The job market in the tech sector is extremely competitive, especially for developers. A stellar resume is your ticket to a job interview and you want to use every skill, project and experience to your advantage.

Whether you are just starting your development career or you are a seasoned professional, open source experience can help you get noticed by hiring managers. Working on code repositories like GitHub, for example, gives developers the opportunity to clearly demonstrate their coding acumen, collaboration abilities and areas of interest. If you are an open source warrior, you can leverage those projects to make a positive impression on potential employers.

How to Effectively Leverage Open Source Experience

To effectively leverage open source projects, you’ve got to know how to position that experience on your resume. You can do this one of two ways. First, you can create a skills-based resume that highlights your most relevant skills and projects, rather than listing job experience in chronological order. This is an ideal structure for people new to the field. The second option is to include open source projects in a single section on your resume.

If you have worked on many projects over the years, pick and choose projects strategically. Include those projects that provide the most relevant experience to the job to which you have applied. Consider the contributions you made and how active you were with the group.

Leveraging Open Source in an Interview

When you land the interview, be ready to talk about your projects. Odds are, these are the projects you are the most passionate about. After all, you give up precious free time to contribute. Don’t be afraid to let that passion show during the course of the conversation. Keep these tips in mind:

  • Never assume: Open source projects range in size, scope and audience size. Don’t assume the hiring team knows about the projects you contribute to. Describe them in detail when asked. If you work on projects with small audiences, don’t fret. As long as that project meets a real need for users, it has value.
  • Describe your unique contributions: Don’t be vague when asked what you did on a particular project. Describe the features you focused on and be sure to highlight any areas in which you took the lead.
  • Discuss the team: Open source projects are team projects. Be sure to offer insight into your ability to collaborate. What tools did you use to connect to the team? Did you know other group members beforehand? How did you overcome conflict? On global teams, how did you overcome language or cultural barriers?

Open source experience can be valuable when you are seeking new opportunities in coding and design. By leveraging that experience to your advantage, you make a strong impression on hiring managers.

If you are a developer seeking new and exciting opportunities in Western New York, contact the recruiters at Systems Personnel today. As a market leader in technology recruiting, we can connect you with employers working on innovative new projects where your skills and contributions will make a true difference.