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Here's What's Missing From Your Software Engineer Resume

Last updated on: 
September 6, 2023
Utkarsh Sahu
The fast well prepared banner
About The Author!
Utkarsh Sahu
Utkarsh Sahu
Director Category Management at Interview Kickstart. With a toolbox of P&L expertise, inventive innovations, marketing magic, and strategic relationships, he is an ambitious management consultant having a passion for promoting business growth.

The first impression is important — which is why your resume must be excellent to pass the first stage of the hiring process. The stakes are even higher for software engineer resumes as the competition is fierce.

The first person to review your resume these days isn't even a person but rather a piece of software known as the Applicant Tracking System (ATS). Many applicants are rejected or chosen based on keyword matching. So to make the cut, your software engineer resume should not only be recruiter-friendly but also ATS-friendly.

In this article, we'll look at some interesting details you must include on your software engineer resume to make it stand out.

If you’re a software engineer, coding engineer, software developer, engineering manager, or tech lead preparing for tech interviews, check out our technical interview checklist, interview questions page, and salary negotiation e-book to get interview-ready! 

Having trained over 13,500 tech professionals, we know what it takes to crack the most challenging  interviews. Since 2014, Interview Kickstart alums have landed lucrative offers from FAANG and Tier-1 tech companies, with an average salary hike of 53% in 2021. The highest-ever offer received by an IK alum is a whopping $1.267 million!

At IK, you get the unique opportunity to learn from expert instructors, who are hiring managers and tech leads at Google, Facebook, Apple, and other top Silicon Valley tech companies. Our reviews will tell you how we’ve shaped the careers of thousands of professionals aspiring to take their careers to new heights. 

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A few things may be missing from your software engineer resume. Here's what we'll be covering in this article to help you update your software engineer resume, so you can start applying as soon as possible.

How to Make Your Software Engineer Resume ATS-Friendly

It can be time-consuming to create a  software engineering resume that is ATS-friendly, HR-friendly, and technical hiring manager-friendly. We’ve looked at several software engineer resume examples to give you some tips on making an ATS-friendly resume.

  • If you're a fresher, your resume should be one page long; if you're an experienced software engineer, it should be two pages long.
  • Don’t write long paragraphs, as it makes going over the resume a tedious task.
  • Keep your bullet points crisp but ensure that they’re complete ideas.
  • Be consistent with your tenses, and don’t keep changing them.
  • Try not to use pronouns such as ‘I’ or ‘me.’
  • Go over your resume as many times as you can — don’t make spelling mistakes.
  • Use appropriate headings, titles, and formatting. Be consistent with it.

We understand how difficult it can be to fit all your educational qualifications and work experiences into one page, but you’ll need to do it. One way to go is to break those paragraphs into singular ideas so that they take up less space and are more readable. By doing this, you’ll be making your resume more reader-friendly. 

Here are some more Tips to Create an ATS-friendly Resume.

What’s Missing From Your Software Engineer Resume

To simplify the process, we’ve put together all the important details that need to be in your software engineer resume.

Work Experience

This is the most crucial part of your software engineer resume. Depending upon where you’re in your career, you’ll need to carefully map out your resume to highlight your achievements and skills.

Recruiters spend most of their time going over this section as it’s where they decide whether they’ll be going ahead with your application or not. So ensure that you include these two things: your specific contribution to the project and the effect you had on the overall project.

What’s Missing?

You aren’t quantifying the work that you’ve done in the past. Some examples of how this can be done in your software developer resume under the work experience section:

  • Decreased downtime by x%
  • Increased application speed by x%
  • Fixed an error that reduced customer complaints by x%

Here’s how it can be done:


Based on the numerous software engineer resume examples we've reviewed, you'll need to include and omit certain information depending on whether you're applying for an entry-level position or something more senior.

First and foremost, regardless of job role, the following items must be included:

  • The school you went to
  • The year you graduated
  • Add any minor or specific specializations you have

Now, depending upon where you are in your career, you’ll have to list your qualifications and work experience. For instance, if you’re a fresher who’s just starting out, you’ll need to shed light on your education. 

On the other hand, if you’re applying for a mid-senior level position, your work experience will be more important than your GPA. And while we’re on that subject, we suggest not including your GPA if it’s less than 3.2 in your software engineer resume. 

