Choose Your Side Projects Wisely; The Importance Of High Impact & Useful Projects in Your Resume
In an increasingly competitive job market, it is important to make sure your resume stands out. One way to do this is by choosing high-impact and useful side projects.
Many resumes from aspiring software developers & current students lack High Impact Projects. These are the types of projects that make a resume stand out to potential employers and help you progress in your career. Whilst a good resume gets you in the door to the interview, a great resume with impressive projects gets you the job. Here’s why having high-impact and useful projects in your resume is so important & how a bad project can hurt your chances.
The Importance of High Impact and Useful Projects in Your Resume
As a software developer, your resume is your most important tool for finding a job. A great resume with impressive projects can get you the job, while a good resume may only get you an interview.
High-impact and useful projects are those that make your resume stand out to potential employers. They demonstrate your skills and experience and show that you are capable of working on complex projects.
However, not all projects are created equal. A bad project can actually hurt your chances of getting a job. Poorly executed projects can make you look inexperienced or unqualified.
Why High Impact and Useful Projects Matter
By working on a high impact, useful project that you're passionate about or solves a critical problem you care about, you're able to put your best foot forward and demonstrate what you're truly capable of. Not only will this make your resume stand out, but it will also give you the opportunity to talk about your project in an interview and show off your skills.
When employers see that you've put in the extra effort to work on something that's impactful and useful, it shows that you're driven and motivated to do your best work. This can be a major selling point in an interview and can help you land the job you really want.
High impact, useful projects also give you a chance to build your portfolio and show off your skills to potential employers. If you can show that you're able to complete a project from start to finish and that it's something that's actually useful, it will speak volumes about your abilities.
Finally, working on a high impact, useful project can simply make you feel good. Knowing that you're working on something that's actually making a difference can be a great motivator to keep going and do your best work. And, when you're happy and fulfilled in your work, it will show in your resume and in your interviews.
How a Bad Project Can Hurt Your Resume
With the accessibility of the internet, thousands of tutorials on how to build your very own Netflix, Instagram, or Uber clone are readily available. However, these projects don't demonstrate any originality, creativity, or effort on your part, and potential employers may see them as a waste of time. If you're going to include these types of projects on your resume, make sure to put a unique spin on them or explain what you learned from the experience. Otherwise, it's probably best to leave them off.
Whilst these projects/startups are cutting edge, and it can be tempting to copy, as the solutions are spoonfed, this can be occasionally no different from just forking a project on GitHub.
If an employer is looking for someone who is able to work independently and solve problems, a cookie-cutter project is not going to fill them with confidence that you are that person.
It is better to make a simplistic unique project you’ve made yourself than a complicated project that you barely understand and cannot explain during an interview. By sticking to the basics and making sure you have a solid grasp of those. More often than not whilst you may find the learning curve a little steeper, the rewards are more than worth it.
How to Choose a High Impact and Useful Project
When choosing projects to include in your resume, it is important to select those that are high impact and will be useful to potential employers. These projects should showcase your skills and experience, and demonstrate your ability to work on complex projects.
In order to make sure your projects are high impact and useful to potential employers, follow these tips:
- Make sure your projects are relevant to the job you are applying for.
- This may seem like an obvious tip, but it’s important to make sure your projects are relevant to the job you are applying for. If you are applying for a job as a web developer, for example, potential employers will be more interested in seeing projects that demonstrate your web development skills than projects that are unrelated to web development.
- Choose projects that showcase your technical skills.
- Select projects that are high impact.
- When choosing projects to include in your resume, it’s important to select projects that are high impact. High impact projects are those that had a significant impact on the organization or individual you completed the project for. For example, if you created a website for a small business that increased their sales by 20%, that would be considered a high impact project.
- Choose projects that are recent.
- When selecting projects to include in your resume, it’s important to choose projects that are recent. Potential employers are interested in seeing projects that are indicative of your current skills and abilities. Including outdated projects in your resume may give the impression that you are not keeping up with the latest trends and technologies.
- Make sure your projects are well-documented.
- When including projects in your resume, it’s important to make sure they are well-documented. Your projects should include a description of what was accomplished, as well as your role in the project. Documentation will give potential employers a better understanding of the projects you have worked on and will show that you are detail-oriented.
By following these tips, you can ensure that your projects are high impact and useful to potential employers. Including well-documented, high impact projects in your resume will show potential employers that you are a competent and experienced candidate.
I hope this doesn't put you off open-source development or starting your own personal project, something in most cases is better than nothing, but keep in mind being smart with choosing your project can significantly improve your employability in the future.
The above-mentioned points are just a couple of things I have learned throughout the years and I hope will help you with making the right decision.
Thanks for reading, and I wish you all the best with whatever you decide to do.
If you're interested in my projects you can find them on GitHub.
If you have any questions or suggestions, please feel free to reach out to me on Twitter or LinkedIn.