You put long, tiresome, and stressful hours into getting your shiny and well-deserved computer science degree.
Math, software programming, algorithm design, neural networks and other scary words that intimidate ordinary people can all be found on your computer science resume.
Now the whole world is at your service, because there’s no way so much work goes down unnoticed.
Unfortunately, there is.
Even though the number of people majoring in CS was in decline just a few years ago, the number of CS undergraduates in 2020has 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.
But you know that. That’s why you’ve opened this guide. Well, you won’t be disappointed. Let’s get you that interview.
In this computer science resume guide you will:
- Study 14 computer science resume examples and templates that will help you land an interview for a full-time job or an internship;
- Learn what recruiters pay attention to when scanning 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 that gets traction with recruiters;
- Learn what sections of your computer science resume to prioritise in order to increase your chances of getting noticed by top recruiters.
The Best Computer Science resume example
Looking for related Computer Science resume guides?
How to write the best Computer Science resume
When writing an effective computer science resume it all comes down to playing your cards right.
Yes, you have a huge advantage applying to high-tech positions with your CS degree compared to the people who majored in unrelated disciplines.
However, you’ll be competing mostly with people that have the same degree as you do, so you need more than that.
Your personal projects, internships, technical skills, and especially how you frame those for the position you’re applying for will be critical factors for recruiters to consider your resume.
Another thing to mention is that a computer science degree has lots of applications.
You can go for data science, web development, business analytics, software engineering, database administrators, and many more.
Different industries, such as healthcare, transportation, and financing can all benefit from your technical skills, but your resume also has to demonstrate your passion for these fields.
Luckily, you have several sections in your resume that you can use to demonstrate both your passion for a given position and technical expertise to get the job done.
If you play your cards right, you’ll come off as a perfect candidate and score many more interviews compared to generic CS resumes you can find on the Internet.
But first, let’s look at the resume layout that you should use.
What is the best format for writing your computer science resume?
The most common approach to writing resume is stating your past experiencereverse-chronological order, starting with the latest ones.
However, a computer science resume sections don’t have a strict order.
It all comes down to emphasizing your strengths. For example, if you have highly relevant coursework and education, consider putting the Education section on top.
Same goes for your projects and experience. If you do not have much work experience, but at the same time a convincing portfolio of personal projects, put one before the other.
Recruiters will read your resume from top to bottom, so start strong.
Computer science resume sections that you shouldn’t miss:
- A header that warms up recruiters toward you with proper title and engaging profile links
- An objective that clearly positions you as a perfect candidate even if you have no experience
- An experience section or its substitutes if you’re writing an entry-level computer science resume with no experience.
- A skills section where you prioritise technical skills for a specific job that you’re applying for
- An education section with a coursework, your GPA, and relevant certificates
- Projects and Achievements sections to strengthen your computer science entry level resume
What do recruiters want to see in your Computer Science resume?
- If your work does impact and tech job is your lifelong passion, not a fling
- If you have technical experience with either internships or personal projects that you can demonstrate
- If you have a strong education background or a relevant coursework
- If your computer science student resume is worth the internship
- Whether you can understand what’s important in the job you’re applying for and what’s not
Now let’s talk about specific sections of your resume and how to write them in the best possible way. Your computer science resume starts with a Header section.
How to write a Computer Science resume header?
2 Computer Science resume header samples
As mentioned before, a computer science degree can be applied to lots of jobs, and not a single one of them is titled “Computer Science job”. Well, except for CS professors.
What that means is you have to use the same title as the job you’re applying for. There’s a big difference between “Cloud Computing Engineer” and “Network Architect”.
If you’re applying for an internship, the job description title usually has the word “intern” in it, so put that in there as well.
However, don’t put it if you’re going for a full-time job, otherwise you may come off as inexperienced, and that’s a huge turn off for recruiters.
The second most important thing about your header section is the link to your profile. In 99% of cases that should be a link to your Github with your projects and contributions to other projects.
That demonstrates two things: that you actually can code and that you can collaborate on major projects with others.
If your resume is being reviewed by a technical superior, a Guthub profile speaks thousands of words to them.
Your code efficiency, how clean your code is, organization, comments — all of that is to a technical recruiter like a rorschach painting is to a therapist, so work a good deal on your Github profile.
