Are you a software engineer looking for a job?

If you are, one of the most important tasks for you is writing a good resume. Do you know how to write it? If you need some guidelines, read on, and you will be able to write a fantastic resume that will leave your potential employer amazed.

Here you will find very useful tips for optimizing your resume for showing your professional self in the best light possible.

There are certain doubts that people who are writing a resume have. Let us take a look at some of them.

  • How long should a resume be?
  • Should I write everything I did in my career or should I omit some information?
  • What is the best format of a resume?
  • How do I make my resume stand out among the others?
  • Which personal characteristics should I include in my resume?
  • Should I insert a photo in my resume?
  • What if I do not have any work experience in the field yet?
  • Should I add my interests and hobbies?

If this is not your first software engineering job to which you are applying, you have probably written a resume before. In that case, this would be a perfect opportunity for you to check how to optimize it.

If this is your first resume to write, just follow our guidelines, and you will have a great one to use for starting a career.

Here, we will help you make your resume stand out among the rest of the applicants for your dream job. You will see how to use the right format to make the information from your resume clear and easily observable.

You will understand which skills are the most important to specify for an engineering job. You will learn how to write about your past experience in a thorough but short way, which is of the right format for a good resume.

If you are looking for an easy way to write your resume, try our resume builder. You will find everything you need there.

In the following section, we will show you two examples of resumes of software engineers.

After that, we will break down every section and provide detailed explanations about how to write each of them.

Software Engineer Resume Example

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Quality Assurance Engineer Resume Example

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You can see that these examples are very concise, but provide plenty of information about the candidates.

In these two resumes, a human resource manager can read about the basic information, education, work experience, and the skills of each of the candidates.

They are presented in a clear way, without too many words, which makes the resume easy to read and simple to browse through.

This kind of format is suitable for the candidate as well because of it not hard to write either.

After you have read these examples, you may get the general idea of how to write a good resume.

Of course, there are some guidelines which are very important to follow.

Some of the things to bear in mind are the way of organizing sections, the order of the work experience shown, the set of skills which are presented, and others.

Take a look at the following pieces of advice and explanations on how to write a good resume.

Also, feel free to use our resume builder, which will make this task even easier for you.

BEFORE WE START

Before we start, let us discuss why we need a good resume briefly. There are several reasons for this.

  • To show that you are a potential candidate for a job position.
  • To demonstrate your qualifications which make you suitable for the job.
  • To show that you have the required skills for the job.
  • To list your past experiences where you acquired the required skills.
  • To demonstrate your professionalism in looking for a job and in business relations with possible employers.

HOW TO WRITE THE PERSONAL INFO SECTION?

The choice of information is very important for writing a resume. Here are some basic guidelines on how to write this section.

DOs

Write your full name, phone number, email address, current residence. It is better to write the number of your personal mobile phone than your home landline phone number.

Include a photo. It should be a professional headshot. Mind that in the USA the photo is not obligatory.

Think about adding a URL to your LinkedIn profile (of course, make sure to fill it in completely) or another social media (Twitter, Instagram, Github, your blog/website URL) if it is suitable for the position you are applying for.

DON’Ts

Do not use an unprofessional email address. It should be made up of your first and last names. If you do not have one, you should make an account with such an address to show that you are a serious candidate.

Do not include information like marital status, nationality, political or religious views.

johnmiller86@gmail.com
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Johnthelittlepunisher666@gmail.com
Wrong

HOW TO WRITE THE SUMMARY SECTION?

The HR manager will take about 7 seconds to make the first impression.

They will usually first go through the summary section, so that is why it is very important to make this part of the resume impressive and attractive.

The summary section should draw the attention of the reader to keep reading the resume. It is ideally only a couple of lines long. It is a short presentation of your experience and skills, and its purpose is to make the manager want to read more about you.

However, be careful not to make it too long. You will present your skills and experience in the continuation of the resume. Choose only your biggest and most significant achievements and qualifications to mention here.

It should not be personalized, that is you should not write I-sentences.

A better idea is to start sentences with verbs.

For example, it is not good to write ‘I have worked for 5 years in a team of programmers as their leader’, but the better option is ‘Led a successful team of programmers for 5 years’.

It is a good idea to mention the name of the company in the resume, to make it more personalized and to avoid the feeling of a generic summary.

So, make it impersonal as in this example:

Summary

Led a successful team of programmers for 5 years at Nordeus.

Right
Summary

I led a team of programmers for 5 years.

Wrong

HOW TO WRITE THE EXPERIENCE SECTION?

In this section, you are to exhibit your work experience, which is relevant to your desired position.

You will show how your past job positions prepared you for the next one. It is recommendable that individual positions in this section are clearly separated.

Each point should include several obligatory parts: the name and location of the company, the exact position you occupied, the time period when you were on that job, and, which is very important, the responsibilities and duties that were given to you as well as your achievements. It is important not to emphasize the responsibilities you had, but rather the results you achieved while holding the position.

When you write about your responsibilities or results at a certain position, you may want to follow a rule: action verb + quantifiable point + description of duty.

For example: lead 3 teams through important projects on building software for the specific needs of the international departments of the company.

Choose specific job duties to list and sort them in decreasing order of importance. Write between 3 and 6 responsibilities/achievements per job.

Right
Wrong

This section should be written in reverse chronological order, i.e. you should write the latest job first, and the first job last.

Also, if, between two relevant jobs, you did one which is not relevant for the wanted position, do not omit it. Include it in your resume, but you need not write many details about it.

