Writing a software engineering resume feels tough. Even somewhat unnatural. “I know my code. I spent years perfecting my skill. What else do they want?“
But let’s take a recruiter’s side. “I have 250 resumes on my desk. They all know how to code. Who should I pick?”
In our experience, recruiters have a system they follow. Otherwise, reviewing that many resumes in a day would be impossible.
The good news is that we cracked their code. We learned how to write software engineer resumes that statistically land more interviews than others.
But don't be fooled. You have to put some work in.
In this guide, you’ll learn:
- How to make your software engineer resume convincing even for non-technical recruiters
- How to increase your chances of landing an interview with top tech companies
- How to properly format different sections of your resume to tell a coherent and engaging story that hiring managers will like
- How to land 9 out of 10 interviews, following our software engineer resume examples
- How to use resume templates to get your dream job
Software Engineer resume sample
Software Engineer resume samples
Entry Level Software Engineer Resume Example and Template
- Showcase real project experience. You’ll probably learn more about software development during the first 3 months at your first job than in 8 years at university.
That’s why technical and non-technical recruiters alike praise real project experience so much, as it shows you are comfortable in a production environment, can work with a team, and can follow guidelines.
Frame your experience around software projects. Side applications, open-source code contributions, even relevant Fiverr gigs give you an edge over inexperienced candidates.
Tip: Whenever you finish a software course or an internship, focus on the projects you completed rather than received praise, certifications, or abstract coursework labels.
- Be mindful of linking to your Github page. Your Github is a dark horse — you never know how it might play out in your hiring process. Some recruiters will look at it and make their mind, others will totally ignore it.Prepare for the worst. Imagine someone will go through your Github page. What will they see? A bunch of unneeded comments? An empty profile? It doesn’t matter if the code there was written 3 or 5 years ago — you will be judged today.
So put Github on your resume only if you deem it as your advantage. Otherwise, it might play against you.
Learn more practical advice with ourEntry-level Software Engineer Resume guide.
Mid Level Software Engineer Resume Example and Template
- Prove you are the perfect “workhorse”. It’s true that middle software engineers are the “workhorses” of the programming world. They deliver the most impact with routine code, optimize their workflows down to the letter, and have excellent coding habits.Highlight the following qualities in the context of your software projects to present yourself in the best light:
- ability to deliver huge amounts of work with less or zero supervision
- active collaboration with team members and team leads
- deep understanding of platforms and tools relevant to the target company tech stack
- Target resume to the company environment.Targeted resume, or tailoring your resume to the specific job description, is a highly effective technique for landing job interviews. But don’t just target your resume to the job description as often technical job descriptions are written by non-technical HR managers. Research target company blogs, LinkedIn profiles of its developers, and social media to learn more about the company’s tech environment and its current challenges. Use this information to frame your experience for maximum impact. While non-technical recruiters might skip such details, an experienced team lead will certainly not.
Senior Software Engineer Resume Example and Template
- Showcase your ability to guide and grow teams. Senior software engineers provide guidance, always figuring out what they can do to help the team members.When applying for senior positions, make sure your senior software engineering is focused on your team achievements and collaboration, rather than your individual highlights. As a bonus, check out the size of your target company’s software department and emphasize having experience with teams of similar sizes.
- Show your ability to solve company-level problems. Did your work have a tangible positive impact on the business you worked for? If you can show that on your resume, consider yourself a unicorn.Many software engineers are doing great things for the companies they work at, but proving their work consistently produces measurable business outcomes is a trait of a perfect leader. Frame parts of your experience using challenge - solution - business outcome framework to put a big dot on your dream company’s radar.
If you worry about how to feature many years of experience on your resume, check out ourResume Length: How Long Should a Resume Be in 2021 guide.
Looking for related Software Engineer resumes?
How to Write a Software Engineer Resume That Gets Interviews
- Demonstrate real impact with finished projects
Simply stating that you “worked on a cloud-based application” gives a hiring manager neither indication of your abilities nor the level of your contribution.Also, any finished project is x10 times more credible than an unfinished one, and stating that you worked on something doesn’t mean you finished it. A finished project has outcomes.Bad example: worked on a cloud-based application
Good example: Spearheaded a $12M cloud-based application development from design to distribution as a senior software engineer in a 12-people team
More examples of that in the Experience section of this guide.
