The initial step of a hiring process is screening a resume and it’s the step where the field is narrowed down the most. For an average corporate job opening hundreds of resumes are screened but only a handful of candidates get an interview call. So a strong software engineer resume can provide you the opportunity to join the top job candidates.
Studies reveal that the average amount of time recruiters spend reviewing each resume is no more than 7 seconds. You only have that much time to create an impression, so being concise and clear is crucial. The most important factor to get shortlisted for an interview is getting your resume noticed by recruiters. To land a big tech job, you need a good resume to help you stand out in the job market.
A resume provides a solution to a company’s hiring problem. It explains to the employers why you’re the best candidate to assist them in achieving their objectives and how you can add value to the organization.
Don’t worry, we got you. In this article, we’ll talk about the key sections that need to be included in a resume, the signs of a good resume, a few good software engineering resume examples, and tips to create an effective resume.
Key Components of a Software Engineer Resume
Your resume must contain some key components and sections to clearly highlight and mention your background details, skills, expertise, and achievements. It also matters how you present your software engineer skills to recruiters. Let’s take a look at the components that form a winning software engineering resume.
1. Contact Information – This is the first section to appear on your resume and consists of your full name, phone number, email address, and the city where you live. Use the same name with correct spellings as that of your all certificates and government IDs. Add a professional email address you mention in your software engineer resume.
Mention your mobile phone number along with your country code, in case you’re applying to a position that accepts applications from many regions. Some recruiters may prefer to schedule interviews, take telephonic interviews, or reach out to candidates via phone call rather than email. Contact information helps recruiters to get in touch with you, in case of further information.
2. Professional Summary
Your professional summary encourages recruiters to continue reading your resume. The professional summary is a maximum of a four-line section. This section establishes a brief summary of why you’re a valuable employee by outlining your most pertinent and impressive skill set.
This summary makes clear the years of experience you have in the same or a similar software engineer role and area of expertise within the industry. Moreover, this summary helps grab the employer’s attention by naming major companies that the applicant has previously worked for as a software engineer.
3. Technical and Soft Skills – This section of your resume needs to be customized as per the role that you’re applying for. Software engineers have various career paths like cloud engineers, devops engineers, full-stack engineers, and security engineers. Therefore, it is necessary to read the job description thoroughly and mention only the skills that are relevant to the specific software engineering role. You can group your skills under three categories: expert, advanced, and familiar to show your level of proficiency in each skill, which recruiters greatly appreciate.
Apart from technical skills, the section should also highlight your soft/interpersonal skills. You must demonstrate to potential employers that you are a well-rounded professional who can succeed on a high level by utilizing both sorts of skills.
Technical skills to include in your software engineer resume:
- Programming languages(Java, C++, Python, etc.)
- Operating systems
- Developing software applications
Soft skills to include in your software engineer resume:
- Analytical thinking
- Collaboration and teamwork
- Time management
4. Work Experience – When mentioning your work experience, write each position in reverse chronological order. Your experience section should highlight significant contributions, acquired skills, and business impacts. When discussing the previous job, you should always mention the job title, employer, workplace, and employment dates. You may make use of bullet points to list and visually organize your responsibilities at a previous job. What and why should be the two equally significant components in each bullet point? First, describe your responsibilities or the task that you finished. Next, describe how your contributions to the organization were beneficial.
5. Education – Mention your educational history including college/university degrees, certifications, and related professional courses in your resume. The degrees and certifications from boot camps or online software development courses add value to the education section. For an entry-level software engineer resume, you can also include your 10th and 12th board percentage and list the section at the top of the resume, just below your professional summary. If you are already experienced in the software engineering field, list your educational details at the bottom of your resume.
6. Projects and Achievements – The more experience you have, the more important this area of your software engineer resume is. If you’re a fresher, prioritize your own projects and open-source contributions on your resume. This is the section where you can display your projects and the software engineering skills and tech stack used on a particular project.
The achievements section showcases your professional accomplishments and provides potential employers with insight into your abilities and contributions as a software engineer. It helps you gain a competitive edge and demonstrate your exceptional skills and contributions in the field. It can also grab the attention of recruiters if you gain achievements from well-known organizations.
Software Engineer Resume Example
1. Entry-level software engineer – Usually, hiring managers don’t expect candidates for entry-level software engineer jobs to possess extensive prior work experience. However, they do expect applicants to have knowledge of programming languages, experience working with teams, and a degree in computer science or a related field. Here are a few important details you need to include in an entry-level software engineer resume:
- When you’re a fresher, your educational background matters to the recruiters. So mention the academic history at the top of your resume.
- For an entry-level software engineer resume, you can include internships in the ‘Experience’ section. Internships are valuable, therefore you should include the companies that you interned with and the projects that you worked on.
- This entry-level software engineer resume is easy to scan because all the details including educational background, experience, and skill are well-formatted and neatly laid out.
- Read the job description thoroughly to identify the experience and skills you possess that align with the role and highlight these on your resume.
- Additional information like online courses completed can help your resume stand out.
2. Experienced software engineer resume – An experienced software engineer resume includes industrial experiences as a software engineer, more responsibility, and may even require additional responsibility, such as leading projects and mentoring more junior engineers. Recruiters prefer candidates with extensive experience in senior software engineer roles.
Hiring managers look for candidates who have relevant work experience, have a thorough grasp of programming languages and industry best practices, and are comfortable taking on leadership positions. Here are a few important details you need to include in an experienced-level software engineer resume:
- Recruiters look for software engineers with at least 5+ years of experience for senior roles, so mention the ‘experience’ section at the top of your resume.
- Switch the position of ‘Skills’ and ‘Experience’ sections so that recruiters can quickly get an idea of the work that you’ve done previously.
- Highlight your experience with complex systems and starting from scratch on projects.
- Mention any experience you have being in charge of projects.
- List entries in the “Skills” section like “very good experience,” “familiarity with,” and “good knowledge.” in categories based on level of expertise and group different skills under each one.
Tips to Create Effective Software Engineer Resume
1. Choose the proper format for your resume – Your resume should only be one to two pages long and have a header with your name, work title, contact information (phone, email, etc.), and other important details. You should also include sections to describe your academic details, work experience, and relevant skills. There are three basic resume formats to choose from: chronological, functional, or combined. One format may present your skill set better than another based on your professional experience and background.
2. Tailor your resume according to the job description – Rather than sending out one generic resume, consequently, it’s best to customize your software engineer resume for each job opportunity. You are advised to read and review the job description thoroughly. Then highlight your relevant skills, technologies, and experience in the skill section that aligns with the requirements of the role. You should also consider writing the specific keywords given in the job description throughout your resume summary, work experience, and skills section. Highlighting the skills that the employer seeks can increase the chances of your resume being noticed.
3. Use action words – Action verbs are verbs that effectively describe your prior job experience. Use action verbs like developed, collaborated, designed, implemented, analyzed, and resolved, in your resume when describing your achievements and responsibilities. These kinds of verbs grab the attention of recruiters and paint a vivid picture of what you accomplished at work. Action verbs add value to your resume. They also exhibit the positive attitude that companies are seeking.
Screening a resume makes initial hiring processes easier. Resumes explain that you have the necessary skills that align with the job role and how you can add value to the organization. Crafting a well-structured and tailored software engineer resume is crucial for standing out in a competitive job market and showcasing one’s skills and experiences effectively. A good resume is likely to attract the attention of employers more preferably.
It’s best to tailor your resume according to various job roles and mention the keywords mentioned in the job description throughout the resume. It becomes easy to highlight your skills and experience that align with the job role. Therefore, having a well-crafted resume matters in the recruitment process.