PHP developer resume examples & expert tips

Volen Vulkov Avatar
Volen Vulkov
8 minute read

Ever gone through a codebase that has no comments and lacks clarity?

Most PHP resumes are like that for hiring managers.

One can only build a bad perception about your codebase just from a bad resume.

And, every bad resume that you send out is going to result in a rejection.

Wish you could do something like “pair programming” here?

Well, that’s what we are going to do.

Well, sort of!

We admit that creativity within a resume impacts your job application, but it is limited to an extent.

Writing a PHP resume (or any resume) is a far more scientific process that follows design, business ethics, and unspoken rules.

But don’t worry, we’ll be your navigator so that your resume won’t fail in production.

Here’s what you are going to learn here:

  • You’ll go through 3 amazing PHP resumes to see what it’ll take you to win the job
  • Tactically apply design and psychology towards building a PHP resume
  • How to make each and every individual resume section highly impactful
  • Craft a pixel perfect resume that’s hard to reject for anyone

If you closely follow our advice, you’ll end up creating a resume that looks like these.

PHP resume example

Derek Elmore
PHP Developer
+359 88 888 8888
help@enhancv.com
www.example.com
New York, NY
My time
ABCDEFGH
A
Traveling
B
Relaxing
C
Learning
D
Family and friends
E
Studying
F
Cultivating vendor relationships
G
Researching industry trends
H
Thinking about innovations
Experience
PHP Developer
Austin-Fraser2015 - Ongoing
New York, NY
Mentoring 4 team members
Using tech stack of Symfony2 MVC Framework, Php, MySql, Git, jQuery, Ajax, Bootstrap
Developed >20 WordPress templates
PHP Developer
Freelance2013 - 2015
Dallas, TX
Back-end development with Drupal 7 and Drupal Commerce
Managed to complete successfully more than 10 projects
Development and technical administration of a Magento 1 shop, including researching and migration to Magento 2
Programmer
Alpine Inc.2011 - 2013
New York, NY
Working as a PHP Developer with a team of 7 members.
Junior PHP Developer
Real Web Devs2010 - 2011
New York, NY
Education
Information Technology
University of New York2006 - 2010
New York, NY
GPA
3.95 / 4.0
My Life Philosophy
We’re on this planet for too short a time. And at the end of the day, what’s more important? Knowing that a few meaningless figures balanced — or knowing that you were the person you wanted to be?Sophie Kinsella
Passions
Programming
Traveling
Running
Skills
wordpressjavascriptmysqljquerycssgitsqljavahtml5phpbootstrap
Languages
EnglishNative
ItalianAdvanced
GreekBeginner

We’ll now try to pair up with you and see how you should write a resume for yourself.

How to write a PHP resume?

A decade ago, if you listed a programming language in your resume - you’d get a call.

Those days are long gone now.

Hiring managers now understand (for better) whether the candidate really knows PHP or not just by looking at a resume.

It isn’t uncommon to not take your resume seriously and face rejections despite having the right skills and experience.

During a phone interview, I was told that, by judging from my résumé, I might better look for a trainee position. One week later I applied at Smashing Magazine and was hired right away – full time.
- Marco Hengstenberg of Smashing Magazine@nice2meatu

Imagine someone being told that they aren’t worth anything because of their resume, and then the person gets hired at a reputed organization like Smashing Magazine next week.

Marco’s tale isn’t uncommon across tech resumes. Most PHP programmers fall victim to bad resumes too!

To find out the root cause, we sat down with recruiters and hiring managers to see how they actually filtered PHP web developer resumes.

They filter most resumes they get by:

  • Bad PHP resumes - Lack of frameworks, experience, and skills
  • Average PHP resumes  - Experience of working with frameworks, but don’t display engineering craftsmanship
  • Good PHP resumes - Candidates who can solve complex problems or have software leadership skills and are exceptionally skilled at PHP

Need a little extra motivation? Trust the code!

<?php

   // define a function

   function introduce($make="PHP developer resume", $objective="Job"){

     print "Let's write a $make that gets the $objective";

   }

   // call function

   introduce("Kickass PHP developer resume")

?>

Before you jump into writing a kickass PHP resume - the big question is..

How would you go from a blank paper to a nicely formatted resume?

First of all you need to add a few sections and then use a layout that’s right to neatly arrange those sections on a resume.

Top sections that your PHP resume should have:

  1. Header
  2. Summary
  3. Relevant work experience
  4. Your technical skills
  5. Certifications
  6. Achievements, publications and open source contributions
  7. Education

That gives us 7 resume sections to perfect. First let’s decide on a layout that fits the best.

The best layout for your PHP resume

A resume layout guides your hiring manager quickly scan for relevant information and highlights what you’d really want to sell them.

And from what you might’ve common observed is that there are 100s of resume layouts and formats. If that confuses you, we’ve got the perfect solution.

There are 3 broad classes of resume layouts:

  • Functional resume layouts: A resume that emphasises skills and relies on the reader’s judgement to map if the candidate is relevant.
  • Creative resume layouts: Takes your imagination and crafts a layout that may stand out (could be good, could be bad).
  • Hybrid resume layouts: A blend of modern design and creativity with an equal focus on skills and your work experience.

