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Describing Your Project Experience4:00 with Rakeem Thomas
This section provides lots of information for employers and proves that you have the skills to be successful in the job. Your project experience is used to reinforce the skill list you built earlier with real, concrete projects and examples.
Listing your project experience
List any and all work done that is relevant to a job in tech. It could include work you’ve done as an employee for a company or a project you’ve worked on independently on your own time. The key to a strong section highlighting your relevant experience is
- using strong action verbs
- quantifying the impact of your activities, and
- being specific but not exhaustive.
Action verbs engage your reader with vivid language that captures what you do and why you do it well. Starting your resume bullet points with action verbs also helps keep your descriptions short and powerful.
Quantify the Impact
Don’t just describe your duties—describe your accomplishments. How did the work you do impact your company, or your team? One way to make your accomplishments shine is to quantify the impact your work had wherever possible. How many customers used the new app you designed? How did the code you write speed development time for your team? Without lying or exaggerating, describe the impact you had instead of just your day-to-day duties. That means a resume should show not just, for example, C++ experience, but that use of the skill generated 200,000 additional website hits in four months, with a bottom-line revenue increase of $4 million.
Many people go overboard describing the basics of their job description in excruciating detail without getting to the value of the role. You want to be specific and list every skill relevant to the job, not every skill you’ve ever exercised. Be sure to highlight the most sought-after skills that are relevant to the job you’re pursuing.
In this section you should detail the project’s end result, the technologies involved, and the impact your project had. For instance, instead of this:
Wrote advanced algorithms to detect imminent system failure, which were used within a Web-based application.
Created Web service in C# to allow partners to access data in a secure, reliable, and responsive manner; typical data set was 1,000,000 rows and concurrency challenges needed to be overcome at the database and application layers.
Did you make your list of skills?
If so great, if you didn't I suggest you pause this video, and make your list.
Trust me it will help, you'll use that later in this course when I guide you
through writing your own resume.
In this video, we'll talk about one of the most important sections of your resume,
your project experience.
This section provides lots of information for
employers, and proves that you have the skills to be successful in the job.
Your project experience is used to reinforce the skill list you built earlier
with real concrete projects and examples.
Let's take a quick look at this example.
This person has created a mobile social networking application for
However, this isn't the best way to describe your project experience.
Writing your experience in a paragraph format, decreases readability, and
does not highlight the most important aspects of your project,
I would suggest bulletizing your experience.
Take a look at this example.
This is much easier to read than a solid block of text.
Hiring managers see hundreds of resumes, so
making every part of your resume easily scannable, and readable is very important.
Bullet points provide great visual guides for highlighting key points.
Let's look into this a bit further.
This bullet point describes the main functionality of the application.
This isn't the most descriptive explanation, but
it allows the reader to understand how your app works.
We'll talk more about creating better descriptions using strong action verbs
in a later video.
For our next bullet point, you should list the key skills, and
technologies you use to build the project.
Let's indent the second bullet point.
Since the first bullet point contains the title and description,
you should indent any other bullets that provide more details about the project.
For your last bullet point, let's provide a link to the project.
Get in the habit of providing proof of your work and skills.
We encourage uploading your project to popular version control repositories,
like GitHub, or Bitbucket.
Others can see your project, and the progress you are making.
It also gives you valuable practice,
using version control software, which is extremely in demand scale on it's own.
Another important topic,
is the number of projects you should provide on your resume.
Similar to the skill section,
you must fight the urge to list every project you've worked on.
Instead, you should list projects that reflect your working knowledge in a full
and complete way.
Here's what I mean by that.
Let's say you're applying to a front-end web developer position that wants you to
be familiar with the React library.
Listing the application you built following the React tutorial
would not be a good idea.
This comes off as very unoriginal and quite frankly, it makes you seem lazy.
Instead, let's list that cool calendar widget you built, or
maybe something like a virtual address book application.
Even though these projects are not completely original, or
the most innovative, they are still much better than copying and
pasting a tutorial you found online.
As far as many projects, I would suggest two to three.
Quality over quantity is key when thinking of how many projects to list.
Two to three well planned feature rich projects,
will always be better than 45 half baked static projects.
At this point in your learning journey,
you may not have a huge portfolio to show off, and that's fine.
Think of your projects as learning tools, rather than job search tools.
As you improve your skills, implement additional feature within your project.
Over time both your skills, and
projects will improve, thus increasing your chances of landing that new job
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