How to write a Resume for Software Engineer
As a software engineer, you need to highlight your relevant skills and expertise which could be helpful for your software engineering career.
A software engineer may be liable for working on projects related to software and applications. His/her duties may include developing and managing software systems and testing software applications. They are still collaborating closely with stakeholders and cross-functional teams to communicate project statuses and proposals.
Therefore a candidate who is willing to apply for a software engineer position needs to focus on mentioning relevant software engineering skills, programming languages, and the knowledge of methodologies etc. to be successful in their job search.
Here is the step-by-step guide on how to craft your job-winning software engineer resume.
Step 1 – Write a Powerful Summary
The resume summary is the best place to market yourself in a resume. Because the resume summary will be the first place that the recruiter’s eyes go in a resume. Therefore, try to make your resume more impressive by including your major accomplishments and key competencies.
But never write an objective statement. Objective statements express our aims and targets after getting employed. This kind of information will not impress the recruiter. But your achievements will do. Take a look at below example summaries for a software engineer resume.
Software Engineer with 2+ years of solid experience in application development and background working with R&D and quality team. Highly skilled in Programming Languages and Project Management with a proven history of flawless development. Strong and passionate team player who can thrive under pressure with limited supervision. Expert in React Js and Laravel Framework.
I am looking for an opportunity as a Software Engineer at your company to apply and enhance my abilities and to utilize my knowledge. In my current role, I am working as a trainee software engineer. I have many years of experience as a freelance software developer.
Step 2 – List your work experience in the reverse-chronological order
Recruiters don’t want to see your entire work history if you have over 15+ years of experience. They prefer to include the most recent and relevant work experience to be on a resume.
The work experience section of a resume is a great place to tailor your resume with the keywords from the job posting. When you target your resume to a specific job application, this is a very important thing you should do. Customize your professional experience in your resume according to the job description by addressing the needs of the job with your related background.
Don’t mention your job responsibilities and duties in this job description space. Because recruiters already have a full awareness of the job duties of a software engineer. Instead, a great way to make your resume job descriptions stand out from other software engineering resumes is list your accomplishments in bulleted points with quantified results followed by powerful action verbs and show them what you have achieved in the past with the help of your most relevant skills.
Take a look at the below example job descriptions.
- Coordinated over several tasks with over 50+ program developers and project managers to implement strategies, schedule planning, and collaborate with client representatives.
- Used Laravel framework to build more than 20 APIs for certain software programs.
- Communicated with stakeholders on progress updates, collected suggestions and worked to fix particular software specific bugs.
- Developed error analysis for the company server and reduced downtime by 25% and warranty costs by 40%.
- Developed test scripts for automated testing for 10+ new software.
- Configured tools to satisfy the server specifications of several web applications.
- Develop and direct methods for evaluation and review of operating systems.
- Testing new software applications and fixing bugs.
- Managing the lifecycle of software development.
- Developing and designing web-based enterprise solutions using a list of Java technologies.
Step 3 – List the Educational Qualifications Smartly
Many employers require that software engineers possess at least a bachelor’s degree in software engineering, software development, computer programming, computer science, or a technology-related field of study. Therefore, including your highest educational qualifications chronologically, will be an advantage for you. Hiring managers in software companies will also require a portfolio of recorded samples or links to your portfolio websites to see your projects.
When listing your educational qualifications, remember to mention the relevant coursework as well. This will help the recruiter to understand your knowledgeable areas.
What about adding your GPA into the education section of your resume? Do you need to add it? Note that you should add your GPA if and only if it is more than 3.0 and if you are a recent graduate. Otherwise, it is better to avoid including it.
Below are good and bad education section examples of a software engineer resume.
