Creating a concise, specific, and relevant front end developer resume is key to landing your next job in tech.
For front-end developers, it is important to craft your resume in a way that highlights your skills, experience and programming language knowledge. How you structure your resume will have a big impact on getting you through the screening states and on to the interview stage.
Below, you'll learn how to create an effective front end developer resume to land the job you want. We created this guide for both junior and senior front-end developers.
Download: Exponent's Front End Developer Resume Toolkit. Get access to resumes and cover letters from Exponent members that landed the job.
- How to Format Your Front End Developer Resume
- Resume Summary and Objective
- Extra Skills and Certifications
- Design Tips
- Front End Developer Cover Letter
- Front End Developer Resume and Cover Letter Templates
How to Format Your Front End Developer Resume
Some job seekers try to stand out from the crowd by using unusual formatting to catch a recruiter's eye.
They may shuffle their job experience around or even list every detail of their work experience or skill sets across 3 or 4 pages. Do not do this!
Your skills and resume presentation will go a lot further in highlighting your readiness than a quirky font or spacing. You should write a resume that shows off your best qualities to your recruiter.
Getting Through Automated Resume Screens
Breaking the mold of conventional resume formats can backfire. Resumes usually pass through an applicant tracking system, or ATS, before they get seen by a hiring manager.
These keywords and phrases narrow down the pool of applicants to those that hold specific, required or preferred skills and abilities.
One of the easiest ways to make sure your resume will make it past the automated is to use a web developer resume template or a front end developer resume example to format your own.
When it comes to resume writing, following a tried and tested path is often smart. Trying to reinvent the common resume format for creativity points may not even get you a callback.
What Every Front End Developer Resume Should Include
Regardless of content, every web developer resume should include the following sections:
- Personal contact information
- Career objective or summary
- Education or training
For starters, your personal information gives a way to contact you if you're getting asked back for another interview! It's the first thing you should include on your resume.
Beyond that, there are other personal details every junior or senior front end developer should include.
Highlight your primary skillset on the top of your resume.
These days, it matters a lot less where you live. Include your city of residence, but don't include your full address.
You can see more on how to structure your resume in our cover letter examples and resume examples at the bottom of this article.
Resume Summaries and Objectives for Front End Devs
Your resume should show the hiring manager exactly why or how you are a perfect candidate for this job.
Depending on your experience as a front end developer or your technical skills, you should include either a summary or an objective on the top of your resume.
What is Your Career Objective?
Are you a junior front end developer? If so, the objective portion at the top of your resume carries a lot more importance than if you're deep in your career.
You can use some space at the top of your resume to write one or two brief sentences about how you'd like your career to progress.
This shows potential employers a snapshot of where you are in your career and how this specific position fits into your overall career path.
Senior front end developers can also take advantage of the objective section. Highlight how you'd like to grow yourself or your future team to feel career fulfillment.
Each objective should be personalized to every job.
Don't copy and paste your objective for every job you apply for. Create company-specific objectives that will stand out to your hiring manager.
- Weak Objective Example: I would love to work for ABC Company because I am a good fit for the company. My years of experience have prepared me to be on the design team.
A strong resume objective highlights your existing front end developer skills. It mentions the company you're applying to by name. And it even uses key phrases from front end developer job descriptions to create a compelling statement.
What is a Professional Summary?
A front end developer resume summary is perfect for web developers with experience in the field. This section, comprised of two to five sentences, will restate the experience you have as a web developer.
This section does not replace the Experience section of the resume. You'll read more about that below.
Instead, the summary gives a quick overview of the highlights and important parts of a career that the applicant brings to this new position.
The summary should use concrete statistics or facts when possible and should be a unique overview statement that shows abilities and experience relevant to the job.
- Good Personal Summary Example: "I'm a detail-oriented senior web developer with 12 years of experience creating responsive websites. In my current role, I've increased web traffic by 25% by implementing a mobile-first approach. I believe I would be an excellent fit for the front end developer position at ABC Company because of my expertise in AngularJS, React, and PostgreSQL, all of which are key skills for this job."
