Software Engineer Resume Example
Software engineering is a broad industry, since so many of our modern resources, amenities, and entertainment systems depend on software and online systems to function. Software engineers can be front-end developers (working on the user-facing side), back-end developers (working on the hidden server and database side), or full-stack developers who do both.
They might either develop completely new systems and software programs or work to improve or customize existing systems. Software engineering also spans from micro to macro applications. For example, a software developer might create mobile device applications, the software that runs the mobile devices, and the system that controls the entire mobile device network.
With such a broad industry scope, writing an effective software engineer resume can be difficult, since you need to communicate a lot of highly technical information to hiring managers and recruiters who might not necessarily be familiar with the industry jargon.
This article will cover which sections to include on your software engineer resume as well as tips for how to present your information in a way that makes sense to recruiters and will help boost your chances of scoring an interview.
Resume Sections To Include
Here are the key sections to include on your software engineer resume:
Start by adding your full name at the top of your resume. This should be the largest font on the page. Then list your contact information, including your phone number, a professional email address, and your LinkedIn URL. You may also wish to include your address or your general geographic location, although it’s not required.
Resume Summary or Objective
Then, write either a resume summary or a resume objective as the introductory part of your resume.
A summary is best if you have plenty of relevant experience, as it will distill all the most important information from your resume into a few sentences. This serves to capture the attention of the hiring manager and convince them to keep reading your resume.
If you do not have much experience, opt for a resume objective instead. Outline your career goals and share your pertinent skills and qualities. It’s often easiest to write your resume summary or objective after you’ve written all other sections of your resume.
Here’s an example of a compelling software engineer resume summary:
Next, outline your professional work experience. For each of your past roles, list your job title, the name and location of the company, and the dates that you worked there. Then, add 3-5 bullet points that briefly outline your job duties and your most impressive achievements within the role. For example:
April 2018 - Present Software Engineer, Front Range Tech Solutions, Boulder, CO
- Worked closely with product managers to create project requirements and define application features
- Created workflows that helped eliminate downtime, reducing production time by 35%
May 2017 - April 2018 Software Engineering Intern, TPY Tech, Boulder, CO
- Shadowed experienced engineer for first 3 months to learn all engineering and testing processes
- Checked all completed software and applications against client requirements
- Worked with product team to plan and set timelines for future projects
When listing your education details, include the degree that you earned, the name and location of the university you attended, and your graduation date or the date range of your attendance. If you hold multiple degrees, list all that are relevant to the job that you are applying for. There is no need to include your high school information if you have already completed college.
Underneath your degree (or each degree), you can add bullet points that outline your academic achievements. You might include information like relevant coursework or projects, Latin honors, your GPA (if it’s above 3.5), and so forth. Here’s an example:
2013 - 2017 Bachelor’s Degree in Computer Science, University of Colorado Boulder, Boulder, CO
- Courses focused heavily on full stack engineering
- Built an iPhone ecommerce app for senior thesis project
Hard skills are technical, job-specific skills that are easy to define and assess.
Hard skills are very important to highlight on a software engineer resume, since it’s such a technical industry with specialized coding languages, programs, and so forth.
So, be sure to highlight your hard skills prominently on your software engineer resume, like so:
- Agile frameworks
- Status tracking frameworks
- Software and application testing
Soft skills are more generalized, intangible skills that are more difficult to measure and teach. Many employers are now placing increased importance on strong soft skills, as they know it’s easier to teach someone a new framework than it is to teach someone how to be a team player or a leader. So, be sure to list your strongest soft skills in addition to your hard skills. For example:
Many software engineers hold a variety of certifications, and employers love to see them on your resume. A certification validates your skills and shows that you are dedicated enough to your craft that you have pursued continuing education courses. Here’s an example of a certifications section:
Certified Scrum Master, November 2019
Agile Project Estimations Course, January 2019
Certified Web and Mobile Developer, September 2017
Optional Resume Sections
Finally, you can add optional resume sections if you have space left over. If you have less than 10 years of experience, your resume should only be one page long. If you have more experience than that, your resume can be up to two pages. Only add optional resume sections if you have the space to do so, and the information is relevant to the job that you are applying for.
- 2020 Outstanding Engineering Talent Award, Front Range Tech Solutions
- 2018 Intern Most Likely to Succeed in Tech Award, TPY Tech
Tips for Writing a Software Engineer Resume
Here are some tips to help you craft a compelling, well-organized software engineer resume:
Use Reverse Chronological Order
Most employers and recruiters prefer the reverse chronological resume format, because it allows them to see your most recent accomplishments quickly as they scan your resume. In each section (work experience, education, certifications, etc.), list your current or most recent item first and work backwards in time from there.
Focus on Scannability
Use headings, subheadings, and bullet points to avoid creating a big wall of text on your resume. This can feel overwhelming for potential employers, but a well-organized resume that utilizes strategic white space will be easier to read and more digestible.
Quantify Your Achievements
Whenever possible, use numbers and data to quantify your achievements. This could mean that you outline how many applications or projects you worked on per year, how your work has benefited the company in terms of time or money saved, how many years of experience you have, and so forth.
Tailor Your Resume
And finally, while it can be tempting to use a generic resume for all of your job applications, you will have a much greater chance of success if you take the time to tailor your resume to each position. Be sure to mention the company and the position that you are applying for by name in your resume summary or objective. Additionally, read the job posting carefully and look for keywords that describe exactly what the employer is looking for in a software engineer. Then use those same keywords on your resume to demonstrate that you are qualified.
When writing your software engineer resume, be sure to include the following key sections: a resume header, an introductory summary or objective, your work experience, your education details, your hard and soft skills, your certifications, and any relevant optional resume sections. And, remember to use a reverse chronological format, headings, and bullet points to make your resume easily scannable. Always tailor your resume to each job application to boost your chances of scoring an interview.