Even though the number of people majoring in CS was in decline just a few years ago, the number of CS undergraduates in 2019 has doubled from that of 2017.
So how do you apply for, say, Amazon or Google, knowing that about a few thousand of your peers will probably do the same?
There’s only so many decent tech companies to work for. Naturally, it all comes down to how good your computer science resume is.
In this computer science resume guide, you will:
- Study 14 computer science resume samples and templates;
- Learn what recruiters pay attention to when scanning a resume;
- Learn how to write computer science resume with no experience;
- Understand how to write a computer science student resume or entry-level computer science resume;
- Learn what resume sections to prioritize.
The best computer science resume examples
We've collected three resume examples from computer science grads with different levels of experience - an intern, an entry-level, and a junior applicant. Scroll below to see what we liked about them, and, if you want to try them as a base, click on the buttons next to the resumes.
Junior computer science resume sample
Apart from her latest job, this candidate listed their internship, and a related job she had during university. This all makes up for a fuller, more relevant resume. Mentioning the relevant classes, the contents of their summary, the awards and certification, all make up for a targeted resume - no wonder they received an interview callback.
Entry-level computer science resume example
What we liked about this resume is that the candidate made a great mix of personal skills, as well as their technical experience so far. While it's normal for an entry-level computer science applicant to not have any real-work experience, we see that an internship and a teaching spell make up for that here. Additionally, we see a link to their GitHub profile, a window to what they are as a professional.
Computer science internship resume sample
We've seen many intern or entry-level candidates fill up their resume with a bunch of irrelevant info. We'd advise you to take a page out of this candidate's notebook: they've got a few really great things going on here.
- A link to their GitHub profile. If a recruiter sees your green heatmap there - job well done!
- No-frills resume objective. You see the most important stuff right from the get go.
- Education, but stripped out of the generic stuff like Cum Laude, GPA, and so on. You can see though they've listed relevant coursework.
- Experience is broken down by work experience, projects, and volunteering. All of those shows this candidate has been proactive about their development.
- References do help, especially for an intern role.
Looking for related Computer Science resume guides?
- IT Intern resume examples
- Entry-Level Software Engineer resume examples
- Entry-Level Network Engineer resume examples
- IT Support resume examples
- Data Scientist resume examples
- Web Developer resume examples
Choose a fitting format for your computer science resume
Level of expertise and practical experience will dictate which of the many resume formats you select.
If you have more than 5 years in the industry, use the reverse-chronological resume format. Recruiters love it because the layout is traditional and easy to scan.
But if you’re a college grad with no more than 2-3 years of work history, opt for the hybrid resume format.
This one presents a balanced overview of both your skills and relevant projects you’ve done. It’s also a suitable layout for professionals who are switching careers.
Alternatively, if you’re applying for your first internship, check out the functional resume format. Its aim is to emphasize the range of your skills and how you acquired them.
Whichever layout you select, keep in mind to:
- Check for any extra formatting requirements listed in the job ad. Some companies have specific rules on resume design and styling.
- Fit everything on one page. Unless you have a good reason to expand any of the sections on your resume, don’t go too overboard.
Speaking of sections, let’s discuss the actual layout of your resume.
A while ago we decided to test how various resume formats performed against ATS tools. Apart from avoiding basic mistakes, like typos, pay attention to the:
- Colors and Design: Some companies allow for creative designs. Research your potential employer before you choose the style of your resume.
- Fonts: ATS software works with all the trending Google fonts, so it’s all a matter of personal preference. Make sure it’s readable and goes well with the overall design.
- Section Headings: Remember to name your sections accordingly. ATS tools respond to keywords and these include section headings.
- Length/Columns: Condense your resume to a single page. But feel free to divide it into a few columns, if you think it will present your information better.
- File Format: ATS software reads a variety of file types. But we suggest saving your resume as a PDF file because it preserves all your formatting and design settings.
Reference your GitHub and portfolio in the resume header
If you had only 2 seconds to:
- Display examples of your work
- List tech stack you’re working with
- Prove you’ve been continuously contributing to various projects
… what would you do?
You show them your GitHub or your portfolio. Whichever is more relevant for the position.
The resume header is the perfect place to share them, because it’s the first section recruiters check.
Once you add your:
- First and last name
- Job title and/or specializations (e.g. Certified AWS Cloud Practitioner)
- Phone number
- Professional email
… add your GitHub profile. Let your work speak for itself.
This is how to do it:
Outline top achievements in your computer science resume summary
A good way to show your work ethic and attitude towards your career is to write a quality resume summary.
This is a short paragraph of 5-6 sentences which helps you:
- Highlight your proudest CS accomplishments
- Emphasize some of the key skills you have, especially if you are a fresher
ATS tools read resumes from top to bottom. This means that if you list your core tools near the top, there is a higher chance of your resume being flagged as relevant to the job.
There are three main components you must add to build a good resume summary:
- The amount of experience you have, expressed in years
- Titles, abilities, tech stack and qualifications
- 1-2 of your best career achievements
The following examples will show you how to frame your summary, regardless of your experience:
Cite the tools you use in the computer science experience section
Having wowed hiring managers with your resume summary, it’s time to display a more detailed view of your work history.
