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Software Engineer Resume Examples & Tips [+Template]

Software Engineer Resume Examples & Tips [+Template]

A full-stack guide to writing a software engineer resume that’d put Linus Torvalds to shame. With easy to code tips to make your next job application a cinch.

As seen in:

Writing a good software engineer resume is surprisingly similar to writing good code—well-constructed sentences, bug-free grammar, and adaptability to new requirements. 

 

You’re about to learn how easy that is to achieve. You’ll even get software developer resume examples to see exactly how it’s done. Read on, and you'll see how to write a job-winning resume for software engineer and developer jobs as robust as your finest code.

 

Want to save time and have your resume ready in 5 minutes? Try our resume builder. It’s fast and easy to use. Plus, you’ll get ready-made content to add with one click. See 20+ resume templates and create your resume here.

 

Create your resume now

 

Sample resume made with our builder—See more resume examples here.

 

Looking for advice for other IT jobs? Check out our related resume guides:

 

 

Software Engineer Resume Example

 

Tim Janssen

Software Engineer

202-555-0110

tjanssen_zety@gmail.com

linkedin.com/in/tjanssen_zety

 

Diligent software engineer with 5+ years of experience in commercial application and software development. Eager to join Cyclone Inc. to build innovative and cutting-edge business solutions for the impressive suite of clients within its global reach. In previous roles, slashed downtime by 25% and ensured 98% on-time project completion. Also identified and dealt with a significant process bottleneck that boosted coding efficiency by 35% when resolved.

 

Experience

 

Software Engineer

CirroStratus Inc.

May 2016–present

  • Engineered modern applications with Java, JavaScript, SQL Server, and No SQL.
  • Built innovative microservices and Web Services (incl. SOA/SOAP/REST/XML).
  • Utilized Cloud Foundry for efficient building on top of Kubernetes.
  • Efficiently deployed and integrated software engineered by team and updated integration/deployment scripts to improve continuous integration practices.
  • Liaised with Product Managers to identify minimum viable product requirements and clearly defined feature sets into well-scoped user stories for individual team members.

Key achievement: 

  • Maintained maximum uninterrupted flow of business-critical ops. Cut downtime by 25% and costs of warranty by up to 45%.

 

Software Development Intern

Kell Tech

September 2015–May 2016

  • Supported Kell Tech’s testing and engineering processes.
  • Confirmed that completed software met client requirements.
  • Completed maintenance on existing programs.
  • Worked closely with product team on scope of future projects and innovations.
  • Carried out continuous identification, measurement, and improvement of processes.

Key achievement: 

  • Identified and dealt with a significant process bottleneck that boosted coding efficiency by 35% when resolved.

 

Education

 

Bachelor of Computer Science

Carnegie Mellon University

September 2012–July 2015

  • Heavy focus on full stack engineering with modules on both front and back-end processes.
  • Built a mock payment system for an Android eCommerce app for a senior year project.

 

Skills

 

  • Software development 
  • Adaptability
  • Teamwork
  • Agile frameworks
  • Interpersonal communication skills
  • Java, HTML, CSS, SQL Server, No SQL
  • Status tracking frameworks (Jira and Rally)
  • Practical knowledge of SQL and database concepts
  • Solid knowledge of cybersecurity principles

 

Certifications

 

  • Cloudera Certified Software Developer for Apache Hadoop (CCDH)
  • Oracle Java Certifications Associate Professional
  • Puppet Labs Puppet Developer Certification

 

Languages

 

  • Dutch—Advanced

 

You’ve just seen a perfect software engineer resume template. Use this template for your software developer resume as well. 

 

You think there’s a difference between these two jobs? Let’s find out.

 

Software Engineer Resume vs. Software Developer Resume

 

Even though these terms are quite similar, there’s a difference in responsibilities between a software developer and a software engineer. It can vary from company to company, but in general:

 

  • Software developers write/modify code according to the client's requirements.
  • Software engineers are big-picture guys with a deeper tech/engineering knowledge. They work closely with stakeholders and create the whole architecture behind the future solution.

 

To put it simply, a software engineer could be a software developer, but a software developer could not necessarily be a software engineer. 

 

Now let’s dig deep into writing a resume for both.

 

1. Create a Solid Software Engineer Resume Structure

 

Every software developer worth their salt hates messy spaghetti code. Likewise, recruiters hate sloppy, poorly structured resumes. They expect everything to be just right so they can read quickly and easily. Here’s how to do it right:

 

 

These are the sections a software engineer resume should have, from top to bottom.

 

  1. Header with contact info
  2. Summary statement/career objective
  3. Work experience 
  4. Education
  5. Skills
  6. Additional sections (certifications, hobbies and interests, projects, etc.)

 

And a final formatting tip for you. Save your resume as a PDF unless you’re specifically told otherwise. PDFs keep your structure intact and are readable on almost any device. 

Find out more about resume formatting here: Resume Formats: How to Choose the Best One For Your Needs

Now I’ll let you in a little secret. Don’t start with your resume introduction. You’ll just get stuck. Start off with your work experience and leave that first section until last.