Bachelor of Science: Software Engineering
Stanford University, California / Feb 2017
- Relevant Coursework: Computer Architecture, Data Structures, Database Systems, Operating Systems Concepts, Software Architecture and Design, Object-Oriented Programming, Software Project Planning
- GPA: 3.52
Bachelor of Science: Information Technology
University of Pennsylvania / Feb 2017
Further, you can make stand out your resume if you could add following Certifications to your Software Engineer Resume;
- Amazon Web Services Certified Developer
- Google Certified Professional Cloud Architect
- Oracle Certified Associate (OCA): Java SE Programmer
- Oracle Certified Professional (OCP): Java ME Mobile Application Developer
- PMI Agile Certified Practitioner (PMI-ACP)
Step 4 – Focus on Core Technical Skills
If you demonstrate too many skills on your resume, recruiting managers will assume that the particular candidate has a broad experience and is not enough to perform well in a competitive work environment. Therefore, be wise enough to list your relevant skills only. It could get you noticed and help you to get your dream job.
Let’s look at the most preferred skills for software engineers.
Technical Skills for a Software Engineer Resume
- C, C++, C#
- Data synchronization
- Project documentation
- Testing and deployment
- Computer programming
- Oracle (SQLPLUS)
- Project management
- AWS (Amazon Web Services)
Best Soft Skills for a Software Engineer Resume
- Attention to detail
- Critical Thinking
- Flexibility and adaptability
- Quick Learner
- Problem solving and logical thinking
Tips for making your Software Engineer Resume stand out
Tip #01 – Use action verbs
Action verbs or power verbs always bring strength to your resume. Therefore use relevant action verbs in your resume wherever possible and whenever possible. Truly this trick is a great way to grab the attention of a typical recruiter or hiring manager to yourself.
Tip #02 – Quantify your achievements
Qualifications and experiences are not everything. Recruiters will impress after seeing your achievements on your resume. Therefore If you could mention them with quantified results, they will impress more, and consequently, you will have a higher possibility of having the job opportunity.
Tip #03 – Write an impressive cover letter
Even though you have a fully optimized software engineer resume that will not be enough to land you the job. Because it is equally important to submit a good cover letter together with the resume. Usually recruiters read the cover letters first and if and only if they get impressed with the cover letter, they will move to have a look at your resume. So it is very important to learn how to write a cover letter for a software engineering position before submitting your job application.
Software Engineer Resume Sample (Text Version)
Senior Software Engineer
Park Avenue, New York City
LinkedIn – https://linkedin.com/in/mike-shevilton
Self-starting IT professional with more than 8 years in the business application development field. Skilled at whole System Development Life Cycle. Created new features for a web application and increased the costume satisfaction rate from 20% within 3 months and Awarded as the employee of the year in 2019.
Software Engineer – 2018/Jan to present
The Redmond, Washington
- Developed and maintained an inventory management tool using Java.
- Modified new features for a Web application and improved the income of the company by 10% each year.
- Designed and maintained an e-commerce site that combined with PayPal and other payment gateways APIs.
Junior Software Engineer – 2014/Jun to 2017/Nov
- Provided the service to analyze, create and maintain a Web application accessed by 10 million users worldwide.
- Developed the web application, found the errors and Innovated new strategies, tools and methodologies to debug them.
- Generated back-end programming based on Python, C++, PHP and MySQL frameworks.
Master’s Degree in Computer Science – 2012/Jun – 2014/Jul
Harvard University, Cambridge
Bachelor’s Degree in Computer Science – 2008/Oct – 2012/Feb
University of Virginia, Charlottesville
- MS SQL Server
- Quick learner
- Critical thinking
- Team oriented
- Adaptability 6
English – Native Speaker
German – B2
French – Working Knowledge
AWS Certified Solutions Architect – Professional (AWS – 2016/Oct)
URL – https://aws.amazon.com/certification/
Certificate No – AW78-2323
Oracle Certified Professional (OCP) Java SE 8 Programmer (Oracle – 2014/Mar)
URL – https://academy.oracle.com/en/resources-oracle-cerficaons.html
Certificate No – OC2658-4545
- Facilitate monthly meetings of the Software Developers’ Club.
- Published different blog articles for tech-related web sites.