Software Engineer Resume: Your Complete Guide
June 22 • 9 min read
Writing and formatting a professional software engineering resume is essential to impressing hiring managers and getting a job. But although resume writing is relatively straightforward, formatting and using the right keywords make plenty of difference in whether or not your resume makes it to their hands.
In this article, we’ll cover what to include – and exclude – when creating a proper software engineer resume. With the right approach and formatting, you can turn a relatively routine review of your qualifications into a compelling summary of your professional journey as a software engineer.
General Tips for Software Engineer Resumes
A professional and compelling software engineer resume requires precision and strategy. One of the best ways to choose keywords is to craft your resume to match the job posting. If you meet the unique requirements, your resume should address their criteria and use the exact keywords the employer lists. But always make sure you are truthful when doing so.
These days, many companies use Applicant Tracking Systems (ATS) to filter through candidate applications. When you use keywords from the job posting in your resume, you increase the likelihood of these systems suggesting your resume to the recruiter.
The second tip is to keep your resume clear and consistent, from your writing style to the font and formats you choose. Try using a clean, professional font like Arial or Times New Roman in an easy-to-read size. Also, consider spacing and how your resume looks overall. Segments should neither be too far apart nor crammed together. Always use bullet points to list your skills and experience and keep it short; your resume should not be over two pages (ideally, just one page).
In addition, try to create a strong experience section highlighting your education and certifications. In terms of education and certifications, having them on the resume conveys a professional attitude and helps employers identify candidates with solid software engineering foundations. For experience, highlight projects and roles where you used the skills listed in the job posting.
Ultimately, the direction you want your resume to go depends on your skills and what the unique job requirements are. List front-end and back-end skills if you’re applying for a full-stack position. A Java software engineer resume should highlight Java proficiency. In contrast, a back-end software engineer resume emphasizes server-side development skills.
Essential Components of a Software Engineer Resume Template
When writing content in your resume, the key is highlighting your efficiency and suitability for the job, based on your experience.
From the header where you include your contact information to the education and extracurricular sections towards the end, every part of your resume should reflect something positive to the hiring manager.
If you’re a self-taught software engineer aiming for an internship, focus on tangible achievements in personal projects or skills that align with the job requirements. List any relevant platforms you’re comfortable with and include collaborative tools you’re familiar with, like Trello or Any Desk.
Below is a sample software engineer resume template to make it easier to know where to start.
(123) 456 – 7891
“Passionate, detailed, and solutions-driven Software Engineer with six years of industry experience. Proficient in modern development methodologies and skilled in multiple programming languages. Seeking opportunities to contribute and grow in a professional, solutions-focused organization where technological innovation is at the core of its mission.”
- Understanding of data structures and algorithms
- Familiarity with version control systems like Git
- Experience with SQL and NoSQL databases
- Proficiency in front-end technologies and back-end development
- Writing clean, efficient, and reusable code
- Debugging and problem-solving
- Strong communication and leadership skills
Master’s in software engineering, Theoretical University, El Paso, Texas
Graduation Date: August 2014
Senior Software Engineer, El Paso Company, El Paso, Texas, Dec 2018 – Jan 2023
- Participated in the complete software development life cycle and led internal process improvements, leading to a 20% efficiency increase
- Participated in regular code reviews to uphold coding standards and foster a culture of continuous improvement
- Created comprehensive design documents for new and existing data pipelines and data sets
- Collaborated with the development team to design, build, and maintain scalable web applications, demonstrating proficiency in both front-end and back-end development
- Assisted in the development and implementation of RESTful APIs to improve system interoperability and performance
- Defined and maintained coding standards, guiding team members to comply with these standards
- Collaborated closely with stakeholders to assist with data-related technical issues and supported their data infrastructure needs
Certifications and Licenses
- Certified Secure Software Lifecycle Professional – ISC (2022)
- Certified Software Engineer - Institute of Certification of Computing Professionals (2021)
- AWS Certified Developer (2023)
- Software Engineering Certification – Microsoft (2023)
Volunteer and Extracurricular Activities
Mentor, Learn2Kode, El Paso, Texas, Nov 2015 – Present
- Mentoring high school students from underserved communities interested in software engineering careers
- Organizing workshops and coding sessions to introduce basic and advanced concepts
- Web Developer, El Paso Animal Shelter, El Paso, Texas, 2022 – 2023
- Volunteered to build and maintain the shelter’s website free of charge
Tips for Writing Each Section of the Software Engineer Resume Template
A good software developer resume template starts with a clear and informative header. Your name should be prominent, and your contact information should be clear, professional, and easy to read.
Include your full name, professional email address, phone number, and portfolio links if applicable. Use a more prominent, bold font for your name to make it stand out, and consider including your job title, such as “Software Engineer,” to make your profession clear at first glance.
Your professional summary is a concise statement that reflects your career goals and background. In this segment, you should include your experience, area of expertise, and professional aspirations.
Here is a professional summary of a software engineer resume example:
“Detail-oriented Software Engineer with five years of software engineering experience seeking to leverage my skills in a cooperative and diverse team environment.”
The skills section captures your abilities and highlights your capabilities as a professional. List your most relevant technical skills, the specific programming languages you use, and your software proficiency.
It’s also essential to include your soft skills like leadership, problem-solving, collaboration, and time management. Your skills align with the job description to demonstrate your suitability for the role and help you pass the Applicant Tracking System (ATS).
Regardless of your software engineer resume template, always start with your highest degree. Include college name, degree, and field of study.
