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Software Engineer Resume: Examples and Tips

Software engineers are key to the software development process, analyzing needs, and designing, testing and developing software. To become a successful software engineer, you need a solid background in computer science, good analytical skills and expertise in high-level programming languages such as C++, Java or Scala.

Create a software engineer resume that makes an impact with these professional tips and resume examples.

Top 4 Characteristics of a Best-in-class Software Engineer Resume

  1. Summary In a short paragraph, explain your professional experience (e.g., “Software Engineer with 7+ years of experience”) as well as the top skills you have that fit the job (e.g., developing robust code for a high-volume business). Highlight your work accomplishments by quantifying them (e.g., “Hard-working Software Engineer with experience increasing code-efficiency of a customer portal by 55%”).
  2. Skills Include a combination of relevant soft skills (such as project management skills, critical thinking, problem-solving, teamwork and time management) and hard skills (such as coding and debugging, proficiency in open source coding or experience with specific application development).
  3. Work history Focus on work achievements rather than daily tasks to add depth and detail to your previous experiences. Be sure to use numbers to describe your accomplishments whenever possible. For example: “Reduced security breaches by 73% for all customers companywide” or “Led drive to implement Principle of Least Privilege across 100% of software development staff.”
  4. Education Mention your top academic achievements (e.g., degree or diploma) along with any coursework or training you’ve undertaken that applies to software engineering, such as becoming an Oracle Certified Professional, or a CIW Web &

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Find the Right Template for Your Resume

Make your resume stand out using our free employer-ready templates:

Acclaimed

This polished layout uses section headings in the left margins to easily organize content. The monogram design for the applicant’s name also separates this design from run-of-the-mill resumes.

Qualified

This more traditionally-styled layout effectively highlights your professional summary, while its hints of color make your contact information stand out.

Deluxe

This elegant, professional design uses subtle lines to divide the resume horizontally, keeping it organized but also making it easy to read.

For more free layouts you can use to customize your resume, visit our resume templates page.

Do’s and Don’ts for Your Resume

  • DO use an elevator pitch when writing a resume summary Think of your summary as your chance to sum up your strengths and experience within a few short sentences. Grab recruiters’ attention by demonstrating how you’ve tackled important projects, and the particular skills you bring to the table. For example: “Energetic Software Developer well-versed in translating user needs into easy-to-understand software solutions. Has helped sales teams close deals generating more than $150K in revenue.”
  • DO include soft skills It’s a given that software engineering requires technical skill, but don’t ignore the soft skills that employers are also looking for. Look to feature intangible abilities such as excellent communication, teamwork, problem-solving or strong attention to detail. Don’t just limit yourself to your skills section in presenting these abilities; for example, in your work experience section, you could write “Utilized strong problem-solving skills to diagnose and solve system trouble calls.”
  • DO optimize for applicant tracking systems (ATS) Applicant tracking systems are commonly used to screen resumes for the right key text. Make sure your resume passes the scan by using a straightforward, easy-to-read layout that won’t confuse an ATS, makes it easy to read, and use essential keywords and skills from the job description (such as “strong understanding of UI frameworks”) and address these phrases in your summary, work history and skills sections.
  • DON’T forget to proofread your resume before submitting Attention to detail is key for a software engineer, and it’s key for your resume. No matter how impressive your credentials, a silly grammar or spelling error can sabotage your chances of getting a job. Review your resume using spell-checks and grammar-related applications like Grammarly to identify mistakes. Also take time to make sure you have your details correct.
  • DON’T make the resume over-long Recruiters average less than a minute on scanning a resume, so don’t pack your document with tons of details about every experience and skill you have. Instead, focus only on skills and work examples that apply directly to job requirements. For example, an employer who focuses on COBOL, Unix, scripting and SQL probably isn’t as concerned about your graphic design skills. Limit your work history to the last 10 years at most, and aim for one page for your resume (and don’t cheat with smaller fonts that make it more difficult for recruiters to read).
  • DON’T be inconsistent with formatting Some are tempted to use bold layouts or unusual fonts to capture recruiters, but this can backfire if these touches add up to a hard-to-read resume. Keep to a straightforward, simple approach when constructing your resume. Use standard fonts and font sizes, and stay consistent in terms of using past tense in describing work experiences, and avoiding first-person pronouns.

Software Engineer Resume FAQs

1. What are the skills relevant to the role of a software engineer?

In addition to skills that address what the job posting requires, consider including some of the following qualifications:

Technical skills:Soft skills:
Software developmentMultitasking
Agile development processes and principlesManaging expectations
Software debuggingTeamwork
Software documentationConflict resolution
Software development fundamentals and processVerbal and written communication
Computer coding languages such as JavaScript, SQL, C++, Python, CSS, Ruby, Java, C#, and PHPAnalytical skills
Database architectureTroubleshooting
Product enhancementCritical thinking
UI Toolkits and frameworksDeductive reasoning
Microsoft ASP.NET MVCProject management
Version RepositoryActive listening
Web ServicesCompromising
Operating ServiceOperating Service
Web API
Process Analysis
Technical skills:
Software development
Agile development processes and principles
Software debugging
Software documentation
Software development fundamentals and process
Computer coding languages such as JavaScript, SQL, C++, Python, CSS, Ruby, Java, C#, and PHP
Database architecture
Product enhancement
UI Toolkits and frameworks
Microsoft ASP.NET MVC
Version Repository
Web Services
Operating Service
Web API
Process Analysis
Multitasking
Managing expectations
Teamwork
Conflict resolution
Verbal and written communication
Analytical skills
Troubleshooting
Critical thinking
Deductive reasoning
Project management
Active listening
Compromising

2. How should you format your resume?

Formatting your resume depends on your experience level, and how much experience the job requires. If you are applying for a more junior position, consider using a functional format, which zeroes-in on your full range of skills and academic training. For a more senior role that requires more work experience, use a chronological format that emphasizes your work history, showing off your career progression and your top previous achievements.

3. How should you use action verbs in your resume?

Using action verbs in your summary and work history sections gives your achievements an extra kick, placing you as the catalyst for your success. For example, “Implemented code and design reviews that increased software efficiency by 10%” makes a much stronger statement than “Was tasked with code and design reviews that increased software efficiency.” Some common action verbs you can use include:

  • Perform
  • Define
  • Recognize
  • Oversaw
  • Monitor
  • Apply
  • Comply
  • Analyze
  • Plan
  • Document
  • Execute
  • Support
  • Design
  • Improve
  • Deliver

4. How should you incorporate keywords into your resume?

By including the right keywords in your resume, you increase the chances of catching employers’ attention and landing a job interview. Browse the job description and note all the skills and qualifications the employer requires. Align them with your own skills and qualifications, and apply them throughout your resume. For example, if the job requires an “enthusiastic team player and creative thinker”, include abilities such as “team-oriented” and “proficient at creative analysis.”

5. How should you craft your resume if you are looking to take the next step in your career?

To advance to a more senior role with more project management, work on the following:

  • Showcasing your leadership skills as a subject matter expert (e.g., hosting issues, client and staff logins or general upgrades/maintenance of servers).
  • Gaining relevant skills and training in more areas, such as becoming a Microsoft Certified Professional Developer, or Cloudera Certified Developer for Apache Hadoop (CCDH) certification.
  • Taking on more opportunities to collaborate with interdepartmental teams to evolve overall company processes and success.
  • Achieving a consistent record of surpassing goals and helping to increase company revenue.
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