Résumés & Certifications
Now that you have some programming knowledge and skill, you might consider looking for a job that makes use of those skills. So, let’s take a look at some related information that might be useful to you in that path.
A résumé for a technical career field such as programming can be quite a bit different from résumés in other fields. This is mainly because a technical résumé should cover more than just work experience, including projects, programming skills, technical knowledge, and more. While there are many guides online for building a technical résumé, here are a few things that you might want to consider including:
Either as part of your work experience, a separate section, or sometimes both, you’ll want to talk about any programming projects you have worked on, even in your own time. For example, you could definitely include the restaurant project from this semester as a guided project, as well as your final project as an example of your own independent work. When discussing your projects, be clear about what programming language and technologies you used to build the project, as well as your contribution if you were working as part of a team. This gives the reader a clear understanding of the types of projects you’ve worked on, the languages and technologies you are likely to be familiar with, and your level of contribution to the project itself.
This résumé section is somewhat unique to programmers, but it is one of the most important sections to include. In this section, you’ll want to list all of the programming languages, technologies, frameworks, platforms, and more than you are familiar with. This can sometimes read like a “buzzword-compliant” list of items, but for a recruiter it can hold valuable information. Many times, an organization is looking for a programmer with experience or familiarity with a particular set of languages and technologies, and if you can quickly show that you’ve worked with them, you’ll become a top contender for the job.
For example, consider all of the tools you’ve worked with just in this course. Here’s a short list of things that you could list on your résumé, depending on what you used in this course:
- Git and GitHub
- Object-Oriented Programming
- Singleton, Iterator, Factory Method Design Patterns
- RESTful Architecture
- Java 8
- JUnit 5
- Checkstyle (Google Style Guide for Java)
- Java Swing UI
- Spring Web Framework & Thymeleaf
- Python 3.10
- Mypy and Python Type Annotations
- flake8 (Google Style Guide for Python)
- tkinter UI
- unittest.mock library
- Flask, Flask-classful, Flask-WTF
Of course, you may know some of these more than others, and it is definitely recommended to be honest about your level of skill with each of these, but you already have quite an impressive list of skills and technologies you are familiar with.
Another possible path would be to earn some certifications. A certification is usually given by some organization based on earning a passing score on an exam, and can serve as further proof of your knowledge as a programmer.
Within the field of programming, certifications are viewed with somewhat mixed feelings. For programmers with little experience, earning a certification can help demonstrate proficiency with a language or technology that would be otherwise difficult to prove, but many jobs either don’t look for certifications from new hires, or there are simply too many certifications to know which one would be useful, if any.
In general, we don’t direct students toward earning a certification as a next step after this course, but we don’t discourage it either. Depending on your chosen career path, there may be certifications available that could help you.
We recommend doing some research, either by talking to companies and others in the field you are interested in, or meeting with an advisor or career counselor to explore your options. There are definitely some good certifications out there covering both the Java and Python programming languages that would be easily achievable after completing this course (with a bit more study).