What to Include on a Resume for Software Developer Jobs (w/ Examples!) (2023)

When you’re in the process of becoming a software engineer, your resume is your first opportunity to make an impression and to showcase the best of your abilities.

But, most recruiters recommend limiting the length of your resume to one page per decade of work experience. A good rule of thumb is to keep your resume to two pages, no matter how much great experience you have.(You can learn more great resume formatting tips here.)

Space on a resume, therefore, is valuable real estate.

It can be challenging to craft a resume that tells the full story of your professional achievements in software development while sticking to two pages.

As you advance in your career, some of your experience, skills, and certifications may be less relevant for any senior-level positions for which you apply.

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Here’s what to put on a resume — and what to leave off:

What To Put On A Software Developer Resume

First and foremost, it’s important to tailor your resume for software developer jobs to the specific opportunity for which you are applying.

Even if you use a resume template to start with, make sure the content in each section is written to address the requirements and responsibilities in the open position’s job description.

A software developer resume should typically have six to seven elements, not necessarily in this order:

  • Contact information (in the header)
  • Summary (optional — see below)
  • Experience
  • Technical skills
  • Other skills (e.g., soft skills)
  • Projects
  • Software engineering degree and other education and certifications

Some career experts recommend adding a summary to your software development resume. A summary can help translate how your experience and skills suit the role for which you are applying.

Here’s anexample computer science resumesummary paragraph:

Recent computer science graduate (master’s degree) with one year of experience as an intern at Google where I increased team productivity by 13%. Member of the Association for Women in Computing, with a certification from Harvard in Building Interactive Web Applications For Data Analysis. Keen on building on computer science background and programming experience to become a valuable Microsoft software developer.

Here is another intro statement from anIT resume sample:

I am a mathematics graduate with six years of experience working in a top Oregon accounting firm. My key achievements include increasing monthly recurring revenue by 46% over the past 2 years and reducing budget variance by 37%. Having self-educated experience in SQL querying, Active Directory, and various server management platforms, I am now eager to carve out a career as the new IT Analyst, Level 1 at Gemini Informatics that builds on my quantitative, technical, and analytical skills.

A summary section is also a great way to make sure you’re including keywords that will get your resume accepted by an applicant tracking system (ATS). Software developer resume keywords should include technical skills, proficiency in particular programming languages, libraries, and frameworks, and anything else deemed important from the job description (honestly, of course).

To find keywords to use throughout your resume, use language from the job description as your guide. Scan the company’s LinkedIn page for more language that mirrors the way they describe themselves. While there are certain software developer keywords to include on a resume, your best bet is to scan each software engineering job description to note exactly what they’re searching for in a candidate.

Don’t forget to include keywords related to both yoursoft skills and hard skills. Soft skills are more technical abilities, like coding languages, while soft skills are developed throughout your life, such as learning how to improve analytical skills. The further you are in your career, the more important it will be to highlight leadership, communication, and time management on your resume. Quantify these skills with concrete metrics: for instance, “completed x projects ahead of deadline and under budget.”

Finally, some recruiters still care about your education and certifications. You can include this section if you’re still relatively new in your career.

Some software developers choose to replace or supplement the education section with a “personal projects” section, showing coding projects outside of work hours. If you’re running out of space, link to anonline web development portfolio, instead.

Finally, show how you’ve kept your software development skills up-to-date with recent certifications or completed courses.

Read More: 9 Important Cross-Cultural Communication Tips for Remote Developers

What To Leave Off A Resume

Ultimately, the goal of a resume is to get you through to the next stage — whether that’s a coding test or a job interview — so you can expand on your skills and qualifications. Therefore, a modern software developer resume must be concise, simple, and high level.

Outdated or Irrelevant Information

Leave off jobs that are irrelevant to your current career objectives or those that are older than 10 years. Jobs that are unrelated to your current trajectory — like math tutoring you’ve offered on the side — are just a distraction from your more important experiences.

Jobs that are older than 10 years could trigger anunconscious biasin the recruiter around your age. Likewise, leave off any outdated skills that don’t make you stand out (e.g., “Proficient in Microsoft Word”).

Personal Photo

There’s some debate as to whether or not you should include a photo on your resume. The answer is that it depends on the specific opportunity you are applying for.

Companies based in the US tend to view photos on resumes negatively. Headshots and profile photos can open a hiring team up to discrimination allegations, and many ATS programs have difficulty parsing images, anyway.

However, if you’re applying to a remote software engineering position, you may want to add a photo — or at least a link to your LinkedIn profile.

Writing in the Third Person

Finally, some experts caution against writing in the third person. “Every single time I read a resume in which the author does this, all I can think of is someone sitting around in a smoking jacket, with a pipe, pontificating on and on about himself,” wroteone recruiter. While it’s important to show metrics, do so in a way that keeps it simple, understandable, and easy to scan.

