Two tech professionals studying for agile certifications

Front-end developers have an intensely complex job. They’re usually tasked with coding web properties’ navigation, layout, and design—which means they must master the intricacies of programming, UI/UX, and so much more. Given all that, what’s the ideal front-end developer resume template look like?

There are many things to consider in that “ideal” front-end developer resume template. Prospective employers would like to know as quickly as possible that you’ve mastered vital front-end developer skills such as HTML, CSS, and JavaScript.

In addition, if you have creative skills such as graphic design, you’ll want to show those off—including the ways you’ve utilized such skills in the past. Hired CTO Dave Walters suggested that, when highlighting relevant experiences, it is always better to “show” rather than tell.

“Creating a GitHub profile with sharable projects is the most respected way of showcasing that expertise,” Walters said. Just make sure those projects feature code and design that’s thought-out and organized. If the project features incomplete code, it is beneficial to leave comments in the code explaining why things were left, so the reviewer has context.

“It is very common for engineers to be under time constraints and return to a section of code at a later time to refactor,” Walters said. “Offering clear notes about this process can ultimately be the determining factor in a manager’s hiring decision.”

When showcasing past projects, for example, candidates should clearly demonstrate ways they’ve optimized the user experience, implemented designs on mobile devices, or leveraged HTML, JavaScript and CSS to create website elements. Applicants with minimal experience should always demonstrate ways they have contributed to the build-out of new products or greenfield engineering efforts.

Front-End Developer Resume Template

Before we go further, let’s take a moment to look at an example front-end developer resume template:

Josh Oakhurst, vice president of product management at Bayard, an advertising agency focused on recruitment marketing, explained that, on a front-end developer’s resume, a link to a job candidate’s portfolio should come first. That would be followed by links to any website, software, or apps they’ve created—and finally a link to GitHub or other code repositories that show their recent activity.

“Following this, technical skills should be referenced, as well as examples of the impact they created for businesses they’ve serviced,” he said. “It is also beneficial for jobseekers to show how they bring a problem-solving mindset to their everyday job.”

When it comes to skill sets like languages, libraries, frameworks, and testing, it’s fine to simply list them in a skills section. “I recommend referencing the real skills you have retained and honed and avoid listing every single library you've played with,” Oakhurst said. 

Jakub Kubryński CEO and co-founder of DevSkiller, suggested using a separate section in the left or right column for skills, next to a professional experience section summing up your previous roles and responsibilities.

“While creating a list of those skill sets, you should remember to put the ones most relevant to the role on the top of this list,” he said. “Please also remember to be humble. If you’ve used a certain framework only once in a project that finished 4 years ago, you probably shouldn’t include it in your resume at all.”

When in doubt about what to include, re-read the job posting, take note of the listed skills you know well, and include those in your resume.

Show Your Impact

Oakhurst noted that links to working software, websites, apps and code repositories are “way more important” than resume layout and design. “That said, if a job seeker is asked to submit a traditional PDF resume, minimalism is encouraged,” he said. “It’s important that the font is easy to read, and it is concise and free of spelling errors.”

He added some people just want to sling code and design cool-looking widgets, but front-end developers who can communicate how they’ve improved the business through their work will always have an advantage. “Speak the language of ‘increased revenues’ or ‘saved expenses’ and you're ahead of the game,” Oakhurst said. 

Kubryński agreed, pointing out that not focusing on the impact of your work in a measurable way is one of the largest mistakes you can make in your resume. “Companies hire employees for them not to do random cool stuff but solve practical business problems, don’t they?” he said. 

When applying for a front-end developer position, Walters said, applicants should ensure that their resume is concise, clean, and easily conveys key experiences, skills, and strengths. Recruiters and hiring managers are often under significant time constraints, and will likely only take seconds for their initial resume-scan. 

From Kubryński’s perspective, job seekers shouldn’t spend too much time overall on the design of the resume. “Even though you’ve got to have some aesthetic sense as a front-end developer, this role is still technical at its core,” he said. “Follow a thought-through logical information structure, avoid funny or unprofessional fonts like Comic Sans, check your spelling and grammar, and you should be safe.”

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