Software Engineer Resume Example

Writing a great software engineer resume doesn’t need to be hard. Simply follow our free template and free guide, or reach out to have us write one for free.

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Written by Melinda Dix
Resume specialist
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Last updated on March 13, 2022
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How to write a great software engineer resume

Software engineers are some of the most in-demand professionals in the job market.

Think about it! Our entire lives revolve around software. This article I’m typing is using dozens of different programs across multiple languages.

None of that would be possible without software engineers.

But when you’re on the hunt for a new software engineer job, just being a great engineer isn’t enough.

You need to have a great resume too.

Nervous? No problem. We’ve created a free software engineer resume template that you can check out, copy, and customize – tinkering it until it reflects how valuable your skills really are.

Want to learn what makes a good resume into a great resume?

Read along with our guide on how to write a great software engineer resume. By the end of this article, you’ll know exactly how to format your resume to land that next interview.

How can I write an effective software engineer resume?

Here’s the brutal truth: your career search hinges on your resume.

No matter how qualified you are, you will not get the interview if you have a sub-optimal resume.

On the flip side, an excellent resume can help you nail the interview at those stretch positions.

With so much on the line, you may want to consider having a professional team design your resume for you.

That’s where we come in. At Leet Resumes, we’ve written thousands (seriously) of resumes absolutely free (tips are encouraged).

And we’re ready to write yours today!

How to format a software engineer resume

Formatting a software engineer resume is simple. There’s a tried-and-true formula that you can use to make sure that your resume is easily understood by any recruiter or hiring manager.

But first, let’s talk about a few don’ts.

Don’t use any funny fonts. Keep your fonts legible, like Arial or Times New Roman.

Don’t use text boxes, images, or multiple columns. Most resumes are read by computer software, and (as I’m sure you know), software can get easily confused.

Don’t use a lot of different colors. Stick to black font on a white background.

Don’t arrange your resume around competencies. This is confusing for a recruiter. Organize your work history in reverse-chronological order.

Got it?

Great.

Now, let’s take a look at the format.

  • Name and contact
  • Headline
  • Summary
  • Work Experience
  • Education
  • Key Words

This is the standard format. If you follow this format, you’ll be far more likely to get that interview. More interviews mean more job offers!

Now, let’s look at each of these categories in depth.

Name and Contact

This is the title of your resume. Choose a large and legible font for your name, and then put your contact information directly below.

At minimum, you’ll need your phone number and your email address.

Make sure your email address sounds professional. 70 percent of hiring professionals said that resume mistakes like unprofessional email addresses were immediate dealbreakers.

If you’re active on LinkedIn, you may consider adding your LinkedIn profile, but it’s not mandatory. Just make sure that you don’t leave a LinkedIn connection waiting in “pending” purgatory for days on end!

As a software engineer, you may have a GitHub portfolio. This is a great place to include the URL to your GitHub.

Odds are, an interviewer is going to ask to see it anyway. You might as well make it easy for them!

Professional Headline

The professional headline is the reader’s first introduction to you.

It’s like you’re at a party. You just shook hands with a stranger, and said, “Hi, my name is Marcus Ketterman.”

Now it’s time to say what you do.

But it’s not as simple as saying “I’m a software engineer.” You need to tailor the headline so that it explains your workstyle and what job you are seeking.

It’s a lot to put in a single line, but it isn’t that tricky.

Here’s an example for you: Challenge-obsessed software engineer

Whoa now! I’m interested!

Professional Summary

You’ve made your introduction. The recruiter thinks, “wow, an engineer! Great!”

Now’s your chance to reel the recruiter in with 2-4 lines on your experience, skills, achievements, and job title that you’re targeting.

Here’s the format

  • Job titles you’re targeting (essential)
  • Software engineer skills you bring to the job (essential)
  • Achievements you’ve completed that are relevant to software engineering (optional)
  • Promotions and awards you’ve received for your software engineer work

Lines one and two are critical. Lines three and four are dependent upon your work experience.