HOW TO WRITE THE EDUCATION SECTION?

What is written in this section depends highly on how much work experience you have. It shows your academic foundation upon which you have built your expertise in the field.

If you have a lot of relevant experience, you should focus on that and make the education section brief. It should be placed after the experience section. You should list only the completed academic degrees and those which are relevant to the desired position.

You should write the name of the school/university, the year of graduation (or the years of the beginning and end of schooling), the city and state, and the degree obtained. You may add your score if you feel it is suitable.

If you have multiple bullets to add here, you should start with the highest degree. The rest should be put in the reverse-chronological order. IF you finished university, there is no need to add high school information.

If you are a student or a recent graduate, so you do not have much work experience, you will put the focus on this section, and it will be placed before the experience section.

You are free to include the relevant courses you attended, the projects and researches you participated in, volunteer experience, and any other academic achievements you have.

Right
Wrong

HOW TO WRITE THE SKILLS SECTION?

The skills section of your resume should include a combination of hard and soft skills. Hard skills are those which are teachable and gradable, for example, writing ability, programming knowledge, operating heavy machinery, etc. Soft skills are less tangible. They are related to your personality.

They include communication skills, such as listening well, getting along with others, teamwork, discipline, and others.

Since a resume is supposed to be brief, space is limited. You should include those skills which are listed in the job description as well as those which you can back up with your qualifications or experience.

Here is a short classification of skills you may want to include in this section.

Technical skills are very important for some industries. They belong to hard skills, of course, but for a software manager, they are very important to emphasize. The skill that belongs to the group of technical skills is using certain programs like Microsoft Office Suite, Visio, and Oracle and knowledge of programming languages such as HTML, C++, and Python.

Transferable skills are those which have been acquired for one job and can be used in a job form a different field. These are especially important for people who want to change careers.

Communication skills belong to soft skills. They are listening skills, non-verbal communication, and interpersonal communication.

Management or leadership skills are the abilities to manage, lead, or supervise groups of workers.

Organizational skills are those that pertain to reaching decisions, taking the initiative, solving problems, etc.

Let’s see how it should look like:

Skills

  • Computer programming and coding
  • Software development
  • Object-oriented design
  • Software testing and debugging
  • Team player in 10 teams and team leader of 5 teams
  • People management and coordination

Right
Skills

  • Coding
  • Design
  • Team player
  • Soccer
  • Movies

Wrong

ADDITIONAL TIPS AND TRICKS

  • You may wonder about the difference between a resume and a CV. Let us explain this.

A resume is a brief summary of your personal, professional, and educational background. It is meant to be concise, short, with only the basic information relevant directly to the position one is applying for. Its usual size is one page, though it may span through two for more experienced candidates. It is the more frequently required document of the two.

A CV (Curriculum Vitae) is a detailed summary of your personal, professional, and educational background. Its form is longer than that of a resume. It includes your entire educational and professional history, together with your academic accomplishments, grants, certificates, projects, publications, and other credentials. Its length is usually at least two or three pages long.

  • There are three types of resumes: reverse-chronological, functional (skills-based), and combination. The first one is the most widely used, familiar to employers and candidates. The second one is suitable for people with little experience who can emphasize the specific set of skills needed for the desired job. The last one is useful for experienced people who want to highlight the combination of experience and skills which are important for the job. You may choose the format based on your current set of skills and work experience.
  • A good resume should have clear headings which make it easy to spot the piece of information an HR manager is looking for.
  • A good resume should have enough margins so that the page does not look cluttered with information. This also enables one to find the wanted piece of information easily.
  • A good resume should have a font and letter size, which makes the text readable and pleasant to look at. Use the same font in the whole document. You may vary the size or style (bold, italic, underlined) according to the purpose of the part of the text, but do not overdo it. Though it is advisable to fit all the information on one page, you should avoid using a very small font just to that end. A small font impedes readability.
  • Maybe you wonder whether you should include your hobbies and interests in your resume. If your hobby has a direct connection with your desired position or you have acquired a relevant skill during the activity, it is justified to mention it.
  • One resume should not be used for all the jobs you want to apply for. You should tailor it according to the specific requirements of the particular position. Use the keywords from the job description and occupation-specific nouns and verbs.
  • You should avoid emphasizing the same skill(s) many times in one resume. Even if you had a couple of similar jobs, you should add a new insight with each one.
  • Proofread the resume several times. You want to be sure that everything is written right, that you changed the possible poor choice of words or spelling mistakes. It is not advisable to leave your resume without correction as you would seem reckless and unprofessional. You may also ask a friend or a family member to proofread it as well. Two heads are better than one.
  • Make sure to save your resume in several formats, for example Microsoft Word’s .doc & .docx or .pdf formats.
  • Every resume should be accompanied by a matching cover letter.
  • When you email your resume to the potential employer, be careful about the email itself. Write the appropriate subject. It goes without saying that the email must not be empty. The content should be suitable for the occasion. Address that person with their name if you know it. And of course, do not forget to attach the documents.
  • Use our online resume builder along with these guidelines to make your resume catch your desired employer’s attention.

FINAL WORD

You have read about how to make a good resume for the job of your choice. This is certainly not an easy task.

However, with our resume builder, you will have the template ready to be filled out.

The most important advice is to take your time. Writing a resume is not a simple task. It should be executed carefully and thoroughly.

If you follow our detailed guidelines and use the provided template, you will surely stand out in a crowd of other software engineer candidates for your dream job.

Software Engineer Resume: Guide and a Sample

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