Programmer CV Examples & Guide for 2024

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Programmer CV

Your programmer CV must clearly highlight your technical skills. Include the programming languages and frameworks you're proficient in. Showcase projects that demonstrate your problem-solving capabilities. Let your experience reflect your ability to write clean, efficient code.

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Ensuring your CV stands out in the crowded job market is a significant challenge facing programmers. Our guide offers expert advice on tailoring your CV to highlight your unique skills and projects, making sure you grab the attention of prospective employers.

Land the job of your dreams with our bespoke guide on how to:

  • Design and format your professional programmer CV;
  • Curate your key contact information, skills, and achievements throughout your CV sections;
  • Ensure your profile stays competitive by studying other industry-leading programmer CVs;
  • Create a great CV even if you happen to have less professional experience, or switching fields.

When writing your programmer CV, you may need plenty of insights from hiring managers. We have prepared industry-leading advice in the form of our relevant CV guides.

How complex should the format of your programmer CV be?

Perhaps, you decided to use a fancy font and plenty of colours to ensure your programmer CV stands out amongst the pile of other candidate profiles. Alas - this may confuse recruiters. By keeping your format simple and organising your information coherently, you'll ultimately make a better impression. What matters most is your experience, while your CV format should act as complementary thing by:

  • Presenting the information in a reverse chronological order with the most recent of your jobs first. This is done so that your career history stays organised and is aligned to the role;
  • Making it easy for recruiters to get in touch with you by including your contact details in the CV header. Regarding the design of your CV header, include plenty of white space and icons to draw attention to your information. If you're applying for roles in the UK, don't include a photo, as this is considered a bad practice;
  • Organising your most important CV sections with consistent colours, plenty of white space, and appropriate margins (2.54 cm). Remember that your CV design should always aim at legibility and to spotlight your key information;
  • Writing no more than two pages of your relevant experience. For candidates who are just starting out in the field, we recommend to have an one-page CV.

One more thing about your CV format - you may be worried if your double column CV is Applicant Tracker System (ATS) complaint. In our recent study, we discovered that both single and double-column CVs are ATS-friendly . Most ATSes out there can also read all serif and sans serif fonts. We suggest you go with modern, yet simple, fonts (e.g. Rubik, Lato, Raleway) instead of the classic Times New Roman. You'll want your application to stand out, and many candidates still go for the classics. Finally, you'll have to export your CV. If you're wondering if you should select Doc or PDF, we always advise going with PDF. Your CV in PDF will stay intact and opens easily on every OS, including Mac OS.

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Incorporate a touch of colour in headers or section breaks, but keep it professional and ensure it doesn’t detract from readability, especially in more conservative industries.

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The top sections on a programmer CV

  • Contact Information ensures recruiters can reach you easily.
  • Technical Skills highlights your proficiency in programming tools.
  • Work Experience shows your practical expertise and impact.
  • Education & Certifications validate your formal qualifications.
  • Projects Portfolio demonstrates real-world applications of your skills.
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What recruiters value on your CV:
  • Highlight relevant technical skills and programming languages at the beginning of your CV, as recruiters often look for specific proficiencies that match the job requirements.
  • Include a portfolio or links to your Github repositories to provide concrete examples of your programming work and to demonstrate your commitment to open-source projects, if applicable.
  • Detail your experience with software development methodologies such as Agile or Scrum, emphasising your ability to work in team environments and adapt to evolving project needs.
  • Explain complex projects in terms that are accessible to non-technical readers, showing your ability to communicate effectively with various stakeholders.
  • Mention your involvement in continuous learning and professional development, such as attending workshops, conferences or obtaining certifications, which reflects your drive to stay up-to-date with technological advancements.

Making a good first impression with your programmer CV header

Your typical CV header consists of Your typical CV header consists of contact details and a headline. Make sure to list your professional phone number, email address, and a link to your professional portfolio (or, alternatively, your LinkedIn profile). When writing your CV headline , ensure it's:

  • tailored to the job you're applying for;
  • highlights your unique value as a professional;
  • concise, yet matches relevant job ad keywords.

You can, for examples, list your current job title or a particular skill as part of your headline. Now, if you decide on including your photo in your CV header, ensure it's a professional one, rather than one from your graduation or night out. You may happen to have plenty more questions on how to make best the use of your CV headline. We'll help you with some real-world examples, below.

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Examples of good CV headlines for programmer:

  1. Lead Software Engineer | Full-Stack Development | Agile Methodologies | MSc Computer Science | 8+ Years' Experience
  2. Junior DevOps Specialist | CI/CD Pipelines | AWS Certified | Agile Learning Enthusiast | 2 Years in Tech
  3. Senior Data Analyst | Big Data | Machine Learning | Python Expert | BSc Mathematics | 10 Years' Insight
  4. Principal Java Developer | High-Performance Systems | Microservices | Oracle Certified | 12+ Years of Innovation
  5. Mid-Level PHP Developer | Web Applications | LAMP Stack | REST API Design | 5 Years' Practical Coding
  6. Senior AI Architect | Neural Networks | TensorFlow Mastery | PhD Artificial Intelligence | 15 Years Leading Projects

