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Hackernoon logo7 Ways To Make Your Software Engineering Resume Stand Out by@peter-yang

7 Ways To Make Your Software Engineering Resume Stand Out

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@peter-yangPeter Yang

CEO @ ResumeGo | Self-taught Programmer

Software engineering is an in-demand skill with lots of job opportunities. As more people enter the field, tempted by big salaries and the promise of job security, it is increasingly important to make sure that your resume stands out for those top-tier jobs. Here are a few tweaks you can make to your resume so that it ends up at the top of every hiring manager’s pile.

1. Learn how to speak “machine”

Applicant Tracking Systems (ATS) are being used more across industries, but tech was, no surprise, an early adopter. These systems use AI to filter applicants before a human being even looks at their materials. This means that no matter how strong your background is if your resume can’t make it past this step, you won’t even be considered for jobs.

If you just updated your resume in a fancy template thinking that you’d be impressing future bosses, think again – often ATS can’t read templates or even pick up on information in headers and footers! It’s better to have a clear, readable resume rather than something that looks posh but can’t be scanned and therefore doesn’t get you to the next step in landing your dream job.

2. Show your work

Nothing is going to showcase your skills better than your past work. Give potential new bosses a chance to see what you can do by providing links to your GitHub or StackOverflow profile in your resume, as part of the name/address block at the top of your resume. (Reminder: don’t put in the header since ATS can’t read that!)

Another bonus from having these profiles is that it may attract bosses to come to you instead of the other way around. That gives you more of an upper hand as you discuss roles and negotiate salaries and benefits.

3. Seek professional help

You’re into coding, not writing! If you know writing just isn’t your thing, don’t shoot yourself in the foot and force yourself to produce a resume that you know will be mediocre at best. As the owner of a resume writing service, it’s sort of my obligation to recommend seeking professional resume help if you aren’t confident in your writing abilities. If you aren’t sure how to go about finding the right resume service for you, here’s a CNBC article I wrote awhile back detailing what to look out for.

4. Give the people what they want

Every time you submit a job application, you should adjust your resume slightly to best position yourself for the position in question. For software engineering, this means making sure that you are highlighting that you have experience with the programming languages or technical skills that are listed in the job description.

Consider adding a section on “Expertise” or “Core Competencies” to the top of your resume to promote these skills, and then editing for each resume to make sure that the specific skills that they are looking for at the top. This section will also ensure that you get the keywords for which ATS will be searching. So, make it easy for people and machines to select you as a qualified candidate!

5. Copy the best

Like anything else in life, if you need help with something – the internet is at your service. There are plenty of software engineer resume examples online that you can gain inspiration from as you write your resume. By going through and reading samples of how software engineering resumes should look like, you gain a better understanding of what ultimately makes a strong resume. Learn from these samples and mimic the way they are formatted to get the best results.

6. Cross your T’s and dot your I’s

Software engineering requires attention to detail. Demonstrate that you have that skill by closely proofreading your resume before you submit it. And then after you’ve reviewed it, ask someone else to take a look. When job markets are competitive, hiring managers can pass on a candidate for the tiniest of details – don’t let that happen to you!

You should consider Grammarly or other online tools to make sure that your spelling is correct and your sentence structure makes sense. Even if the job itself doesn’t require robust reading and writing skills, a polished resume will prove that you are professional and qualified.

7. Skills to pay the bills

For some industries, employers are looking for good team members and cultural fit. Software engineering, however, is more focused on your hard skills. While it won’t work against you if you work well with others, the person reviewing your resume is not going to prioritize that.

If you have used your soft skills to differentiate yourself in the past, save the demonstration of those skills for the interview. Once the hiring manager has confirmed that you have the technical skills they need, they can focus on how you will benefit the team in a larger sense.


Even if you are a software engineering whiz, you will need a resume to showcase your expertise. By following these tips, you can position yourself to keep climbing up that corporate ladder and have a career that you love.


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