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.
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.
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! So it is important not toe make common mistakes on your resume.
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!
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?
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.
- Reverse-chronological: Represents your work experience in a reverse-chronological order, starting with your most recent position.
- Hybrid resume: A blend of modern design and creativity with an equal focus on skills and your work experience.
Out of these three, the best for your situation might be the 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.
- Margin: 60 px on each side
- Padding: 60 px on each side
- Text size: Minimum text size for legibility is 12 px
- 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:
- Make sure you help hiring manager with all credentials and right contact details
- 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
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.
First is a PHP resume with no experiencefrom a fresh graduate who has C++ and Python listed in his resume too. It has a resume summary.
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.
Third is a full stack developer resume with 5 years of experience and has a resume summary in it.
Fourth is another entry level PHP resume, but with a resume objective stating why the candidate is applying.
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.
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
Full stack PHP developer resume summary samples
That checks out the 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. And remember, if you can brag with some numbers in your resume, this is where to do it.
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
- 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
- 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.
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 section ensures that you are no longer rejectable. Here are some commonly demanded PHP skills.
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:
- AWS/GCP/Azure certifications
- Testing or Database related certifications (e.g. MongoDB)
- PCI Compliance Level 1/2/3
- HIPAA certifications
- 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 and you should add an education section.
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.
Let’s summarize what you’ve learned so far.
- Your goal is to reflect on your resume that you’re a good programmer and follow best practices when it comes to PHP development.
- Go with a hybrid resume layout.
- Make sure to place project/Github/open source contribution links within your resume header.
- Go with a resume objective if you are an entry level PHP developer, otherwise go with a resume summary.
- Add relevant experience and skills to your resume, avoid anything that isn’t going to help build relevance.
- Think carefully before you add certifications to your resume.
- Don’t forget to add sections for achievements and education.