Standing Out As a Developer Applicant

Considering applying to join the Made By Munsters development team? Great! We want everybody to be as successful as possible, so in this post I’ll lay out what we look for in developer candidates, and how you can stand out among the crowd.

These suggestions are written with junior and mid-level candidates in mind, but they should be broadly applicable to all developer candidates.

What We Look For

It’s important that each member of our team contributes right out the gate. Thus, the first thing I look at when reviewing an application is how, and how quickly, a developer could contribute. Essentially, the question I’m answering is “how can they help us, and when?”” How do the applicant’s skills align with our ongoing and upcoming projects? Do they have the experience to quickly jump in and contribute, or will they need some ramp-up time?

I’ll then look over what skills and technologies you have listed on your resume, and which projects you’ve worked on. Based on those descriptions I’ll try to formulate a rough idea about your skill level and experience in the core technologies we use (Angular, React, and Rails, if you’re curious).

After that, I’ll look over your work history to get an idea about your background: what type of roles you’ve filled, the companies you’ve worked for, and the depth of your experience. Our team is primarily remote, so I’ll take note of any remote positions you’ve held.

Finally, based on the content of your cover letter and the tone of your resume, I’ll get a feel for your attitude and character, with an eye toward determining how you’ll fit in with our culture.

How To Stand Out

OK, now you know what we look for. Here are some pointers on how to put together an outstanding application.

Cover letter

Cover letters can be very effective, and I highly recommend you include them with your application. Cover letters are your best chance to tell us about yourself and show us how you communicate. Let us know what your background is and why you’re applying for the job. Tell us about your skills and how you use those skills to help us.

Remember to keep your cover letter concise (but not terse) and to the point. Due to time constraints, lengthy cover letters will likely just be skimmed.

I’m generally forgiving of a typo or grammatical error (or two) in your cover letter or resume. If you’re going to mention that you’re a perfectionist, though, it’s in your best interest to make sure that your cover letter and resume are spotless.


The primary information I’m trying to glean from your resume is what type of technologies you’ve worked with, and the depth and duration of that experience. To that end, it’s really helpful if you can briefly describe the primary projects you worked on, what you used, and what you did on the project. The experiences listed should be those that are most applicable to the type of projects we build and technologies we use at Made By Munsters.

These aren’t designer positions, so I don’t expect you to present your resume with an original, eye-catching design. Nonetheless, the resume should have an attractive format that reflects concern for the presentation of your resume. A template design is perfectly fine here, just make it look like you care. Lastly, keep your resume to short and to the point.


Our ideal candidate would be someone with Angular or React front-end experience and Rails back-end experience. For a junior or mid-level position, we’d be looking for somewhere between 1 and 4 years of experience. If you don’t have deep experience in our tech stack, we’ll still consider you for the position. But make it clear that you’re willing to learn, and that you’ve at least explored the technologies we use.


The best case here is that you have GitHub contributions that I can review. That can be in the form of open source project contributions, side projects, or projects that you completed while enrolled in school or a code bootcamp.

Many experienced programmers don’t have a lot of publicly-viewable GitHub contributions because they’ve been working on private codebases. That’s fine, just point that out in your resume or cover letter.

For less experienced programmers, especially those coming out of bootcamps, it’s very important that you have significant work available on GitHub. I’ll review pieces of your repositories before I make a decision about whether to contact you to set up an initial interview. I’m fine with considering bootcamp grads for junior positions, but I need to be able to see what your code looks like first.

If you do have side or school projects on GitHub, consider adding a descriptive README. A well-written REAME can show off your repo, highlight portions of the code, and provide another opportunity to demonstrate your communication skills.

Online presence

It really helps to have some kind of an online presence. A personal site is nice, and a blog is even better. The blog doesn’t have to be hosted on your own site–something like Medium posts are perfectly fine. Reading these give us a better idea of your personality and enthusiasm for programming. As a remote team, written communication is very important, so being able to clearly express programming ideas in blog posts is very valuable.


While we appreciate the applications from foreign workers and expats, currently we’re only hiring people who live in the United States. Listing your current residence–city and state are fine–helps us keep track of applicants and ensure we’re responding to people inside the U.S.

When you submit your application, please include the job title in the subject line. It doesn’t hurt to include it in the cover letter, either. This helps us sort the applications and get them into the hands of the right manager for review.

Time To Apply!