What To Include On A Software Engineer Resume + Software Engineer Skills

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To land a software engineering job requires having a compelling resume. A software engineer resume is a resume that not only tells your work and education story but also lets hiring managers know that you have the necessary skills to perform the job better than other candidates. Use the guide below to help you craft your software engineer resume, including the skills you should list, and other important information to include (and what not to include).

If you want to get a leg up on the competition, consider using a professional resume writing service.

What Is Unique About A Software Engineer Resume?

A software engineer resume is unique because it needs to appeal to recruiters and hiring managers while still containing more technical language to convey your expertise and skill. It’s a delicate balance to nail down, but a well-crafted software engineer resume is the key to standing out from other job candidates.

What Should Be Included On A Software Engineer Resume?

A software engineer resume will look similar to other resumes with the addition of some specific career field-related language and a focus on technical skills and programming and development languages. You can use almost any type of resume when writing a software engineer resume, but the most common type is a chronological resume. With a chronological resume, you’ll list your work history and education in chronological order, from the most recent to the oldest. Here are the sections to include in your resume:

Resume Header

Your header should include personal information like your name, address, email, and phone number. Keep the format simple so it’s easy to read.

Summary or Career Objective

The summary section is a chance to let recruiters know why you are the best candidate for the open software engineer position. Consider your summary an appetizer to catch their attention and leave them wanting more. Keep your summary short. One or two short paragraphs are enough. If you don’t have much experience yet, you can use this section to share a resume objective, this is what you want to accomplish in your career.

Skills / Expertise 

Your skills section shouldn’t take up too much space on your resume but could be the most important section you’ll include. It’s what will tell the hiring manager if you have the skills required for the position you’re applying for. List out your hard skills, including any software skills. Be as specific as possible. Skills you should add to your resume in this section include:

  • Databases
  • Software
  • Programming and development languages

Only include skills relevant to the position you’re applying for, or else your resume can look too crowded.

Employment History

List your employment history chronologically, starting with your most recent (or current) job and working towards the oldest. In this section, you should include:

  • Your job title
  • The company name and location (city and state)
  • Employment start and end dates (include the month and year if possible)

Once you’ve listed the basic information, add bullet points that walk through your achievements while employed, including any stats as quantitative proof of your ability as an employee.


List any formal education you’ve completed, starting with the highest degree received. Include the school name and location (city and state), the degree you received (including your major), and the years you attended. If you’ve earned any certifications that are relevant to the job opening, you can list them here.

To learn more about what a software engineer job entails, check out our software engineer job description.

What Should Be Left Off A Software Engineer Resume?

Keep your software engineer resume to one page if possible. Applicant tracking systems and recruiters often spend only a few seconds scanning over resumes, and multiple pages could quickly send your resume to the bottom of the pile. Keep your resume simple, including information that will catch their attention and adequately convey your work experience and skills. Don’t add your photo to the resume. They don’t need to know what you look like when reading your resume.

Only include skills and experiences that you’re comfortable being asked about during an interview. Also, only list certifications if they are relevant to the job. If you received certifications online from sites that include ranking, don’t include the scores on your resume.

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Important Job Skills For Software Engineers

Software Engineering is a technical career field that requires a specific set of skills to find success. Here are some of the skills you need to master if you want to be a software engineer.

Technical Skills

  • Computer Architecture
  • Data Structures
  • Database Architecture
  • Linux/Unix
  • Microsoft ASP.NET MVC
  • Node.js
  • Operating Systems
  • Perl
  • SaaS
  • Shell
  • Source Code
  • UI Toolkits and Frameworks
  • Web Services
  • Web API

Computer Languages

  • CSS
  • C
  • C++
  • C#
  • HTML
  • Java
  • JavaScript
  • PHP
  • Python
  • Ruby
  • SQL

Soft Skills 

  • Analytical Skills
  • Collaboration
  • Creativity
  • Critical Thinking
  • Deductive Reasoning
  • Flexibility
  • Inductive Reasoning
  • Problem-solving
  • Reliability
  • Teamwork
  • Time Management
  • Verbal Communication
  • Written Communication

Related: How To Get A Job In IT

Frequently Asked Questions 

How do you list software engineer skills on a resume?

On a software engineer resume, include relevant skills in list form for easy reading. You can also weave your skills into your work history to provide extra context.

What is the job description of a software engineer?

Software engineers handle a variety of tasks depending on the specific role. In general terms, software engineers develop computer systems and applications software.

What skills must a software engineer have?

Being a software engineer requires several skills, including mastery of specific software, databases, and programming languages. Software engineers should also possess soft skills like teamwork, problem-solving, communication, deductive reasoning, and critical thinking.

What is the salary of a software engineer?

According to Glassdoor, the average salary for a software engineer is currently $106,544 annually.

Where can I find a software engineer job?

There are many places to find software engineer jobs, but we recommend starting with ZipRecruiter. ZipRecruiter is free for job seekers and is rated the #1 job site in the U.S.

You can also check out our list of the best free job posting sites to know where employers are listing openings.

The Bottom Line

The perfect software engineer resume can help garner the attention of hiring managers and recruiters and help you land your next job. Use the tips above to craft a resume yourself or turn to the best resume writing services to create an eye-catching resume for you.