Every experience section starts with the most recent job you have or left. Each entry should include the title, company, employment dates, and a list of your responsibilities.
Use action verbs and quantify your achievements to show you make tangible professional improvements.
Certifications and Licenses
Including relevant certifications and licenses underscores your commitment to continuous learning. List the certification, issuing organization, and the date it was obtained.
The volunteering section in your resume is crucial because it gives employers an idea of your personality. Volunteer experience that demonstrates transferable skills adds value to your resume and makes it more well-rounded. Include the organization’s name, dates, role, and accomplishments.
How to Customize Your Software Engineer Resume Template for Specific Jobs
The first step when customizing your software engineer resume for specific jobs is carefully analyzing the job posting. Look for the skills, qualifications, and job responsibilities listed.
Recruiters usually list the most important requirements first or mention roles that require their use multiple times. Take note of specific keywords like “Java” or “full stack,” as they can guide your resume customization.
Your professional summary must reflect that you are a fit for the job. For a senior software engineer position, your statement could say, “Seasoned Software Engineer with ten years of experience managing software development teams. Seeking a challenging senior role to leverage my leadership skills and proficiency in Java.”
For an entry-level role, you could emphasize your relevant education and internships or projects. For example, you could write something like: “Computer science graduate with experience in software development during a three-month internship, looking to launch my career as a software engineer in a large firm.”
Experience and the Importance of Keywords
Customizing your experience section involves highlighting any responsibilities and achievements you’ve had that are relevant to the job posting. For a mid-level software engineer role, for example, that might mean highlighting your involvement in larger projects or your leadership experience, even if it’s on a small team.
Having the right keywords in your resume significantly increases your chances of getting an interview. Remember to use the keywords naturally and only where they make sense and apply to your professional history.
Essentially, you want your resume to scan quickly, whether by software or humans. Consider a skills section for a software engineer resume listing hard and soft skills relevant to the job posting.
Additional Tips and Tricks for Crafting a Strong Software Engineer Resume
Once the first draft is ready, it’s time to go over every detail to ensure accuracy and that you included all the essential elements. First, check for typos, spelling mistakes, and jargon errors. These factors are the first red flags for employers, decreasing your chances of an interview.
Check your experience section to determine if you used actionable verbs and quantified achievements demonstrating your impact. Then, ensure you use a professional font style and that both the recruiter and ATS can read without issues.
One way to ensure you have a proper format is to use a software engineer resume template from Rocket Resume. Rocket Resume has thousands of templates to suit your style and professional needs.
It’s easy to start formatting and creating a resume on the Rocket Resume site. After you create a profile and sign up, you can choose the software engineer resume example you like and answer a few questions.
In minutes, you have a professional software engineer resume template that checks all the boxes.
After applying to jobs and submitting your resume, always follow up. But following up should be with tact – wait at least a week before you send the company’s HR department an email.
How to Apply for Software Engineer Jobs
You can apply for software engineer jobs using job boards, social media platforms, or a company’s website or hiring portal. Job websites are a great way to find new listings that may fit your criteria. If you can’t find a good fit, consider searching in nearby cities or changing your search parameters.
Another way to find jobs in this sector is to network and join groups exclusively for software engineers. Having professional relationships with other engineers can lead to a job, especially if your network is extensive.
You can also use search engines to look for jobs near you. Search engines combine, and list results from different platforms, saving you time and effort during your job search.
How to write a software engineer resume?
A professional software engineer resume includes a header, professional statement, skills, experience, education, volunteer section, and licenses/certifications. Start with your contact info and a summary of your skills and experiences relevant to software engineering. List technical skills, programming languages, and software knowledge upfront. Moreover, your experience should emphasize projects and roles related to software engineering.
How to mention training in a resume for a software engineer?
You can mention training in a separate section of your resume titled “professional training.” This section lists the training programs, dates, and organization. The training event should have relevance to the position you’re applying for.
How to describe your internship on your resume as a software engineer?
Describe your internship as you would a job, mentioning the company name, title, and duration of the internship. Include responsibilities and tasks handled, along with specific projects. Try to highlight skills honed during this period, especially those that are relevant to software engineering.
What experiences could hurt my resume for a software engineer?
Generally, you should avoid adding irrelevant experience when applying to a job that doesn’t require it. Other factors include job-hopping without a reasonable explanation, unexplained gaps in employment, and outdated programming skills.
What projects to put on a software engineer resume?
It’s best to include projects that are relevant to the job you want. Be sure to describe the project, your role, the technologies used, and the impact or outcome of the project.
How many pages should a software engineer resume be?
The best length for a resume is 1-2 pages, allowing you to provide detailed information while staying concise.
How to highlight projects in a resume of a senior software engineer?
You can highlight your projects under each relevant job role, detailing your responsibilities and achievements. If possible, describe the tangible outcomes of the project in terms of measurable increases or improvements.
How to quantify resume bullets for a software engineer?
When describing your achievements, use numbers to quantify them as much as possible (even if you need to use estimations to do so). Using actionable language with quantified experience helps recruiters understand the scale and impact of your work.
What are recruiters looking for in a resume software engineer?
Recruiters look for relevant technical skills, abilities, experience, and a track record of working on projects relevant to the role. They also appreciate good communication skills and evidence of teamwork and leadership.
With determination and a stellar software engineer resume from Rocket Resume, you have a better chance of kickstarting your desired career. Visit Rocket Resume today for more information on creating the perfect software engineer resume guaranteed to pass Applicant Tracking Systems without issues.