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This post was updated in November 2017 with new information.

Being a hiring manager is not an easy job. It requires sourcing through a number of resumes of people who aren’t qualified or relevant to the job. Unfortunately this is even more true in the software development world, an industry that is growing much faster than other industries. The question that often arises around this topic is “Should HR managers screen software developer resumes the same as they would a marketing, sales or finance resume?” In short, no.

The traditional approach to resume screening involves looking at education and experience and screening for buzzwords. This is the polar opposite approach that should be taken when screening software developer resumes. While coding is a skill set taught in computer science programs at top universities, it is also a self-taught hobby for a lot of developers that have been passionate about it since they were young. According to our latest survey, 32% of developers said that their formal education was "not very important," so you could be missing out on the best engineers by focusing too much on their education.

And don’t even get us started on buzzwords. While these keywords might be important for hiring managers when screening, developers don’t feel the same way. Buzzwords are essentially seen as fluff or filler in resumes and job listings, so try to focus on other aspects when screening, such as their past jobs and side projects. 

What Should You Do Instead?

Get the technology team involved in the resume screen. Looking for a few keywords is a great way to screen for other positions, but software developers code in multiple languages and don’t necessarily list all of them on their resume.

And more importantly, they’re not authors. Your tech team is able to read code, basically a foreign language to any of us that are not technical, so let them go in and view Github and other open source code samples on the web to review the applicant’s code. Maybe their front end skills aren’t listed on their resume but they’re an awesome full stack developer -- your tech team will be the best people to decipher that.

Other things your tech team can look for when evaluating their future teammates is their digital footprint. Does the developer have their own website with samples of their projects? Do they blog about web development in their free time? Do they contribute to the open source community? These types of things show passion and intelligence, two huge indicators of a competent developer.

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