Out of these three, the best a hybrid resume layout. Why? Because you need to display programming skills, deployment skills, and your experience at the same time. It’s hard to see if any other resume layout can match that.

Here are some dimensions, padding, margin and text conditions that you might want to use to write your own resume if you are using MS Word or Google docs to craft your resume:

  1. Margin: 60 px on each side
  2. Padding: 60 px on each side
  3. Text size: Minimum text size for legibility is 12 px
  4. Dimension of individual sections: length of each section should be 940*120 px, anything more than that becomes a readability issue

Perfect, feel like getting a job as a “resume designer” now? You wish!

Let's now look at those 7 resume sections are a must have for your resume.

The value of an engaging PHP Resume header

We won’t spend a lot of time here, but we will quickly go over what you should place here.

The goal of crafting a good resume header for PHP developer is to:

  1. Make sure you help hiring manager with all credentials and right contact details
  2. Make an impact on the hiring manager

Too much to expect from a tiny-less-than-30-word section, right?

Take a look at these two header examples.

2 PHP web developer resume header examples

Claude D Castleberry
PHP Developer
+359 88 888 8888
help@enhancv.com
1947Emily Drive, Columbia, South Carolina
WRONG
Claude D Castleberry
PHP Developer
+359 88 888 8888
help@enhancv.com
http://github.com/claudedc, medium.com/claudedc
Columbia, South Carolina
RIGHT

Notice how the Github link and Medium page gives a personality to the candidate.

With that being said, we’ve got 1 out of 7 sections done.

Let’s tackle the next thing on our list - resume summary.

PHP developer resume summary or objective?

Let’s talk about a hiring manager looking at 6 resumes for a PHP developer position.

The first is a PHP resume with no experience from a fresh graduate who has C++ and Python listed in his resume too. It has a resume summary.

The second is a PHP developer resume with 8 years of experience that has a resume objective at the start. This candidate has only worked in PHP so far.

The third is a full stack developer resume with 5 years of experience and has a resume summary in it.

The fourth is another entry level PHP resume, but with a resume objective stating why the candidate is applying.

The fifth is another PHP resume with 8 years of experience and with a resume summary that outlines her work experience and the impact she made.

The sixth is similar to our third resume, but with a resume objective stating that the candidate is looking for a career change and wants to specifically work on PHP.

If an employer is looking for a candidate regardless of experience, guess who’d be called for an interview?

If you guessed Fourth, Fifth and Sixth you are right. What they reflect are the best practices when it comes to writing a PHP developer resume summary/objective.

Let's put these best practices to action with some good and bad example PHP developer resume summaries.

2 Sr PHP developer resume summary examples

Summary
A hard working, quick learner and an expert PHP Web developer with a focus on front end. Team player with excellent problem solving skills and communication skills.
WRONG
Summary
Mark is a Sr PHP developer with anexperience of building SaaS applications in agile environments (Scrum, Kanban). His experience involves building scalable server side web apps using frameworks like Laravel, CodeIgnitor ,and Symfony that can handle more than 1,000 requests per second.
RIGHT

Full Stack PHP developer resume summary samples

Summary
To obtain a position with a progressive web development or software development company with a strong focus on creativity and problem solving.
WRONG
Summary
To find a position that is challenging, rewarding, and provides an opportunity to expand my knowledge and contribute to the growth of the organization and abilities in creating client-centric solutions.
WRONG
Summary
8 years of full stack PHP experience of building and maintaining front-end and backend systems for 5 SaaS products supporting 8 Million customers. Core Contributor to Hack and Hack Amsterdam organizer.
RIGHT

That checks out 2nd section from our list of 7.

Next is resume experience.

How to list your experience in PHP resume?

After mapping out whether you’re relevant or not, a hiring manager usually scouts your experience and skills to put you in a good, bad, or excellent category.

We spoke about that briefly before, but let’s get in a bit more depth on how hiring managers and recruiters translate what you write in your experience to those categories. They try to observe the following from your resume experience:

  • Framework experience: They’d look for whether you’ve used relevant PHP frameworks in your role or not. If yes, that’s a positive factor.
  • Programming experience: Hiring managers now feel not being passionate about code quality and best practices implies that someone isn’t a good fit. They look for architectural design patterns and code quality in your resume experience.
  • Scale of your work: If you work can display what business impact the code you wrote made, it automatically places you in the category of a good PHP developer. The number of requests per second, total number of users, or any other metric you use to track you work would be a good fit here.
  • Deployment and testing: Good software leaders display an end-to-end understanding and often reflect how they help with or impact the SDLC. If you have that, you’re by default a quality developer.
  • Team mentorship: This goes without saying, but if you can show mentorship experience in your resume, you’ll leave a positive impact.
  • Vaguely written experience: When you write anything vaguely, it doesn’t sell. Be precise with the lead cycles, number of features shipped, LOC, team size handled, and other metrics.  

