As an SQL developer, you’re going to be asked to code, work with databases, etc., but the real core of what you’ll be doing is helping people access and utilize information. Understanding that more human side of the job beyond the technical aspects is what makes a truly great SQL developer.
That’s why spending the time to create a better SQL developer resume is so critical. You need to demonstrate an ability to empathetically understand the person reading your resume and help them access the most important information about you as a job applicant. An SQL resume which ignores that risks looking like a developer who won’t be easy to work with and won’t focus on the end-user.
Fortunately, we’ve compiled this comprehensive guide to take you through everything you need to do in order to nail your SQL developer resume.
What this guide will show you:
- How to learn from SQL developer resume examples
- What it takes to get noticed by recruiters
- How to get past ATS
- The proper length, formatting and sections for an SQL developer resume
- The most effective way to include education and certifications
- How to best list your skills and which skills to consider adding
- What can make your achievements stand out
- Why starting with an objective or summary is best and how to write both
- What to do if you don’t have much experience
- How to use a resume builder to make the process easier
SQL developer resume template examples
When you’re starting a new project, there’s a good chance you begin by heading to Github to see what others have done. That’s because the best way to tackle a project is often to borrow good ideas from others and improve on them. The same approach is effective for crafting an SQL developer resume.
Start by looking through these examples we’ve chosen. Write down what stands out about them, the first impressions you have, and generally what you like and don’t about each one. Now, when you start on your own resume, you can use these notes as a set of initial ideas to get you started.
How to write an SQL developer resume that will get you noticed by recruiters
Like any developer, you’re going to be expected to get details right. Sloppy code or obvious UI mistakes make for a poor SQL developer, just as sloppy writing or bad formatting make for a bad SQL developer resume. The key is to be thoughtful and consider who will be reading your resume and what you can do to appeal to them. That’s why we’ll begin by discussing the two main audiences your resume will have.
Start by understanding your audience
If someone asked you to develop a database management system and said it wasn’t necessary for you to know who it was for or what it would be used for, you’d think they were a bit crazy. Yet, far too many SQL developers start writing their resumes without giving a moment’s thought to who they’re for. Even if you’re thinking about the recruiter, that’s not enough because your first audience is likely going to be an algorithm.
How to prepare for ATS
Applicant Tracking Systems (ATS) are AI-driven tools for analyzing and sorting large numbers of resumes quickly. More than half of all companies and the vast majority of larger ones currently use ATS, so unless you’re only applying to small startups or one-to-one projects, your resume is almost certain to run into one. That’s why it’s essential to optimize your resume for ATS from the beginning. Here are the basic steps you need to follow to do that:
- The first step is the easiest, only submit resumes in .doc, .docx, or .pdf file formats. These are the file types ATS are optimized for and submitting anything else will likely result in your resume getting automatically rejected.
- Create your resume with a builder specifically designed to produce ATS-friendly files. The reason should be familiar to you, just like with a database, it’s not just about having the right information, it’s about how that information is structured. Poorly structured data within a .pdf or .docx file can still make it very difficult for ATS to read. Using a quality resume builder solves this problem so you can focus elsewhere.
- Focus on keywords. While each ATS is slightly different, they generally work by looking for specific skills and experience in order to determine whether your resume is worth a human review. You can optimize for this by analyzing the job description, listing the key skills and experience it asks for, and ensuring your resume has as many of them as possible. Be sure to use the same language the job description does to ensure the ATS makes the connection.
How to understand recruiters
There’s no getting around the fact that most SQL developers aren’t talented writers. It’s a very different skill set. But if you want to stand out to recruiters, you need your resume to be well written and easy to understand. Imagine you have to review 50 or even 100 resumes in a day and you’ll appreciate why little details like formatting, good writing, and good design all stand out.
Fortunately, the single most important way to appeal to a recruiter is something you’ve already done: use keywords. That recruiter will also have a list of requirements next to them when they’re evaluating your resume, so ensuring it’s easy and clear to see which of those requirements you meet will make for an appreciative recruiter.
Overall, the best way to ensure you get all of those critical details right is to ask for help. Get a friend you trust to review your resume and describe everything that stands out. You might want to try this with both a fellow SQL developer and someone who doesn’t know anything about SQL because they’ll likely notice different things (and you can’t be certain how much the reviewer will know about the technical side of SQL).
How to format an SQL developer resume
We mentioned formatting before because as you know, the structure of information has an enormous impact on how easy it is to read and understand. This is why the primary rule of resume formatting is to put the most important and relevant information towards the top. Using a resume objective or summary accomplishes this (more tips and examples on those below) as well as using reverse chronological order for your work experience (putting your most recent work first).
How long should an SQL developer resume be?
The answer is the same for the question “how much code do you need for a program?” You want to have the shortest amount which can still accomplish everything it needs to. Extra information is only going to waste a recruiter’s time. The best way to determine this for yourself is to evaluate each section and piece of information on your resume by asking yourself whether it adds value. Anything that doesn’t should be removed. After doing this, aim for 1-2 pages.
