Resume Workshop

Tips for Writing an Effective Software Engineer Resume (Step-by-step tips for writing a killer resume)

Writing a resume from scratch can be a daunting task.  You really need to think through every sentence, making sure it can positively represent who you are.  For most part, great resumes lead to interviewing opportunities, not hiring.  However, without a stellar resume, you will not get the change for the interview.

Below is a list of tips for writing an effective software engineer resume that can lead you to many interview opportunities for software developer jobs or even software testing jobs.  Check out different Software Engineering career paths for additional list of jobs to pursue in sw engineer careers.

  1. Choose a Template that stands out
  2. For entry level, create a resume objective that is short, targeted statement that clearly outlines your career direction while simultaneously positioning you as someone who fits what the employer is looking for exactly. If possible, your objective is carefully researched and tailored to fit the job you’re applying for
    • Sample Resume Objective for college graduate: Hard working and motivated computer science graduate with proven development and troubleshooting skills seeking to apply my abilities to an entry level position
  3. For experienced professional, create a powerful summary of skills and accomplishments
  4. Use keywords or phrases to highlight your experience (e.g. “object-oriented programming”, “troubleshooting”, design, develop, and test”
  5. Requires discriminators to stand out from other Software Engineer resumes
  6. Eliminate all spelling errors and grammatical errors. Make sure to spell check and grammar check multiple times.  Get a few friends to proof read your resume.
  7. Maximum of 2 pages.  But try to fit everything into one page by prioritizing your content.  Remember that many SW Engineering Hiring Managers do not want to read a lot of information.
  8. Include only what you can speak intelligently since anything on your resume is a fair game for deep questioning by the interviewer. Also refrain from lying.
  9. A great resume will demonstrate professional discipline and good communication skills.
  10. For employment history, bullet points are good but can be multiple sentences with sub-points highlighting technical accomplishments using keywords.  Each bullet should discuss your accomplishments using verbs like accomplished, reduced, increased, etc.  Show what you did, how you did it, and what was the end result.  Include details about customer interactions, documentation skills highlighting your writing skill, team work / collaboration skill
  11. Don’t give too short descriptions. It’s better to write a 2 page resume than 1 fuzzy page resume.  However, 1 page clear and descriptive resume is best.
  12. For college students or recent graduates, consider creating a project section to reveal your experience. Include details such as project description, what sw programming used, individual or team, end result.
  13. When listing Software, please do not list Microsoft Office.  It really does not add any value what so ever.
  14. When listing sw programming languages, list everything you have ever worked with with your experience level (expert, proficient, basic).
  15. Demonstrate your talents by including online links to websites and social media like LinkedIn for your articles, website designs, or your portfolio.
  16. Send a copy to Software Engineer Career Center for free consultation and advice. Although we are not considered a professional when it comes to resumes, we should be able to provide valuable feedback.  We have read many resumes and we understand what the SW engineering hiring managers are looking for in resumes, which certainly helps.

Below is a sample resume template to give you idea of what I am talking about templates that stands out.

Killer Resume Sample

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