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Career Development, Coding

How to Build a Standout Software Engineering Resume and Portfolio

General Assembly
June 12, 2024

Our Software Engineering Career Guide Series:

Just how competitive is the field of software engineering — and the need for a standout resume and portfolio? Despite a high demand for talent and low unemployment rates, remote software engineering positions can attract over 1,000 applicants within a week. Astonishingly, a software engineering intern position at LinkedIn received nearly 20,000 applicants. Stories like Vincent Yeh’s, who sent out 270 applications over seven months before landing a job at Apple, highlight the challenges you may face.

In this highly competitive environment, having a noteworthy software engineer resume and portfolio can make all the difference in landing your dream job. This guide will walk you through what to include in both, with advice for both entry-level and senior positions. We’ll also provide examples and templates to help you get started.

What’s Included in a Typical Software Engineering Resume?

An effective resume for software engineer candidates gives prospective employers a succinct snapshot of your technical skills, professional experience, and accomplishments. It’s your first impression — highlighting why you’re the right fit for the role and (hopefully) getting your foot in the door for an interview. 

Given these goals, here are the main components to include:

  • Contact info: Include your full name, phone number, email address, and LinkedIn URL.
  • Professional summary: Briefly overview your professional background and skills.
  • Education: List your institution, relevant coursework, credentials, and graduation date.
  • Work experience: Include employment dates, job titles, and key responsibilities.
  • Technical skills: Add technical skills like programming languages, tools, or frameworks. 
  • Soft skills: Don’t forget about soft skills like communication, teamwork, and adaptability.
  • Projects: Discuss projects that demonstrate technical skills and problem-solving ability.
  • Certifications: List any certifications you have that are relevant to software engineering.
  • Awards and honors: It’s worth mentioning recognitions or awards if you have them.
  • Volunteer experience: If applicable, showcase volunteer work highlighting your value.

Those are the broad strokes. However, with most resumes being one to two pages, you’re limited as to how much detail you can go into.

With this in mind, read on to learn how you should focus your resume, depending on what stage of your software engineering career you’re in, whether entry-level or senior. 

Entry-Level Software Engineer Resumes

Just starting out? Draw recruiters’ attention to your education, projects, and internships — that’s where you shine. And be sure to lead your entry-level software engineer resume with a professional summary — a brief introduction conveying your enthusiasm for software engineering and a few strengths relevant to the job description. 

Then, follow these tips to effectively highlight your software engineer education on a resume:

  • Create a dedicated education section. Place it near the top of your resume if you’re entry-level, or after your work experience if you’re more experienced. Here you can mention certificates or degrees earned, institutions attended, dates of study, and highlight relevant courses in data, development, and machine learning.
  • Showcase academic achievements and projects. Include any honors, scholarships, and academic awards. Describe significant academic projects that demonstrate your technical skills, using bullet points to explain the challenge, your role, technologies used, and the outcome.
  • Count extracurricular involvement and internships as experience. Coding clubs, engineering society membership, and hackathon competitions can showcase your engagement with the field beyond the classroom. Describe internship contributions and learnings, in addition to listing the company name, duration, and your responsibilities.

Senior Software Engineer Resumes

Ready to level up your career? Trimming down extensive experience can be challenging, but if you’re a senior software engineer, showcasing your leadership skills, notable results, and professional recognitions can spotlight what matters most.

Here’s what to include on a senior software engineer resume:

  • Showcase your leadership abilities by discussing your role in major software engineering projects and the results achieved under your guidance. Detail how you effectively led cross-functional teams, managed project timelines and resources, and navigated challenges to deliver successful outcomes. Highlight instances where you motivated team members, delegated tasks efficiently, and fostered a collaborative work environment. Additionally, emphasize your strategic decision-making skills and your ability to align technical solutions with specific business objectives. By demonstrating your leadership through concrete examples, you’ll reinforce your value as a seasoned software engineer capable of driving impactful results.
  • Emphasize notable results. Wherever possible, be specific about your software engineering responsibilities and achievements, quantifying the impact of your work. Highlight metrics such as the percentage improvement in system performance, the number of users your software supports, revenue growth due to your contributions, or the reduction in bugs and downtime resulting from your code improvements. Quantifiable achievements — such as “Led a team to increase application performance by 40%,” or “Developed a feature that boosted user engagement by 25%” — demonstrate the tangible value you bring to potential employers.
  • Include professional recognition. Mention experience with technical skills, including expertise in specific programming languages, frameworks, and tools. Mention any experience with emerging technologies. Highlight advanced certifications, such as PMP, Certified ScrumMaster, or advanced AWS certifications. Include any industry awards, patents, or significant contributions to the field. If applicable, mention any published papers, articles, or conferences where you’ve presented.

