8 Most Common Mobile Developer Resume Mistakes to Avoid (With Examples)
Are you looking for your next gig as a mobile app developer? Or maybe you’re just getting started and you’re frantically googling ‘example software developer resume’?
There are lots of skills that an app developer needs to have. But no matter if you're an entry level mobile developer or industry veteran, the best chance of getting an interview is a great resume.
I’ve been recruiting in the mobile development space since 2013 (Windows Phone was still a thing then!). The landscape has changed a lot and the number of mobile app developers has exploded in the past 8 years.
In this blog, I’ll give you my advice on how to stop making the most common mistakes I see reading software developer resumes as a recruiter. I hope you avoid them and get hired as soon as possible.
NOTE: Some of these tips also apply for people applying for a job in the technology industry!
1. Sacrificing details to make your CV one page
Although a CV can be hard to read if you cram a lot of information into a small space, don’t leave out important details.
Yes, having a CV longer than 3 pages is often overkill. But there needs to be a balance. Don’t stress about making all information fit to just 1 page either. It’s better to have a 2-3 page CV that covers all of your relevant experience, than a 1 page that doesn’t.
Instead of leaving out details, cut down on the number of projects. Focus on the most recent ones. Yes, those from 5 years ago may have been technically interesting, but employers care more about what you’re currently working on, so prioritise that information.
2. Making the format hard to read
Are you wasting time sending resumes that are messy and difficult to read? Make sure your CV is easy on the eye. Many mobile application developers create resumes that are simply not optimised for an employer to quickly scan and read.
A well-written software developer resume covers your most relevant work history and your technical responsibilities. It includes the relevant links to showcase the personal and commercial projects you’ve worked on.
My tip: name, contact information, links (GitHub, StackOverflow, Medium, etc), personal summary, breakdown of the recent roles (using bullet points), hobbies/interests + any additional info
3. Assuming the person reading your CV is technical
Most often, they’re not. At least initially. One of the biggest mistakes people make when applying is only using technical terms and not setting context.
Yes, it is useful to know how the software works under the hood and it’s important to include all the relevant keywords when describing your projects, but sometimes the person who initially screens your CV won’t be a software engineer.
The best way to balance this is to start your CV with a ‘personal summary’. This should outline in layman’s terms what you’ve done and what you’re looking to do next. It should also include your most impressive achievement(s) and you can customise these depending on the role you’re applying for.
Making this focus less abstract is vital for the success of every software developer CV.
4. Being too vague about your previous experience
The most important thing to remember is that it’s not just about what you've done, but how you did it.
Highlight your previous and ongoing contributions to relevant projects. Perhaps you were involved in developing something greenfield, or wrote code for software used by millions of users, or have a really relevant side project. Whatever the case may be, show how your previous experiences relate to the job you’re applying for.
Try to write 5-8 bullet points under each of your roles. Be as specific as possible when describing what you worked on and the tech you used. If you’re working in a large business with multiple teams, explain the part of the product you contributed to.
5. Assuming the reader will know apps you worked on
In any job search, it’s important to show you have a proven record of accomplishment, so
always include links to all your published apps in your CV. The more impressive the link, the higher it should be in the document.
This includes GitHub, Stack Overflow, personal sites, Medium blogs, etc.
6. Forgetting to highlight the data
Try to disclose as much tangible data as you can. If a feature you introduced improved performance, how? What metrics did you use to judge its success? If you work on a large scale app, what is the size of the user base? How much did it increase whilst you worked there?
Break your experience into easy-to-identify buckets (e.g., positions you held), and then add chunk after chunk after chunk describing what you did (e.g., working with users to understand their problems) and impact your actions had on the business.
One really effective way of showing you are the best candidate is by outlining what you have achieved so far in your career. This includes anything from small tasks (like implementing an API) to ones bigger (like leading a new project). Listing accomplishments shows your employer that you are persistent and constantly improving, even if you have been at the company for a long time.
7. Not highlighting your problem-solving when talking about your accomplishments
It's really important to show that you have the skills to think strategically and solve problems. When hiring managers look at mobile application developers' resumes, they want to see solutions. They don't just want to see a list of projects or how long you've been doing things.
Make sure you talk around the most significant tech/product problems you faced and how you overcame them.
8. Not including a tech section under each role
Make it clear what programming languages you’ve been using the most. Hiring managers will look for evidence you worked with the latest tech commercially. They usually look for experience with up-to-date libraries/frameworks, Unit + UI testing, CI/CD and modern design patterns. For example: