Software Engineer Resumes | Free Downloadable Templates, Examples & Guide
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A resume is the first impression you’ll make on a potential employer, so it is vital to present a well-formatted and thoroughly detailed document. We have designed a guide filled with practical software engineer resume examples to help you build a stellar resume when seeking a position in this field.
Software Engineer Resume
Software Engineer Resume
You should format every resume to suit your skills and experience level. The resume template above follows a chronological approach, where the work experience takes center stage.
Regardless of the format, every resume ideally needs to include the following:
- Contact information such as your name, email, phone number and location.
- A brief paragraph summarizing your experiences and skillset at the top of your resume.
- A detailed list of previous jobs in reverse-chronological order.
- Quantifiable achievements spread throughout the resume.
- An appropriate amount of soft, hard and technical skills.
- Details of your educational background.
- A dedicated section for your certifications and other accomplishments.
Free Downloadable Resume Templates
Prepare to Write Your Resume
Tackling a resume head-on without any preparation would eventually result in you scrambling for relevant information. To get you ready to write your resume, we have provided a few tips to ensure you’re prepared well in advance:
- Read through the job descriptions and requirements posted by hiring firms. They will give you a clear idea of the responsibilities and technical skills needed for the role, such as data structuring and database handling.
- Have records of your previous employment, certifications and education details at the ready. A resume needs standard information to be filled, and recalling everything from memory isn't the best approach.
- Make a list of your achievements from previous workplaces,colleges or internships. Highlighting these accomplishments will validate your skills for the recruiters.
- Make a note of keywords in the job ad that accurately describe your skill set. For example, matching your resume skills to those in the job description will catch recruiters’ eyes and make your resume score highly on the applicant tracking systems (ATS).
- Make sure to avoid using words like “attentive” or “determined,” as these are some of the few repetitive keywords that recruiters flag. Also, have someone proofread your resume for grammar mistakes to avoid being disqualified by an ATS.
- We recommend you go through our wide selection of resume examples to understand how to format your software engineer resume. Examples will also provide you with job-specific content ideas for your resume’s sections.
Choose the Right Resume Format
Before you start writing your resume, you have to decide on the appropriate format. A resume format organizes your resume to highlight your strengths and downplay your weaknesses. The three popular resume formats are – chronological, functional or combination.
The chronological format focuses on the work history section, making it ideal for software engineers with over 10 years of experience.
A functional format, on the other hand, emphasizes on the skills section. Skills-based resumes are an excellent choice for applicants with little to no experience or recent software engineering graduates.
The combination format combines aspects of both functional and chronological formats. This resume is perfect for career changers or engineers looking for a promotion since it shows they have the experience and skills to thrive in a more senior position.
To know more about each format, check out our guide on choosing the proper resume format.
How to Write Your Resume with Examples
Now that you have the required information and have selected the appropriate format, it's time to write your resume. We'll guide you through the entire process of dividing your resume into different sections and filling in the correct details.
1. Craft a persuasive summary statement or career objective.
Resumes open with a summary of your capabilities and experiences, and they inform recruiters about your most important professional information. There are two ways to write an opening statement: a summary statement or a career objective.
We almost always recommend the summary statement strategy because of its direct approach. A summary statement lists the candidate's years of experience, top skills and impressive accomplishments tailored to what the employer seeks.
On the other hand, a career objective is less common but appropriate for entry-level candidates or those changing careers. The aim is a more personal approach since it focuses on letting the employer know what the applicant's goals are in place of many achievements.
Let's look at examples of summary statements to understand better.
“I'm a software engineer, looking for an opportunity in your company. I have worked in this job role before and so am experienced. I'm also a team player and have good leadership skills.”
This summary provides no professional skills, uses overused keywords to describe work ethics and doesn't touch upon their actual role in the office.
“Analytical Software Engineer experienced in DevOps, microservices and APIs. Translated over forty client requirements into technical development plans. Proficient in designing and coding applications in Python and Java.”
This summary statement delves into the experiences of the candidates, mentions all technical skills and gives a quantifiable figure of an achievement. This statement ends with proficiency in programming languages, which is always valuable information for a software engineer recruiter.
If you are an entry-level candidate and don't have enough experience to showcase, here are some tips for writing a compelling career objective:
- Pick out college experiences that might be relevant to your job profile.
- Mention the technical skills you have mastered.
- Describe your role in internships or college projects you've done.
Here's an example of a career objective:
“Aspiring Software Engineer currently in college skilled at designing and testing applications. Collaborated with senior developers to draft and test programs for infield rollout. Knowledgeable in Java and Git development environments. Eager to expand my skill set and gain more experience in a formal work environment once I graduate.”
