You saw the ad for your dream job as a software engineer. You know you have the skills to land the position. But is your software engineer resume strong enough to get your foot in the door for that initial job interview?
Here are four common mistakes to avoid when creating your resume.
1. Not including specific projects
Sharing technical expertise and job experience on the software engineer resume is essential. But you should also share key details about projects you’ve worked on, including your role and responsibilities.
For example, simply mentioning you “worked on a Java web application” gives a hiring manager no indication of your abilities. Did that Java web app connect to a database? Did you use HTML tricks to make the app look great? Provide specifics.
2. Not being honest about your experience
A well-rounded programmer will have some experience in a number of different programming languages or have degrees and certifications in his or her discipline. But take care not to exaggerate your level of skills in your software engineer resume, or it could come back to haunt you.
If you’re an ASP.NET developer, for example, noting that you’ve experimented with Node.js can demonstrate that you’re not a “one-trick pony.” However, if your Node.js experience is limited to a simple recipe collection application, don’t attempt to present yourself as a Node.js expert.
3. Telling, but not showing
Are there samples of your work online? Have you written articles or white papers? Rather than provide a laundry list of accomplishments, create an online portfolio and provide a link to it in your software engineer resume.
An online portfolio will help to showcase your technical abilities. Include screenshots and descriptions of projects, and sample code if possible. Provide links to any open source projects you have contributed to, if you have them.
The best online portfolios allow viewers to actually use applications directly by linking to them online (for web applications), their installation files (for desktop applications) or their app store pages (for mobile apps).
Note: An online portfolio can work against you if it is not polished. Make sure it is visually appealing and bug-free.
4. Not linking to LinkedIn
Include a link to your LinkedIn profile in your software engineer resume. Your profile should include more details about your work history and professional accolades, as well as recommendations by colleagues, employers and clients. Your LinkedIn profile should essentially tell your story in terms of “these are the things that I have achieved and the benefits I brought to the organizations that I have worked with.”
A bonus tip: The cover letter that accompanies your software engineer resume not only provides a platform to emphasize your qualifications, it also showcases your writing and communication skills. In addition, the cover letter offers an opportunity to show a potential employer that you’ve done your homework on the business, and can speak to why you would be a good fit for the company’s culture.
By avoiding the mistakes outlined above, you can create a software engineer resume that provides a well-rounded picture of your skills and experience — and can help you to land a job interview.
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