And don’t be afraid to put in some achievements you’ve completed that weren’t in a professional setting. If you created some software in your spare time (for a project, for a volunteer organization), you should feel free to include it.

Getting a little overwhelmed? We get it. Leet Resumes is ready to write your resume for free today (tips appreciated). Click here to get started!

Work Experience

Your software engineer work experience will bulk out the majority of your resume.

This makes sense. A recruiter or hiring manager will want to see what jobs you’ve completed to determine if your previous experience will make you a good fit for their company.

Recruiters and hiring managers tend to read a resume like a story. They want to see your progression throughout your career.

Make it easy on them by putting your experience in reverse chronological order. Put your most recent job first, and your first job at the end.

Now, you may be wondering what you’re supposed to put under each job.

Should I just put my daily responsibilities?

No!

Hear me out. Recruiters want to be wowed. They don’t want to see what you do every day, they want to see what you’ve accomplished.

They don’t want to see “I code six hours a day.” They want to see, “I created this application!”

Sure, you created it by coding 6 hours a day, but they want to see results, not process.

You want to focus on your successes, achievements, and accomplishments.

Brag about yourself! This is the time to show off all of your hard work.

Next, you’ll want to start with a strong action. Each bullet should begin with a verb:

  • Coded
  • Developed
  • Debugged
  • Launched

Show the recruiter that you are a doer. You are an active worker, not someone who simply clocks in and out.

Add numbers wherever you can

Quantify your work efforts.

Show us how many programs you’ve developed.

Highlight how many clients use your new programs.

Adding hard numbers throughout your work experience will help show your potential value to a hiring manager.

Call out your promotions

Promotions are a surefire way to catch a hiring manager’s eye. They prove to recruiters and hiring managers that you are a software engineer who can grow and take on extra responsibility.

Here’s the cold truth: hiring is a gamble for any company. They want to hedge their bets.

When they see you’ve been promoted as a software engineer, they automatically think, “this candidate is a good worker. They’ve already proven themselves at another company, so I feel better about hiring them.”

Put dates on your work experience

Dates are essential – even if you have gaps.

Gaps on a software engineer resume are not the kiss of death.

Gaps are understandable. Any recruiter with their head screwed on right will want to ask you about gaps; they will not throw out your resume for simply having gaps.

They will, however, be very suspicious if dates are missing. It looks like you’re hiding something.

And that’s the last thing you want a recruiter to think.

Education

Near the end of your resume, you’ll want to put your education. This is where you’ll put any degrees, certificates, or coding bootcamps you’ve completed or earned.

If you’re recently out of school, you can put your GPA if it is 3.5 or above. If your GPA is below 3.5, you’re better off leaving it off your resume.

GPAs don’t get interviews – but putting a low GPA (like a 2.7) might cause the recruiter to think twice about sending you that connection on LinkedIn.

Keywords

The keywords section of your resume is where you put the hard skills, soft skills, and awards that are relevant to your software engineer job search.

Software engineer job postings will often have a list of requirements – coding languages, software knowledge.

This is the place in your resume where you list out those skills. That way, recruiters can easily confirm that you have the essential skills for the job.

Here are some skills you may want to include for your software engineer resume:

  • Python
  • Ruby
  • C#
  • Java
  • Javascript
  • Go

Don’t forget to include soft skills (leadership, communication) as well as any awards you’ve won or individual achievements you’ve completed relevant to your role as a software engineer.

Awards in particular can make for great talking points once you’ve landed that interview!

… and that’s it! That’s how you write a software engineer resume! Not that hard, is it? Now go get to writing, so that you can land those interviews!

Can I get someone to write my resume for me?

Little bit overwhelmed by all of this resume advice? Do you need someone to help you out? Try Leet Resumes. We will write you a personalized software engineer resume for free (tips are appreciated).

You have nothing to lose and a whole career to gain.

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