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What to Include in a Computer Science Resume

What to incorporate into your resume depends generally upon the training and previous experience you have available to list. If youre just out of college, you'll undoubtedly need to concentrate on showcasing your coursework and any temporary jobs, training, or internships. However, if youre applying for a senior or administrative computer science position, you'll probably need to highlight more of your administrative and group initiative experience. Although theres not a perfect formula for crafting a resume, as you can see from the computer science resume samples provided, there are a couple of fundamentals that you ought to incorporate:
  • Summary
  • Education
  • Work Experience
  • Skills

    As the computer science resume samples indicate, there are two basic ways to organize a resume: the chronological and functional formats. The chronological configuration records work history, training, education, and everything else in reverse chronological order from the most recent to the experience farthest in the past.

    The functional arrangement, though, is not necessarily ordered by date. Instead, this format is focused on highlighting your most important and applicable qualities as they relate to the position youre applying for.

    For the most part, the chronological arrangement is the most widely used one, and people who use this format tend to be individuals who specifically followed a traditional career path.

    On the other hand, individuals for whom the functional arrangement may be most fitting are those who didn't necessarily set out pursuing a career in the industry, but who nonetheless have the experience and capabilities to satisfy the occupations obligations. The functional resume format is more adaptable than the chronological one since you can explain how experiences and accomplishments qualify you for the position youre seeking.

How to Write the Computer Science Resume Summary Statement

The summary statement sums up the position that you're applying for and why you are the most ideally equipped candidate for the occupation.

To write this, find out about the organization's main goal and objectives, and after that, think about how you will utilize your aptitudes and capabilities to assist the company with meeting its objectives. This not only helps you make a connection with the employers need, but it also serves as a testament to your work ethic by showing that you took the extra time to research the company.

Studied and dignified computer science professor with established following and thorough discipline in the practice of programming looking for new academic opportunities. Have been involved in the development and launch of pioneering research and interdisciplinary programs for students.

Creative Image Process Engineer with a strong analytical bent and a wide knowledge of processing algorithms and techniques. Extremely skilled in interpolation, sequencing, filtering, and image editing. Highly educated with both a Bachelor's degree in Engineering as well as a Master's degree in Engineering with a graduate emphasis on intelligent systems.

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How to Write the Computer Science Education Section

The education section is the place where you list all the formal instruction you've gotten that qualifies you for the position youre applying for. In the event that you got a computer science degree, list the kind of degree obtained, the date it was obtained and where you obtained it from.

If you didn't get your degree in computer science, list the degree that you did get in addition to any courses you took that were applicable to computer science and that help qualify you for the position.

Also, if its only been a few years since your graduation, you may list any extracurricular activities or scholarly accomplishments you've received;however,once you've gotten two or three years of work experience to list, drop the additional school-related accomplishments.

List your education by level with the highest level coming first followed by the lower levels. For instance, list a Masters degree first followed by a Bachelors degree and so on. Incorporate any certifications, licensures and expert affiliations in this section too.

How to Write the Computer Science Work Experience Section

The way in which you tackle the work experience section will largely depend on the resume format you choose to use. In any case though, when mentioning a job, be sure to list the job title, the employer name, and the dates of work.

If youre using the chronological resume arrangement, then make sure you list all work experience in descending order from the most recent positions to the earliest ones. Then, using bullet points, let the employer know how your job duties benefited the company by telling what they accomplished or how they helped the company reach its goals.

In case you're utilizing the functional arrangement, youll rather want to explain your standout achievements and previous job duties in an accomplishments section. If you dont have much experience thats specific to the computer science industry, concentrate on persuading the employer of the transferrable abilities youve gained that would empower you to fulfill the obligations required of the position you're applying for.

Owing to the amount of detail youll put in the accomplishments section, the actual work experience section in the functional format will be more of a simple list of the past positions you held (theres no need to go into detail about what you did).

Action Verbs to Include in Your Computer Science Work Experience Section

When you're applying for a computer science position, demonstrate that you know the terminology connected with the field. Good computer science resume samples incorporate some of the following action verbs throughout their copy:
  • Conceptualize
  • Compute
  • Visualize
  • Design
  • Perform
  • Create
  • Program
  • Calculate
  • Process
  • Run
  • Handle
  • Envisage
  • Contemplate
  • Corroborate
  • Collaborate
  • Input
  • Enter
  • Repair

How to Write the Computer Science Skills Section

List any specific computer science skills you possess as well as other abilities that might be useful to the job position in question. List a blend of both hard and soft skills, as good computer science resume samples do.

Types of soft skills needed in the computer science industry include critical thinking skills, mathematical aptitudes, and technology proficiency. Examples of the types of hard skills needed include familiarity with any specific programming languages, computer systems, software, and so on.

Its always a good idea to refer to the job description when looking for skills to list. Note any skills that the company states its looking for in employers, and be sure to list them in your resumes skills section if you possess them..
TIP: Need a cover letter? Click here to view our Computer Science cover letters.

Should I Include References in my Computer Science Resume

While some people still advocate the inclusionof references in resumes, the general consensus in the industry nowadays seems to be that its best not to include them unless the hiring call specifically provides you with instructions to do so.

The exception to this is if the person youre wanting to list is a recognized expert in the industry. For example, if youre a member of a computer science association, it may be reasonable to list the affiliation's president as a source of testament to your character and moral standing. Make sure that you obtain your references permission before listing the person, though.

Computer Science Resume Fails: Mistakes to Avoid

While there is no right approach to drafting a resume, there are certainly certain mistakes that you should never make. Some of the types of mistakes you should avoid making and that you wont find in good computer science resume samples include the following:
  • Including incorrect or outdated information. Make sure that all the information in your resume is correct from the contact information to the dates of your employment. If hiring agents call your previous employers and receive differing dates of employment than you have written in your resume, then your credibility is called into question. Likewise, if you make an error in your contact information, the hiring manager might not be able to get in contact with you. Additionally, dont include unnecessary and outdated information like fax numbers. Because fax isnt a primary line of communication between prospective employees and hiring managers, theres no need to include it on your resume.
  • Having a messy layout or formatting. The aesthetic appearance of your resume is important. A resume that flows well and naturally leads the eye down the page will be received much better than one that leads the eye all over the document with brightly colored fonts, wild font styles, and flashy graphics. Your resume should be a professional, clean document that concisely sums up all the pertinent information the employer needs to know about you. Additionally, it should only be a couple pages at most in length since employers dont have time to read your entire lifes history.
  • Spelling and grammar issues. All spelling and grammar throughout your resume should be perfect. An unpolished resume that has errors in it looks unprofessional and amateurish as if you didnt take the time to proofread and edit the document. While you can rely on your computers spelling and grammar checker for catching some mistakes, keep in mind that such software doesnt always catch all mistakes, so you should still proofread the document with a human eye.
  • Personal information. Personal information like your social networking profiles and personal websites dont belong on your resume unless they are professional in nature and are centered around furthering your career, which is why you generally won't see them on good computer science resume samples. Additionally, dont include information about your hobbies or interests unless they are in some indicative of your work ethic or career goals.

Job Prospects in the Computer Science Industry

    Its projected that the job prospects for the computer science industry will grow by 15% from 2012 to 2022. This is faster than the average for all occupations, and part of the reason for this increase in job growth is due to the increasing integration of technology in the workforce. Although job availability can fluctuate from location to location and depend upon the specific computer science position youre seeking, applicants with higher educational levels and demonstrated technology skills will typically experience more job opportunities than other applicants.
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