Choosing your opening statement: a programmer CV summary or objective

At the top one third of your CV, you have the chance to make a more personable impression on recruiters by selecting between:

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CV summaries for a programmer job:

  • Accomplished Software Developer with over 8 years of experience in full-stack development, specialising in JavaScript and React. Expert in crafting scalable web applications, leading to a prestigious award for Best User Interface design at the Global Tech Innovators Conference in 2021.
  • Dedicated and knowledgeable Systems Programmer with 10 years in C++ and Python development, having significantly optimised core systems performance for Acme Tech, resulting in a 40% reduction in processing times.
  • Former Financial Analyst pivoting to a software development career, bringing a unique perspective to problem-solving through code. Proficient in Java and Python with a deep understanding of data analysis, eager to apply quantitative skills to develop innovative software solutions.
  • Experienced Project Manager transitioning to the tech field and seeking to apply a decade of team leadership and strategic planning experience. Recently acquired proficiency in Ruby on Rails and JavaScript through intensive bootcamp training and personal projects.
  • Recent graduate passionate about embarking on a career in software engineering, armed with a strong foundation in Java and C#. Aiming to leverage academic knowledge, capstone project experience, and an earnest desire to contribute to impactful software development projects.
  • A proactive individual with a newfound passion for coding, looking to translate a strong background in graphic design into a budding career in front-end development. Proficient in HTML, CSS, and JavaScript with a focus on creating intuitive and visually compelling user experiences.

Best practices for writing your programmer CV experience section

If your profile matches the job requirements, the CV experience is the section which recruiters will spend the most time studying. Within your experience bullets, include not merely your career history, but, rather, your skills and outcomes from each individual role. Your best experience section should promote your profile by:

  • including specific details and hard numbers as proof of your past success;
  • listing your experience in the functional-based or hybrid format (by focusing on the skills), if you happen to have less professional, relevant expertise;
  • showcasing your growth by organising your roles, starting with the latest and (hopefully) most senior one;
  • staring off each experience bullet with a verb, following up with skills that match the job description, and the outcomes of your responsibility.

Add keywords from the job advert in your experience section, like the professional CV examples:

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Best practices for your CV's work experience section
  • Highlight specific programming languages and technologies you're proficient in, ensuring they align with the job requirements.
  • Detail any significant projects you've worked on, including your role, the technologies used, and the impact of the project.
  • Include measurable achievements such as performance optimizations you've made or the scale of the systems you've worked on.
  • Mention collaborative experiences, indicating how you've worked with cross-functional teams to deliver software projects.
  • Document your experience with different development methodologies like Agile, Scrum, or TDD, and how you've contributed to process improvements.
  • Reference any contributions to open-source projects or community involvement, which demonstrates a passion for continual learning and collaboration.
  • Point out experience with relevant tools for version control (e.g., Git), continuous integration, and continuous deployment.
  • Specify any leadership or mentoring roles you've undertaken, such as leading a development team or guiding junior programmers.
  • Touch on your ability to troubleshoot and debug complex problems, providing examples where possible.
Senior Software Developer
Senior Software Developer
ThoughtWorks UK
  • Led a team of 4 junior developers on a project to overhaul the legacy customer management system, improving processing speed by 40%.
  • Spearheaded the migration from a monolithic architecture to microservices, enhancing system scalability and maintaining 99.9% uptime.
  • Implemented continuous integration/continuous delivery (CI/CD) pipelines that reduced time to deployment from 1 week to 2 days, significantly accelerating product delivery.
Full Stack Developer
Full Stack Developer
Shopify UK
  • Developed a new e-commerce web application that supported a 50% increase in user traffic without any loss of performance.
  • Integrated third-party payment gateways which increased sales conversion rates by 15% through more convenient payment options.
  • Collaborated with the UX/UI design team to implement user-friendly designs that saw a reduction in user drop-off rates by 25%.
Software Engineer
Software Engineer
Sage UK Ltd
  • Constructed an automated test framework that caught 30% more bugs pre-release, improving software quality and customer satisfaction.
  • Optimised database queries for the company's main product, reducing average load time by 3 seconds per query.
  • Collaborated closely with product management to deliver tailored solutions that resulted in a 20% revenue uplift from key software features.
Junior Programmer
Junior Programmer
Monzo Bank Limited
  • Participated in the development of a mobile app that achieved over 100,000 downloads within the first six months of launch.
  • Improved codebase readability and reduced technical debt by standardizing coding practices across the team.
  • Contributed to the optimization of the core API which improved response times by upwards of 60%.
Application Developer
Application Developer
  • Created a custom CRM tool that enabled the sales team to track customer interactions more effectively, increasing customer retention by 10%.
  • Programmed additional modules to existing financial software, thereby extending its functionalities and enhancing user experiences.
  • Reduced application load times by 30% by rewriting performance-critical components of the system.
Systems Programmer
Systems Programmer
IBM United Kingdom Ltd
  • Automated routine system maintenance tasks which cut down operational costs by 20% through reduced labor hours.
  • Developed a new algorithm for data synchronization across distributed systems, ensuring data integrity and improving system reliability.
  • Implemented a custom reporting tool for system health that improved monitoring efficiency and proactive issue resolution.
Web Developer
Web Developer Ltd
  • Launched a multi-lingual content management system, expanding the company's market reach into non-English speaking territories.
  • Improved website security measures, thwarting attempted cyber-attacks and safeguarding customer data more effectively.
  • Initiated the adoption of responsive web design techniques, increasing mobile user engagement by over 40%.
Programmer Analyst
Programmer Analyst
Capita PLC
  • Conducted comprehensive system analyses which led to a 25% reduction in processing bottlenecks and resource contention.
  • Presented analysis findings and suggested system enhancements to senior management that were integral to strategic planning.
  • Developed a suite of data visualization tools that improved business intelligence capabilities and supported decision-making processes.

