Whether you’re just entering the field of software engineering or you have some experience already, your resume is very important when it comes to effectively conveying your strengths and getting an interview. The best resume format for this profession will make your skills stand out to employers.
The best resume format Is Usually Chronological
In most cases, it’s preferable to use a reverse-chronological resume format because it answers most of the questions an employer will have about your work history and career accomplishments. As a software engineer, you should use this format unless you have recently graduated from college and don’t have enough work history to create a good “Relevant Experience” section. The reverse-chronological format is easy to understand and simply lists past employers in chronological sequence, beginning with the most recent and working in reverse order.
Your main goal is to show your employer how you’ve developed throughout your career as a software engineer. List your accomplishments at every position you’ve held. Alternatively, you can use a functional resume format to separate your accomplishments from your work history, but you should still include a list of your past employers along with the dates of your employment.
The Sections to Include in a Software Engineer’s Resume
When you’re on the lookout for a software engineering job, the most important skills you have to offer an employer are your programming and software design skills. Include these in a convenient “Skills” section that can be optimized for keyword searches in a resume database. While there are no particular keywords that employers use more than others, try to imagine what an employer will search for when looking for candidates. You may use an “Areas of Expertise” instead of a skills section if you prefer. You can also skip the conventional “Objective” section on your resume and use the more concise and relevant “Summary” section instead. The “Summary” should be the first section on your resume and should simply contain about four to six lines highlighting your strongest qualifications, whether they are experiential, educational, or skill-related. Write your summary statement in paragraph format as opposed to bullets. The best resume format for this profession should also include a brief “Contact Information” section as well as an “Education” section, which can mention any relevant projects or coursework you’ve done. Consider creating additional sections for professional membership and affiliations, licenses and certifications and accomplishments and awards.
More Advice for Choosing the Best Resume Format
Some situations call for a different approach. The best resume format often depends on how you’re applying for a job. As a software engineer, it’s a good idea to have a website with an HTML version of your resume for employers to look at along with links to any relevant projects you can show them. You should also have a plain-text version of your resume to paste directly into emails so that an employer can simply copy and paste it into a database without opening an attachment. Keep your resume flexible so that you can easily edit it and target a particular employer. You can also send a nicely formatted PDF file as an email attachment while including a plain-text version in the email body.
As employers get used to seeing certain types of resumes, the best resume format tends to change. Stay ahead of the curve by reworking your document as necessary.
You can find additional in-depth tips along with examples at LiveCareer.