Resume - How to talk about your experience?

Out of curiosity, how is everyone talking about their experience?

Are you listing your projects under your experience section of the resume or are you just listing professional experience?


It’s best to separate personal projects into their own section . Projects are decent demonstrations of skill, but employers first want to know what real-world problems you solved for real-world businesses.

I have a different background than most freeCodeCampers, so my personal experience is different. My personal recommendation though is that the projects that you build for freeCodeCamp (or similar programs) look very much like school projects on a resume and in that way weaken it. What do encourage you to do is to spend lots of time building or contributing to large projects that excite you. This can be your own passion project(s) or contributing regularly to something like freeCodeCamp, but I look at those completely differently on a resume than a list of projects that scream “this was an assignment or tutorial and I haven’t touched it since”.

Please keep this in mind: the purpose of your resume / CV (and cover letter) is to get you the interview. Make the reader curious about you.

Sell yourself. Shamelessly. Make a claim like

I develop and deploy useful whatever whatever whatever.

Then use your project experience to prove your claim. If you can, briefly mention some problem / bug you had and how you overcame it.

The point is this: the person reading your resume / CV wants to know you figure out problems and get them solved. That matters a lot more than the exact tech you used.

Don’t forget to mention interpersonal claims. For example,

I was part of a successful team. My team divided up the work and finished a project on time. On this university final project for the blahblah class, I handled the whatever and coordinated with three partners.

If you have 2-3 claims and proofs, you should be good early in your career.

If you can, tailor your resume’s claims and proofs so they match the problems of your potential employer. It’s worth spending time and effort working on your claims and proofs so they’re TRUE about you and DETAILED enough to spark your reader’s curiosity about you. You want them to think “this would be a good co-worker.”

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It’s interesting to see other perspectives and I honestly don’t know which is correct but here’s mine.

I’ve had to scan hundreds of resumes and the first thing I look for is a callout to a project. I don’t even look at education or work history. If you have a cool thing you built, it’s open source and it’s running live somewhere that I can check out, I want to see it.

If the project looks sweet I’ll spend more time reading your resume. I’m sure I’ve missed lots of promising candidates that way, but reading resumes isn’t my full time job, and any other way of scanning resumes quickly has the same trade-offs.

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