Which sections should you include in the resume?
While including all of these sections would likely make your resume too long, these are the most important ones you should consider adding.
- Resume objective or summary
- Developer experience
- Hard skills
- Soft Skills
How to list your education, additional training, and certifications
You’re not likely to have a Bachelor's degree in SQL development, so how should you include your education on your resume? The answer can be taken from the previous section: only if it adds value. If you have an old degree in an unrelated field, you can probably leave it off your resume. The following two examples illustrate this:
BA in Political Science
-Focuses on qualitative methods in political analysis
-Captain of the university snowboarding club
-3.8 average GPA
None of the details listed in this example will make this applicant look like a better SQL developer. Now it’s possible that they noticed that many people in the company where they’re applying love snowboarding, in which case this detail might help show that they’ll fit in with the company culture, but otherwise it doesn’t add anything.
BA in Computer Science
The University of Utah
-Senior project focused on building a custom database management tool for the university’s admissions department
In this example, the degree is relevant, it’s more recent, and the thesis was worth mentioning because of its connection to SQL management. No other details were relevant enough to include.
That said, as with any tech field, the best way to show that you’re on top of the latest developments is with additional training and certifications. These require substantially less time and money and are particularly useful if you’ve been out of the workforce for a while or are trying to become an SQL developer without much experience.
The best certifications to include on an SQL developer resume
- Microsoft Technology Associate Certification
- SQL Server Training in database management, database administration, database management and analytics, and more
How to highlight your most important achievements
A common mistake many SQL developers make on their resumes is to simply list their responsibilities and what they’ve worked on. However, employers aren’t looking for someone to simply do the bare minimum when they’re told and then go home. They want someone who will be proactive and help add value to their business. The best way you can demonstrate that is by highlighting concrete achievements
These two examples show what that should and should not look like.
-Worked with many different teams across the company to improve database management
A likely response from a recruiter to this “achievement” would be “okay, what does that even mean?” They would be right to ask that. This example shows how being vague about your achievements leaves them essentially meaningless. This is almost worse than not writing anything because it essentially wastes the recruiter’s time. Now let’s see an improved version.
-Developed a custom user-friendly database UI for the Finance, HR, and senior management teams; coordinating with each one to ensure it met all of their requirements
- An internal audit estimated that the ability to easily access more internal data saved the company $300k in the first 12 months of its implementation
This example takes up a lot more space, but for a recruiter this will be time well spent because this achievement tells us a lot about the candidate. It speaks to their ability to handle a complex project with many stakeholders and that they look at how their work impacts the company as a whole instead of narrowly focusing on just what’s in front of them. In other words, these achievements make a strong case to hire this developer.
How to list your skills more effectively
We’ve already discussed the importance of listing the right skills to get past ATS and make it clear to recruiters that you meet their criteria. But simply listing skills is only the beginning, to take your SQL developer resume to the next level you should be giving specific examples of those skills in much the same way you listed your achievements in the previous section.
Importantly, depending on the skills the examples might not be from a job at all. If you’re mentioning your ability to work well under pressure, you could describe balancing 21 credits per semester with working 30 hours a week at a restaurant during university. This isn’t directly related to SQL development but it still demonstrates that skill nicely. Here are two examples to illustrate how you can make your skills more effective.
Obviously, anyone can simply state that they have a soft skill. Compare this simple listing of the skill to the following example with something to back it up.
-Decided to begin regular security checks and subsequently identified a security flaw in the SQL database at Orion Systems, fixing it and thereby preventing a potential data hack.
In just a single sentence, the example above shows that this candidate is indeed proactive and that this quality resulted in serious benefits for their employer.
Which hard skills should be mentioned on an SQL resume?
- SQL server migration
- Database table designing
- Database table coding
- Declarative programming
- Database architecture
- Database automation
- Code review
- Table index development
- Data modeling
Which soft skills should be mentioned on an SQL resume?
- Works well under pressure
- Written and oral communication
- Attention to detail
- Works well in groups
How to write a resume objective and where to use it
Back in the resume formatting section, we mentioned the importance of getting the most critical information out there at the beginning. A resume objective or summary is the best way to do that. These short sections open your resume with some text explaining who you are, what you want to achieve, and potentially why you’re a great candidate for a specific position. They put you in control of forming a strong first impression and allow you to selectively emphasize your best qualities. They also offer a way to get ahead of potential questions which might arise about other parts of your resume.
A resume objective tends to be shorter, only about a sentence, and focus more narrowly on what you aim to achieve with your resume. Let’s look at two examples to better understand how to write one.
I’m a young SQL developer without much experience looking to apply my skills in an entry-level position where I can learn and grow.
This example makes a few critical mistakes. First, it’s written in the first person and everything on your resume should always be written in the third person. But far more importantly, the tone of this resume objective makes the candidate sound young, inexperienced, and unsure of themselves. Not having experience is fine, but that’s no excuse to strike this tone.
