How to Make a Good Software Engineer Resume

FT Contributor
A software engineer working at his desk.
Reading Time: 4 minutes

If you’re seeking a career as a software engineer, some of the most common myths about the industry and position may be enough to scare you away. It’s common to hear that your technical skills are the only thing that’ll make or break your career. Another popular myth about snagging a job as a software engineer is that you must have a degree in computer science to be offered a chance at a role in the industry.

Showing off your technical skills, experience, and education is important when trying to land a software engineer job. However, even if you don’t have extensive experience or education, you may still be considered for a software engineer position if you create a great resume. By following the best practices for your resume, you can stand out from the crowd and impress recruiters, regardless of your past experience or education.

How to Organize a Software Engineer Resume

There are many different ways to design your resume so you can catch the attention of a recruiter or hiring manager. However, as an aspiring software engineer, there are some important elements and sections that you should generally include in your resume, such as the basic computer skills you’ve mastered.

By sticking with a proper format, you’ll include certain keywords that can help you get past applicant tracking systems frequently used by potential employers.


Your resume header provides important contact information and should include your:

  • Full name.
  • Address.
  • Phone number.
  • Email address.

If you have your own website, include it in your header as well. Use a format that catches the attention of the reader but be sure your font and design are easy to read.


When creating an introduction, you can choose one of the three following approaches:

  • A career objective: Use this space to summarize your career goals, such as moving into a management position.
  • A qualifications summary: Relate the qualifications you have to the specific position you’re applying for in order to show how your skills make you a good fit for the role.
  • A professional profile: If you choose this approach, briefly review your past professional experiences and relate them to the position, summarizing what you learned during your career.

If you have extensive experience in the field, a qualifications summary or professional profile may be your best approach. However, if you don’t have much experience to highlight, use a career objective to show your ambition and dedication to the industry.


The skills you list in your resume depend on your level of experience. If you’ve learned skills in school or through past work experience, you’ll have hard skills to list, such as:

  • C++.
  • Java.
  • Writing code.
  • Troubleshooting software bugs.

If you don’t have a lot of experience in the software engineering field, you may need to emphasize your soft skills, or traits and skills you’ve adapted that could benefit you in the position. When applying for a software engineer position, impressive soft skills may include the following:

  • Communication.
  • Teamwork.
  • Problem-solving.
  • Quick learning.


To become a software engineer, you generally need a bachelor’s degree in computer science or a technology-related field. The education section of your resume should include information on your degree, as well as any specific classes or experiences that relate to the software engineering position. Include your education details in the following order:

  • Degree and major.
  • Name of the school.
  • Year of graduation.
  • Classes or experience that relates to the position.


In the experience section of your resume, include all jobs you’ve held in the past and be sure to reference how they relate to the skills needed in a software engineer position. If you don’t have work experience, use this area to include information on volunteer positions you’ve held or internships you’ve completed. Describe your duties and responsibilities using action words to show your motivation and keep the reader engaged.


It’s common to list about three references on your resume, which can be personal or professional. Your personal references may be family friends, neighbors, or relatives that can provide information on your character and personality traits. Professional references may be past co-workers, supervisors, or professors. These references can offer insight into your work ethic, experiences, and skill level.

Software Engineer Resume Writing Tips

When writing your software engineer resume, it’s important to:

  • Tailor your resume to the position: Consider the skills and duties of the position and ensure your resume concludes that you’d be a good fit for the role due to your experience and personality traits.
  • Showcase your technology skills: Software and computer skills are the most important skills to highlight on your software engineering resume so be sure these are thoroughly listed.
  • Maintain a congruent format: Show off your computer skills by using an interesting style and font, but be sure this format is congruent throughout the document and your information is easy to read.

Sample Software Engineer Resume

John Smith
123 Apple Street
Calabasas, CA 00234
[email protected]


To use my software knowledge and communication skills to help a team engineer innovative new systems and programs that solve problems and expand the industry.


  • Microsoft Suite.
  • C++.
  • Java.
  • Linux.
  • WordPress.


Retail sales, Computer World, 2018 to present.

  • Help customers choose software to fit their needs.
  • Order inventory.
  • Research the latest software.
  • Educate new employees on software functions.

Internship, AAA Technology firm, 2016 to 2017.

  • Assist software engineers in writing code.
  • Help with research on software engineering projects.
  • Schedule and organize team meetings.


Bachelor of Science in Information Technology, Maryville University, 2014.


Mary Little, Sales Manager at Computer World.
[email protected]

Joseph Tuttle, Team lead at AAA Technology firm.
678.224.6779 ext. 203
[email protected]

Gene Four, professor at Maryville University.
[email protected]

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