Python Projects for Your Resume

By Chris Kolmar - Nov. 9, 2020
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When applying for a job that requires some degree of programming experience, showing that you’ve got what it takes to compete with other programmers is a critical part of getting hired.

That being said, one of the best ways you can show your stuff is by including personal programming projects on your resume. This will show that you have experience in the field and that you’re diligent enough to complete tasks. Fortunately, Python is an easy and efficient tool you can use to create these sample projects.

However, keep in mind that Python is a commonly used tool, so you don’t want to get lost in the crowd.

Don’t fret.

This article will give you tips on what will make you stand out and discuss the skills you should highlight, and when you should consider working on a programming project. With that, you’ll be more than prepared to wow a hiring manager.

How to Tell if Coding Projects Will Help Your Resume

Though Python projects may not be right for everyone, when you consider that you’re likely one of hundreds of applicants for the job, having a programming project might give you the push you need to stand out.

After all, hiring managers have limited time and energy to spend on each applicant, so you want to have as many “wow” factors on your resume as possible.

Additionally, your resume must make you appear highly qualified for the job you’re applying for, and a Python project shows that you have experience. Remember, the more experienced you are, the better.

Luckily, Python has high-level built-in data structures, combined with dynamic typing and dynamic binding, while also having simple, easy to learn syntax that emphasizes readability. With that in mind, using Python is a great option when putting together your programming projects.

There is a clear benefit in creating a Python project, as you can significantly boost your resume’s performance.

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For example, suppose John is a new graduate who only has experience working on some websites. In that case, a personal Python project can significantly increase his work experience and make him appear more qualified. More specifically, the project will show that he is:

  • Skilled

  • Motivated

  • Able to learn new things

  • Resolved to finish projects

  • Passionate about programming

These are all positive traits and skills that employers seek out when they’re looking over resumes. Given that, taking the time to create a Python project for your resume can benefit you in more ways than one and will undoubtedly be worth doing.

What Skills Should you Showcase in your Personal Python Projects?

As with any job application, you must read the job description thoroughly. Often, the job listing requests the technical skills the company is looking for. Make a mental note of some of those skills, and think about how you can show the potential employer you’re a qualified candidate.

Keep in mind that you probably won’t be able to showcase all of the technical skills listed in one coding project, so you must choose one or two to focus on. Pick skills that can supplement your other experience and design your project based around that.

For example, if you’re applying for a job that focuses on Basic Developer Operations, it can be wise to complete a programming project that highlights your skill in maintaining active servers and writing scripts.

After all, if you’re going to be working a job where you’re continually deploying a lot of code, you’re probably going to be spinning up new servers as well along the way. Therefore, a project that focuses on those skills is immediately useful to a potential employer.

When in doubt, focus on what the potential employer wants and hone your skills based on that.

If you already have those skills, that’s fantastic, but if you need to brush up on a few things, a Python project is a perfect opportunity to do so. By showcasing your experience and skill in a coding project, you’ll be a much more ideal candidate.

When is the Best Time to Work on Personal Programming Projects?

As with any hobby or skill you could learn, the only way to become proficient is by diving in and practicing. To get that job you want in the future, you have to focus on what you do in the present.

With all the day to day stresses and tasks you deal with, you know you’ll never work on your project if you don’t push yourself to start now.

Don’t let your inner procrastinator take over.

Though it may not be easy, and you may not know where to start at first, it’s worth the time and energy to create your own personal Python project.

For example, if you were planning on making your friend a birthday cake but didn’t know how to bake, the best time to learn to cook is not three hours before the birthday party. A lot could go wrong, and you could botch the whole cake when it mattered most. Instead, if you practice baking beforehand and gain adequacy in the skill, you’ll be able to nail that birthday cake.

You should start now because learning something new takes experimentation, time, and a certain amount of leisure. You can’t add those parts of the equation together when you’re under the pressure of an important deadline.

Therefore, you should start your personal Python projects now. Don’t wait until you desperately need a job. Take a look at what you can learn now and dive in!

Five Qualities of a Good Personal Coding Project

Now that you’re ready to get started on your Python Project, here are some important tips to keep in mind while you’re writing the code. After all, to stand out, you’ll want your project to have as many good qualities as possible. The last thing you need is to put time and energy into a flop.

  1. Functionality. It may seem obvious that your code should work, but it’s nonetheless crucial for your success. Take time to practice with the Python software and run a couple of debug tests on your code before you jump into your main project. This will help prevent major code failures while you’re working.

  2. Efficiency. When you run your code, make sure you’ve set everything up to be fast and efficient. Don’t bury or loop your scripts in unnecessary ways. Instead, do your best to prioritize quick run times, so the potential employer will see that you understand the best way to format code.

  3. Maintainability. Remember that other people will often be looking at or editing your code when you do programming work. With that in mind, the code you write should be easily understood and permit other developers to modify it. Ensure that you follow naming conventions and coding standards, and add comments to your code to describe what each part of the code performs.

  4. Modularity. When writing code, you should keep in mind that a goal is crucial. Therefore, you should write your code in a modular way where each module focuses on one task or goal. This will make your code reusable, which is valuable to potential employers. Also, keep in mind that modules should be loosely coupled with each other so that one can be updated without impacting other parts.

  5. Error Handling. As with checking your functionality, you should always debug your code and check for errors often. Ultimately, a good code should anticipate, detect, and handle error scenarios to ensure unexpected breaks in the program. When you find an error, write down notes, so you propagate meaningful error reporting.

Get Out There and Write Some Code!

The best way you can create a successful Python project is to jump in and start working. Give yourself the time to experiment and allow yourself to make mistakes, so you can learn how to fix them.

If you give yourself enough time to create a skilled and efficient coding project, your resume will be sure to wow any potential employers. Remember that the work you put in now will only increase your chances, and once you complete your project, you can include it in more future applications.

So what are you waiting for? Go start your project!

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Chris Kolmar

Author

Chris Kolmar

Chris Kolmar is a co-founder of Zippia and the editor-in-chief of the Zippia career advice blog. He has hired over 50 people in his career, been hired five times, and wants to help you land your next job. His research has been featured on the New York Times, Thrillist, VOX, The Atlantic, and a host of local news. More recently, he's been quoted on USA Today, BusinessInsider, and CNBC.

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