Writing your CV without professional experience for your first job or when switching industries

There comes a day, when applying for a job, you happen to have no relevant experience, whatsoever. Yet, you're keen on putting your name in the hat. What should you do? Candidates who part-time experience , internships, and volunteer work.

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Describe how each job helped you grow or learn something new, showing a continuous development path in your career.

Hard skills and soft skills to showcase your unique skill set on your programmer CV

Did you know that your CV will mostly likely be assessed by recruiters based on skill alignment? And that means that the way you feature your key skills across different CV sections will play a crucial role in landing you that first interview. We recommend you add your:

  • technical capabilities or hard skills in your CV experience, certificates, projects, etc. Use your past accomplishments to prove your technical capabilities. List up to a dozen different software or hardware in your dedicated skills section to match the job keywords;
  • personal and communication skills or soft skills in your CV strengths, achievements, summary/ objective, etc. Soft skills are a bit more difficult to prove. How do you define your aptitude in active listening? So, instead of just listing the skill name, include a tangible metric to show your success.

On a final note, when you're in a hurry to create your profile, you may misspell a particular technology or soft skill. That's why we suggest you copy and paste the particular skill name (or keyword), directly from the job advert. This would also help you to pass any initial Applicant Tracker System (ATS) tests.

Top skills for your programmer CV:

Programming Languages (e.g., Java, Python, C++, JavaScript)

Web Development (HTML, CSS, JavaScript)

Database Management (SQL, NoSQL)

Software Development Methodologies (Agile, Scrum, Kanban)

Version Control Systems (Git, SVN)

Frameworks (e.g., React, Angular, Node.js, .NET)

API Development and Integration

Unit Testing and Test-Driven Development (TDD)

Problem-Solving with Algorithms and Data Structures

System Architecture and Design Patterns


Analytical Thinking

Problem Solving

Attention to Detail

Team Collaboration

Communication Skills


Time Management

Learning Agility


Project Management

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If there's a noticeable gap in your skillset for the role you're applying for, mention any steps you're taking to acquire these skills, such as online courses or self-study.

Your university degree and certificates: an integral part of your programmer CV

Let's take you back to your uni days and decide what information will be relevant for your programmer CV. Once more, when discussing your higher education, select only information that is pertinent to the job (e.g. degrees and projects in the same industry, etc.). Ultimately, you should:

  • List only your higher education degrees, alongside start and graduation dates, and the university name;
  • Include that you obtained a first degree for diplomas that are relevant to the role, and you believe will impress recruiters;
  • Showcase relevant coursework, projects, or publications, if you happen to have less experience or will need to fill in gaps in your professional history.
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Focus on describing skills in the context of the outcomes they’ve helped you achieve, linking them directly to tangible results or successes in your career.

Key takeaways

What matters most in your programmer CV-writing process is for you to create a personalised application. One that matches the role and also showcases your unique qualities and talents.

  • Use the format to supplement the actual content, to stand out, and to ensure your CV experience is easy to comprehend and follows a logic;
  • Invest time in building a succinct CV top one third. One that includes a header (with your contact details and headline), a summary or an objective statement (select the one that best fits your experience), and - potentially - a dedicated skills section or achievements (to fit both hard skills and soft skills requirements);
  • Prioritise your most relevant (and senior) experience closer to the top of your CV. Always ensure you're following the "power verb, skill, and achievement" format for your bullets;
  • Integrate both your technical and communication background across different sections of your CV to meet the job requirements;
  • List your relevant education and certificates to fill in gaps in your CV history and prove to recrutiers you have relevant technical know-how.

Looking to build your own Programmer CV?

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Volen Vulkov
Volen Vulkov is a resume expert and the co-founder of Enhancv. He applies his deep knowledge and experience to write about a career change, development, and how to stand out in the job application process.

Frequently asked questions about Programmer CVs

Q:How long should my Programmer CV be?

A:Aim for 1-2 pages, depending on your experience level and the job requirements. Keep it concise and focused on your most relevant skills and experience.

Q: What's the best way to showcase my portfolio on my Programmer CV?

A: Create a separate section for your portfolio and include relevant links and descriptions of your projects. Make sure your portfolio showcases your technical skills and demonstrates your problem-solving abilities.

Q: How do I showcase my soft skills on my Programmer CV?