If you don’t have one, link to your personal blog, online publications, or even student projects. Anything that has code in it is ok.
It’s important to link to the projects that are highly relevant to the position you’re applying for.
If you’re going for a C# game developer, link to your Unity3D hobby projects. Network engineer? A student article about your campus network update, or Cisco community profile.
The more relevant, the better.
When linking to personal projects, don’t miss the chance to talk about the project’s background. What was the project for, what did it achieve, etc.
Keep in mind, you can have links to several profiles in your header section.
We’ll talk more about the proper way to present your achievements in the following sections.
You need a Computer Science Objective thank makes impact
If you’re going to write a resume objective for your computer science resume, it should be really good. Otherwise, drop it altogether.
Generic “I'm passionate about looking for a job in technical industry” just won’t do it.
3 Computer Science resume objective samples
A recent computer science undergraduate is looking for a job in software engineering to apply her technical skills in solving complex real world problems.
Here are a few things that may look good on your resume objective:
- Highly-relevant project work
- Internship in prominent tech companies
- Winning hackathons & programming competitions
There’s no need to mention your GPA unless yours is well above 3.0 or you graduated from Princeton University.
If your education background is that convincing, consider starting your resume with the education section. The objective, in that case, will unnecessarily occupy a vital place in your resume.
This is especially true for recent computer science grads who don’t have much experience in the field.
A recent CS undergraduate and a co-founder of a SaveIT student finance management service with an active internship at SAP software department is eager to join an ABC development team as a software engineer.
If you have experience in software development, that’s a different story.
Here’s how your Summary will look:
Software Engineer with 2 years of experience in building finance and audit solutions and co-founder of a SaveIT student finance management services is eager to join an ABC development team.
What’s the best to approach experience section in your Computer Science resume [with examples]
If your experience in computer-science related activities is limited, it doesn’t mean you don’t have any.
Any development practice such as student projects, internships, or contributions to open-source projects can be framed as part of your experience.
There are two main things to remember here: don’t be generic, and prioritize the most relevant experience.
Below is an example of a typical experience section found in many computer science student resumes:
3 Computer Science student resume experience samples
Technical AssistantUniversity Lab
One of the most convincing ways to describe your experience is to use the STAR framework, which stands for Situation, Task, Action, and Result.
Here’s an example:
- Situation: a lead developer for university lab website
- Task: eliminate poor website performance during peak hours study hours
- Activity: migrated the existing website’s database to a more optimal noSQL solution
- Result: zero student complaints and 100% website uptime during peak study hours
Senior Student DeveloperUniversity Lab
Whether you’re writing a computer science internship resume, or you already have an internship and want to find a full-time job, frame your experience in the context of the specific job description.
For example, if you’re applying for a database developer position, build your experience section around your experience relating to database development and management.
Carefully study the job’s description and include relevant technologies that you used in your narrative. Don’t forget to use the STAR framework:
Database Developer InternAnchor Solutions
PRO TIPMentioning certain technologies from the job description in your resume allows you to bypass Applicant Tracking Systems that filter resumes based on certain keywords.
Let’s talk in detail about ATS filters and tech skills in the following Skills section.
The best way to approach Skills section for your Computer Science resume
If in other sections you only mention those technical skills that you’ve worked with in a proper context, then the Skills section is where you list every skill that you have.
But first, you need to prioritize the skills that the current job description requires.
This will help you to pass automatic HR filters and prove your relevance to the job.
Take a look at this snippet from a real job description:
- Minimum of 1-year experience in programming and software development using at least two programming languages, preferably Java, C++, Python, Node.js and/or R
- Knowledge of development and deployment on a cloud-based environment like IBM BlueMix, AWS, Azure, etc.
- Use Git, Bitbucket and Jira applications in embedded software design.
Naturally, you will list those skills in your Skills section first. However, never lie on your resume. You should only list those skills that you’ve had direct experience with.
How to put technical skills on your Computer Science resume:
Given how different computer science jobs can be, technical skills that are crucial for one position might just be of a supporting nature to another.
Of course, the technical skill set for database developers or mobile application developers will be completely different.
