Building a great resume is the first step toward your next career opportunity, but with so much advice out there on how to do it, it’s easy to get lost. That said, we have some good news. If you’re a software engineer looking for help with your resume, you’ve come to the right place!

Dan Miramontes is the Senior Manager of Recruiting at Collabera. He’s currently managing a team of recruiters who are focused on filling full-time engineering positions for the top tech companies from New York to LA.  As an expert in the business, he’s done everything from building engineering teams from scratch to supporting Fortune 500 companies. Here’s what Dan looks for on a software engineer’s resume, and what you should do to snag your next dream job.

Keep things clean and concise

Engineering managers often see wordy resumes as the first red flag. First of all, no one wants to read a 10-page resume. More importantly, a lengthy and disorganized resume comes across as an indication of how a candidate will code out a solution.  Simplest answer is usually the best one.

When compiling your resume, remember that simple is always best.

  • Create or find a resume template that’s uncomplicated and easy to read at a glance (avoiding large paragraphs)
  • Prioritize your most relevant skills and experience
  • Use a PDF format unless otherwise specified (looks cleaner)

Lead with your strongest assets

Although they’re not likely to admit it, some hiring managers only scan the first few sections of your resume before accepting or eliminating you as a candidate. This means that you have very limited space to grab their attention — make the most of it!

  • Send your proudest achievements straight to the top of your job history section
  • Highlight your tech proficiencies in your skills section
  • Organize your experience from most to least relevant

Highlight the specific details of your important projects

Even though space on your resume is limited, leave room for important details about your past projects that aren’t conveyed through the job title alone. You’ll need to showcase your accomplishments in these roles, not just participation. For engineering or data science roles, here are some things to highlight:

  • What kind of traffic/scale do you have experience working with (number of users, amounts of data, API calls, etc.)?
  • If you are currently leading a team, how many engineers are reporting to you?  How much has the team grown since you have been managing them?
  • What modern technologies have you used in recent projects?
  • Have you increased the performance response time of an application or website? If so, by how much?

List your academic accolades and groups memberships

Depending on how long you’ve been out of school, academic accolades may not be the most important thing on your resume. However, if you have any of these achievements under your belt, it’s still a good idea to list them along with your degree and alma mater.

  • High academic honors like graduating summa cum laude or magna cum laude
  • Membership in a professional association like Women in Tech
  • Only highly GPA if above 3.0
  • Junior Engineers should include relevant internships or team projects

Keep your online profiles connected and updated

It’s very common now to have your professional history, portfolio, and resume listed on multiple websites. Before hitting the “send” button on your completed job application, check that all the places you’re found online are fully accurate, updated, and linked to each other.

  • Do a quick update on LinkedIn to match your online job history to what’s listed on your resume
  • Add any new projects to your professional website or portfolio
  • If you have an active Github account, include a link next to your contact info

Looking to make your next career move? Check out available jobs at Collabera.

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