With so many different roles coming under the banner of software engineer, it’s hard to know where to start when it comes to writing your résumé. What do you include? What is the best type of layout? Do I need a skills section?
This article will guide you through a range of software engineer résumé examples with a review of each, so you can see which is most effective to help you land an interview and the job.
Entry-level software engineer
This résumé has a simple design and comes across as professional and clear. A design like this is always a good, safe bet. As this person has little experience — apart from internships — their education is placed above experience, which works really well. Usually, this is common if a person is still, or was recently, studying, but it’s also effective if a person has little or different experience in the field they are entering, such as in this case.
As there isn’t a great deal of experience, having a prominent skills section and adding something additional, like language skills, works well.
Mid-level software engineer
The design of this résumé is in two columns, which can be a good way of splitting up sections, providing sections don’t run onto the other side of the column and make things confusing. In this case, it works well, with their education and courses on one side and skills and experience on the other.
Senior software engineer
This résumé uses white space effectively, making it easy to read, whilst also adding some detail with a subtle background pattern. The order of the résumé is easy to follow with each section in the order you would expect.
There are lots of keywords throughout each section, and all the relevant technical skills and programs are highlighted. There is a good mix of explaining role responsibilities and measurable achievements.
This résumé is very artistic with its use of color and a photo, but it is still very clean, clear and professional. A great blend. As with the other artistic/design-led résumés, be sure you don’t overdo it. Make sure to check the guidelines around photos if you are applying in the US or UK, as some companies prefer résumés without photographs.
This template starts with a strong profile outlining relevant skills and experience, before leading into experience, followed by qualifications. This is the perfect résumé format for a person with this level of experience, and the skills and language section on the left are clear and easy to read.
This résumé has a headline which makes it clear from the start what the person’s intentions are. He is a back-end developer, and you know the résumé will be in line with that title. His profile is fitting with this too, using appropriate keywords and clearly outlining his relevant skills, which will be useful if the company uses an ATS screening service.
The design of the résumé is professional, yet it injects some fun and personality into the mix. The colors, although standard résumé colors, stand out with the shapes in the background, making it eye-catching.
Here you have a step away from the conventional style resume. It is very design-led, using symbols, graphs and timelines, along with bright colors. This will definitely appeal to some recruiters, but make sure to tailor your résumé for each application, as some will prefer a simple and professional design. At a glance, a recruiter needs to find all the information they need easily or the résumé will be rejected.
There is no detail on this CV about work experience, although it’s clear from the diagram what positions she has held. It is usual to include some achievements and details of each role held. Too little text leaves very little room for essential keywords.
This résumé is very visual. This is eye-catching and allows for a unique way to list skills. However, résumés in this style aren’t always popular amongst recruiters, so be sure that the design is fit for purpose.
The work experience section of this résumé uses lots of percentages and figures, which is great for showing results. Having measurable results in there paints a better picture of an achievement. For example, ‘Increased profits by 24% by writing scripts to automate security updates’ is so much more effective than ‘Increased profits by writing scripts to automate security updates’, which gives little detail.
Full stack engineer
A design like this is a good bet if you have a bit more experience and want to portray senior-level expertize. The black, white and gray work well, as does the contrast between the whole résumé and the black header banner.
The profile is a good blend between demonstrating relevant technical skills and also transferable soft skills, such as problem solving and an eye for detail. This gives a fuller view of the person than just focusing on hard skills.
This is a traditional, chronological résumé/CV, giving a professional vibe. The grey text is very light, so if you were to use this résumé template, it might be worth making the gray darker so that it’s easier to read. The design is clear, the sections are well defined, and it’s easy to follow. You know exactly where you are with a résumé like this, and it is very effective.
The profile is excellent. It gives a clear picture of who the person is, his main skills and experience, and a personal note about his motivations. This is a great lead in to the rest of the CV.
This résumé/CV is aimed at a career change and the design supports this fully. Starting with the profile section, the owner of this résumé makes it clear that he is an IT engineer, looking to move into software engineering. He then goes on to justify this by detailing his relevant, transferable skills.
Following on directly from the profile, before the experience section, is a solid skills section. This is a great move for a career change résumé, because it highlights that he has the necessary skills for the change, even if his professional experience doesn’t spell this out. Putting his education before his experience adds to this further, as his degree is relevant to this potential career change.
Résumés are very subjective. Not everyone is going to have the same opinion on what they like or don’t like, and you can’t predict what a recruiter will be looking for. However, there are certain things that are essential to the success of a résumé/CV, whoever is reading it, and so it is important to focus on these.
Making sure you have the right keywords is essential for both screening software and any human screening your application. They will be checking to make sure you meet the essential criteria, so mention your technical knowledge, programs and hard skills, and check the job description to find out exactly what you’re being scored on.
Making sure you include your achievements in each role is vital. Listing a job without any detail won’t do you any favors. Make sure you make it clear what you have accomplished, as well as your general responsibilities.
Did you find these examples helpful? Make sure to let us know in the comments and share this with your friends. You never know who might find it useful!
This is an updated version of an article originally published on 23 February 2020.