Now that your LinkedIn profile is looking good, use the information it contains to write your resume. A resume is not strictly required since most companies are happy with just a LinkedIn profile, but it never hurts to have one.
There are many fancy resume templates available online, but I recommend something clean and simple. I follow a format similar to the way my LinkedIn is setup.
First, put your name at the top in large text. I used Microsoft Word’s Title style, a 28-point font. Under your name, put your LinkedIn address and contact information. Include at least your email address and phone number. Finally, finish off the first section with your summary statement. Here’s mine:
Experienced Engineering Manager and Software Engineer with a BS in Computer Science. Author of Rails Crash Course. Speaker, community organizer, teacher, mentor, blogger.
Add a heading, then list your experience. Put your job title in bold, followed by the company name and dates of employment. For your most recent roles, give 3-5 bullet points with the things you do as part of your job. Also include a list of technologies used in case someone is just scanning for keywords.
If you don’t have a lot of professional experience, include volunteer work or personal / freelance projects here. This is especially important if you’re seeking your first job as a software engineer. If you’re looking for a coding job, but your only experience is driving for Uber, then your resume isn’t really helping.
If you have a lot of experience, list fewer and fewer details for older jobs. For past positions maybe only list technologies used. For jobs that aren’t relevant to the position you’re currently seeking, only list the title, company, and dates. You might even leave these off assuming it wouldn’t look like a gap in employment.
Finish up your resume with information about your education. List your college degree if you have one. List the bootcamp you attended and/or any online classes you’ve completed.
If you haven’t done any of these things, just leave this section off. I would avoid doing something clever like “graduate of the school of life.” Some hiring managers might think that’s cute, but others will probably discard your resume.
I make no mention of skills other than as part of my employment history. I don’t see the need for a big block of skills. Anyone can type a list of programming languages, show me what you really know by listing some experience.
I also don’t mention references. Everyone knows you’ll provide references on request, so why bother taking up space on your resume? Many companies don’t even ask for references anymore.
My resume is just under two pages long. Many people will tell you that your resume should fit on a single page. I don’t see how that’s possible for someone with a few different jobs and some education. List everything you need and don’t worry about the length.
Finally, export your resume as a PDF. I don’t usually print my resume unless I’m going for an in-person interview. In that case, I print a few copies and stash them in my bag in case someone asks for it. So far no one has ever asked for a hard copy, but better safe than sorry.