 

2. Get Started With a Software Engineer Work Experience Section

 

Your work experience section is the most important of all. Get it wrong, and it’s like a fatal exception error. It’ll abort your chances of success. Here’s how to get it right:

 

  • Use reverse-chronological order, your most recent job first.
  • Include the basic details of each post, your job title, company name and location, and dates of employment
  • Write up to six bullet points describing the job for each entry. Start them off with a resume power word to help make them pop. Make sure they’re targeted to the job requirements and write results-based statements, not a plain shopping list of duties.
  • Use the PAR or STAR method to structure your resume bullet points. Don’t be put off by those acronyms. They just mean problem or situation/task plus action and result. It’s how you explain how you’ve used your skills to solve problems and achieve results at work.
  • Quantify your achievements with numbers wherever possible. Talk about percentage increases or decreases, cost savings or profit increases, and even numbers of team members. In short, if there’s a metric, add a number.

 

Now let’s see how it works in practice:

 

Software Engineer Resume Sample: Work Experience

RIGHT

Lead Software Engineer

OysterTech Inc.

June 2016–Present

  • Led team of 5 junior software engineers undertaking the software development life cycle for 9 bespoke client projects.
  • Engineered modern cloud infrastructure to store millions of client data points with full consideration for modern infosec.
  • Spearheaded implementation of watertight Principle of Least Authority across 100% of software engineering and associated team members.
  • Slashed security breaches by an average of 81% for all clients.
  • Built innovative user account control (UAC) features into new products to exceed industry standards and achieve 100% compliance with best practices.
WRONG

Lead Software Engineer

OysterTech Inc.

June 2016–Present

  • Managed a team of junior software engineers. 
  • Upgraded client data storage to cloud-based system.
  • Worked independently and as a team member in a dynamic software development environment.
  • Led a number of security-related projects.

That’s the same candidate, but a completely different story regarding the impression their work experience section makes. The first is energetic, achievement-driven, and number-rich. The second is like expecting Windows 10 but getting a command prompt instead, it’s got basic functionality, but otherwise, it’s a boring disappointment.

Find out more about creating a powerful work experience section: Top Tips for a Job-Winning Resume Work Experience Section

When making a resume in our builder, drag & drop bullet points, skills, and auto-fill the boring stuff. Spell check? Check. Start building a professional resume template here for free.

 

When you’re done, Zety’s resume builder will score your resume and tell you exactly how to make it better.

 

3. Add Your Education

 

It’s just your education section; nobody really pays attention to it, right? Wrong. Recruiters still want to see you’ve got good qualifications for your software engineering resume. This is how to ensure your education section is just right:

 

 

Here are two examples, first from an experienced software engineer candidate:

 

Software Engineer Resume Examples: Education Section

RIGHT

Bachelor of Science in Software Engineering

University of Wisconsin-Madison

2013–2016

And here’s an example for a less experienced software developer candidate:

 

Software Developer Resume Template: Education

RIGHT

Bachelor of Science in Software Engineering

University of Oregon

Expected graduation date: 2022

  • Relevant coursework: Object-oriented Programming, Data Structures and Algorithms, Database Development
  • Extra-Curricular Activities: Member of university team for the worldwide SCORE contest for software engineering.

See more about writing an A-grade education section: How to List Your Education on a Resume

4. Include Software Engineer Skills Tailored to the Job

 

As with the rest of your resume, don’t be generic. Recruiters hate it. They want to see you have the skills needed for this job. Not just any old software development gig. So here’s how to write a software engineer resume skills section that’ll make you the answer to their prayers:

 

  • Read the job ad carefully and make a note of all the skills-related resume keywords you see. Now scan back over your education and work experience sections, note the skills shown there, and think of other relevant examples from your work history and training. 
  • Use that information to create a master list of your software engineering skills, see which of those match the job requirements, and choose 5–10 to include on your resume.
  • Don’t stop there, though. Check your work experience section again. Does it help to back up your skills? If not, consider a rewrite. You need it to strengthen and back up your expertise.
  • Remember to include a mix of soft and hard skills. Computer skills, IT skills, and programming languages are obvious choices. But don’t neglect soft skills (like interpersonal communication) over expected software developer skills. It’s well established that soft skills are often overlooked in the tech industry, so make sure you address that need.

 

Software Engineer Skills for Your Resume

 

Soft Skills

 

 

Hard Skills

 

 

Programming Languages

 

  • JavaScript
  • Python
  • C, C++
  • Java
  • R
  • Kotlin
  • PHP
  • Go
  • Solidity
  • SQL

Find out more about including skills on your resume: 99 Key Resume Skills: Best List of Examples

5. Add Extra Sections to Your Software Engineer Resume

 

Your skills section is the last of the “standard” resume sections. But if you want to get noticed, you need to give hiring managers a little something extra. 

 

Think of additional information on your resume as something like an Easter egg. It’s not strictly necessary to make the software function, but it’s a heck of a nice surprise for the user. And if you get your additional sections right, you’ll also give recruiters a pleasant surprise and more reason to interview you! 

 

 

Mid-Level Software Engineer Resume Examples: Extra Sections

RIGHT

Conferences

 

  • Keynote speaker at PyCon 2018 and 2019.
  • FOSDEM attendee, 2016 to 2020.