It’s important to customize your resume for every job opportunity for which you are applying. More than50% of recruiterssaid they reject software engineering resumes when they aren’t tailored to the specific job opportunity.

While much of your software development experience will be relevant for multiple positions, update things like your summary statement, accomplishments, and skills section each time you submit a resume.

Read More: How to Collaborate Effectively as a Remote Developer

Arc is the radically different remote job search platform for developers where companies apply to you. We’ll feature you to great global startups and tech companies hiring remotely so you can land a great remote job in 14 days. We make it easier than ever for software developers and engineers to find great remote jobs. Sign up today and get started.


What makes a good developer resume? ›

Present your key qualifications and talents to demonstrate the image of an experienced professional. A well-written software developer resume must have a clear account, it must resemble good code which is readable, well-organized, elegant and free from bugs. In this blog, we'll show you how to build one just like that.

What is the main skill of a Software Developer? ›

Software developer skills are the technical capabilities an individual learns to create successful programs and applications. They typically involve using mathematical knowledge and a capacity for problem-solving to write source code, which is the sequence of words and symbols that allows a program to function.

What are your strengths as a software developer? ›

Empathetic and strong interpersonal skills

An engineer with the ability to empathise and communicate with their team will be a strong asset that encourages the team forward through obstacles in a healthy measured way.

What are 3 qualities of a good developer? ›

6 characteristics that can make you an outstanding developer
  • You're a builder. It's fascinating to learn how things work. ...
  • You're a team player. ...
  • You're a creative problem-solver. ...
  • You're empathetic. ...
  • You're determined (and maybe a bit competitive) ...
  • You love learning new things.
Jun 3, 2022

What are three important qualities that software developer need? ›

Today, I hope to paint you a clearer picture of the ideal developer as I share the 7 essential qualities every developer must-have.
  • They pick the right tools. ...
  • They keep their code clean. ...
  • They are problem-solvers, with a can-do attitude. ...
  • They are willing to adapt. ...
  • They are efficient through optimization.

How do software engineers stand out on a resume? ›

How to Make Your Software Engineer Resume Stand Out
  1. Keep it condensed but readable. ...
  2. Proofread your resume a few times. ...
  3. Use bullet points. ...
  4. Don't get crazy with details. ...
  5. Have a consistent format. ...
  6. Talk about the outcome, not the process. ...
  7. Prioritize technical skills and experience. ...
  8. Highlight your most impressive projects.
Jul 13, 2022

What are the most important traits of a software developer? ›

6 Powerful Traits That Can Make Any Software Developer Successful
  1. Creative Thinking. ...
  2. Commitment and Discipline. ...
  3. Taking Ownership of Career Decisions. ...
  4. Knowing When and How to Help. ...
  5. Being Solution Focused. ...
  6. Being a Team Player.
Aug 31, 2022

What are the key features of good software developer? ›

What Makes a Great Software Engineer?
  • Quality #1: Experience and Intuition.
  • Quality #2: Attention to Detail.
  • {Quality #3} Quick Self-Learning, Flexibility, and Adaptability.
  • {Quality #4} Productivity, Planning and Time Management.
  • {Quality #5} Curiosity and Love of Learning.
  • {Quality #6} Business Sense.
Aug 19, 2021

What are three of the job duties of a software developer? ›

  • Work with developers to design algorithms and flowcharts.
  • Produce clean, efficient code based on specifications.
  • Integrate software components and third-party programs.
  • Verify and deploy programs and systems.
  • Troubleshoot, debug and upgrade existing software.
  • Gather and evaluate user feedback.

Why should we hire you as a software developer? ›

Over the years, I have acquired relevant skills and experience, which I shall bring to your organization. I have also worked tirelessly on my communication abilities and teamwork skills, which I will put to use in my future career, which would be in your organization if I am selected for the position.

How would you describe yourself as a software developer? ›

I am driven by curiosity and proficient in Java, Spring, jQuery, and JS framework. I am a good team player and I have no problem meeting challenges. I believe my ability to communicate clearly and my excellent software engineering skills will make me an ideal candidate for this position.

Why should we hire you? ›

“I should be hired for this role because of my relevant skills, experience, and passion for the industry. I've researched the company and can add value to its growth. My positive attitude, work ethics, and long-term goals align with the job requirements, making me a committed and valuable asset to the company.”

What makes a good candidate for a developer position? ›

A great candidate will enjoy being up-to-date with new languages and technologies and be inspired to learn and understand them quickly. Moreover, they will learn out of their interest—not because you, or the job, require it. They will learn in various ways.

What does good developer experience look like? ›

To provide good DX, create highly usable software or platforms and organize them in a way that supports the developer journey, reduces context switching, and minimizes decision fatigue via reliable software and platforms. Good developer experience includes the speed of development, safety, innovation, and iteration.

What soft skills should every developer have? ›

A developer must master soft skills for developers such as patience, empathy, communication, and time management. Because sometimes, team interactions and cohesiveness matter more than the code they write.

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