How To Write an Impressive Software Engineer Resume

Software engineers possess a variety of technical and industry-specific skills. Showcase those skills and impress hiring managers with our tips.

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How-To Guide For Writing the Perfect Software Engineer Resume

Software engineers are increasingly in high demand every year. They possess a specific set of technical and industry-specific hard skills. Showcasing these skills the right way on a resume can land you the job you’ve always been dreaming of. 

This resume guide will show you:

  • Different job titles for software engineers
  • Essential skills to list on your resume
  • Tips and examples to create your resume quickly
  • Frequently asked questions for software engineer jobs


What Do Software Engineers Do?

Software engineering is a broad job description. Engineers can design, develop, and test software applications for companies, with tasks including testing, debugging and troubleshooting for software programs. In your job search, you may see a software engineer being called a developer.
 
Front-end developer: Works on programming the visual side of a site or program – the elements of a website that users interact with.
 
Back-end developer: Works on programming the foundation or structure of a site or program. They may work on API and write SQL server scripts.
 
Both types of software engineers may have a background in computer science. Both require advanced technical skills and engineering skills.

Essential Software Engineer Skills To Showcase on Your Resume

  • Programming languages such as Python, JavaScript, Linux, Oracle, and CSS
  • Cloud and cloud security
  • DevOps methodologies
  • IT Automation
  • Full Stack Development
  • Project Management
  • Time management
  • Problem-solving skills
  • Adaptability and flexibility


Four Tips to Write the Perfect Software Engineer Resume

1. Keep your resume to one page.
 
A one-page resume has a cleaner look and will be easier for busy hiring managers to scan. You will be more likely to be called for an interview if you keep your resume to one page. Some ways to help condense your resume down to one page are:

  • Use bullet points instead of long-winded paragraphs where possible.
  • Prioritize information. Include feature your two to three most important achievements per job.
  • Use a professional resume format and font.
  • Utilize the header of your resume for your contact information. 
 
2. List only relevant tech skills.
 
As a software engineer, your resume can quickly get diluted if you list every skill you possess. Read over the job posting for the position you want and single out the skills the employer wants most. By listing only your most advanced and relevant skills, you will:

  • Ensure your skills stand out to the recruiter.
  • Show that you have an understanding of the hiring process.
  • Save valuable space on your resume.
 
 3. Show how your technical skills led to results and achievements.
 
Certifications and achievements can help to illustrate your skill level. Because software engineering is a skill set that can be self-taught, having proven credentials can enhance your chances of getting a job when your education section or work history is lacking. An example of an achievement resulting from using typical software engineer skills is:

  • Debugging software at XYZ Company to increase product usability by 30%

4. Tailor your resume for each job posting.

The best resume will be customized for each new job. Use keywords from the job posting in your skills section, work experience section, and throughout your resume. Including keywords will help busy hiring managers to recognize your qualifications when scanning your resume. Tailoring your resume to the job posting can be especially important for a software engineer resume. Each job description can require vastly different tasks and technical skills depending on what side of the software you’re working on. You can tailor your resume to show the most relevant skills and professional experience for the position


FAQ: Software Engineer Resume

Q: What should you not do or list on a software engineer resume?

As a software engineer, the skills section of your resume should be quite advanced. You do not need to list:

  • Hobbies
  • Minor technical skills
  • Activities or skills that are not relevant to software development

Q: What should I list on my resume if I don’t have any work experience?

The best resume can help you to get a job even without many years of experience. If you don’t have much work experience, then you may include:

  • A personal portfolio of tech projects
  • Volunteer work
  • Certifications
  • Relevant skills or coursework
  • Internships

Q: What are some examples of a software engineer resume?

Reviewing examples of a software engineer or developer resume can help you to cure writer’s block when writing your own resume. Examples can also give you inspiration for resume format and more complicated writing sections such as the resume summary. Here’s a list of 20+ Best Software Engineer examples.

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