What’s Missing?

In several job descriptions, there are certain keywords mentioned that need to be a part of your education section. So you can’t just list your education without giving it the required thought. An example of how you can include the required keywords:


After the work experience, this is a significant part of your software engineer resume. Recruiters scan resumes for skills they’re looking for. So you should carefully go over the job description and highlight the skills critical to the role in your resume.

What’s Missing?

Instead of focusing more on the hard skills (technical skills), engineers often end up focusing on the soft skills. This doesn’t work. Ensure a good mix of technical and soft skills.

At the same time, adding skills that you don’t have will not work either because you will get grilled during the interview. The idea is to highlight the essential skills for the role and leave out things that might not be relevant.

A software engineer resume template you can follow to write the skills section of your resume is:

Software Engineer Resume Summary

Every piece of information you put on your resume must be valuable; the idea is to keep it short and to the point.

If you include a summary, add a customized summary for every role you apply for. When creating your software engineer resume, remember that the hiring manager will not look at it for more than six seconds, so you need to make each word count. 

What’s Missing?

Don’t make it generic. Include keywords and quantifiable achievements in your resume summary. Since this part goes right at the beginning, you need to convince them to hire you from the get-go. Also, though the section appears at the top of your resume, you can delay writing it; update your entire resume, and come back to the summary at the end. This way, you will have all the information in front of you, and you can easily pick the highlights and summarize it.

A good example of a well-written software engineer resume summary from the software engineer resume examples is:

Tips for Writing a Software Engineer Resume

Here are some important tips you need to remember when writing your software engineer resume:

  1. Your software developer resume should only include the skills that are relevant to the role you are applying for. Make sure to explain how you utilized these skills in the past to make an impact.
  2. Tailoring your resume according to each job you apply for can make all the difference since you’ll include all the relevant keywords and skills. 
  3. Try to avoid using common words such as “made,” “worked,” or “changes.” Instead, use confident words such as “determined,” “conceptualized,” and “formulated.”
  4. When structuring your work experience, try to go in this order: Position Name, Company Name, Dates, Responsibilities, and Achievements.
  5. If you do include a resume summary in your software developer resume, keep it 2-4 lines long and make sure that it includes your professional experiences and achievements.

The bottom line is, as you work on your software engineer resume, try including only the things that need to be there. No one has the time to read long paragraphs and endless pages, so be as effective as you can be using just one page. 

To understand how to structure your resume better and include the necessary skills, read How to List Skills on Your Software Engineer Resume.

FAQs on Software Engineer Resume

Q1. What needs to be there in your software engineer resume?

The four elements that need to be included in your software engineer resume are — work experience, education, skills, and contact information. 

Q2. How to write a software engineer resume if you have no experience?

When starting as a fresher, you can focus more on your educational qualifications and any extra courses that you might have done to develop your skills. You’ll need to convince the recruiters that you are more than qualified for the job, even if you don’t have experience. So concentrate on highlighting your skills.

Q3. How many pages long should a software engineer resume be?

The answer is a loud and clear — one. Your resume should not be more than one page long because recruiters spend not more than 6 seconds on an application. So make it count and work on building a good software developer resume.

Q4. How to include technical skills in your software engineer resume?

Your technical skills need to be highlighted and placed below the introduction and above your work experience in your software developer resume. Keep it bulleted, crisp, and concise. 

Q5. How to write a good objective for your software engineer resume?

The most effective objectives are the ones that are written according to the different job roles you’re applying for. When creating your software developer resume, you’ll need to clearly specify how your skills and experience are relevant to the job.

Get Ready for Your Next Tech Interview 

If you’re looking for guidance on how to create a software engineer resume, how to apply for the right roles, and the best strategy to prepare for tech interviews, sign up for our free webinar.

As pioneers in the field of technical interview prep, we have trained thousands of software engineers to crack the most challenging tech interviews and land jobs at their dream companies, such as Google, Facebook, Apple, Netflix, Amazon, and more!

Sign up now!

Posted on 
February 9, 2022

Utkarsh Sahu

Director, Category Management @ Interview Kickstart || IIM Bangalore || NITW.

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