What Web Development Projects Should I Include On My Resume?
Once you’ve understood the languages and tools of your choice, you need to demonstrate your skillset and what you are capable of building.
Employers may not expect you to develop the next Facebook or a complex rideshare application, but you do need to build at least 5 complete projects that are visually appealing, and that are as original as possible. It’s fine if you want to build less projects, however if you do so make sure these are as complex as possible.
Sometimes it’s very hard to be completely original, but don’t worry! You can always take a project that already exists and modify it by adding new features, improving the project itself, re-designing it by giving it your own personal touch, or merging different projects into one.
If you are able to build a specific tool that an employer or industry needs; or an application that can get monetized, you’ll certainly go beyond and above! However, employers most likely won’t expect you to do this for any entry-level position, so don’t stress too much thinking about that yet.
When building projects, make sure that you developed these using the tools that you learned and listed on your resume. Become proficient with a set of instruments (“Select your stack”) and stick with them. Remember that it’s impossible to learn every tool that exists.
If you are wondering how to showcase your projects, you’ll need to open an account on Github and another one in Heroku. Both are free, however, on Heroku you have a limited number of web applications that you can deploy for free. Github is where you’ll store your code, and you can use Github pages to host your applications or websites as well. I’ve personally deployed web apps on Heroku only, and static websites on Github. So, here’s some ideas for projects that you should include on your resume.
- Any projects that implement an algorithm will always be impressive. This suggests that you know how to use abstract concepts and apply those into an application. Maybe not every employer will require you to know algorithms and data structures, but you might as well surprise them!
- Create a personal projects portfolio website. Every developer must have a portfolio. You can make a static website using HTML and CSS to display your work. I encourage you to include discrete CSS animation effects in just a few features but that’s about it, don’t go too crazy with the animations! You can start working on a portfolio at any point but I suggest working on the portfolio at the very end, once you have completed the rest of the projects. However, keep in mind that a portfolio is a project itself!
- Build something based on a framework (Vue, Angular orReact) and then connect that to an API to extract data from a 3rd party source. A lot of these APIs are free, but for some of them you’ll have to pay. APIs are relevant because most tech companies rely on these third parties to extract their data from.
- Build a Restful API.
- Build a full stack application; meaning that you need to create a site that has RESTful architecture, implements CRUD operations with User Permission System, and has a database (either relational or NoSQL) connected to it.
- Clone existing apps (such as WhatsApp or Instagram) using the MongoDB Express React Node.js (MERN) stack. A great reference is Clever Programmer on YouTube.
- Build a Google Chrome Extension.
- Build a Real-Time Communications (RTC) application using Socket.io. You can either clone Zoom or make some sort of multiplayer video game with a message board.
- Create a mock-up website involving Real Estate, Restaurants, E-Commerce, Digital Agency, Photo Gallery, you name it! If you choose to do a mock-up site make sure it’s as visually appealing as possible.
- Include any project based on real world experience, even if it’s a static website, that works too! For instance, recreating a small business’ website using HTML and CSS.
- Build a web application that extracts data (a web or data scraper basically) from a website so you can display it or store it. If you want to go the extra mile you can even build dashboards based on extracted data.
- Ideally build projects that interest you.
- Keep in mind that building projects might take days or weeks so please be patient. Most current developers required at least one year of preparation to get their first job.
- Avoid showing projects that are hard for the user to understand or use.
- Avoid including projects that don’t have an application or website. For example, I’ve created a complex SQL project and presented it via PowerPoint once, it was awesome and original but it wasn’t connected to an application or a website.
- Avoid crazy CSS animations, unless the position you are applying for requires it.
- Make every project visually appealing and responsive.
- There’s a bunch of resources, such as tutorials and material (in most cases free) on the Internet, use that for your advantage and don’t feel bad for not understanding everything.
- It’s okay to copy and paste code occasionally but don’t copy entire projects! I’m sure there’s people that have done it and gotten away with it, but don’t do it.
- You can apply for jobs at any time but I highly encourage you not to do it if you don’t have projects ready or completed.
Get Github and Heroku accounts, build and deploy the projects of your choice. Assume that a personal portfolio is mandatory and be as original as possible. Do not apply for jobs once these are completed. Once you have completed 5 projects, re-do your resume and start sending those applications. Good luck on your future endeavors!