How to Create a Back-End Developer Resume Hiring Managers Will Notice
By The Fullstack Academy Career Success Team
We’re creating a series on developer resumes so you can be prepared for the job market and the interview process. See our resume recommendations for front-end developers here.
Back-end web developers are tasked with creating server-side web application logic and integration of the work front-end developers do. Learn more about the differences between front-end and back-end work here.
The back-end of a website consists of a server, an application, and a database. A back-end developer builds and maintains the technology that powers those components, which enable the user-facing side of the website to function.
In the United States, according to Glassdoor salary data, back-end developers receive an average salary of $101,619 a year, depending on location, background, and skill set.
If you’re interested in focusing on back-end development, once you’ve received the proper training, the next step is to relay your qualifications in a properly structured back-end developer resume.
Whether you’re a seasoned programmer or just starting out in the industry, this post will help you create a professional back-end developer resume that will stand out to any hiring manager.
Ready to build a back-end developer resume that will get you hired? Let’s do it.
The Components of a Web Developer Resume
Use a professional back-end developer summary to briefly introduce your technical skills, interests, and work experience. Here’s a sample from a resume we like:
Passionate back-end web developer with 3 years of experience, building RESTful APIs for edtech companies with an emphasis on maintainability and scale. Proficient in Node, SQL, and GraphQL.
Try to limit your back-end web developer summary to three sentences or less. The details of your experience will come in the rest of the resume.
This skills section is strategically placed near the top of your back-end web developer resume to draw the eyes of recruiters and rank well for the keywords recruiters and their recruiting software are searching for.
Just like you might be searching for a certain job title in a certain location, hiring managers are searching for developers with a particular skill set of programming languages. This is the place to show search engine recruiters that you’re a match.
Keep this section to a simple list using spacing and possibly bullet points. It should look something like this:
Back-end: Node, Express, Python, Ruby on Rails, GraphQL
Database Management: SQL, MongoDB, Redis, AWS
Other: Ajax, Git, GitHub, CMS
You may also list your skills based on competency:
Proficient: Node, Express, Python, Ruby on Rails
Experienced: GraphQL, Scala, MongoDB, Firebase
Familiar: Ajax, Git, GitHub, CMS
Here you should list any experience relevant to computer science and back-end development, even if it’s just a volunteer project you completed for a nonprofit (which is a great resume builder, by the way).
Without being wordy, note your previous employers, the length of each position, tasks performed, and ideally, quantifiable accomplishments.
If you don’t have relevant paid or volunteer experience, replace this section with a “projects” section, which we’ll describe below.
Here’s a strong experience section from a back-end developer resume.
Barnyard Software 6/2018–Present
- Assisted in designing and development of applications according to design specifications
- Assisted in preparation of web-based, production applications and prototypes through RoR web development
- Developed scalable strategies for collecting data and delivering timely and efficient solutions
- Created, maintained, and enforced back-end code and documentation standards
The projects section could include freelance projects, passion projects, open-source projects you have contributed to, or a combination of all three.
This is where it pays to have an online version of your resume. Sharing links to demos and GitHub documentation of your projects is far more valuable than simply describing them. Remember: If you are sharing your documentation (which you should be), make sure it’s good!
For open-source, good documentation means following GitHub READMEs and Wikis, and if you are presenting passion projects, write your own documentation. Sharing a project with bad documentation is worse than not sharing a project at all.
Here is an example of a back-end project to share on your resume:
Learning & Collaboration | Lead API Developer | www.sampleapp.com | 03/20
Built a customizable online classroom enabling users to tailor the learning environment to subject matter needs
- Implemented intuitive user experience with React and Twilio
- Produced a robust, real-time updating back-end with Firebase, Node.js, Faker, Express
- Project built through Agile Development including daily meetings with 3 collaborators and daily action item tracking via Waffle
- Contributions include but not limited to video chat feature and main page image carousel using Twilio and jQuery
Remember, your projects and work experiences are not meant to stand alone and vouch for you; they should act as guides to tell your story and illustrate your value.
With your descriptions, you are highlighting how you can identify needs, demonstrate creativity and character strengths, and solve problems: all essential abilities in developers.
Think carefully about where you want to place the education section of your web developer resume.
If you’ve worked for multiple companies over a number years, your experience will be more relevant, but if your experience is thin and a degree in computer science is your primary qualification, it may be better to shift the education section to the top of your resume.
If you don’t have a degree but have completed a coding bootcamp or other certification, you can title this section “Skills and Certifications” instead.
In the education section, list your institution, degree or certification, dates of attendance, GPA, and awards, if applicable.
Bachelor of Science, Computer Science | 2012–2016
New York University
GPA: 3.6, cum laude
You now know the five core sections you need to include in your back-end developer resume to impress hiring managers. To recap, make sure your resume has:
- Professional Summary
- Technical Skills
- Work Experience
Remember, projects can be substituted for work experience, and education can be moved to the top of your resume if you lack professional experience.
Of course, a professional resume is just a start. You’ll also need a tailored cover letter for each job application and an online web development portfolio showcasing your best work.
Want to give yourself a foot up in the web developer marketplace? Consider additional training at Fullstack Academy.