As such, you mustn’t merely cite the tools you use on a daily basis, share how you’ve applied them.
An excellent experience section delves into how you’ve solved problems with all the tools you have at your disposal. Quantify your achievements and provide context.
For instance, you can reference any awards you’ve won:
Voted Best Tutor at the Pasadena Summer Coding Camp for being the instructor with the highest student success rate (89%) for Java and Python-related courses.
Or you describe a well-received CS project you’ve done:
Developed an emergency alert software for the local blind and deaf community as a pro bono project, which reduced cases of climate-related cases of missing people by 77%.
Hiring managers love to see contributions to open source projects, too. There are many chances to shine.
Remember that for each entry, you must:
- Display your past positions in a reverse-chronological order
- List the name of the company, its website, as well as a short description about its business focus
- State your job title and dates of employment
- No more than 5 bullet points with career milestones you’ve reached during your tenure
When you combine everything together, you should have an entry similar to the one below:
- Improved data generation and reporting using Python and NumPy, which resulted in $70 million revenue increase for 2022.
- Migrated and merged over 19 databases with Liquibase, which improved data analysis by 41% and streamlined operations by 80%.
- Reduced the income of new tech support tickets by 62% by updating old FAQ manuals and writing supplementary documentation.
- Prevented a $4.7 million loss after fixing a bug, which could have led to a data breach, involving more than 800,000 customers, if found and exploited.
State your GPA when listing your education
If you’re a recent college grad, mention your GPA. While this may seem like a minor detail, it showcases your diligence and ability to work on long-term projects.
But if more than 5 years have passed since you graduated, put an emphasis on the type of academic background you have. Remember to add the:
- Name and level of your degree
- Name and location of accrediting institution or college
- Years of attendance
- Relevant majors and student projects (if you’re a fresher)
You can use the following example to structure your own education section:
Showcase relevant computer science skills
Something to keep in mind at all times is that you have to be comfortable being interviewed in any of the tools and languages you list.
This is one way recruiters vet candidates who stuff their resume with keywords before they reach the interview stage.
You are free to mention hard skills you are not particularly savvy in, but only if:
- They make sense for the context you’ve provided
- Show that you actually have practical experience with the mentioned instruments
Most importantly, you shouldn’t rely on tech talents alone. Diversify your skills section with industry-relevant soft skills.
By creating a balanced overview of your abilities, you will pass the ATS tools’ test and win recruiters’ hearts.
That said, as a CS specialist, your main concern will be which tech skills to add and why.
We’ve prepared a list with the most popular tech talents for 2023. But before you include any of them on your resume, determine which are relevant for the job ad.
While hard skills can be tested on the spot, social abilities are sometimes very difficult to measure and frame in terms of data and numbers.
The way you solve this problem is by providing the right context. Present a challenge and describe how you solved it and what the results were.
As you can see, one of the entries in the table mentions inquisitiveness. Anyone can say they are curious.
Yet, the entry proves that the individual’s inquisitiveness has helped them achieve some success at work.
Think about your professional contributions. Talk about how your work has impacted others around you.
Take a look at the table below. It holds some of the trendiest social talents for CS experts. Use them to brainstorm some ideas for your resume:
Highlight your specialty with your computer science certificates
Having a CS degree shows that you know your basics. But what would really make you stand out among other candidates is what you specialize in.
Even better if you have a certificate to support your claims.
This is why the certificates section on your resume is crucial. Don’t forget to:
- State the name of your certificate accurately
- List the name of the issuing organization
- Mention the year of obtainment or expected time of completion
- Date of validity (if applicable)
There are tons of certificates you can list. If you have many, don’t include all of them. Stay relevant to the job description.
But if you’re a recent college grad and you’re not sure which ones will get you noticed, here are some recommendations:
Support your application with other relevant sections
By now you may be thinking that your resume will look like any other CS college grad out there. That’s why you should consider supplementing your resume with extra sections.
So far we’ve discussed contributions to open source projects. Other noteworthy mentions for your resume are:
- Club and association memberships
- Side projects, products and services you’ve worked on
- Competitions, hackathons and awards
- Papers, patents, and conference presentations
Again, take into account what’s relevant to the available position by reading the job offer.
Pair your computer scientist resume with a compatible cover letter
This is another trick to make your resume outstanding.
Writing a cover letter is your chance to appeal directly to the company and the hiring managers.
Explain why you want to work for them and how they can benefit from your experience.
Generally, the cover letter is divided into three main section:
- Like the resume summary, the first paragraph focuses on your top professional achievements.
- The second section elaborates on your talents, your relevant qualifications and credentials.
- The final paragraph includes a call to action. Invite the hiring manager to a further discussion of your application. Remember to mention when you are available to talk.
Finally, don’t forget to thank the recruiter for the job opportunity.
- Select a resume format which suits your level of expertise
- Link to your GitHub or portfolio in the resume header
- List key hard skills you have in the resume summary
- Showcase how you’ve used your tools and knowledge in practice
- Ensure you are comfortable being tested on any skills you include on your resume
- Reference hackathon participation, presentations and awards to stand out
- Write a good cover letter to cement your application