5 Tips For Preparing Killer Software Engineering Resume

Pratik Singhal

Pratik Singhal

Instructor SDE-2 @ Amazon

Table of Contents

Nothing is worse than applying for a software engineering job and never receiving a interview call. We talked with multiple software engineers and put together these 5 tips for preparing your resume, so that you do receive the interview call.

Customize Your Resume For the Job

One of the biggest mistake that people do when applying for jobs is that they prepare a single copy of their resume and send it across for all the available positions. When preparing your resume, make sure that you read the job description and the ideal candidate descriptions carefully and prepare your resume accordingly.

For example, let’s say you have experience of programming in Java & Python, and you want to apply for a Java developer job, try to put more emphasis on the Java specific experience and projects that you have done.

When you customize your resume according to the job, the chances of you getting a callback increase dramatically.

Optimize Your Resume For ATS

Almost all the big companies use Applicant Tracking System (ATS) to track the different job applications and resume that they receive. Before your resume is read by a human, it is the job of ATS to analyze and rank your resume among all the job applicants. When the hiring manager is going through a resume, he will go through a max of top 15-20 resumes that are available. If your resume is not ATS friendly, then you will end up receiving poor score and bad rank and your resume won’t be even read by a human!

Therefore, when preparing your resume make sure that it is optimized to be read by ATS. To do that make sure that you follow these guidelines :

  • Use simple text based format: Make sure that you are either using standard pdf document or word document to prepare your resume, so that the ATS is able to read your resume. Never send your resume as an image.
  • Use Keywords properly: When applying for the job, read through the job description and make sure that you have the relevant keywords in your resume. However, don’t do “keyword stuffing”. Include keywords only if it makes sense to do so instead of just stuffing them randomly.
  • Avoid tables/columns: Even though, you might be tempted to include tables in your resume, don’t do that. Many ATS are not able to read the table properly and you might end up getting a bad rank because of this.
  • Use Standard Headings: Always use standard & straight forward headings like “Work History”, “Work Experience”, “Professional Experience” which the ATS can understand.

Keep Your Resume In Single Page

Even though you might be tempted to include every single project/task you have done since the beginning of time, don’t do that. Make your resume crisp and only include the relevant information in your resume.

An average recruiter only spends 10-20 seconds on a resume. During this duration, you want the recruiter to read only the important details about your work history and arrive at a answer easily. If your resume is of more than 1 page, it might end up confusing the recruiter and he is not able to make a decision about you, he will end up rejecting you directly.

Remover Irrelevant Information

When writing your resume, don’t include any information which is not relevant to the job. Irrelevant information can be anything like your hobbies, interests . If you have completed your graduation, then there is no need to include information like your high school details, your house address etc. You can also remove standard proficiency which are expected in everyone who is applying for the job like Microsoft Office etc.

List Your Achievements Not Responsibilities

When describing your project/professional experience, don’t write about your responsibilities. Instead, write about your achievements and your accomplishments. This is something that will take practice to do, so let us look at one example

for example, take a look at the following two lines (and think which one sounds better)

  1. Responsible for managing the order portal for Zomato (Responsibility Based)
  2. Developed API’s for Zomato, for order collection, processing and cancellation. (Achievement Based)
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