If you’re a software engineer looking for a new job, you should consider turning to resume examples as part of your research. Looking at the resumes of others can clue you in about where you stand compared to your competition—and how you can improve. For example, if you’re a little rusty in a language that’s listed prominently on the resumes of software engineers at your target company, you can take that as a sign to brush up.
A programming language is just one kind of resume keyword you might discover when browsing resume examples. Tasks, skills, and credentials are also among the possibilities.
That said, an individual job posting will always be the best source of resume keywords when customizing your resume. Pulling resume keywords straight from the job listing increases your chances of being ranked highly for that job by an applicant tracking system, or ATS. Echoing the keywords used for the job demonstrates that you are a good fit for the role.
An ATS is a software application used by employers to store, sort, and score resumes. An applicant tracking system’s ranking of candidates is largely based on resume keywords. The higher you rank, the likelier it is that your resume will get noticed.
The word cloud above was generated from the text from a dozen software engineer job postings. The larger the word is, the more times it appeared.
Software engineer resume keywords
Targeting your resume
Tailoring your resume for a specific job is easy when you use the right tools. When you have a career management document to work from, it’s simple to select for your resume only what’s relevant to a particular job. For example, you might have a couple dozen bullet points listed under each job on your career management document, then choose and refine only a handful for each resume you submit.
Your career management document should also contain detailed notes on your projects, accomplishments, promotions, and more. Preserving the details while they’re fresh means you won’t be scratching your head later on, wondering what you accomplished in the previous year. These notes can also serve as the basis for answers to interview questions.
Once you’ve assembled a resume that you think is tailored well for the job you want, run it through the Jobscan resume analysis tool. Paste in the text of your resume and the text of the job posting for an instant score and feedback on how you can improve. Resume examples should definitely be part of your research when job hunting, but nothing compares to personalized feedback.