12+ Best Programming Projects for a Resume Why Should You Have Personal Programming Projects on a Resume? The List of Good Programming Projects for Resume Enhancing Programming Resume Tips and Lifehacks Conclusion
12+ Best Programming Projects for a Resume Why Should You Have Personal Programming Projects on a Resume? The List of Good Programming Projects for Resume Enhancing Programming Resume Tips and Lifehacks Conclusion
Updated 08/12/2020

12+ Best Programming Projects for a Resume

Struggling with creating your perfect programming resume? Make it better by adding personal projects and specific expertise. Here is the list of the projects you may create on your own, plus winning tips for improving your resume with their help.

Struggling with creating your perfect programming resume? Make it better by adding personal projects and specific expertise. Here is the list of the projects you may create on your own, plus winning tips for improving your resume with their help.

How do you get your foot in the door if you are a newbie in the field of IT? How do you jump over toothy competitors if you already have experience? There is one answer to both of these questions - start with your resume, as it creates the first (and usually right impression of you). In this article, we suggest adding some personal projects to your portfolio to make it even more impressive. Below is a list of ideas you can use to boost your resume and give yourself a better chance of being noticed by a great company.


Why Should You Have Personal Programming Projects on a Resume?

The IT field is not only dynamic - it is quite competitive. What is more, the entrance level is quite low. In other words, everyone who has the basic skills and knowledge gained with the help of computer science courses and self-leaning has the opportunity to become a cutting-edge IT specialist. Therefore, if you want to be a part of the most innovative and money-promising industry, you will have to be creative to get your dream job. Having some personal programming projects for your resume is one way to attract your future employer’s attention and leverage your chances of being hired. Here is why.

Show Your Skills

Your personal project is a way to improve your skills and show them on your resume. For example, you can claim that you are excellent at programming in JavaScript, but a mobile application created using this language and its frameworks will tell much more about your coding skills.

Show Your Passion

Willingness to do work in your free time is a sign of true passion and love for your job. Of course, the development of a personal project takes time, but the presence of such a project shows you as a person who sincerely invests their time and soul into this process.

Show Your Readiness to Learn

Any personal project can have pitfalls, especially if you are at the beginning of your journey. In the process of creating them, you are faced with problems and tasks that you need to solve. This is an excellent opportunity for self-study in a relaxed environment free from the pressure of deadlines. Therefore, use it.

Prompt! When adding your personal projects to your resume, you can also briefly indicate a list of specific tasks, challenges, and pitfalls you have encountered. But be prepared to explain how you overcame them when a technical specialist interviews you.

Thus, personal projects reflected in the resume is a tremendous competitive advantage for a beginner specialist. However, do experienced programmers need personal projects? Or is solid experience enough to find a new job?

Indeed, a personal programming project works equally well for beginners and professionals alike. Of course, projects created by Senior coders will be much more difficult, and this is another reason to add them to your resume since complex projects show your advanced skills and specific expertise.

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The List of Good Programming Projects for Resume

So, what are some interesting programming projects to put on a resume? Here are 13 alternatives you may consider. Each of them requires specific knowledge, skills, and technology usage, so make sure to pick up the ones that suit your specialization best.

1. A simple website or blog

If you're a beginner or self-learning web developer, start by creating a simple website or blog. To do this, you don't need to know more than the basics of HTML, CSS, and JavaScript. But remember - your solution shouldn't be too simple. There is Wix that does not require an ordinary user to be a genius to put together a site or blog piece by piece. So your task is to come up with something original.

For example, you can think about site scaling possibilities and foresee them in your structure in advance. Or pay attention to the design. For example, create a sales-boosting website using graphic elements and motivating colors.

2. An eCommerce website prototype

eCommerce websites are laborious to create since you need to come up with a lot of sections, listings, integrations, and, most importantly, make outstanding user experience and a smooth sales funnel your top priority. We suggest focusing on one of your future store’s components and matching it with your best skills.

For example, if you are good at user interface prototyping, suggest a prototype that will generate sales and profits. As for the technologies to use, everything will depend on your initial idea - you may create an eCommerce store in the form of a native app or a website powered by Shopify and other specific solutions.

3. A cryptocurrency wallet

A cryptocurrency wallet is also a reasonably simple solution, even though it may sound incomprehensible to someone who hears this term for the first time. To do it, it will be enough to use Bitcoin SDK or Coinbase SDK and synchronize your future wallet with the blockchain ecosystem using APIs.

Great idea! If you create an eCommerce website as your personal project, consider adding Bitcoin as a payment option. This is an advanced way to pay, and more and more websites will embed this function very soon.

4. A listing website

Obviously, you shouldn’t create a jaw-dropping solution like Zillow. However, you still should show your web development skills. To create such a solution, you need basic HTML/CSS and basic programming skills, plus design thinking abilities. What is more, your personal listing shouldn’t be for listing accommodations only. For example, you may create an ads placement platform, a job board, or a car selling website.

5. A simple game

The most important thing in a game is dynamics and high-quality content. To prove your creative talents, come up with some really cool, interesting, and highly demanding characters that will meet the expectations of today's gamers. Among the technologies you need for this is Unity 3D, Visual Studio, and C++.

6. A data analysis model

Models for data analysis are in great demand, and what's more, it's not that hard to create one if you have a dataset. To further improve your self-presentation, create several data models that will work on the principle of regression analysis and classification.

7. A forecasting software

Predictive analytics is another capability of data analysis software. What is more, you may reuse your data analysis model explained in the previous paragraph to turn it into a predictive tool.

