Why should you add your hackathon project to your resume? Hackathon projects can help you demonstrate your skill sets and ability to work collaboratively. Unlike internship or academic experience, you are in control of the skills you want to show off to employers.

Unique hackathon projects can also help your resume stand out and give the resume some personality. So, how does one add their hackathon project to their resume? Read below to find out!

How to Strategically Organize Your Resume

Recruiters and employers spend an average of five to six seconds looking over potential candidates’ resumes! Within those seconds, it’s imperative that your strongest project or work experience makes a great first impression.

Your resume does not need to be entirely decked out aesthetically. However, your resume should flow in a way that aligns with your work trajectory while quickly highlighting your most impressive work.

Add your hackathon project under the “Projects” section in your resume. Depending on what you want to highlight, this can go on the top or bottom of your resume. If you have solid and relevant internship experience, I recommend placing your project experience toward the bottom of your resume.

Perfect Your Project Description

Keep in mind recruiters reading your resume were not there with you at the hackathon, so make sure to clearly and thoroughly write out the description of your project. Ensure your recruiters understand: What is the project? How did you build it? What did you achieve by creating this project? Did you learn something new? Did you win a prize?

Below is a template to get you started!

Developed a [what you built] using [languages, frameworks, APIs] that [what your project does in a couple of words].

Example: Developed a chrome extension using HTML, CSS, Javascript, and Java that helps users save money on their electricity bill. Our project won Capital One’s Best Financial Hack challenge out of 100 project submissions.

Avoid These Common Resume Mistakes

If you’ve built more than one hackathon project, make sure you’re strategically picking the most impressive project and adding that to the top of your resume. I recommend selecting only projects that are relevant to the role. 

Lastly, and I cannot stress this enough, make sure your resume is no longer than one page (no exceptions) and that it’s easy to read. If you are having trouble shortening your hackathon project description, ask a friend or school counselor to help you! Below is a template to help get you started.

Extra Steps to Help Recruiters

Depending on the company you’re applying to, employers can receive thousands of resumes daily. If you’re applying for software engineering roles, it is likely that a recruiter is also going to look at your GitHub profile. 

If you added your hackathon project to your resume, make sure you add it to your GitHub as well and pin it to your profile page. This makes it easier for recruiters to (1) confirm that you actually built the project you said you did and (2) be able to review your code.