The weak summary above is overly vague. It is not written with the position in mind. It doesn't highlight any specific skills or accomplishments.
Professional Resume Summary Checklist
- Mention specific web design or front end development skills
- Mention the company you're applying to by name
- Tie your existing skills to tangible business outcomes
- Don't go into too much detail about other front end developer jobs you've had
Skills: What Skills Should You Mention on Your Front End Developer Resume?
Another vital part of a web developer resume is skill or keyword inclusion.
Almost all applications will first be run through applicant tracking systems to screen out less qualified candidates.
Almost all candidates who get invited for an interview have specific keywords, phrases and terms included within their resume.
Finding the Right Keywords to Include
Tech companies actually tell front end developers exactly what qualities, skills and abilities they are looking for in the job description.
- Excellent written and communication skills
- Creative problem-solving skills
- Experience in delivering quality user experiences
- Experience creating API driven web applications
- Experience in front-end development using React and Redux
- Coursework and/or experience in CSS
As you draft your front end dev resume, specifically include as many of the clearly important keywords somewhere in the text as possible.
A resume web developers might submit for this job should specifically mention
- user experience (UX),
- and CSS.
A qualified candidate's resume should also address communication skills and a list of relevant CSS courses taken in college.
Hard and Soft Skills
All job seekers, entry level developers all the way to senior devs, are equipped with some hard skills and some soft skills. Employers are looking for a combination of both.
Hard skills refer to specific training, abilities or certifications you may have earned within a career.
They may include things like
- Agile Software Development,
- Cloud Computing,
- Server Side Development,
- and UX Design. These skills may be quantifiable, come with a certification or those with the skills will be able to show specific data proving expertise or experience.
Soft skills, by contrast, are transferrable skills that define a worker’s personality and show how well they will be able to do their job.
Common soft skills for a web developer can fall into the following categories:
- Communication: Those looking for a web developer position should have good verbal communication skills. These are important when working with a team. Excellent written or verbal communication skills are needed when explaining development issues or concerns.
- Critical Thinking: The soft skills of problem-solving, troubleshooting, willingness to learn and creativity are all high on the list of desired abilities for web development professional positions.
- Leadership: Those making a front-end engineer resume or other mid to upper-level jobs may emphasize project or talent management skills, conflict management or even remote worker management abilities.
- Positive Attitude: Confidence, honesty and enthusiasm are all positive attitude soft skills desired in a web developer position.
- Teamwork: Collaboration is the top soft skill in this category, but other teamwork-related skills are team building and networking.
- Work Ethic: Soft skills describing work ethic are results-oriented, motivated, dependable and reliable and all are excellent qualities to have on a resume in this field.
How to Write About Your Software Development Experience on Your Resume
The real meat and potatoes of any resume is found in the description of past work experience.
Your experience should start with your current or most recent job and work backward.
This reverse-chronological format allows the hiring manager to focus on the highest-level position first.
Every job listed should use a similar structure of information. Each position you've held should have
- a job title,
- company name,
- dates of employment and location of the job.
Then, each position should have bullet points below it highlighting the functions of the job.
How did you excel in the role? Did you make a measurable impact?
When reasonable, the keywords or phrases used in the job description should be used in the experience section of your front end developer resume.
Show hard and soft skills you've used before that are relevant to the job you're applying for.
Your goal with the experience section is to catch your hiring manager's attention.
Your skills and experience will have a direct impact on your work in the new position. Show the hiring manager that you have the necessary skills to help their business succeed.
What if You've Never Worked in Tech Before?
Make sure that any soft or hard skills you have in previous roles are applicable to this job too. Mention as many as possible from your previous jobs and roles.
Show Impact, Not Job Duties
A common mistake when drafting a front end engineer resume is only talking about tasks completed.
It's easy to talk about how you've worked with CSS before to style buttons. But what impact did that have on the business?
Using Bootstrap to enhance a button may lead to higher click through rates or revenue increases for the business.
