Building an effective software developer resume that interests recruiters can be quite a feat. If you are looking to build a strong CV that showcases your skills and experience, be readable and attractive, you need to carefully consider the information you want to include, how to include it and what to leave out.Learn how to build an eye-catching CV for an experienced software developer or software engineer with the following tips:

Choose the right format

A software developer or software engineer resume should be clean, easy to read and linear, straightforward and elegant. You can definitely add a bit of flare, but don’t sacrifice readability for creativity. Keep in mind that on average, recruiters dedicate less than 6 seconds to each CV, so they should be able to easily grasp the essentials in your resume.There are thousands of templates you can resort to as inspiration or to use for your own resume. You can find great templates in Resume-now, Zety, Beam Jobs and Resume Lab, among others. Choose the templates you like and customize them in the way you find more aesthetically pleasing or easier to read.If you prefer to build your own IT developer resume, you can always turn to free tools such as Canva, Resume Genius, Kick Resume and Visual CV. You can change the fonts, colors, move the different elements and sections around and more. Some of these can also be great tools to build your own cover letters, if you are asked to send one or want to have one prewritten just in case.In terms of length, you don’t necessarily have to keep your resume to just one page. You can have a longer resume, just make sure you prioritize the information you want to include.When it comes to the format, the best way to ensure your resume and the information inside are kept in the same way you send it, is to send it in pdf format, and pay special attention to the name you choose for the file.

Photo: Yes or No?

A photograph is a standard feature in most Latin American CVs, but it’s not as common in other countries. In fact, in some countries it is specifically asked that you don’t include a photo in your resume, like in the United Kingdom, in the United States or in Ireland.Several countries today still favor the use of photographs in resumes, including:

  • Austria
  • Belgium
  • France
  • Germany
  • Portugal
  • Spain
  • Scandinavian countries
  • Middle East
  • Africa
  • Asia
  • South America

If you are building your developer resume and want to include a photograph, consider carefully what you want the photograph to communicate. Do you want to express confidence? Security? Creativity? Originality? The photograph is a good way of showing that side of you without compromising readability.

Resume Summary Examples For Software Developers

Resume summaries or objectives can also be a great way of capturing the attention of recruiters and hiring managers. This short presentation paragraph is a great way to highlight your strengths and why you are a great candidate for the specific job offer and can act as a preview of your resume.You can find software engineer summary examples for inspiration as well as a few useful tips for summary writing on the following sites:

Make it easy to scan

Recruiters often get hundreds of resumes for every job offer they post (or even thousands if there is a lot of demand for that specific job they are posting), and they can come from different sources: Linkedin, job search sites, email, company website, etc.For this reason, screening all those CVs in the hopes of finding the right candidate can be extremely time-consuming, exhausting and overwhelming. This is why many companies resort to resume checkers and scanning software: to make the first filters more efficient and save recruiters and HR departments time and efforts.Personal information such as your identity card number, your address and date of birth aren’t really required in a resume. You can keep these out and if requested by the company you are interested in joining, you can provide them later.Additionally, references aren’t commonly added to resumes unless they are specifically requested in the job offer or by the recruiter or hiring manager.To improve the chances of a recruiter seeing or of the software scanning the most important pieces of information, here are a few tricks that may help:

  • Use bullet points and keep the sentences short (around 75 characters is the maximum)
  • Use bold text to highlight important information in a sentence, such as important languages.

You can also check out other great specific tips here.

Optimize your CV to specific offers

If you are applying for a specific position that requires a certain set of skills and experience, writing a software engineer resume that tackles those specific areas might be a good idea. You can place the more relevant skills and experience for the job in the first positions to help them stand out.Also, make sure you add keywords that either appear in the job description or that are closely linked to the skills expected from potential candidates. Just make sure keywords sound natural in the sentences.List the technologies that are the most relevant or that can be most appreciated by the recruiters or the team you might be working with.Consider the experiences and skills your software engineer resume should include. If you had past jobs that may not be as relevant for the position, consider whether you need them on your resume. Although they might have been useful, enriching experiences, they might not be the right fit for your resume for the job you are applying for.Certain degrees and courses can help boost your resume and capture the attention of HR.

Characterize your skills appropriately

List all your relevant skills in a simple, clean way. If you include a list of technical words and keywords that match the words in the job description, your resume is likely to capture the recruiter’s and software’s attention.It should not be simply a list of keywords, but a description that can show you are a good fit. Don’t lie or overinflate your skills since they will most likely be put to the test if you pass the first step of the process. Technical interviews are a key part of selecting a candidate for a software developer or software engineer position.A good way of characterizing your skills is to include your level of proficiency. By doing so, you can let the recruiter know which are your areas of expertise or the languages you are interested in continuing to develop.You can always opt for a classic scale (Basic - Intermediate - Advanced) or choose different scales, such as Intermediate - Advanced - Expert, Basic Knowledge - Working Knowledge or you can choose others, like:

  • Familiar (languages or technologies you have used in the past but aren’t as knowledgeable as you would like)
  • Proficient (languages or technologies you feel comfortable using)
  • Fluent

Projects can also be a good way of showing your skillset. Including information such as the types of tasks you completed, the languages and tools you worked with, the goal of the project and timeframe it was completed in, etc.

List your work experience in order

By organizing your work experience in reverse chronological order, starting with your most recent job, you can show your growth in a very simple way. Make sure to include specific information such as:

  • Which company you worked for
  • Where the company is located
  • What your job title is/was
  • For how long you worked there

For each entry you can add a few bullet points describing your main achievements and positive results you got. Try to quantify your results, show the impact of your work (for example, an improvement in the speed of X site led to an X% increase in the number of leads captured in [year]).

Always do a spell check

Having your experienced developer resume expertly put together but full of typos or spelling mistakes will capture the wrong type of attention. On the contrary, a carefully crafted CV with proper spelling and good grammar will set you apart for all the right reasons.A recent survey conducted by Office Needle revealed that “over 75% of employers recognize bad grammar and spelling mistakes as a reason to reject the application as it leaves a bad impression on them”.The problem with spelling mistakes is that it shows a lack of attention to detail, which, when writing a software engineer resume, a job which requires a great level of thoroughness, can be especially problematic. Overlooking small details can cost company time and money, upsetting clients.However, this can be easily avoided. There are several tools you can use to spell check your resume:

  • Grammarly: this extension can be installed for free in your favorite browser. It automatically scans your documents and shows grammar mistakes and typos and provides suggestions to make the necessary changes in your spelling, syntax and grammar. The paid version provides more detailed suggestions, tone adjustments, the level of formality in your text and sentence rewrites, among other useful tools.
  • Language tool: this is also an extension, but you can download the application on your PC or add the extension to your text editors (Google Docs, Microsoft Word, Open Office). You can improve your punctuation and grammar with suggestions, build your own personal dictionary with the expressions and words you use most frequently, and if you prefer, with the “perfectionist mode” you can get even more suggestions on fonts and style.
  • Reverso spell checker and Small SEO tools: you can copy and paste the text in your resume to either of these tools and get a detailed analysis of the grammar, spelling, and punctuation you used as well as suggestions on how to fix those mistakes.

Key Takeaways

In conclusion, when building an experienced developer resume, always remember to:

  • Include your name and contact information correctly.
  • Carefully curate your work experience for the job you are applying to.
  • Use keywords linked to the job opportunity you are after and the skills you want to continue developing.
  • Add your skills and the level of expertise/knowledge you have for each one, with especial emphasis on the ones you are best at.
  • Include successful projects you worked on with the results obtained from that.

And finally, remember to always spell check, spell check, spell check.