Order of Resume Sections

List your sections in this order: Summary, Skills, Projects, Experience, Education


The summary can be left off if you really need space for more relevant content, especially if you can also add/attach a cover letter to your application. Best use of this space, though, since you’ll be customizing every resume for each job, is to summarize your 3-paragraph cover letter into 3 sentences (one sentence per paragraph).


Try to group your skills in a logical order, like “languages”, “frameworks and libraries”, and so on. If the company is focused on quality of code and testing, perhaps a whole subheader for TDD is in order.

Here’s an example of how I like to list skills. This example, of course, is more applicable to someone with more experience than an entry-level developer, but the main idea here is the subheadings:


- Languages: Python, Go, SQL, HTML5, CSS, JavaScript, Ruby, Perl, PHP, Java
- Frameworks: Flask, Gorilla/mux, Django, Bootstrap, Rails 5, Symfony 1.4, Zend
- TDD: Unittest, Splinter, Selenium, PhantomJS, Ginkgo/Gomega, RSpec
- Databases: MySQL, PostgreSQL, MongoDB, ElasticSearch, Cassandra
- Other: Pair programming, InfoSec, Data Center management

In this example, I’ve broken my work down into the various programming languages I know. Most readers will look at the list and presume (correctly) that the things I list on the left are stronger skills than things at the end of the list on the right. For example, I know Python way better than I know Java. I also highlight my TDD skills and list the libraries I use most for quality checks, which will underscore my love for well-tested code.

Projects and Open Source

For newer grads, focus on your project work; more senior developers will focus on open-source contributions here. This section got large, so I moved it to its own page.

Work Experience

If you have changed careers or are a new grad, it’s important to show me as a hiring manager that at some point in your life you’ve been “employable” – that someone has trusted you to hire you for work for money. However, especially in the case where your work experience is not technical in nature or irrelevant to the industry in which the company is based, you will want to minimize your explanations of these positions


I’d like to see where you went to school, more to determine that you could finish something you started. As your work experience grows, the “pedigree” of where you went to school will be less and less important compared to your work experience.

Volunteer Work Looks Great Donating your time and energy to a cause always looks great on a resume, but should not appear on the resume at the expense of other information more vital to the employer or role on the page.