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7 Resume Building Tips to Create a Stellar Software Engineer Resume

Last updated on: 
September 6, 2023
Swaminathan Iyer
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About The Author!
Swaminathan Iyer
Swaminathan Iyer
Product Manager at Interview Kickstart. The intriguing mind brainstorming ideas day and night for the creation of projects from simple “Hello World” to building strategies and frameworks.

6 seconds — that’s all the time your recruiter spends on a software engineer resume. 

If you don’t already know why having a good software engineer resume is important, let us break it down for you — software engineering is one of the most competitive job markets in the world today. The competition is only set to intensify further in the coming years. The U.S. Bureau of Labour Statistics estimates a 22% growth in software engineering jobs from 2019 to 2030. 

So, without a strong resume game, you can be sure that your resume will get lost in the pile of applications received by recruiters, especially at FAANG.

But do not fret! In this article, we are bringing you the Top 7 Tips to help you ensure your software engineer resume is a step above the rest. Here they are:

  1. Maintain a Master Resume
  2. Sync Your Resume With Your LinkedIn Profile and Link to Online Social Profiles 
  3. Keep It Relevant and Updated
  4. Reference or Research Software Engineer Resumes
  5. Review Your Resume for Errors, Accuracy, Completeness
  6. Use a Professional File Name
  7. Avoid These Common Mistakes

1. Maintain a Master Resume

A master version of your resume is a resume that contains all information about your career and professional profile. Unlike the resume you submit on a job application, your master resume is generalized and detailed. It can run into many pages and is not customized to meet a specific job requirement. 

It contains information on:

All job experiences you have held, including:

  • Volunteer work and internships
  • All your projects
  • A list of all your skills
  • Training and certifications
  • Educational details

All sections of a resume, including:

  • Hobbies
  • Interests
  • Extracurricular activities
  • Languages you speak
  • Awards and achievements
  • Additional information: Publications, conferences,
    affiliations, references, and endorsements

Organizing information to create a new resume for every job you apply for can be time-consuming and challenging. A master resume helps you identify relevant information for a particular job to create a customized resume. 

2. Sync Your Resume With Your LinkedIn Profile and Link to Online Social Profiles 

Most recruiters search for suitable candidates for a job posting on LinkedIn. Ensure your resume is in sync with your LinkedIn profile. You can also add more details to your LinkedIn profile to give recruiters additional insights into your capabilities.

If you’re a thought leader on social media profiles such as Twitter, Reddit, or other tech communities, providing a link to these sites will allow recruiters to get a deeper understanding of your knowledge and capabilities, which will give a boost to your resume.

Note: Don’t underestimate the power LinkedIn can have to help you land a FAANG interview. 

3. Keep It Relevant and Updated

To ensure your resume is optimized to appear in a recruiter’s search results and matches new job requirements, revisit it regularly to ensure it is up to date with your latest experience and skills. 

Ensure it doesn’t contain information that has become outdated and is relevant to the present-day software engineering job requirements, especially technologies and skills listed.

Want to learn about the most in-demand tech skills? Read this article to find out.

4. Reference or Research Software Engineer Resumes

Look at resumes or LinkedIn work profiles of software engineers at FAANG companies to understand how to list experience and skills for a particular role. 

You can reference profiles of engineers in your target role and target company. For example, you can search for:

  • Google Software Engineer Resume LinkedIn
  • Facebook Software Engineer Resume LinkedIn
  • Netflix Software Engineer Resume 

Don’t copy resumes, though, as technology and job requirements keep changing. Also, companies differ in their descriptions of software engineers based on job levels. For example, an Apple software engineer resume will differ from an Amazon software engineer resume. Always tailor your resume to suit your skills and experience in line with the prospective company and role.

You can also search for reference resumes by programming language or skill. For example:

  • Python Software Developer Resume
  • Java Developer Resume
  • Full Stack Developer Resume
  • Front End Developer Resume
  • Back End Developer Resume

For a broader perspective, you can reference resumes by roles. For example:

  • Software Engineer Internship Resume
  • Software Developer Resume
  • Entry-level or Junior Software Engineer Resume
  • Mid-level Software Engineer Resume
  • Senior Software Engineer Resume

5. Review Your Resume for Errors, Accuracy, Completeness

Review your resume before applying for a job:

  • Ensure your resume is ATS-optimized and can be read at a glance. Use an ATS checker to ensure there are no red flags.
  • Look for grammatical errors such as typos, incorrect usage of tenses, incorrect spacing, formatting errors, etc. 
  • Check dates and terminologies for accuracy.
  • Ensure the information provided is complete and legible.
  • Have your resume reviewed by a peer or a professional to identify gaps or errors.

6. Use a Professional File Name

When saving your resume, use a clear and easily identifiable file name. Ideally, use the file name: “Name mentioned in your resume + Resume.”

If feasible, you can indicate the role applied for as well. Ambiguous file names can make it difficult for recruiters, who deal with hundreds of applications, to identify your resume or differentiate it from others. Use capital letters for each word for readability.

7. Avoid These Common Mistakes

Avoid these common mistakes to ensure your resume is not rejected or sub-par:

Adding Too Much Information: 

  • Ensure you have only relevant information on your resume that is easy for recruiters to scan at a glance. 
  • Avoid appearing over-qualified for a role.
  • Avoid including private information such as your social security number, salary information, and political leanings.
  • Using a Generic Resume: Avoid “spraying” during your job search, i.e., using a single generic resume to apply for all jobs. This will result in higher rejections. Tailor your resume to match the jobs you’re applying for. 
  • Repeating Information: Ensure information in your resume is not repeated between or within sections. Use each section to complement the other. Providing unique pieces of information will allow you to capture more details and portray more value as an applicant.
  • Exaggerating or lying: Never lie or stretch the truth about the information on your resume in a bid to grab recruiters’ attention or to game the ATS process. If shortlisted, you will have to substantiate your information either during the interview or through documentation. Recruiters conduct background checks as well.

Apply these top tips to make sure your resume is well-built to pass the recruiter and ATS screening stage. If you want to learn more about how to structure your software engineer resume, read:

Ready for Your Dream Software Engineer Job?

If you’re looking to uplevel and land your dream job at a FAANG+ company, your preparation must cover all ground. Not only should you have a stellar resume, but you also need to have an application strategy, interview prep plan, and salary negotiation strategy. 

Sounds like a lot? Join Interview Kickstart to get access to the most structured, researched, and proven tech interview prep program. We’ve trained over 9,000 software engineers to crack the most challenging coding interviews and land jobs at their dream companies, including Google, Facebook, Apple, Netflix, Amazon, and more.

Our programs are designed and taught by recruiters and tech leads from FAANG+ companies, who will guide you through every phase of the interview process — application, interview, and offer negotiation.

Want to learn more? Sign up for our free webinar. 

Posted on 
January 26, 2022

Swaminathan Iyer

Product @ Interview Kickstart | Ex | Business Management - XLRI Jamshedpur. Loves building things and burning pizzas!

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