- Focus on the employer, not yourself.
A natural instinct of 99% inexperienced resume writers is to start selling yourself. “I can…” I work with [insert buzzword]…”, and “ I did…”Yes, in a way you are a product. But you don’t see “I drive people” on a BMW slogan. It’s “Sheer Driving Pleasure.”Bad example: Expert knowledge of Python librariesGood example: Reduced the loading time of a 10 million photo library by 68% by developing a preloading algorithm using Python’s SciPy library
More examples on that in the Summary, Experience, and Skills sections of this guide.
- Resume format does make a difference. But not in a way you might expect.
We’re not talking aboutfancy colors here or creative layouts. A smart layout guides the recruiter's attention to your best hits and produces a “halo” effect for your whole experience.Use bold text andaction verbs to emphasize your achievements and results. Add custom sections and headers to your resume to improve scannability.
Ensure that you can print and export your sample resume as a PDF file so recruiters can review it on their lunch break.
In this guide, we’ll go through every section to make sure that every recruiter who reads your software engineer resume or DevOps resume is captivated, engaged, and excited to meet you in person.
Let’s start with yourresume format first.
What Is the Best Way to Format Your Software Engineer Resume?
The most common and efficient way for software engineers to present their skills and experience is to use areverse chronological resume format.
With a reverse-chronological format, you present your working experience starting with the most recent one.
Here are moreresume tips regarding yourlayout andstyle:
Check out how yourresume can stand out without leaning too much on thecreative side.
Let’s talk about whatsections you can include on your resume example:
What are the top Software Engineer Resume sections
- A properly titled Header section with link to your GitHub and/or portfolio website
- A relevant and purposeful Summary section
- An Experience section that tell a cohesive and detailed story about your achievements
- A Skills section with the most relevant and appropriate skills for the job
- Education & Certifications sections
What do recruiters want to see in a Software Engineer resume?
- If you have a relevant skill set for the job
- If you are familiar with the key processes behind software development
- If you have a passion for software development
- If you contributed to big projects and know the impact of your work
- If you can work effectively with minimum guidance
PRO TIPWant to skip the hard work and start from an example or template? Use a resume builder,like Enhancv. Those apps have all the necessary tools to make a perfect resume in under 15 minutes.
Now that we know what are the key sections of your software engineer resume, let’s finally get to writing them. Your resume starts with a Header section.
Resume Header for Software Engineers That Doesn’t Confuse Recruiters
There’s been many debates online about the difference between a software developer and software engineer jobs.
While there may be differences, like education background, perspective, and other details, the truth is, most companies don’t bother.
Every company has their own definition of the software engineer job, and you’ll often see the same responsibilities in both software developer and software engineer listings.
What do you do, then?
It’s simple: use in the title the one that the company uses in their job description.
If there’s a Software Developer, then this is the one. If the company uses “Software Developer / Engineer” title, pick the one that is more coherent with your job history.
Check out:Should I Include My Photo On My Resume? [Expert Advice]
2 Software Engineer resume sample headers
Apart from contact information, it’s paramount to link to your Github profile in the Header section.
See, sometimes you may be recruited directly by technical leads. In this case, they often won’t bother with words and want to take a look at your code and projects as soon as possible.
They can do that only if you provide a link to your GitHub profile or a personal website.
Don’t forget that recruiters will be googling your name anyway, and the links will:
- Make their job easier
- Control what recruiters find on the Internet
You don’t want them to find that old laggy student project of yours, do you? First impressions matter a lot with resumes.
With your Header set up, it’s time to consider adding a Summary to your resume.
Writing a Software Engineer Summary Section With Purpose
In a software engineer resume, a Summary section can be both an opportunity and a burden.
When technical recruiters skim through your resume, the Summary section is the first one they see.
It sets the tone for your whole CV template and, in a way, prepares them for what they are going to see.
However, not all recruiters will read it. In fact, many of them will go straight into your Skills or Experience section to understand whether you know the tech stack necessary for this job.
In any case, if your summary is a boring, generic description of your job, past responsibilities, or aspirations, consider not using it at all. Otherwise, recruiters will probably fall asleep.