One way to demonstrate your commitment to a technical career is to pursue technical projects outside the office. Including those projects on your resume shows potential employers that your interest in technology extends beyond the office; they won't have to push you to develop new skills and abilities.
In order to make the biggest impact, don't simply list everything you've ever done; selectively cull your experiences and highlight how they helped you develop your capabilities.
Keep the list short.
A long list makes the individual items seem as if they must have been small and insignificant. Choose only a handful of projects to list; make sure they're ones where either your contribution made a significant impact to the project, or the project made a significant impact on you.
Choose projects that are relevant to the position.
If your contribution to an outside web project was designing the layout, that might impress an interviewer who's hiring someone to work on user design. It's less likely to impress an interviewer who needs a backend developer.
Quantify the benefit of your experience.
Don't simply list the project as a bullet point. Document how your contribution contributed to the project's success and what you gained from your participation.
Include skills from side projects in your technical summary.
The skills you develop through classes and projects on your own time are as valid as the skills you develop on the job and through company-sponsored training. Make sure you include all the relevant keywords in the technical summary section of your resume.
Create an online portfolio to show off your projects.
The work you complete for your employer is usually owned by the employer and may be behind a firewall or under a nondisclosure agreement. Make the projects you complete on your own time accessible online and provide the links so interviewers can see the quality of your work for themselves.
If you've got a resume filled with solid experience from your previous jobs and from the technical projects you work on for fun, the Armada Group can help you find a new job where your skills will propel you to success. Contact us to learn how we can help you find a job that encourages you to continue to grow.