facilitate the work of the support team.
- Used SPAWAR’s trouble reporting system (TR) to efficiently generate accurate trouble reports.
- Accessed the Microsoft SQL Server 2000 Databases and identified a need for more frequent service.
Everest Consulting Group, Edison, NJ
Computer Programmer, 2016 – 2017
Collaborated with a team of software developers to insert necessary written comments in the coding instructions – to enhance readability, and worked to develop improved software applications.
- Worked with SSRS to design, develop and launch detailed program performance reports.
- Responsible for all troubleshooting and was given full access to the system through an administrator role.
- Improved the mainframe system systematically over the course of 6 months.
Omega Global Systems, Northbrook, IL
Computer Programmer Intern, 2015 – 2016
Worked alongside skilled computer programmers and received an introduction to a wide range of software programs, programming languages and efficient techniques.
- Worked with analysing payout percentages and other gaming aspects for an online casino.
- Received recognition for finishing all assigned projects on time.
- Was the first intern to be offered a full-time job upon the completion of the internship program.
- Completed a mandatory 10-day computer coding training program provided by the company.
- Cisco Certified Network Associate (CCNA®)
Stevens Institute of Technology, Hoboken, NJ
Bachelor in Computer Science, 2012 – 2016
- GPA: 3.5
- Introduction to Scripting in Python
Education is important when writing a resume for a computer programmer job, and something many hiring managers pay special attention to, but it is not the only section that matters. Here are three key aspects to perfect on your computer programmer resume:
- Being certified is not a legal requirement to work as a computer programmer, but it can be beneficial to demonstrate a certain level of work field competence.
- Include a resume objective to personalize your resume, and use the space to demonstrate who you are, what you can do and what you hope to achieve if hired.
- Be specific regarding the programming languages you are familiar with, and make sure you mention those requested in the job post.
Tips from Experts
“First impressions. This means you have about 4-5 seconds of the person’s attention before they decide – hey, this is a garbage resume, or hey this is going into the pile that I’ll actually consider looking at later. Use action verbs and anything first-person in your resume – try to eliminate that.” – Joshua Fluke, Web Developer & Mechanical Engineer
“Make sure that your resume is easily searchable by hitting those keywords. Just a whole bunch of different technologies you think a recruiter might be looking for.” – Patrick Shyu, TechLead, Ex-Google TechLead
“Highlight anything that makes you stand out as a potential candidate.” – Dorian, Owner and Founder of Dorian Develops
Computer programming is a challenging profession, but it is also a profession that is expected to grow. Whether you are well-established in the business or just finishing your degree, it is important to have your resume ready and up-to-date for any unexpected opportunities.