3. Describe your work experience as a full stack developer effectively
Finally, a place where we can put a bunch of info about our experience. Right?
This is where I see candidates struggle the most.
The biggest mistake I see people make is going too much into detail about what they built.
Instead of the what, you should highlight the howand the why.
I can’t even count how many times people go into details about what the app they worked on does.
Or even worse, they include internal acronyms that people outside of the company don’t know about, nor care about.
I’m not saying to never describe what was built. As long as you stay high level so that you don’t lose the reader, you’ll be fine.
Here’s exactly what you shouldn’t do on your resume:
Built INTSearch to help people find insurance plans from a large aggregated list.
First of all what’s INTSearch?
Whatever it is, it takes up valuable space on your resume, and doesn’t tell me anything.
Here’s a better version thats more relevant to the resume reviewer:
Contributed to a web application that has 1000 daily active users built in React, NodeJS, and GO Lang in an agile-based team of 8 engineers
Why is this better for the reader?
I now have an idea of the size of the team you’ve worked with.
I also can tell that you have experience with some development methodology
It’s also clear that you might have had to deal with some form of scalability issues.
You worked on something impactful!
If you can stay away from that mistake, you’ll be in a pretty good spot.
But what are the most important things to convey in this section?
Include technologies & programming languages
This is the most obvious.
First and foremost, include familiarity with programming languages and tools that are in the job description. This is important because this is exactly what the hiring manager is looking for.
Or even the keywords that a virtual scanner might be looking for.
Second, also include familiarity with languages that are not in the description.
Because this shows that you’ve been able to work with multiple programming languages. And you get that engineering is not about knowing one or two specific languages. But more about being able to use the right tool for the job at hand.
And who knows. Maybe the employer is considering a stack switch.
Maybe some day they’ll want to migrate their server side language, like Python, to a typed programming language, like Golang (or even Node + Typescript).
Mention any development methodologies
Did your company practice scrum? Or something waterfall?
Try to mention this without going into too much into detail. It's really important to show that you've built web applications in a structured way in an organized team.
Being part of a team that delivers software in a somewhat of a predictable manner is part of the job.
Include the size of the teams you've been part of
Depending on the role you’re applying to, this can be important.
Because not every company is going to be okay if you’ve only worked on things by yourself, unless you’re a new grad or new to the industry!
Tech employers are looking for engineers to be part of a team that iterates on a codebase in a structured way.
Clearly articulate your role
Were you an engineering/tech lead? A project lead? An individual contributor?
It’s important to let the hiring manager know exactly what your responsibilities were.
A typical team structure often includes engineers, an engineering manager, a product manager, and stakeholders like the executive team, or even external teams.
Mentioning how you worked as a team lets the resume reviewer feel more comfortable to move you to the next step.
Remember, read the job description to figure out how to phrase your role.
Describe your work's impact & scope
Full stack developers are often measured by how many end users have used their features.
Tech employers use this information to form opinions on how much you’ve had to focus on scalability.
This is also a great way to quantify your results.
For example, maybe you’ve worked on a feature that has had over 1,000 Daily Active Users. Or you’ve built a tool that can process millions of rows of data. Mention that!
Or perhaps your software helped a small number of enterprise clients improve their business workflow. Definitely include this!
If the things you built had low usage - its okay. There might still be valuable technical experience.
But remember to talk about work that you did that had the most impact. Especially if it was technically challenging!
Communicate software development best practices
I'm talking about testing, like TDD, integrated testing, etc.
Employers want to get a sense that you’ve not only shipped new code, but also maintained it with proper test coverage. Or even on-boarded team members into it.
These are keywords that must be included to show your abilities as a full stack developer.
Sample Full Stack Developer Resume Experience Section
I've included the text version of my resume's experience section below:
Staff Full Stack Developer
Lead large full stack projects in a scrum team to improve the presence of 50M+ articles in search engines.
Evaluated 100+ candidates in the system design segment of our interview process
Mentored junior and senior engineers on best practices in full stack development
Drove stack migration to React and GraphQL while addressing large amounts of technical debt to improve the team's efficiency in delivering software
4. Include an Education section on your full stack developer resume
I’ll be honest.
In many small to mid-size employers for full stack engineers, your education might not be that important.
It might not even be looked at.
Larger tech companies though may give it a closer look.
Few even have different compensation bands based on your level and degree (Bachelors vs. Master).
If you’ve attended a university, you should include that on your resume. Especially if your focus was computer science.
However, great full stack developers often learn online and refine their craft through experience.
So if you haven’t gone to school, you still have a good chance of making it to the interview step. As long as you have a strong resume.
5. Mention certifications relevant to the job
If you’re new to full stack development, you might have more space to fill on your resume.
Online certifications are a great way to fill that gap. As long as they’re related to learning and development as a web developer.
A resume with little or no experience still looks attractive if you’ve completed an online bootcamp. Even online courses that are relevant to the job are good to show. They help show interest as well as potential to work on a full stack software project.
Courses related to data structures and algorithms, programs such as App Academy, or Coursera courses like Andrew Ng’s Machine Learning Course are the most ones.
Here's an example of my resume's certifications section:
Machine Learning, Coursera
This section is also a great opportunity to include job keywords and make it past the filters of Applicant Tracking Systems.
6. Show your potential with a projects section on your Resume
The best way to demonstrate your abilities as a full stack developer is to work on a side project.
Whether it’s a web application that you built during a course or just for fun, it’ll give you a chance to stand out. Especially if you haven’t worked in certain technologies that employers are hiring for.
For example, I was once an embedded engineer. I mainly worked with C and Assembly.
I included that experience on my resume. Believe it or not, the recruiter and I talked more about that than my actual full-time job at the time.
Projects are the best way to gain new skills.
Which brings me to the next resume section...
7. Highlight your full stack developer skills on your resume
It’s obvious that keywords related to the job are important to include on your resume.
This is a key section on a full stack engineer’s resume. This section might even be the first one looked at.
A simple list of those keywords is exactly the section for that. Well-known acronyms are more appreciated here.
Because resume reviewers are ultimately looking for skills that line up with the job.
20+ Skills that you could include in your Full Stack Developer Resume
If you made it this far, you now have the key to getting that call for an interview.
Whether you’re an entry level candidate, or an experienced one, there is always a way to write your resume in a way that stands out compared to others.
Read the job description
Use a Hybrid resume layout so that resume reviewers can quickly confirm that you match the role.
Write a strong resume summary that includes information such as years of experience, level of involvement in technical projects, and/or industry focus.
Include familiarity with Programming Languages and frameworks, especially ones that the job requires (remember the job description that you read in Step 1!)
Write your experience section in a way that any outsider could understand. Talk more about the how and why of your responsibilities. Quantify your results.
Talk about Side Projects and include relevant certifications
Pick a simpler resume template.
I highly recommend using my full stack developer resume as a starting point.
Good luck with the job search!
Rohit is a software engineer, entrepreneur, and investor with a passion for helping others advance in their career. He interviews experts across different industries, researches job market trends, and provides career advice at every step of the job search process.