I'm a software developer with 5 years of work experience. I've never had problems finding jobs, so I think my resume is at least good, but I want to make it awesome.

The biggest struggle I have, is when writing about my work experience. When I google for tips on how to write a better resume, or something like that, I often come across the 'Show your achievements" and the 'Show how you can make a difference' tips.

The problem is, whenever I try to write like this, suddenly all my work experiences look all the same. I mean, in every job I had so far I did the same things to make a difference:

  • Designed clean and reusable code
  • Identified code and standards problems and improved it
  • Improved performance of features that were unusable before due to low execution speed
  • Translated cofusing user requirements into simple and cohesive solutions
  • Proactively took tasks from other developers and business people that just didn't gave a single f**k to their projects
  • Fixed bugs that existed for months or years and were always overlooked by other developers
  • Successfully devlivered N projects to production (N changes in each job of course)

And the list goes on. There are of course things that I did in each job that make the experience different, but the way I really make the difference is on the points that I listed, that are generic to every job (at least in my case), so I would end up with all my job experiences looking all the same except for a few points.

Is this a commom thing that everyone struggle with when creating a resume, or am I possibly overlooking something?

  • 1
    Been in IT development for more than 10 years. What I come to learn is that the most important details in your resume are your skills and how it helped improve your company/team. IE: Improved application X,Y,Z performance by 30% by redesigning and cleaning up reusable code. Saved company $100k+ total cost of development by reusing/improving and redesigning our current code rather than building from ground up.
    – Isaiah3015
    Aug 22, 2017 at 15:26

3 Answers 3


Focus on project specifics with a business perspective on the differences. Your technical skills and work still list, but put it in the context of what type of application it is. Every project has some unique elements even if a lot of the underneath work is the same. When I interview I am always curious to ask how a person describes the project as it shows whether they are aware of the bigger picture of the project/application/customer or if they are just focused on their individual role.

example: I utilized jquery/MVC/angular to develop, improve in a scrum team...and then include the specifics of the application like "I worked in a SCRUM team to implement a point of sale (POS) application that dynamically supported 1000s of stores real time and linked in the inventory so that all the stores could see what was available and sell real time all over the country/world".

Naturally that's an example, so expand as you have info on it, but it shows that you see the overall goal of your work to the end customer as well as the team environment and dynamics utilized to achieve the end goal. The years of technical experience is a given, but the ability of a developer to see the bigger picture and be a full team player is a huge asset. Many people just see their spot/task/role and miss the bigger picture. That quality makes you a prime candidate for a team lead vs. an individual contributor which often makes someone want to bring you on to groom you for their company.

  • 3
    Yes, OP is describing the hows but not the what. The what is the thing that shows the business what they want to see. Anyone can describe the steps of programming with a little experience, but there is a difference in a programmer who works with complex Enterprise systems or creates mobile apps that sold millions of copies or worked in the same business domain (hey look this guy worked on Finance applications at this job is really good to see when you are hiring someone to work on complex finance apps).
    – HLGEM
    Aug 22, 2017 at 15:25

Don't make it as difficult as you are. Just pick a few and put different ones in each one. You don't have to list everything in every job. I usually put 2 or 3 things in each job.

Another way to do it is to say the same thing but just rephrase it. Yes, anyone who reads it will realize that it's the same thing, but it won't look cut and paste either.

Spend some time to think about what each job differentiated from the rest. From that thought process you may be able to come up with something different here and there for the resume. Even if you can't, it's crucial that you be able to describe and discuss each job differently for the interview.

You may end up doing the same things at a new employer, but to them the job is completely different and special. You need to be able to show them (at least in an interview) that you'll see their job completely differently because you see the others as. Show them passion about your previous work and that'll translate into hope for passion about the job they're offering.


Is this a commom thing that everyone struggle with when creating a resume, or am I possibly overlooking something?

Yes, this is common in my experience.

One thing you could look into is have a professional resume writer work with you. I found mine on linked in, and while the difference wasn't huge in my eyes, apparently it was, as when I was looking for work I got a ton of compliments on my shiny new resume.

I figured out a while back that I am not the best writer, which is part of the reason why I participate in this forum, so I thought it my be worthwhile to hire a professional. For me, it was. YMMV

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