Software Engineer Resume Examples and Templates

To help you get started, here are entry and senior-level software engineer resume examples and templates you can use for reference:

Example Resumes

Entry-Level Software Engineer Resume Example

John Doe
123 Main Street | johndoe@gmail.com | (123) 456-7890 | LinkedIn: linkedin.com/in/johndoe
GitHub: github.com/johndoe 

Professional Summary:
Recent Software Engineering Bootcamp graduate with hands-on experience in software development through internships and academic projects. Proficient in Java, Python, and SQL. Eager to contribute to a dynamic development team.

Education:
Certificate in Software Engineering, General Assembly, May–July 2024

Internships:
Software Development Intern, Tech Company, Summer 2024

  • Developed a web application using Java and Spring Boot, which improved the company’s internal workflow efficiency by 25%.
  • Designed and implemented a RESTful API that reduced data retrieval time by 30%.
  • Collaborated with a team of 5 interns on a full-stack development project, utilizing Agile methodologies.
  • Conducted code reviews and implemented unit tests, resulting in a 15% reduction in bugs and errors.

Projects:
E-commerce Website (Personal Project)

  • Created a full-stack web application using React, Node.js, and MongoDB, which supports up to 1,000 concurrent users.
  • Implemented a secure user authentication system using JWT, enhancing user data protection.
  • Integrated Stripe for payment processing, facilitating transactions with a 98% success rate.
  • Optimized database queries, reducing page load times by 40%.

Machine Learning Model for Stock Price Prediction

  • Developed a machine learning model using Python and TensorFlow that achieved 85% accuracy in predicting stock prices.
  • Preprocessed and analyzed large datasets, extracting key features to improve model performance.
  • Visualized data and model predictions using Matplotlib and Seaborn, aiding in clear and concise presentations.

Skills:

  • Programming Languages: Java, Python, JavaScript
  • Tools: Git, Docker, Jenkins
  • Frameworks: React, Spring Boot, Express.js
  • Soft Skills: Problem-solving, teamwork, communication

Certifications:

  • AWS Certified Developer – Associate, July 2024

Extracurricular Activities:

  • President, Coding Club, University of XYZ
  • Organizer, XYZ Hackathon (2nd place)

Volunteer Experience:

Volunteer Tutor, Code for Good, September 2021 – Present

  • Provided tutoring in Python and Java to high school students, improving their coding skills and fostering an interest in software development.

Senior Software Engineer Resume Example

Jane Smith
456 Elm Street | janesmith@gmail.com | (987) 654-3210 | LinkedIn: linkedin.com/in/janesmith
GitHub: github.com/janesmith 

Professional Summary:
Accomplished Senior Software Engineer with 15 years of experience in software development and team leadership. Proven expertise in designing scalable software solutions and managing cross-functional teams. Proficient in Java, C++, and cloud computing.

Professional Experience:
Lead Software Engineer, Innovative Tech, January 2023 – Present

  • Led a team of 10 engineers to develop a cloud-based SaaS platform, resulting in a 50% increase in customer acquisition.
  • Architected and implemented microservices using Spring Boot and Docker, enhancing system scalability by 60%.
  • Mentored and coached 150 junior engineers, reducing onboarding time by 40% and increasing overall team productivity by 20%.
  • Conducted performance optimizations, improving application response times by 35%.
  • Managed project timelines and resources, successfully delivering projects 15% under budget and 10% ahead of schedule.

Senior Software Engineer, ABC Solutions, June 2020 – December 2023

  • Designed and developed high-performance algorithms for financial software, increasing data processing speed by 45%.
  • Collaborated with stakeholders to gather requirements and define project scope, resulting in a 30% reduction in project changes.
  • Implemented CI/CD pipelines using Jenkins and Kubernetes, reducing deployment times by 50% and increasing release frequency by 40%.
  • Led the migration of legacy systems to modern technologies, decreasing maintenance costs by 25% and downtime by 20%.
  • Conducted code reviews and enforced best practices, improving code quality and reducing technical debt by 35%.

