When applying to senior software engineer jobs, your first foot in the door is almost always your resume.
That’s why it’s essential to craft a stand-out senior software engineer resume. The best CVs will clearly sum up your experience, while also providing key details about your top skills.
If you’re ready to create a sensational resume to land the job of your dreams, we’ve got you covered. Check out our expert-selected senior software engineer CV tips below.
Senior software engineer resume tips
Remember that the best senior software engineer resumes will give a concise overview of your experience and skills. Most importantly, it should be easily scannable, as interviewers typically weed through hundreds of engineer resumes for each open role.
1. Structure your resume into clear sections
To that end, start by structuring your senior software engineer resume into clear sections. You’ll find a resume template at the end of this article that you can use as a model, but you should also keep in mind the following considerations:
- Try to stick to a single page. This will force you to stay concise and highlight only your most relevant experiences. Moreover, U.S. companies are used to single-page CVs, so sticking to this model will make it easier for them to navigate your experiences which will undoubtedly give you a stronger chance of landing the dream job you’re looking for.
- Be consistent about formatting the page. Don’t change fonts, styles or phrasing, or it may look unprofessional.
- Showcase your experiences in reverse chronological order. That means your most recent positions should go first.
2. Fill out full details for every role
Senior software engineer CVs should always strike the balance between being concise and detailed. You’ll want to give a relevant overview of your abilities for each past job experience.
Make sure that you include the job title, employment dates, company name, duties, and technologies you used in the role. These are must-have details to tell the story of your engineer job experience, so don’t leave them out!
3. Be specific about your contributions
Perhaps the most important section of your senior software engineer resume is the detailed bullet points about your contributions in each previous position.
You’ll want to be highly specific about your work and achievements in past roles. To successfully do this, you should:
- Use the active voice. Highlight your best self by choosing powerful verbs such as: code, collaborate, communicate, create, design, develop, engineer, implement, innovate, maintain, manage, organize, program, resolve, solve, test, troubleshoot, write, and more.
- Think of KPIs to include for each role. Numbers are great here, if you have them. Otherwise, think about how you met measurable goals in the project. Even general points such as “boosted user experience through multiple iterations of testing” works well.
- Highlight contributions with a “key achievement” bullet point: Another way to showcase your contributions is to add a “key achievement” call-out where you summarize your greatest win in the project or role.
4. Distinguish between full-time employment and contractor/freelance work
As a senior software engineer, you may have lots of projects on your plate –congrats! But when it comes to your senior software engineer resume, you’ll want to separate your full-time employment from your freelance roles.
That’s because companies these days may be wary of candidates who “job hop” between positions. To avoid this, create a section at the bottom of your resume that’s specific to contract and personal work, including any relevant side projects or GitHub contributions.
5. List both formal and informal education
It’s unlikely that you’ll forget to list your formal education as a senior software engineer. However, don’t fret if you had a less conventional approach to your career.
It’s common these days for engineers to teach themselves new languages and technologies, and take part in informal educational programs. Be sure to include any relevant certifications, training courses, conferences, and more that you participated in!
6. Optimize your resume by listing technologies by their full name
The first “person” that sees your resume may actually be a machine. ATSs (Applicant Tracking Systems) are fairly routine in HR today, so it’s important that you include keywords in your resume that are relevant to the job.
7. Tailor your resume according to the role
A good rule of thumb is to scan the job description for keywords and then try to naturally incorporate them into your senior software engineer CV.
Start by making a list of keywords and then working them into the “summary” section and the job experience bullet points. By tailoring your CV to the role, you’ll have a better chance of choosing relevant content and getting seen by the HR team.
8. Align with the company’s work culture
Cultural fit is another vital component of your senior software engineer resume. Recruitment teams are looking for candidates who have experiences, skills or personality traits that match the company’s work environment.
Some cultural fit considerations to include in your resume may include past experience working remotely, at a startup or within a certain industry. In addition, you may also highlight your passion and personality by listing a personal GitHub project. Whatever you think will resonate with the company’s culture, go ahead and include it!
9. Proofread, proofread, proofread
Finally, one of the worst mistakes you can make is not proofreading for mistakes. Having a typo or an error can make you seem unprofessional or like you don’t care about the role.
Go back several times to check for potential mistakes and inconsistencies in your senior software engineer resume. Enlist a friend to look over it too, as they may have fresh eyes to pick up on things you missed.
Highlighting your contributions
As we mentioned, showing off your contributions and achievements is by far one of the most important elements of your senior software engineer CV. Here are some extra tips to ensure you will ace these bullet points and impress the recruitment team:
- Include between 3 to 6 bullet points for each past experience.
- Choose the perfect action verb to sum up your achievement.
- Incorporate numbers and stats whenever possible.
- Highlight soft skills as well as managerial and technical skills. Some examples may include communication, creative thinking, decision-making, interpersonal skills, teamwork, etc.
To help you out, you can use this template below to craft detailed bullet points for the experience section. Simply walk through these steps for each of your contributions.
What did you do?
How did you do it?
Why did you do it?
What did you achieve?
Sample senior software engineer resume template
Now that you’ve considered the major aspects of your CV, you may be wondering how to format it. While there’s a bunch of senior software engineer resume templates out there, you should follow this general structure below.
Pro tip: You can use a creative template for a startup, but for a traditional company you may want to stick to a conservative design.
Craft an amazing developer resume with Nexton
Your first impression as a candidate will likely be your senior software engineer resume –which is why it’s important to get it right! Use our tips and templates above to craft an amazing developer resume.
Hoping to send your senior software engineer CV to your dream job? Connect with us at Nexton to find incredible remote job opportunities with U.S. companies.