Software Engineer Resume Checklist

There are plenty of resume checklists out there, but few are specific to Software Engineering roles. Here's a list of Dos and Don'ts for your Software Engineer resume.

This checklist is a condensed version of the Resume Handbook.

General

Dos

Typography
Use the same font throughout and use a readable and common font. Arial, Georgia, Helvetica, Roboto, are good choices.
Date formatting
Experiences should be listed in reverse chronological order. Use a consistent date format throughout. We recommend "MMM YYYY", e.g. "Mar 2022".
Do a spellcheck
Remove spelling errors and typos! If you use Google Docs or Word to write your resume, this should be built-in.
Keep within two pages (ideally one page)
Unless you have over 15 years of experience, it is unlikely your resume will need to be longer than one page. You can use two pages if you need to but 90% of the time you wouldn't.
Prioritize relevant things
List things that are relevant to the role you are applying for. If you're going for an Android Software Engineer position, there's lesser value in listing your Artificial Intelligence side projects if you have other projects which are more relevant to the role. You do not have to include everything you've done before.
Omit your school extracurricular activities unless they are relevant to tech (e.g. hacker club, hackathon organizer)

Don'ts

Don't use design software to create the resume
Your resume should be created using Google Doc, Microsoft Word, or LaTeX. Do not use any design software otherwise Application Tracking Softwares (ATS) will not able to parse it.
Don't use acronyms only
Avoid using acronyms, spell out in full, at least for the first occurrence of the term. Amazon Web Services vs AWS.
Don't include a references section
Reference checks are usually only done at the offer stage. Companies will ask if they require you to provide this.

Contact Information

Dos

Include important information
Make sure you have the following information listed at the top of your resume: name, email, phone number, location, LinkedIn profile URL.
Use a personal email
Use email addresses you have permanent access to, avoid using school emails if there's a possibility of you losing access to it in future. Regardless, it's still better to use personal emails as it will be relevant for life. Imagine using a school email when you are in your 30s!
Be explicit about location information
Be explicit about state and city information. Since USA is huge, if you are in the same state as the company you're applying for, the geographical proximity could give you an edge over other applicants.
Format your phone number
Format your phone number and include the country code: +1 (123) 456-7890
Include useful links about yourself
Add links to websites which demonstrates your professional background - personal website, blog, GitHub profile, Stack Overflow, Twitter, Medium, Substack, etc.
Supercharge your LinkedIn profile
Links text should include your username: "linkedin.com/in/johndoe" as opposed to "LinkedIn". This is because interviewers might print out the resume.
Customize your LinkedIn URL. By default, your LinkedIn URLs will look something like https://www.linkedin.com/in/john-doe-886903121. You can change it to a cleaner version without any numbers at the back by following these instructions.
Give your GitHub profile a makeover
Add a README to your GitHub profile to tell other people about yourself. This repo contains tons of inspiration. If you don't have interesting content to add into your README, putting down language badges is fine too.

Don'ts

Don't add unnecessary information
There's no need to include unnecessary personal details like birthday, age, photo, which should not affect the outcome.
Don't include links where there is no content
You probably have GitHub, Medium, Stack Overflow accounts but if you haven't written anything there, there's no point including them. Only add links if they showcase your professional background.
Don't include broken links
You should click on all your links to ensure they're leading to the right destinations.

Professional Summary

Dos

Summarize your background
Use this section to summarize your background and point out unique points or specialized skills.
Tailor to the role
Align this section to the job role that you are applying for, using the same keywords where relevant.

Don'ts

Don't state your objective
The objective is clear from the role you are applying to.
Don't specialize in too many things
It's rare for people to have too many specializations and if you do that you will appear to be exaggerating. It's better to tailor the specialization you mention depending on the job posting.

Work Experience

Dos

You think I will reveal it on the client side?
I am not that dumb nor am I that lazy.
Or am I?
Just purchase something.
You won't regret it.

Don'ts

You think I will reveal it on the client side?
I am not that dumb nor am I that lazy, or am I?

Unlock Work Experience checklist

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Skills

Dos

You think I will reveal it on the client side?
I am not that dumb nor am I that lazy.
Or am I?
Just purchase something.
You won't regret it.

Don'ts

You think I will reveal it on the client side?
I am not that dumb nor am I that lazy, or am I?

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Education

Dos

You think I will reveal it on the client side?
I am not that dumb nor am I that lazy.
Or am I?
Just purchase something.
You won't regret it.

Don'ts

You think I will reveal it on the client side?
I am not that dumb nor am I that lazy, or am I?

Unlock Education checklist

Unlock this section and instantly improve your resume by purchasing a resume package. If you have already purchased, login here.

Projects

Dos

You think I will reveal it on the client side?
I am not that dumb nor am I that lazy.
Or am I?
Just purchase something.
You won't regret it.

Don'ts

You think I will reveal it on the client side?
I am not that dumb nor am I that lazy, or am I?

Unlock Projects checklist

Unlock this section and instantly improve your resume by purchasing a resume package. If you have already purchased, login here.


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