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I am a senior developer and my resume is full of "designed foo", "designed and implemented bar" or "designed and developed qux", and sounds kind of boring.

What is a better way to describe development work without being so repetitive ? (By designed I am referring to the design of a small component not setting the architecture for a system or large component; I use the word architected for that)

I've read countless times to include on my resume how many dollars my projects have saved the organization or how many hours, but I don't have this information or any remote guess of it.

Thanks

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    Having been required to peruse quite a few applicants' resumes in my time, I gotta say, I have never had a problem with repetitive verbs. It sounds like you're taking a good clear line distinguishing between designed/architected/implemented/etc. Stick with that line. No need to break out the thesaurus, imho. – Carson63000 May 13 '14 at 12:29
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    Are you getting some sort of feedback that your resume is boring and/or doesn't adequately present your work? As a hiring manager of developers, accurate repetition doesn't faze me one bit. If you led any of the teams, do add that in your bullet points. No need to get fancier. – jcmeloni May 13 '14 at 12:29
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    design, develop, implement, create, maintain, build, grow, construct, fabricate.. there are plenty of variations of the verb. The problem might be that you're just listing what you've done - verb this, verb that. Try to explain the impact of the work you've done. "Designed and implemented new X that resulted in Y% increase in synergies and $Z in cost savings". Focus on accomplishments. Maybe X% of Y due to refactoring code. Anything, really. – Raystafarian May 13 '14 at 13:05
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    I never understood the point of including "impact". Is a developer who fixed a typo, which could have legal consequences in the millions, somehow more qualified than a developer that developed a key difficult component of some system that is not easily quantifiable in terms of direct profit? Your job, as a developer, is not to cut company costs, but rather to build product as directed by management. Whether it saves money, and how much it saves is not your responsibility/job. – MrFox May 13 '14 at 15:27
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    @Raystafarian: For IT positions, I disagree. The point of the resume is to highlight your skills and knowledge. Sure, a salesman better say they closed $X deals for a given time period. However a programmer will generally have no idea what their impact was. For them the important parts are what tools they worked with and what they did with them. – NotMe May 13 '14 at 17:34
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If you're a senior developer, you're generally expected to know why the software you make matters. So while there's nothing wrong with:

Designed, architected and implemented the Foo Replacement System, leading the FRS team of 5. Technologies: [buzzword list].

It might be more fun to read:

Led the initiative to replace the aging Foo system with a [technical buzzwords] version that [reduced turnaround, saved 20% of labour costs, opened new markets, doubled our sales]. My team of 5 joined me in implementing the system I designed.

I would slightly prefer to read that you led, you replaced, you brought in, you changed, you transformed etc than that you designed, architected, coded. As a senior, that is. I am cool with intermediates using lesser verbs.

Last week I reviewed a resume that was very repetitive. Every project ended with "The benefit of this project was enhanced X for my client." Only X varied. That was not a good use of space. If you're not doing that, but you just use the same verbs all the time, don't worry.

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As a hiring manager, this is what I want to see: *note that I'm taking @Amy's example and trimming it down to the essentials.

Software Engineer Jan 2012 - Jan 2014 at Acme Software Company

Responsibilities:

  • Utilized Windows WorkFlow Foundation (WWF) and C# to structure product flow
  • Worked with a team to implement a customer facing product ordering website
  • Initiated and lead the adoption of Typescript
  • Trained new employees on code standards
  • Aided in the layout of test plans for regression testing

Tools:
- Visual Studio 2012, ASP.Net, C#, Javascript, typescript, subversion

It's to the point while providing the necessary key word list that will be reviewed and ignores the wall of text that no one ever really reads. It also tends to save space as I don't ever want to see 8 page resumes. You want to provide enough information to make them interested while leaving the bulk of it for the interview. Final note: I couldn't figure out how to get rid of that double spacing..

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When recruiters and HR managers are vetting resumes they pay attention to the alphabet soup to make sure that you have the skills needed for the position. Hiring managers seem to just skim over them to see what you have worked with in the past and then ask you for more precise details later. Resumes need to be kept clean and to the point. I try to keep the tools and frameworks I have used out of my list of responsibilities. This helps to keep things simple. Here is an example of how I structure things:

Software Engineer Jan 2012 - Jan 2014 at Acme Software Company

Acme Software is a company that creates the software that controls all the machines used to create the wonderful anvils used by Mr. Coyote. I was a developer on a small team working on an internal application for structuring their product flow. I was also on the team that rewrote the external website used for ordering their products. Our team used Agile development practices as well as .NET 4.5, C#, javascript, typescript, SQL, SubVersion, and various other tools.

Responsibilities:

  • Initiated and lead the adoption of Typescript in an application
  • Trained new employees in the teams code practices and structure
  • Aided in the layout of test plans for regression testing
  • Designed a widget that saved the users large amounts of time when filling orders
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    Hi Amy, are you saying you keep from sounding repetitive by focusing on goals instead of technologies? Would you mind adding a quick paragraph to summarize the key points that answer the question? Thank you. – jmort253 May 14 '14 at 3:53
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Here's something important that you need to have on your resume that prevents your resume from sounding boring and repetitive. It is a combination of all the buzzword verbs along with a good summation on how your efforts are effective. What does this mean? Anyone can put buzzwords on a resume; whether they're the actual truth or not is another story. But then after the buzzwords, the measure of effectiveness gives a prospective employer some insight on what your values are. Many, many people miss this opportunity to share themselves on a resume. What do I mean?

Here's an example. Writing "my efforts produced a 40% cost savings" shows, clearly, that you understand that one of the goals for a successful business is to cut costs. Now, Mr. (or Ms?) Senior Developer, get outside your own head for just a second. It might be quite incredible to believe, but some people don't at all understand the fact I just shared (about cutting costs). They have NO CLUE. So giving such a measure on your resume tells the prospective employer, "HEY! I GET IT!" Many other resumes that the manager reads will lack this information, which means (a) others don't understand that measuring is critical or (b) they understand that measuring is critical, but fail to see a reason why the manager should know, right up front, that they understand.

Doing this will put your resume leaps and bounds ahead by focusing on results while not being repetitive.

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