How to write a software engineer CV (With template)

By Indeed Editorial Team

Updated 24 October 2022 | Published 29 September 2021

Updated 24 October 2022

Published 29 September 2021

The Indeed Editorial Team comprises a diverse and talented team of writers, researchers and subject matter experts equipped with Indeed's data and insights to deliver useful tips to help guide your career journey.

A curriculum vitae (CV) is a great way for software engineers to highlight their qualifications and connect with potential employers. Typically, a CV in the software engineering field includes sections like education, professional experience, skills, programming languages and interests. If you're searching for software engineer jobs, it's essential to craft a well-written CV. In this article, we explain why a CV is important for software engineers and the steps you can take to write one, and we provide a template and example you can use to guide you in creating your own software engineer CV.

Why is a software engineer CV important?

A software engineer CV is important because this document showcases your top qualifications as a software engineer, which can help you get hired. Typically, a CV emphasises your relevant skills and certifications. If you're applying for a software engineer role, you may need to send in your CV alongside a cover letter detailing your experiences and explaining why you'd be a good fit for that specific position and company.

Related: How To Write a Cover Letter

How to create a CV

You can follow these steps to create a great CV:

1. Add your personal information in a header

The first section of a CV contains your contact information and other personal details. Be sure to include information like:

  • name

  • phone number

  • email address

  • portfolio link

  • professional profile link

You can incorporate creativity into your CV header if you would like. For example, you might make your name a larger font to emphasise it, so recruiters remember it. You can also include images, logos or custom fonts to add personality to the document.

2. