The best way to write a standout software program engineering resume


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Job-seekers could also be tempted to create one resume that lists all of their abilities and expertise and name it completed. However within the aggressive tech world, you may should tailor your software program engineer resume for every place to seize eyes.

Taking the time to make use of key phrases and phrases and lower out any extraneous data can put your software program engineering resume on high of the stack. Learn on to find out how.

Tailor your resume to every job you apply for

Tech corporations use applicant monitoring software program that scans resumes for key phrases earlier than they go to the hiring managers. By tailoring your resume to the job itemizing, you considerably enhance your probabilities of making the primary lower and getting a job interview. 

Use employer job descriptions as a template to your software program engineering resume. Spotlight the listings’ important obligations and abilities, and mirror the employer’s language and key phrases in your resume and job software. Simply ensure to combine them naturally (and do not declare abilities you do not even have).

For instance, in case you’re keen on changing into a software program engineer at Amazon, embrace phrases like, “X years of software program growth expertise with Java, Python, and C#/C++.” 

You could have heard suggestions to cover key phrases in white textual content on the web page. Applicant monitoring software program converts your resume into plain-text, so these key phrases will not keep hidden. Deal with highlighting related abilities you possess relatively than getting tough with formatting.

The best way to format your software program engineer resume

Hiring managers do not have numerous time to spend studying resumes, so restrict yours to at least one web page. When you have a few years of related expertise, you may high out at two pages.

A font measurement of 11-12 ought to assist you to match all the pieces in with out crowding. Current your work and academic experiences in reverse-chronological order.

Preserve your resume’s dsign easy {and professional}. At most, use a single, pleasing coloration in addition to black and white. Impress recruiters along with your abilities, not an eye-searing magenta background.

Use a construction that is intuitive and clear — both a one-column or two-column format. Bullet factors support readability, and white area helps your resume seem crisp and to-the-point.

A software program engineering resume ought to embrace the next elements:

  • Header
  • Abstract/goal
  • Work/employment expertise
  • Expertise
  • Initiatives
  • Training


Your resume header introduces potential employers to your skilled id and private model. 

Along with your identify, e mail tackle, and cellphone quantity, embrace hyperlinks to your LinkedIn web page, GitHub profile, web site, portfolio, and the rest that showcases your relevant abilities and skills.

The header does not simply inform recruiters the way to attain you, it emphasizes what you are able to do.


The abstract/goal part sits just under the header, however take into account writing it final. That means, it may well seize the spirit of your resume and describe how your expertise and abilities will convey worth to the job you need.

This part ought to encompass only one or two sentences and embrace a few the job description’s most essential key phrases.

Utilizing the Amazon instance, a robust abstract/goal would possibly say, “Expert software program engineer in search of a place at Amazon Monetary Know-how the place I can develop my 5+ years of software program growth expertise with Java, Python, and C#/C++.”  

Work expertise

The work and employment expertise part of your resume is the place you may display the impacts and outcomes of your work. The objective is to indicate, not inform, recruiters what you are able to do for the corporate.

Do not simply checklist job duties. As an alternative, assist the hiring supervisor visualize you efficiently doing the job by utilizing the STAR methodology to explain prior tasks and obligations: Situation, Task, Action, Result. Right here, you may spotlight how your work benefited the group or the way you labored by way of an issue. 

At any time when attainable, describe your work’s impression with stats. For instance:

As an alternative of…

Carried out bug fixes in a well timed method


Cleared a backlog of 120 bug-fixes in my first six months on the job

As an alternative of… 

Up to date high quality management processes


Gave high quality management processes their first replace in 5 years, decreasing QC completion time by 15%

Phrases and sentence fragments are acceptable. 

If you’re new to the sector, go to The best way to change into a software program engineer for methods to achieve experiences to your resume.


The talents part of your software program engineer resume ought to be concise and simple to scan. Attempt itemizing related abilities in bulleted lists. Once more, solely embrace abilities relevant to the job.

For our hypothetical Amazon place, the checklist of your technical abilities might embrace:

  • Java
  • Python
  • C#
  • C++
  • Agile
  • UNIX/Linux 
  • Information constructions
  • Service-Oriented Structure
  • Object-oriented programming

Keep away from itemizing delicate abilities. A bulleted checklist does not have area for the context you may must show you might have an summary ability like “self-starter,” and an employer is unlikely to belief your self-assessment with out that context. Save individuals abilities to your cowl letter as an alternative.


Now that your resume has grabbed the hiring supervisor’s consideration, your tasks part ought to showcase your ardour for software program engineering and embrace tasks most relevant to the place you need. Embrace one-line descriptions of some tasks and hyperlink to your portfolio for extra particulars.

Along with work tasks, you need to use tasks accomplished for courses or bootcamps, contributions to open-source tasks, and your individual tasks.

Generally used portfolio codecs embrace a web site, weblog, LinkedIn web page, or GitHub Pages. For inspiration, discover The best way to construct a coding portfolio.


The schooling part ought to checklist the colleges you’ve got attended, the place they’re positioned, the date you graduated, and the levels/certificates earned. Even in case you earned one thing aside from a software program engineering diploma, finishing increased schooling demonstrates dedication and demanding pondering abilities to employers.

Haven’t got to incorporate your GPA until the job description particularly requires it. The exception: In case you’re a latest graduate with little work expertise and your GPA was excessive, itemizing it could display your studiousness.

You may as well embrace internships you accomplished whereas in class and any software program engineering or coding bootcamps you’ve got attended. 

Further sections

When you have the area and extra sections will add depth to your resume, take into account together with the next.


Are you an authorized software program engineer? Do you maintain certifications in particular programming languages or platforms? Record them, particularly if the job description mentions them.


Solely embrace volunteer work that is related to the job for which you are making use of. Be particular in regards to the tasks you labored on and your roles.

Languages you communicate

If the job description mentions a desire for a specific language or you’re making use of for a place at a global firm, itemizing the languages you communicate can provide you an edge.

Skilled organizations you take part in

Embrace these if straight relevant to the place or in case you’ve realized the individuals who could also be supervising you belong to the identical organizations.

SEE: 12 skilled organizations advancing DEI values in tech

Programs you’ve got taken

In case your work or volunteer expertise is missing a component key to the job, embrace any programs that will assist spherical out your skillset.

In case your prior expertise does not embrace a key job ability, however you’ve got taken a course in that topic, 

Hiring insights from HackerEarth’s chief know-how officer

Vishwastam Shukla, a man wearing a blue suit, smiles in a professional headshot.

Vishwastam Shukla is the chief know-how officer at HackerEarth, a platform to have interaction and supply high builders with hackathons. HackerEath permits companies to evaluate, interview and upskill builders. Beforehand, Vishwastam was a website chief and software program growth supervisor at Amazon.

Solutions have been evenly edited for size and readability.

ZDNet: What are the highest stuff you search for when studying by way of a software program engineer candidate’s resume?

Vishwastam Shukla: I usually search for what I name “efficiency spikes.” These spikes might present up in lots of kinds. For example, it may very well be work expertise at a fantastic group, a person mission with nice impression, or typically even ivy league schooling for junior engineers. 

These spikes inform me that the person, when wanted, can outperform their very own self and present resilience in opposition to nice odds.

ZDNet: What are the most typical errors you see on individuals’s resumes that value them shifting to the interview stage, and what can they do in a different way?

VS: Lengthy, verbose resumes are fast put-offs. You possibly can put in your life’s work in 1.5 to 2 pages max. Brief, crisp resumes are the very best. 

As an alternative of itemizing 20 completely different abilities that you simply might need picked up over time, speak about them inside the context of your work. It’d assist to focus in your expertise that’s most related to the function being utilized for.

ZDNet: When studying by way of a candidate’s software program engineering resume, what could make you immediately wish to arrange an interview with them?

VS: I’ll wish to arrange an interview with a candidate once they’re describing their prior expertise and the impression or complexity is totally unambiguous. 

This text was reviewed by Sierra Gawlowski, PE

A headshot of Sierra Gawlowski, a smiling brunette woman.

Sierra Gawlowski, PE, earned her BS in civil engineering and is a licensed skilled engineer within the state of Washington. She has labored for a non-public engineering consulting agency in addition to for public businesses. Sierra enjoys mentoring engineering college students and junior workers. She additionally leads a mission workforce for Engineers With out Borders and at the moment sits on the board of administrators for Kilowatts for Humanity.

Gawlowski is a paid member of the Pink Ventures Training Integrity Community. 

Final reviewed Might 23, 2022.


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