2. Have a section dedicated to soft, hard and technical skills.
Regardless of the format you choose, you must include a section of six to eight skills for the recruiter to get a quick assessment of your abilities.
Because it's called a skills-based resume, the functional resume's skills section expands in greater detail. If you opt for a functional resume, you should mention three skills followed by three to four bullet points describing achievements that demonstrate how you've used that skill in current or previous jobs.
An example of an expanded skill section looks like this:
- Developed and deployed updates for over 60 bugged applications.
- Boosted application performance by implementing new features and rectifying compiled errors.
- Collaborated with product management and engineering to design, build and test systems.
The expanded skills section describes the candidates' formal or informal accomplishments. This way, the recruiter is aware of your capabilities even without any professional experience.
You should also mention multiple skills throughout your resume and not just in the skills section. For example, you can take advantage of your work history's bullet points, the professional summary or your objective to mention other key skills you left out of your skills section.
For a variety, try to mix the three skill categories, soft, hard and technical, into your skills section.
Soft Skills concern your work ethic and behavior with clients and colleagues and are not tied to a role, meaning you can use them in any setting. A few must-have skills for a software engineer are:
- Attention to detail
- Conflict management
- Smooth communication
- Easy collaboration
- Organization skills
- Time management
Skills you learn through experience, training or education are hard skills. A few hard skills for software engineers are:
- Writing and testing codes
- Developing and applying APIs
- Object-oriented programming (OOP) concepts
- Testing and debugging programs
- Editing and designing application user experience
- Designing automated programs
- Source control management
- Handle user interface
- Database handling
For a software engineer, technical skills are essential. Some of the standard programs and languages a software engineer should know are:
- Proficiency in Java, Python and C#.
- Familiarity with .NET Framework and Java Virtual Machine (JVM).
- Knowledge of application development software like Android SDK and Swift.
- Adept at handling databases using MySQL and IBM DB2.
- Using project management tools like DevOps and Agile.
You can find more of these skills using our resume builder. Our modern and stylized designs provided with resume writing tips will get your resume ready in no time!
3. Chronologize your work history
List your work history section in reverse-chronological order so your current position comes first on the list, going all the way down to your first job.
Work history entries should include the job title, the company's name and location and the employment dates. In a chronological and combination resume, add at least three to four bullet points describing your duties and accomplishments.
Let's compare a poor example of a work history section with a good example:
- Worked with a team to develop applications.
- Developed user interface for software applications.
- Worked with clients to design application structures.
Many of the tasks mentioned here are vague, and some seem redundant to mention at all. Likewise, none of the functions are backed by quantifiable figures, making it hard to estimate the actual work done.
- Orchestrated large-scale software deployments and worked with teams of over twenty programmers to maintain and update programs.
- Designed intuitive graphical user interfaces using knowledge of serial communications and database design.
- Produced technical design documents according to client's demands.
The specific accomplishments supported by numeric data inspire confidence in the recruiter about the candidate's capabilities.
Here are a few more tips for tackling work history sections:
- Try and include quantifiable achievements to validate your skills. These metrics measure your impact in your previous roles.
- Mention technical knowledge to relay your understanding of coding and application development concepts.
- Pick out keywords from the job postings requirements and match them in your skill set for better chances of getting hired.
4. Enter your contact information, education details and any custom sections
Put in your contact information (name, location, phone number and email address) on top of your resume to ensure they can contact you in as many ways as possible. Also, consider adding professional social accounts like LinkedIn as they give you more credibility.
The prerequisite degree to qualify for a software engineer position is a bachelor's degree, preferably in a technical field such as computer science. If you want a more specialized role, a master's degree or other certification courses are an excellent professional investment as they'll give you a base to build upon.
When listing your degrees, do so in reverse chronological order if you possess more than one. Remember to add the full title of the degree, the name of the college, its location and dates of attendance.
Certifications, Licenses and Custom Sections
Custom sections are great for your resume as they allow you to share information such as certifications, special courses, licenses or independent projects.
Software engineers can complement their education with special certifications, for example:
Certifies your knowledge in software engineering by IEEE. It requires you to have a four-year degree in a computer science-related field.
This certification recognizes you as a system engineering practitioner, knowledgeable and experienced in the field.
This certification qualifies you to be adept at the concepts of a software engineer, and it doesn't require you to have a prerequisite degree.
The certification linked above attests to your knowledge of developing software from IEEE.