Note that, if you’re building a PHP full stack developer resume, you’d need to highlight other languages in addition to PHP to mark an impact with your skills.

Take care of these six points and you’ve done enough to turn a hiring manager into your biggest hiring advocate.

But, before we jump into other sections, check out these PHP resume experiences to map what you just learned in actual actionable advice.

2 PHP web developer resume experience samples

Experience
PHP Web DeveloperIncognita
06/2016 - 06/2019
Remote work
Developed client websites and applications based on design hand off-provided by lead designers
Provided troubleshooting and technical support for clients and internal team members for launched projects and other IT-related issues such as DNS, hosting, email and desktop configuration
Utilized GIT source control for projects that required extra functionality beyond standard Wordpress features or those provided by popular and trusted plugins
Strategized with clients and management team to help provide the best tech strategies and stacks for projects
WRONG
Experience
PHP Web DeveloperIncognita
06/2016 - 06/2019
Remote work
Architected and developed the front-end for Turbotax. Won a Webby award for the Finance category.
Acted as lead developer managing a team of two for TicketPony to write enterprise grade PHP code to scale beyond 25,000 ticket transactions per minute.
Designed architecture of more than 12 high end Financial applications.
Led critical and complex projects that involved highly custom PHP implementation for scale, match Healthcare standards, and integrate it with Java EE.
RIGHT

We’re pretty sure that you can now clearly see how you can revamp your resume experience to outshine other applicants.

But, just like how you have to often deal with edge cases when you code, you’ve to deal with edge cases while writing resumes too. A few examples of these would be:

  • Recruiter scouting PHP developer resumes with ReactJS experience, Magento experience, etc.
  • A job that demands someone equally skilled in driving quality via CI/CD full cycle implementation
  • Unique skills and certifications like HIPAA, PCI, etc.

You can address some of those within your resume experience, but to be sure you would need resume skills, publications, and achievements to ensure that you’re taking care of absolutely everything.

That concludes that 3rd section for a PHP resume, let’s now quickly go through the rest of the sections.

Adding skills to your PHP resume

Those edge case really come into the picture when either there are a lot of similar candidates applying for a job, or when there’s a very picky hiring manager.

A nicely laid out resume skills ensures that you are no longer rejectable. Here are some commonly demanded PHP skills.

8 Sample PHP resume technical skills

  1. Dependency management
  2. Test Driven Development
  3. Event driven programming
  4. Language skills: PHP, Hack, HTML, SQL, Javascript
  5. Frameworks: BootStrap, Wordpress Multisite
  6. Functional Programming, OOP and RWD
  7. Database design and Storage (MySQL, MongoDB, PostgreSQL)
  8. Writing custom PHP packages
  9. Agile development (Kanban, Scrum)
PRO TIPYou should always change your resume skills (applies in general to your resume) to highlight what’s most relevant to the role.

Should you add certifications to your PHP web developer resume?

If you spend your money on getting a PHP certifications, you’re going to hate our advice.

Certifications are a red flag most of the time.

Unless, you have certifications like these:

  1. AWS/GCP/Azure certifications
  2. Testing or Database related certifications (e.g. MongoDB)
  3. PCI Compliance Level 1/2/3
  4. HIPAA certifications
  5. Recognized security certifications

If you are an experienced dev, adding Udemy’s PHP certification from Willie Wonka is only going to hurt your application. Those certifications scream “I don’t know PHP and I commit code to production without thinking”.

Listing Achievements and contributions on your resume

Imagine a hiring manager looking at a candidate’s resume that made more than 800 commits to critical PHP framework that they are hiring for.

Achievements and contributions are high trust signals which not only leave a mark on the person reviewing your resume, but also gets noticed by your interviewer too.

But that shouldn’t discourage you from adding business achievements you were a part of to your achievement sections.

Once you’re done crafting your achievements section, the last thing on our list is adding your education.

PHP Resume education: Does it really matter?

No matter what anyone tells you, professional education matters.

Automated application tracking systems crave for those keywords, and listing education becomes even more important if you’re a recent graduate.

List your GPA if it’s 4.0 or close. Never mention a GPA of 2.5 (it negatively impacts your reputation), and adding a GPA in the range of 2.5-3.0 won’t make any impact at all.

PRO TIPWhen you add your professional education, keep it short.

Let’s summarize what you’ve learned so far.

Summary

  1. Your goal is to reflect on your resume that you’re a good programmer and follow best practices when it comes to PHP development.
  2. Go with a hybrid resume layout.
  3. Make sure to place project/Github/open source contribution links within your resume header.
  4. Go with a resume objective if you are an entry level PHP developer, otherwise go with a resume summary.
  5. Add relevant experience and skills to your resume, avoid anything that isn’t going to help build relevance.
  6. Think carefully before you add certifications to your resume.
  7. Don’t forget to add sections for achievements and education.

Looking to build your own PHP Developer resume?

Enhancv is a simple tool for building eye-catching resumes that stand out and get results.
Variety of custom sections
Hassle-free templates
Easy edits
Memorable design
Content suggestions
Try free for 7 days
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