 

Volunteering

 

  • Volunteer tutor and mentor for regional high school programming club.

Find out more: What to Put on a Resume: Good Things to Include

6. Summarize the Best Parts into a Summary or Objective

 

Now that you’ve reached the end of your resume, it’s time to go back to the start. Your resume summary or objective is the introduction to your resume and should help hook the hiring manager from the outset.

 

A resume summary statement is for experienced candidates and describes relevant skills, experience, and professional accomplishments. A resume objective statement is for those just starting out and outlines your most relevant skills while stating your career goals. But you can use the same strategy to write both.

 

Here’s how to start your resume:

 

  • Read over what you’ve written in your resume already. There’s a hint in the name. Your resume summary or objective summarizes your selling points as a candidate.
  • Choose 2–3 of your best achievements and skills from your experience and skills sections.
  • Use this formula to construct your summary/objective:

 

Adjective + Job Title + Years of Experience + Achievements + Skills + What You Want to Do for the Employer

 

Software Engineer Resume Summary Example

RIGHT

Creative software engineer with 8+ years of experience. Eager to join Toggle Switch Inc. to help develop reliable products for e-commerce businesses. Previous accomplishments include increasing code efficiency of J & B’s payments portal by 60% and helping to boost client retention by 55%. Led a team honored with the 2018 Oregon Tech Trends Award for security in cloud computing. An empathetic team player and mentor and an innovative, creative thinker.

WRONG

Software engineer with 8+ years experience, programming skills include ASP.NET, C++, C#, Java, JavaScript, Python, and PHP. Looking to work as a lead software engineer.

That’s the same candidate, yet the difference is night and day. The first example is powerful, energetic, and features stand-out achievements to impress the hiring manager. The second will make them move straight on to the next software engineer resume in a pile.

 

Resume Objective for Software Developer Example

RIGHT

Passionate software engineering graduate with a hands-on, high-energy approach, well-developed skills in Agile methodology, and an unapologetically user-focused philosophy. Have developed several android and web apps, including a voice-controlled IOT home automation system using Google Assistant and Raspberry Pi.

WRONG

Seeking work as a software developer to complement my computer science degree. Familiar with common programming languages. Hard-working and reliable.

The first example leaps off the page. Even without much experience, the candidate really shines as a solid prospect. It’s eager and features skills that are very much in demand. The global market for IoT is set to reach $1.6 trillion within the next four years.

 

The second is just plain lazy; there’s no fizz, nothing compelling at all. That could describe absolutely any recent computer science graduate. And remember, above all else, you need to stand out as the best candidate from the outset.

More experienced candidates could also try writing a summary of qualifications. Find out how to do it here: 20+ Summary of Qualifications Examples for Your Resume

7. Remember to Write a Software Engineer Cover Letter

 

I’ll be honest with you. Some employers want to see cover letters, and some don’t. Most surveys of employers put the split at 50/50, so it’s always better to write one and cover your bases. If you come across an employer demanding one, it might just be the deciding factor. 

 

Here’s a quick guide on what to include in a cover letter:

 

  • A cover letter complements and enhances your resume. It shouldn’t just be a rehash of what you’ve already written. Include additional information about your achievements to help sell you as a potential employee.
  • Make sure you have a cover letter that’s short and to the point. The ideal cover letter length is no more than one page at most.
  • Incorporate a hook into your cover letter opening. Grab the hiring manager’s attention and keep them reading with one of your best and most compelling professional achievements.
  • Use the middle of your cover letter to add even more proof of your abilities.
  • And in your cover letter ending, say thank you and include a call to action. Ask for the chance to discuss the role further and throw in one last tidbit about what you can offer, so they can’t help but want to get in touch. 

See more detailed guides here: Software Engineer Cover Letter Examples and Software Developer Cover Letter Examples 

Plus, a great cover letter that matches your resume will give you an advantage over other candidates. You can write it in our cover letter builder here. Here's what it may look like:

 

See more cover letter templates and start writing.

 

Key Takeaway

 

Here’s your tl;dr step-by-step cheat sheet:

 

  • Set up the right resume layout to maximize readability.
  • Start with your work experience section, focusing on achievements, not just duties.
  • Get your education section right, adding extra details if you lack experience.
  • Compile a tailored skills section with a mix of skill types.
  • Add relevant extra sections.
  • Finish where your resume begins with a snappy summary or objective.
  • Throw in a well-written cover letter.

 

Thanks for reading. You’re ready to write the best software engineer resume. Now it’s your turn to comment.

 

  • What are the biggest challenges of writing a software engineering resume? 
  • What part is hardest to write? 
  • Would this guide help you compile a software developer resume, too?

 

Let me know. Let’s get the discussion started.

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Jacques Buffett, CPRW
Jacques, a Certified Professional Résumé Writer (CPRW), is a career expert who has published almost 200 articles on Zety. His insights and advice have been published by LinkedIn, Forbes, MSN, Yahoo!, Business Insider, AOL, U.S. News, and other top news outlets. He also has extensive professional experience in people management and recruitment.

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