Below are the technical skills you’ll find most often in computer science resumes:
The 24 most popular technical skills to put on your Computer Science resume
- HTML5, CSS3
- Agile (Scrum. Kanban, Lean, DevOps)
Should you mention soft skills in your Computer Science resume?
Although soft skills are useful for any job, for computer science graduates and students they are not that important as, say, for sales professionals.
You should prioritize technical skills over soft skills with almost every computer science resume layout, or consider dropping them altogether.
Although we usually recommend putting soft skills in a real world context, for strictly technical positions this may occupy too much space that could be better used expanding more crucial sections.
Below is a list of the most common skills you’ll find in computer science resumes that you can use on your resume:
9 Soft skills you can prioritize in your CS resume
- Team work
- Time management
- Analytical skills
- Problem solving
- Critical thinking
Now that we’ve dealt with the Skills section, let’s talk about your Education section.
Writing the most convincing education section for your Computer Science resume
The education section is one of the most crucial sections on your computer science resume and one of the most flexible in terms of positioning.
The thing is, there are several factors that define whether you should push your education section to the top of your resume or prioritize other sections.
There are three instances when you should definitely prioritize it:
- You graduated from a prestigious technical university. Think Princeton, Harward, Ivy League
- You have a well above average GPA (3.5+)
- You have a highly relevant coursework portfolio.
Relevant coursework is very important, especially if you’re applying for a niche computer science specialty.
For example, if you’re going for a data scientist position, highlighting that you went through Probability & Statistics, Python Development, Linear Algebra and Machine Learning gives you extra points.
If you’re going for a position related to robotics, A.I, or, for example, machine design, Human Computer Interaction & A.I. coursework are highly relevant.
Database developer intern? Distributed Data Warehouses, SQL, Concurrent vs Parallel programming, and so on.
You can decide what to prioritize by learning more about the position you’re applying for from the description and the company’s website.
Computer ScienceColumbia University
No need to list all the coursework you did, otherwise it will take space from other important sections of your resume.
Talking about important sections, what does your Projects section tell about you?
The Impact of Personal Projects on your Computer Science Internship resume
The way you format your Projects section is very similar to the way you format your Experience section. Think STAR framework.
Pick up the computer science projects that are the most relevant to the position you’re applying for.
Anything counts: extracurricular activities, side projects, and hobbies. All you need is to find a good angle to present the outcome.
If you don’t have much working experience, but a nice portfolio of relevant personal projects, consider substituting the Experience section with a Projects section.
Also, if your projects are available online, provide links to them in your resume.
Let’s talk about the Certificates section.
Are certificates a good thing for Computer Science resume?
Certificates are tricky.
For different positions, certificates may give you a huge boost of authority among recruiters, or clutter your resume with unwanted details.
For example, if you’re applying for a position in network security, your Cisco Certified Network Associate, i.e. CCNA certificate, would mean a huge deal.
The very same certificate will hold much less value on your data science resume.
There are many technical certifications available to you these days, so focus your attention only on those that will make your computer science more relevant and authoritative.
Certificates for a Computer Science resume
Finally, let’s talk about your achievements.
The role of Achievements in Computer Science Intern resume
If you have achievements that will emphasize the unique traits you have that are applicable to the job you’re applying for, you can list them on your resume in a separate section.
Such achievements can include vital contributions to open-source projects you are proud of, hackathon awards, and even failed startups.
You can also list achievements that are not necessarily of a technical nature, but are related to it.
For example, managing a team of students during hackathon, publications or features in authoritative tech-magazines, and so on.
This is a great opportunity to emphasize your organization and soft skills in a practical context.
However, make sure your achievements really catch the eye.
Paticipated in a hackathlon and won
Hackathlon Winning Team
As a part of 3-developer unit ranked 3rd out of 90 teams in a TechCrunch Disrupt annual hackathon event
- Make the best out of your computer science experience even if you never worked full-time before
- Carefully study the job description to understand what technical skills to prioritise in the Skills section
- Format your experience according to the STAR framework, making it more interesting for the recruiters
- Use our computer science resume templates to make your resume more detailed and effective
- Don’t write a computer science objective just for the sake of it. Consider replacing it with Education or Computer Science Projects sections that looks more convincing