Do Your Research!
First things first. You need to have a clear idea of the expectations and skills you’ll need for the job you are applying for. Our Akkodis expert resume writers, recommend using the job description to tailor your resume specifically to the job you want to be hired for. Applying for multiple positions? You will want to customize a version of your resume for each of those positions. Yes, this means you may have 3 to 5 versions!
Not only should you research the potential job, research the company as well. Having a strong understanding of the culture and climate of your potential new company can help you include keywords within your resume that will make it stand out to the hiring manager.
Your Personal Statement - What Makes You the Best Candidate for the Job?
Your personal statement is your opportunity to capture the hiring manager’s attention. Use this space to highlight some of your pertinent strengths. Now is the time to connect the research you did about the job you are applying for to the skills you possess. Make sure to focus your personal statement on painting a clear picture of the expertise you will bring to the company. You can use bullet points to summarize what you have to offer the company and include your experiences with certain tasks and roles within other companies. Instead of using this section to tell about your background, use the descriptors in the job posting to tell the hiring manager about the soft skills you possess. Some of these may include:
- Team Work
- Time Management
- Problem Solving
- Attention to Detail
The Relevant Skills Section
This is the section where you are going to tell the hiring manager the hard skills you possess that are relevant to the job for which you are applying. Again, you’ll want to refer back to the research you did about the job. These hard skills can be skills that you’ve earned on your own, including certifications or education that you’ve earned outside of your formal education (that’s listed later). Here are common hard or technical skills used by Java Developers:
- Java Spring
- Restful APIS
- Spring BOOT
- Agile Software Development
- Full Stack JAVA
- Spring MVC
- Core Java/Java2SE
- Java Client Server
- Web Services (REST)/Web Applications/Web Development
- RabbitMQ / Kafka
- Relational SQL/ NoSQL Databases (MongoDB)
- Agile Principles (scrum)
- CI/CD principles, including automated builds, tests, and deployments
How Do I Decide Which Java Developer Skills to Include?
Hiring Managers often have a limited amount of time to read through resumes, so you’ll want to keep these sections concise. Think about awards you have earned, and certifications you have received. What personal attributes may have contributed to these achievements? You can also reach out to colleagues or mentors to help note strengths you have that you don’t recognize in yourself. By connecting your own strengths to the type of candidate the company is searching for, you’ll stand out amongst the competition.
Your Work History
How you present your work history is going to largely be determined by the resume format you choose. Regardless of your resume format, you’ll want to include any applicable experiences that are transferable to the position for which you are applying. Depending on the job description, you can bring in or remove certain job functions from your past experiences. Always make sure to be honest with job titles and experiences. You will need to be comfortable substantiating any information you provide.
Your work history section does not necessarily need to be a “laundry list” of past jobs, but should be used as an opportunity to add context to the information you provided in your personal statement. Use stats to quantify your impact and provide examples of your work achievements.
Now, for the age-old question, how far back should I go? Standard recommendation is 10 years, but, if the work history is pertinent to the target job, include it!
This section is where you’ll include your formal education, and any degrees you've earned, courses that you've taken, or certifications you've received that are relevant to the job posting. Additionally, if you completed any major projects during your education, you can include a summary of those accomplishments within this section. If you are a recent college graduate looking for a Junior Java Developer job, this is a great place to include any of the keywords from the job description that you may not be able to include in previous sections due to a lack of work experience.
Which Resume Format is Best?
There are three main types of Resume formats: the Classic (reverse-chronological), the Functional, and the Hybrid:
- The classic reverse-chronological resume format is the most well-known and used by the majority of job seekers. In this format an applicant will start with their name and contact information at the top, followed immediately by their employment history, starting with their current or most recent position and working backward. This format plainly shows hiring managers exactly where you’ve been.
- The functional resume format deemphasizes work history and puts skills and accomplishments front and center. After your name and contact information, you go straight into your most relevant skills and accomplishments. Your work history is listed with minimal detail at the bottom of the resume.
- The hybrid resume format is a combination of both the classic reverse-chronological format and the functional format. The hybrid resume format has space at the top of the page for skills and accomplishments, like the functional resume, while also leaving space at the bottom for the more traditional approach to the work history, where each position is accompanied by a blurb that outlines responsibilities and accomplishments.
Applicant Tracking Systems (ATS)
According to Forbes, 99% of Fortune 500 companies are now using an ATS to streamline their recruiting process. This Human Resources software is a database that helps companies organize and communicate with large pools of job applicants. In order to stand out in the crowd, tailor your resume specifically to the job description, mirroring the language used in the job posting. The dedicated skills section that is on both functional and hybrid resume formats can be beneficial when it comes to making sure you have the right keywords to get to the top of the ATS searches. A few other things to consider when formatting your resume are subsections and font. Using subsection titles that are common (i.e. Personal Statement, Relevant Skills, Work Experience, Education) is recommended because it;s easy for the ATS to scan and organize the information correctly. The ATS can also alter text if a traditional font is not used. Try using an easy-to-read font in the serif or san serif family.
Remember, content is more important than design so keep with a standard format. Avoid the following:
- Tables, columns, and text boxes
- Colored ink
- Reversed-out shading
- Lines across the page
- Headers or footers
How to Use Keyword Searches to Your Advantage
Some companies use ATS and keyword searches to help narrow their applicant pool. This means you’ll want to optimize your use of keywords within your resume. The ATS scans the entire resume, so if you are a recent college graduate with only a few years of work experience, consider using the skills and key words from the job posting within your education section. You can use industry-specific language to describe coursework that you have completed that can be applied to the job you are targeting. Make sure to include both the long-form and the abbreviations/acronyms for any job descriptors, since you will not know which keywords are being returned by the ATS.
Do I Need a Cover Letter?
Whether or not you need to submit a cover letter is based on the job posting. The company that you are applying to will indicate if they would like a cover letter submitted. If the job posting specifically says not to submit a cover letter, follow that direction. Some job postings won’t indicate one way or another, and in this instance it’s up to you to decide whether you submit one.
If you’re submitting a cover letter, focus on the Java Developer job you're applying for and what you have to offer to that potential employer if they hire you. In the first paragraph, explain the position for which you're applying, along with your current job title, and how you found the job posting. In the next paragraph, include both hard and soft skills, and a brief synopsis of your work history that is related to the job posting. This is where you can add context and details that show why you are a good fit for the position.
You’ve Built a Standout Java Developer Resume, Now What?
Submitting your resume is just the first step in forming an exceptional connection - we know that there's more to you than a list of jobs and accomplishments on a document. Lean on your Akkodis Career Partner as a resume builder who can closely review your information and find opportunities that match your skills and your career goals!
Connect with Akkodis today to help discover your next dream job or new ways to take your career to the next level!