SQL developer with a recently acquired database management certification looking to apply skills towards making Verve Technologies’ internal data more accessible.
The second version of that example still acknowledges that they’re new to SQL development, but focuses on the value they’d like to provide a specific employer instead of on what they hope the employer will do for them. So this resume objective communicates a lot in a single sentence and thereby makes a strong initial impression.
How to write a resume summary and where to use it
The basic difference between a resume objective and summary is that a summary can be longer. However, don’t make the mistake of using that as an excuse to ramble on. A summary should still be concise and information dense. This is also a great place to explain something like why you’re changing careers or addressing another question you think will come up when a recruiter reads your resume.
After working as a computer technician I recently decided to change careers and learn more about SQL database management. My technical background should make me a good candidate and I’m ready to put in the time to improve my skills.
This example states that the candidate decided to change careers, but doesn’t tell the recruiter why. It misses an important opportunity to establish some personality and show a passion which led the candidate to enter the field. It’s also light on details about what their technical background is and what skills they feel need to improve. Let’s see an improved version to better understand how this example should change.
Newly certified SQL developer looking to begin a new career in database management after encountering it working in tech support for Alliance Microsystems. Was able to learn some SQL in that role and now looking to develop knowledge of database architecture to empower the teams at Mercury Inc. to make better decisions with better data.
Although this person can’t point to more concrete achievements a recruiter might expect from a more experienced candidate, their resume summary makes a strong case for why they’re still a great hire. They clearly explain why they chose to get into SQL development, what skills they’d like to develop further, and how they aim to impact their prospective employer. Taken together, these facts make a strong first impression.
How to write an SQL developer resume when you have little or no experience
The good news for you is that companies hiring technical talent often understand that they will need to do some on-the-job training. As long as you can demonstrate you have the basic skill set they’re looking for, a lack of specific SQL experience might not disqualify you. That said, showing that you’ve gone out of your way to obtain a relevant certification will go a long way towards making you look like a stronger candidate.
In essence, companies know that teaching someone SQL is easier than teaching them something like how to be proactive. If you can clearly demonstrate those critical soft skills and at least the basis for learning the necessary hard skills, you’ll be a strong candidate.
How to make your resume stand out
As should be clear by now, your resume should stand out in many small ways. Getting the details right is something that a recruiter will really notice because far too many candidates are sloppy with their resumes. That said, perhaps the best way to really stand out even before a recruiter has read a word is with design.
The challenge is that good design on a resume often means using a file format or structure that ATS won’t like. The key to getting both modern design and an ATS-friendly file is using a resume builder.
Why a resume builder is an essential tool
When you’re crafting your SQL developer resume, you have plenty to worry about. You need to get the formatting, content, keywords, and more just right. That’s why it makes sense to use a resume builder to take other key things like ATS friendliness and great design off your plate.
Resumebuild.com’s powerful resume building tool makes it easy to create many custom resumes to target specific jobs, get standout design, and feel confident your resume is ready for ATS. This allows you to focus your time on the places where it will have the most impact so you can end up with the best possible resume and the job you deserve.
- Communicating with the business users regarding software requirements
- Creating reports using IIS and Microsoft Reporting Services
- Coding Transact-SQL procedures and other local DWH developments
- Falls Lake Insurance
senior sql developer
- Joined as a SQL Developer for a US based auto price comparison website “Compare.com”.
- Worked on sales matching mechanism which increased the Quote Sales match to 95%.
- Worked on upgrading the data warehouse from SQL Server 2012 to SQL Server 2016.
- Implemented XML Shredding using X-Query for some new products e.g. Bundled,EQS.
- Used Tableau for building reports for better user experience.
- Used SSIS for Extracting, Transforming and Loading data into data warehouse.
- Worked on improving data quality in data warehouse by updating it historically.
- Understanding the requirements, coding and Development.
- Creating stored procedures and query in Teradata SQL and SQL Server.
- Worked on SQL commands like Rank, Rownumber, where, like, in, and, group by, order by, having and various aggregation functions, temp table, table variable etc
- Performance tuning on T-SQL queries and stored procedures.
- Creating query in Teradata.
- Creating the missing index to improve the performance
- Configuring User application to Database
- Worked on building Management System solution for business enterprise.
- Document and archive database schemas, ER Diagrams for Databases for system owner usage.
- Writing Triggers, Stored Procedures, Functions, define User Defined Data Types, T- SQL, and Create and maintain physical structures.
- Create / Manage Table Indexes, Query Tuning, Performance Tuning.
- Wrote T- SQL Queries and procedures to generate DML Scripts that modified database objects dynamically based on inputs
- Project Names: Infor PLM, LTP, GORE, Dansk, Future Retail Limited (Big Bazar)
- Lifelong Medical care
- Bulamu Healthcare