Technical Skills:

  • Programming Languages: Java, C++, Python
  • Tools: Git, Docker, Kubernetes, Jenkins
  • Frameworks: Spring Boot, Angular, React
  • Cloud Platforms: AWS, Azure
  • Soft Skills: Leadership, project management, adaptability, communication

Education:

Certificate in Software Engineering, General Assembly, May 2024
B.S. in Computer Science, University of ABC, May 2020

Certifications:

  • AWS Certified Solutions Architect – Professional, February 2023
  • Certified ScrumMaster (CSM), October 2022

Awards and Recognitions:

  • Patent: Method and System for Optimizing Cloud Resource Allocation, 2024
  • Winner, Tech Innovation Award, Innovative Tech, 2019

Publications and Speaking Engagements:

  • Tech Journal, March 2022: “Scaling Microservices: Best Practices and Strategies”
  • Speaker at TechCon 2023: “Advanced Pipelines for Modern Software Development”

Volunteer Experience:

Mentor, Women Who Code, January 2020 – Present

  • Mentored over 30 aspiring female engineers, providing guidance on career development and technical skills enhancement.

Volunteer Developer, Open Source Project XYZ, June 2018 – December 2020

  • Contributed to the development of a community-driven open source project, improving functionality and performance.

Downloadable Resume Templates

Looking for an easy process? Find downloadable software engineer resume templates at:

What Should I Include in a Software Engineering Portfolio?

While a resume gives an overview of your experience and skills, a software engineering portfolio provides tangible proof of your abilities. A well-crafted software engineering portfolio showcases your projects, code samples, and any other work that demonstrates technical prowess and creativity. 

Key Components of a Software Engineering Portfolio

  • About me: Briefly introduce who you are and your professional background.
  • Projects: Detail projects, including screenshots, links to live demos, and GitHub code.
  • Skills: Summarize both technical and soft skills you possess.
  • Contact info: Make it easy for potential employers to reach you.
  • Blog/articles: If you write about technology or have tutorials, include them.
  • Resume: Provide a downloadable version of your resume.
  • Testimonials: Include employer endorsements or positive educator feedback.

Software Engineer Portfolio Website Projects To Include

For both entry-level and senior software engineers, the types of projects to include can vary:

Entry-Level Software Engineer Portfolio Examples:

  • Academic projects
  • Personal projects or apps
  • Open source contributions
  • Internship projects

Senior-Level Software Engineer Portfolio Examples:

  • Major projects from your professional experience
  • Contributions to significant open-source projects
  • Any innovative solutions or systems you’ve developed
  • Presentations or publications related to your projects

Software Engineering Portfolio Examples and Templates

To get you started, here are some examples of well-crafted portfolios and templates you can use as inspiration:

Example Portfolios

Entry-Level Portfolio Example:


Madison Bertis Portfolio – This portfolio showcases academic projects, houses her resume, and invites contact. The clean, easy-to-navigate design highlights her skills and enthusiasm for software development.

Senior-Level Portfolio Example:


Robby Leonardi Portfolio – This tricked-out software engineer portfolio focuses on visual design, attracting attention with a fun Super Mario themed layout that quickly shows at-a-glance the level of skill the candidate possesses in key areas like design, illustration, code, and animation, as well as tools like Photoshop, Illustrator, Sketch, and Figma.

Downloadable Portfolio Templates

To streamline the process of building your portfolio, you can also use a software engineer portfolio template, available at sites like:

Or you can host code repositories and create your software engineer portfolio for free at:

Don’t go it alone. General Assembly is here to help.  

With your whole budding career at stake, getting the right resume and portfolio put together can feel like an enormous task. When you enroll in General Assembly’s Software Engineering Bootcamp, you get the help you need to stand out from the pack.. You’ll work with dedicated career services support specialistswith your exclusive mentor to develop all the materials you need to get noticed and get hired. In fact, over 90% of our grads land a tech role within 180 days of graduating — which really says it all.  This guide, along with the provided examples and templates, is a place to start — but why stop there? Try a free Intro to Coding course online and consider a full-time or part-time bootcamp to start living your dream in as little as three months. With General Assembly’s world-class support, you’ll work on meaningful, hands-on projects over the course of three months and receive valuable feedback from your mentor that puts you well on your way to creating a skill-packed resume and compelling portfolio that sets you apart in the dynamic field of software engineering.

Wondering if a career in software engineering is a good move? Sign up for our next info session to learn more.

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