Including the routine expectations for a web developer in a position is important.
But it should always be paired with a concrete metric to show exactly how your work contributed to a company’s success.
Be careful if you're using a web developer resume template to build your own resume. The way your template is structured may not always lead with impact.
Take time to make sure each of your bullet points talks about the impact that responsibility had on the business.
Hiring managers will be looking for candidates that have had a measurable, meaningful impact in their past positions.
Work experience that includes keywords or phrases, descriptions of impactful work, as well as quantifiable data that indicates corporate improvements, will be the most valuable on an upper, mid-level or junior web developer resume.
Weak Job Experience Descriptions Example:
- Built and managed product tours with AngularJS for a new feature that improved customer adoption
- Worked on a team with data science on the front-end to increase user time on page
- Improved customer engagement on a single page app by migrating a multi-page user experience
This job experience section doesn't include any quantifiable metrics, shows no added value, and only vaguely talks about front end developer skills.
Strong Job Experience Description Example:
- Built and managed product tours with AngularJS for a new feature that improved customer adoption by 24% and eventual $1.25M in revenue
- Worked collaboratively with data science team on front-end product recommendation to increase user time on page by 3 minutes
- Improved customer engagement by 9% on a single page app by migrating a multi-page user experience
This is a great job experience description for a front end developer.
It highlights specific value created for the business. It mentions a specific technical ability in each line. Most importantly, it shows impact both for the business and to your development team.
Computer Science Education on your Front End Developer Resume
Many devs mistakenly believe that a resume’s only purpose is to show off experience, skills, and abilities.
It probably doesn't help that dozens of resume examples and templates fail to highlight the difference between skills and impact.
The purpose of including any section on a resume is to help the hiring team to see how a candidate could fit in with the open job.
Instead of focusing on the candidate, everything that is included on an effective front end developer resume should show a candidate’s potential effect on a future company.
Does your CompSci degree have a measurable impact on business outcomes?
When to Include Computer Science Education
Some front end developer jobs require specific educational training or degree.
If this is the case for the job ad you're looking at, include where you went to school!
Remember that the front end developer job description will indicate if a degree or specific training is required for that position. Not including education on a job that lists it as a requirement means that your resume will not make it past the first round.
However, even if a degree is not mentioned as a requirement, there are still other reasons to include information about your formal CompSci degree on a resume.
Include outstanding achievements that occurred during that time directly related to the position you are seeking like internships, recognition for projects, awards or other school-directed accomplishments.
Example: Interned with Voko Communications team designing and maintaining websites using WordPress
This shows experience you gained during your education and can bolster an entry-level resume. Programming languages aren't the only thing you'll learn in an internship1
Grades and Honors
Example: Honors: Summa cum Laude, 3.92/4.0 and Presidential List designation all four years
Mentioning your good grades or school honors shows you have a strong work ethic and skillset.
Relevant Coursework and Programming Languages
Include coursework that can show experience or familiarity with specific concepts or languages that are not reflected in job experience.
Example: Coursework over Python, Java, Amazon Web Services and C#
Be sure to mention any courses or certificates you pursued outside of your degree as well.
When Not to Include Computer Science Education Information
There are situations when a front end developer should not include their computer science education.
As a general rule, other than including degree earned and school name, experienced candidates rarely include much information about their education.
Remember, your resume should show expertise in the field of web development. After you've worked as a full stack developer for years, it's unlikely you need to mention leading a campus Python club.
When job experience can clearly show impactful work and skills, certifications and abilities, education information becomes less important to include on a resume.
What Extra Skills or Certifications Should You Include on Your Resume?
When you have specific certifications or skill sets, it is important to include them on a resume.
To a future employer, a candidate that brings a specific hard skills to a job is likely to be up and running faster than an applicant that will need to be trained.
Including these commonly expected and used skills and certifications on a resume will help a web developer's resume stand out.
Be sure to only include skills, professional experience, or certifications on your resume that you are comfortable discussing in an interview.
