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Tips for creating a standout web developer resume

Whether you’re a freelancer looking for a full-time position or if you're employed and exploring new opportunities, a good resume can help you stand out.

Published on

March 16, 2023


There are currently more than 35,000 web developers employed in Canada, according to Canada’s JobBank. And that number is expected to climb, with the demand for web developers in this country projected to grow at a higher rate than the average of all occupations.

Does this mean landing one of these coveted roles is a slam-dunk? No. Regardless of their experience and qualifications, candidates still need to progress through a multi-stage, competitive hiring process.

And the first step is to create a resume that stands out.

Whether you’re a freelancer looking for a full-time position or are currently employed and exploring other opportunities, a good resume and portfolio can help you stand out from the crowd, enabling hiring managers to quickly assess how your technical abilities align with their organizational needs, so they can (hopefully) shortlist you to move on to the next stage: an interview.

To demonstrate your expertise (full-stack, front-end, back-end, web design, etc.) and programming languages (HTML, Java, CSS, PHP, etc.), we recommend you develop a visual, skills-based resume to make it easy for hiring managers to determine your suitability for the role.

Getting started: Follow these steps before creating your resume

✅ Step 1: Determine what they are asking for in the job description

Since every organization is unique and looks for different things in a successful web developer candidate, it’s best to always tailor your resume to each job you are applying for, highlighting only those skills and technical abilities that are most relevant to the role. While it might be tempting to do so, avoid submitting the same resume to multiple job postings.

This is especially important when applying to companies that use Applicant Tracking Systems (ATS). When applying to these roles, tailor your resume to reflect the phrasing and language used in the job description, making sure it meets enough of the requirements to pass this initial screening and is flagged for review by an actual employee in the hiring process.

✅ Step 2. Do your research on the company

Recruiters and hiring managers for web developer roles typically sift through hundreds of resumes. To help your application stand out, read up on the company, assess its current and future website needs and adjust your resume to show how you’re the ideal candidate to help address them.

For example, when looking at the company’s website, determine what platform and functionalities they’re using, note any errors you see and assess whether the site is responsive (mobile friendly).

This information will not only help you create a resume that stands out, but it will help you prepare if you are chosen to move forward with an interview.

Tips for crafting your web developer resume

What sections should you include in your resume?

We recommend including the following sections in your resume:

  • Header: Include your name (bold) and contact information (email, phone, address, LinkedIn profile and a link to your online portfolio). Tip: Export your resume as a clickable PDF, so hiring managers and recruiters can easily check out your portfolio, send you an email reply or check out your LinkedIn profile. The easier you make it on the hiring manager or recruiter, the easier it will be for them to evaluate you for the role.
  • Executive Summary/Spotlight Section: This is where you can boast about your experience and accomplishments. Include a couple of statement sentences or bullets about who you are.
  • Work Experience: Include your web development experience (dates, company, title), highlighting any special projects (once again, link where possible) and any special achievements (awards and quantifiable metrics). Always list the technical environment of each project you worked on, so recruiters can assess how much experience you have with a specific tech stack. To keep bullets to a minimum, only highlight the tasks you specifically accomplished rather than including statements beginning with “assisted with” or “was part of a team that..” ✨ Tip: Focus on telling the story of your achievements, rather than listing tasks. For example, instead of saying “worked on optimizing site speed,” write, “Optimized the site speed to significantly improve the user experience and our Google ranking.”
  • Skills/Technical Summary: List your skills and how you would rate your expertise with applicable programming tools and languages. ✨ Tips: Remember to prioritize the items in this section according to the job description, listing the most applicable/important skills first. And include a rating scale to quickly show where you excel (skills example layout).
  • Education & Certifications: Be sure to include any special certifications, along with your degrees (e.g., Oracle Certified Professional: Java SE 11 Developer), highlighting how your skills and education align with the organization’s requirements. We recommend listing these near the top of your resume to provide as much context as possible related to your specialization in the field.
  • Languages: It’s important to list not only all programming languages you know, but also the languages you speak, and be sure to rate how well-versed you are in each.
  • Additional Sections: If you have any other achievements, interests or hobbies that will help show how aligned you are with the organization, use a separate section to highlight these items. ✨ Tip: Do your research. If you’re a table tennis pro and you notice through social media the organization hosts table tennis tournaments, be sure to mention this skill!

What skills should you include on your resume?

Start with a full resume that includes an extensive list of all your experience, skills, technical abilities, achievements, special projects, education, certifications and more. This will act as the “master resume” that you can tailor or customize for each application. Remember to list only those skills most relevant to the role you’re applying for.

Popular technical skills to include on your web developer resume​

Since technologies and trends are constantly evolving, be sure to stay current with the latest tools and languages in your industry and always reflect this expertise on your resume.

Popular technical skills include:

  • User experience (UX) / User interface (UI)
  • Visual design
  • HTML, CSS, C#, Java, PHP, Ruby, Ajax, SQL, Python, etc.
  • Adobe Creative Suite (Photoshop, Illustrator, InDesign, Dreamweaver, XD, etc.)
  • Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
  • Web hosting
  • Responsive web design
  • APIs
  • Git
  • Wireframing and frameworks
  • DNS management
  • Testing, debugging
  • And more

Popular soft skills to include on your web developer resume

It’s not only about technical skills. Web developers need to work on or lead teams and communicate with clients or customers, so it’s also important to highlight your soft skills, too.

Tip: Rather than just listing a bunch of soft skills, try to incorporate them into your experience section, showing how you improved something (for example, by problem-solving or being creative) or drove better results for your employer.

Popular soft skills include:

  • Creativity
  • Strong communicator
  • Problem-solving mentality
  • Ability to clearly articulate technical language
  • Adaptability (situations and tech)
  • Attention to detail
  • Strong leadership
  • Technology enthusiast

“Update your LinkedIn profile to reflect your resume as it’s often the first page a prospective client and/or recruiter will review, along with your portfolio. Be sure to include your technical skills/programming languages in the descriptions of your various projects, because recruiters will often perform technical, skills-based searches for Web Developers on LinkedIn.” - James McLaughlin, Recruitment Manager, Altis Technology.

Create your web developer online portfolio

One of the best things a web developer can do is create an online portfolio to complement their resume, showcasing their web development skills in action. ✨Tip: Be sure to have a custom domain and URL.

Make sure your contact information is clearly visible and easy to use, with an active link for your email address. Include links to any relevant, professional social media profiles such as your LinkedIn or GitHub profiles (avoid listing social media platforms that are not relevant to your career).

Include a bio/about section with more information about you and your career. Be precise, while also highlighting your personality, so the hiring manager or recruiter feels more connected to you as a person. You can also include a headshot or professional photo in this section.

Your portfolio should include the previous projects that you worked on, with the appropriate details and accomplishments for each to provide context. For example, include the dates, client name, description of the work, challenges, quantifiable results, objectives, code samples, screenshots, etc. Bonus: For each project, add a testimonial from your previous employer or client to boost your credibility.

In addition to your professional projects, you can also include some of your favourite personal projects, such as those for friends and family members, or online games and quizzes you created—anything to further demonstrate your skills and capabilities.

Tip: Beef up your portfolio by adding sections from your resume such as awards, education, certifications and more. And be sure to link your portfolio back to your resume by having your resume available for download as well.

Find a second set of eyes

It is always a best practice to have someone else (friends or family members) review your resume and portfolio, checking for formatting errors, typos and grammatical mistakes, while also ensuring all links and functionality are in proper working order.

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