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Writing a programmer CV is no joke.
There are 1,800 fewer programming jobs each year. In other words?
Your iceberg’s shrinking.
Plus, you’re up against millions of other applicants from all over the world.
It’s terrifying, but—
A well-developed programming CV stands out like Ken Silverman in a mob of luddites.
In this guide:
- A programmer CV sample better than most.
- How to write a CV for programmer jobs they’ll notice.
- How to compose the perfect programmer job description for CVs.
- Why you can’t just list programming skills (and what to do instead).
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The programming job market is shrinking. But other coding jobs are growing fast. See these computer programming CV guides:
- Computer Science CV
- Software Engineer Developer CV
- Web Developer CV
- UX Designer / UI Developer CV
- Web Designer CV
- DevOps CV Sample
- Technical Support CV
- Technical Writer CV
- Programmer CV
- Java Developer CV
- Entry Level Software Engineer CV
- Engineering CV
- Entry-Level IT CV
- IT CV
Trying to put programmer on a CV? Coming into programming from another job? Try this guide: CV for a Career Change
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Programmer CV Sample You Can Copy and Use
Prolific Java programmer with 4+ years of experience and strong history of RESTful and JSP programming. Seeking to deliver efficient programming for OddPointer. At Laurel Barrie Financial, programmed an average of 10+ native Java apps per year, beating deadlines by 15%. Cut testing time by 20% and onboarded 12 programmers.
Laurel Barrie Financial, Gainesville, FL
- Developed 10+ native Java applications per year with integrated BI tools. Beat deadlines for jobs by 15% on average.
- Led team of 2 Java developers in project to improve product testing efficiency. Slashed time to test by 20%.
- Collaborated with 10 Java programmers to exceed KPIs by 10%.
- Onboarded and trained 12 Java developers. Retrained 3 lagging new hires through regular coaching, raising their KPIs 50%.
Junior Java Programmer
- Assisted with development of 3 native Java applications.
- Collaborated to help slash security risk by 30% through automation.
- Worked with senior Java programmers to complete jobs 15% ahead of schedule with 98% client satisfaction scores.
BS Computer Science, University of Miami
- Maintained 4.0 GPA in Java programming classes.
- VP of student Java programming group.
- Made instruction video on JSP with 65,000 views.
Freelance Project, 2014
Wrote a Java-based Android stock tracker that was downloaded 2,500+ times with a 4.7-star Google Play rating.
Donnie Permuth Plumbing A/R
Freelance Project, 2014
Developed accounts payable system for local plumbing company that saved £30,000 a year in unpaid accounts and saved 5 hours a week.
Freelance Project, 2013
Developed a Java-based media player for Android.
Soft Skills: Interpersonal skills, collaboration, problem solving, efficiency
Here’s how to write a programmer CV that works:
1. Choose a Professional Programmer CV Format
What do you think when you see code riddled with simple errors?
Hiring teams think that when they see amateur formatting in a CV for programmers.
Use the reverse-chronological layout to look professional. It serves up the most important facts about you first.
Use these CV formatting tips:
Programmer CV Format
- Make a 1-page CV with 1-inch margins.
- Write with a respected CV font like Didot or Cambria in 10–12pt.
- Add CV sections like Heading, Summary, Experience, Education, and Skills.
- Leave negative space so you don’t overload recruiters’ eyes.
- Save it as a PDF CV. They translate well to all machines.
2. Write a Programmer CV Objective or Summary
It’s a fact:
Employers won’t read your computer programmer CV.
They’ll give it a cursory glance. If you don’t hook their interest fast, you’re cooked.
In it, put:
- An adjective (prolific, energetic)
- The word “programmer”
- Years of experience (1+, 5+)
- Who/how you want to help (deliver efficient programming for OddPointer)
- Best programmer moments (Cut testing time by 20%...)
- A couple job skills (testing, onboarding...).
These programmer CV examples show the requirements:
Programmer CV Summary—Example
Don’t miss this.
Both programming CV samples mention testing, building apps, and onboarding. But—
The first adds 10+, 15%, 20%, and 12. That’s proof your skills are real.
But what about a CV for programmers with no experience?
See this entry-level programmer CV sample:
Entry-Level Programmer CV Objective
Can you spot the error?
The first of those computer programmer CV examples gives details like 2,500+, 4.7-star, and £30K per year.
The second just says, “I can do it, trust me.”
Expert Hint: Programmer salaries run from £50K to £100K. You may need to kiss a lot of frogs. But the prince won’t kiss back for a weak programming CV summary or objective. The key: save your sanity and write it last.
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3. Optimise Your Programmer Job Description
What skills belong in a programmer CV?
See this list:
Programmer CV Skills
HTML5, CSS3, XML
C, C++, Perl, Visual Basic
Attention to Detail
See a more comprehensive list of computer skills here.
But be careful.
Don’t list them all. Employers see through that like ninja comments.
To write a programmer job description for CVs:
- Find CV skills in the advertisement.
- They’re your CV keywords. Put them in your programming CV.
- Show how you used them to create results.
See the first of these software programmer CV samples:
Say the job ad wants these programmer skills: Java, testing, collaboration, training.
Programmer Job Description for CV [Sample]
There’s a clear winner.
The second of those computer programmer CV examples doesn’t mention Java, testing, collaboration, or training.
The first does. Then it adds 10+, 15%, and other features.
That works just as well with entry-level CVs.
What if the job needs these programmer skills: mobile app development, updating legacy code, collaboration, efficiency.
See this entry-level programming CV example:
Entry-Level Programmer CV Job Description [Sample]
The first computer programmer’s CV example is the full package. The numbers add zing.
Note how it adds transferable skills from other jobs.
Expert Hint: Is programming the right job for you? Other coding jobs are growing 12% faster than average. Before you write that programming CV, consider other options.
4. Pack More Into Your Education Section
The bad news?
Everybody went to school.
But your CV education section can’t make you look like everybody.
This game programmer CV sample shows the method:
Programmer CV Example—Education
You’re showing education while you prove your skills.
Expert Hint: Add GPA (3.8 or higher) to your CV education section only if you’re writing an entry-level CV or have less than 2 years of professional experience.
5. Add More to Your Programmer CV
Let’s move you to a higher class.
Don’t just list your work experience and education.
Add extra features to keep them reading.
Try 1–2 of these:
- Associations (ACM, AAAI, AWC, etc.)
- Groups, clubs, meetups
- Certifications (MCSD, AWS, Oracle Apex, etc.)
- Conferences (PyCon, Microsoft Ignite, etc.)
- Volunteer work
- Freelance work
- Your portfolio
- Foreign languages
- Hobbies or additional activities
This sample programmer analyst CV does it right:
Programmer CV—Extra Sections
Not even close.
The first of those software programmer CV examples shows you’re switched on. It touts a few more skills not listed in your other sections.
Add a Portfolio to Your Programming CV
One last thing—
Your portfolio (or link to your GitHub or StackOverflow page) is key. It gives employers a chance to see what you can really do.
Expert Hint: Do you need to write a cover letter? Yes. A programming CV without one may get read. But why risk it when so many hiring teams insist on them.
Double your impact with a matching CV and cover letter combo. Use our cover letter builder and make your application documents pop out.
Here’s how to write a programmer CV:
- Use the programmer CV template up top. It’s the right framework to make them notice you.
- Don’t just list programmer skills. Java or Python might look good. But use accomplishments to prove you used them well.
- Add numbers like percentages or dollar figures. Numbers add weight to your skills and accomplishments.
- Include “added” CV sections with conferences or projects. Those add-ons will drive home your skills.
Got questions on how to write great CVs for programmer jobs? Not sure how to put programmer on a CV? Leave a comment. We’ll be happy to reply!