Some of the most common skills that could be included on a front end developer resume are:
- CSS and JS Frameworks (like AngularJS and Bootstrap)
- CSS Preprocessors (like Sass, LESS and Stylus) Content Management Systems (CMS)
- Microdata & Microformats
- Object-Oriented Programming
- Performance Testing, Load Testing & Debugging
- Responsive Design & Mobile-First Websites
- Ruby and Ruby on Rails
- Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
- Version Control (like Subversion or Mercurial)
Make Your Front-End Developer Resume Stand Out
You may choose to use resume templates to help you format your resume.
But don’t let that get in the way of the possibility of making your resume stand out!
Here are a few tips and suggestions to help you polish and refine your resume further.
The goal of a resume is to encourage hiring managers to spend a little bit more time reviewing your resume so they will decide to move you along to the interview portion of the hiring process.
These suggestions can help you land that interview.
Personalize Each Resume
One of the best strategies when trying to land a new front-end developer position is to create your own resume template that can be quickly customized for each job.
Each job description will have key skills, certifications or other descriptors specific to that position that the hiring manager will be looking for on each resume. Your own template can be the starting point for you to customize each resume to a job application.
Your front end development resume template will have every bit of experience, skills, personal projects, and educational information about you.
But this large template will not be used in its entirety for any job application.
Instead, candidates can look at the job description and then pick and choose which portions of their own information to use (or not use) on a customized resume.
Make Your Resume One Page
Shorter is best on a resume. Use concise word choices and try to limit the length to one page.
This is the single piece of advice that's ignored the most often. Do not, for any reason, make your resume longer than a single page.
Your goal with a resume should not be to exhaust a hiring manager with every task you've ever completed.
Show your most impactful work and use your interview to deep-dive into your career. Your resume writing skills aren't graded on how much you can fit on the page.
Again, do not make your resume longer than one page.
The use of a visual like bullet points makes finding critical information easy for hiring managers that may look through hundreds of front end developer resumes.
A professional resume makes it easy to skim through big bullet points and headings.
No Icons or Images
Keep a resume professional and clean with an easy-to-read font and no icons or images.
Don't space your resume with small fonts or margins.
Use a Resume Checker
There is not much worse than submitting a resume and discovering an error.
Whether it is a spelling mistake (did you misspell web design?), a confusing structure or even a left out section, an online resume checker can help you catch those unfortunate errors that likely will keep you from moving on an interview.
Check out JobScan for a resume checker that compares your resume to key words in the front end developer job description.
If you have a professional portfolio site, include a link to it for potential employers to view.
Front End Developer Cover Letter
Don’t skip this critical introduction! Most employers say that resumes without a good cover letter will not even be considered for employment. Follow this simple strategy for a strong cover letter:
- Include your full contact details.
- Include the first name of the hiring manager when addressing them.
- Use 1-2 sentences of a “hook” to get their attention: Mention a big accomplishment, a detail about the company you love or an award they recently earned, or something that lets them know you're not copying and pasting your responses.
- The body of the cover letter should highlight how you can fit into the open position as well as the company as a whole.
- Conclude with a call to action: a request to be considered for an interview or a next step in the process. Restate the qualifications you put on your developer resume in a single sentence before signing-off professionally.
Sample Front End Developer Cover Letter for Dropbox
I’ve used Dropbox's products for almost as long as I’ve been writing code. I saw your LinkedIn post about growing the back-end engineering team at Dropbox and it got me excited! I’ve been building and maintaining enterprise databases for the last 5 years.
In my current role, I started out as a front-end engineer working on payment flows. However, I quickly transitioned to more full-stack and back-end work as those projects scaled up and more resources were needed to process the data we’re collecting.
I’d love to grow in a team like Dropbox to continue to learn more about the Ruby on Rails projects you’re working on.
I look forward to hearing from you soon,
NAME & CONTACT INFO
Front End Developer Resume and Cover Letter Templates
Download our resume toolkit that includes 5 sample tech resumes and cover letters.
These resumes and cover letters are from real-world examples that landed the job. They're from former Exponent members who got software engineering roles.