8. A chatbot

Creating chatbots is very simple. However, you may make your chatbot more innovative by enabling it with speech and image recognition functions.

9. A simple task manager

There is nothing complex about creating task management software like Trello or Evernote. Take these apps as an example, and come up with your solution. Creating this app, you could show how you understand the Kanban approach - this will be a significant plus for an employee who follows it.

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10. A food diary

Weight management and nutritional apps are trendy. Create it to spice up your portfolio. Such applications do not need a lot of features. The most important thing is to make it user-friendly. What is more, you can create such a solution for both iOS and Android using the appropriate programming languages or create a cross-platform application.

An interesting function that you can implement! Add a barcode scanner so a potential user can add meals to the diary using the camera. It will show how you handle the integration of embedded applications with your solution.

An even more fun feature! How about creating a tool for recognizing a meal and its ingredients? Yes, you will have to create an artificial intelligence solution that can recognize images; however, you must agree, this is an entirely different level of professionalism.

11. An instant messenger

Creating an instant messenger, you may showcase your skills for instant data transfer solution creation plus API integration and entertainment features development. Instant messengers are not so difficult to create - their branding will definitely take more time, so this is your chance to strengthen your resume with a trendy application example.

12. A payment gateway

Creating a payment gateway is quite a challenging task; however, it will significantly enrich your portfolio. Developing this solution will require using different APIs and paying close attention to the security features. For example, you may integrate a machine-learning fraud detection algorithm and make an outstanding fintech solution.

13. A recommendation engine

A recommendation engine is an AI-powered tool; however, it shouldn’t be a part of an eCommerce store exclusively. For example, you could develop a book recommendation app that suggests a book based on age, preferences, and previously read stories. To create it, you need an AI programming platform, plus a database.


Enhancing Programming Resume Tips and Lifehacks

Adding your personal programming projects to your resume is a good strategy to highlight your skills, showcase achievements, and stand out from the competition, especially if you are a newcomer to the field of IT. However, there are some pitfalls you should avoid. Below are some winning tips and life hacks that will help you improve your resume, balance personal project development with job search, and attract your future employee’s attention.

Focus on Your Core Skills

You undoubtedly have enough skills to create any projects listed above; however, you should stick only to the most suitable ones. Unfortunately, if you create ten different projects that require entirely different skills, this will not improve your resume. It will give the impression that you do not know what you do best and just try everything.

For example, if you are an iOS developer, there is no point in creating an Android mobile app to add to your resume. Instead, pick up the ideas that suit your knowledge, skills, and competencies best, then focus on the overall quality of your personal projects.

Don’t Bite off More Than You Can Chew

Your passion for software projects and development is undoubtedly good, but you need to assess your strengths sensibly. Cool and popular projects are created by whole teams of specialists from different fields, but you will have to act alone when creating your personal project.

Therefore, before you get to work, make sure you can handle what you have in mind. Start by being clear about the skills you need to complete the project and anticipate potential pitfalls.

For example, if you are a good Python programmer but feel you lack UI design skills, prepare educational materials to find answers and find useful forums where you can ask for help in advance.

Manage Your Time

Looking for a new or first job is time-consuming. You should do a lot of preparatory work, research the open positions, and personally get in touch with each company you are interested in working. Therefore, you need to plan your time correctly and maintain an optimal balance. For example, you might spend three hours a day developing your personal project, and after that, devote three hours to finding new jobs, improving your resume, and writing cover letters.

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Show Your Problem-Solving Abilities

Don't create your personal projects just to fill in blank lines on your resume. Templated solutions that are too simple, like a blog quickly designed on Wix, will not surprise your employer but rather spoil the experience. Instead, solve a specific user problem, even if it is hypothetical.

Make Your Code Accessible

GitHub is the best place to store your code, share it with other programmers, and ask the more experienced professionals to give you feedback. This is also a good place for your personal projects. At the technical interview stage, the team lead will definitely ask you to talk about your professional and personal projects and show the code you created.

Prompt! Make sure your code is easy to read and understand, do not create spaghetti - for this, ask other GitHub community members for an opinion before you show your code to a potential employer.

Showcase Your Projects on Your Resume

Once your projects are in place, it's time to add them to your resume to amplify a positive impression and show your best abilities right away. How to add programming projects to your resume?

To do this, you need to include a new section titled Personal Project and list them in the following sequence:

  • The name of the project - for example, a Weather App for Android
  • The set of technologies been used - for example, Java, Weather API
  • The set of skills - for example, general programming, database management, API integration

Optionally, you may track the time needed to create each of the projects and specify the timing to let your potential employee evaluate your working speed and the quality of the code you create.

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Get More Attention With the Help of a Cover Letter

Having a logical, structured, and beautiful resume that reflects your personal and professional projects is half the battle in the hiring process. However, you can do one more thing to increase your chances of being interviewed and hired —a cover letter that you send every time you offer your candidacy for a position.

With the help of a cover letter, you show yourself as a candidate who is really interested in working for this particular company. This is an excellent opportunity for you to say the most important things about your skills, abilities, and competencies and explain to a potential employer why you are a great candidate for an open position.

However, writing code and writing persuasive texts are not the same things. That is why creating an eye-catching cover letter with the help of our automated solution will be a better strategy.



The IT industry is dynamic and rapidly growing. There is a free space for everyone who is open to new knowledge and innovations and is ready to learn on the go. What's more, the industry is hiring the best talents, as only the best can innovate by solving problems in new ways. Feel like you want to belong to this industry? You already know what to do.

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