Software engineering and development jobs will grow by 22% between 2019 and 2029. According to Evans Data Corporation, the number of developer jobs is expected to increase from 23.9 million in 2019 to 28.7 million in 2024.
However, while more software engineer positions will become available in the coming years, more candidates will compete for your position. To be considered, you must know how to write a killer software engineering resume. Whether starting from scratch or having an alpha version of a software engineer resume, the advice and tips below will help you turn it into a stable release candidate.
How to Format your Software Engineer Resume?
Before thinking about highlighting your skills on your resume, you must first format it correctly. Your resume should not be difficult to read for your recruiter. It should be simple to read and appealing to skim through.
Let’s look at the different resume format types you can choose among.
The Reverse-Chronological Resume Format, one of the most popular, places your most important skills at the top of your resume. This ensures that the recruiter recognises your worth as soon as they review your resume.
If you have strong software engineering skills but lack work experience, the Functional Resume Format should be your go-to.
Aside from these two, if you’re a software engineer with skills and work experience, you can always use the Combination Resume Format. This type is a combination of both the previous resume format types.
What You Should Include in Your Software Engineering Resume
Usually, a software engineering resume is broken into a few main sections, such as:
- Contact Information
- Work Experience
Want to highlight yourself even more? Try adding some of these sections:
- Awards & Certifications
- Interests & Hobbies
Writing a Software Engineer Resume Summary/Objective
The average recruiter spends approximately 6 seconds on each resume. Within this limited time, one section will serve as a good preview of your entire resume: The summary or objective of your resume. Write a brief, eye-catching resume summary or objective and explain to your recruiter why you’re the best candidate for the job, and you’re done! You’ve piqued their interest.
Let’s compare both sections to see which one suits your needs.
Software Engineer Resume Summary
In 2-4 sentences, summarise your professional experiences and accomplishments.
Example for Software Engineer Resume Summary:
“Software Engineer with 10+ years of industry experience capable of leading large engineering teams to achieve set goals on a given time-frame, coming up with innovative solutions. Experience working for a diverse clientele with strong Database management and MySQL, Java and .NET skills.”
Software Engineer Resume Objective
This section, again in 2-4 sentences, discusses your professional goals.
Example for Software Engineer Resume Objective:
“Hardworking software engineer looking for the opportunity to follow a successful career in software development at (company name). Experience with coding, troubleshooting and testing for various projects at (university name). Good skills in debugging and machine learning.”
Which of the two options is best for your situation?
A summary is preferable if you are an experienced software engineer.
Choose an objective for graduates, undergraduates, and those with less industry experience.
What is included in the Work Experience Section of a Software Engineer Resume?
In this section, you must provide sufficient evidence to convince your recruiter that you can perform the job role well. You should include the following details when structuring your work experience:
- Position Name
- Company Name
- Dates of employment.
- Important accomplishments and responsibilities.
An example of Software Engineer Resume Work Experience:
Begin your resume work history with your most recent job and work your way backward. The total length of your resume should not exceed two pages, though a single page is often preferable if you have less experience. If necessary, leave out short-term or irrelevant jobs.
Skills Section of your Software Engineer Resume
A recruiter will be interested in your work experience, but they will also want to know what additional skills you can bring to the team. This would help elevate your status as a potential addition to the company in the recruiter’s mind. Remember to emphasise the necessary skills for a software engineering job. Not all of your abilities will fall into this category. Some of the most common skills listed on software engineer resumes are:
Hard Skills for a Software Engineer Resume
- Data Structures
- Machine Learning
- Database Management System
- Agile (Scrum) Methodologies
- Data analysis & formatting
- Requirements gathering
- Distributed Database Systems
- Multimedia and Web Databases
- Web Development
- MongoDB, PostgreSQL
- Hadoop, Spark, AWS, GCP
- JUnit, Mockito, TDD
- Java, Python, SQL
Soft Skills for a Software Engineer Resume
- Leadership Skills
- Creative Thinking
- Problem Solving
Now that you’ve covered the essentials, what other additional things can you include in your resume?
As previously stated, you can enhance your resume by including additional sections such as Languages, Awards & Certifications, and Interests & Hobbies. Let’s go over these extra sections and see what you can put in each.
Don’t be afraid to include all of the languages you know. Your recruiter may occasionally be looking for someone who can work with clients who speak different languages. Don’t just list the languages you know; rank them according to your level of proficiency.
Awards and Certifications
If you’ve taken courses to improve your skills, this is the place to show them off. List all of the awards you’ve received for anything related to software engineering.
Interests and Hobbies
Why is it necessary to include a section in which you discuss your love of reading or your stamp collection? Because doing so allows your recruiter to get to know you as a person. It will also demonstrate that you are a good team player if you enjoy team sports as a hobby. It’s always a good idea to do background research on the company you’re applying to. You can learn whether or not the company’s work culture encourages hobbies and interests outside of work. Also, if you don’t have much experience in the field, this is a good way to demonstrate your uniqueness to your recruiter.
- Your resume may not be flashy, but it should be clear and concise. The appropriate font size is 12-14, using some basic fonts like Times New Roman and Arial.
- Section headings should be clearly written, bold, and readable at a glance. Employers may pay too much attention to form but take the time to align and check for spelling errors. These little things will show your professionalism.
- You should export the resume file as a PDF; any computer can open it. If you leave it in Word format, it may have a font error, affecting your resume’s quality.
Do a quick resume review just before submitting your application to ensure everything is in order, from your resume format to your relevant skills section. Reread the software engineer job description to see if you missed anything. If possible, get a friend, family member, or roommate to proofread your documents or resume builder draft. Now, send your perfect resume off to the hiring manager or IT recruiter, and land your dream job!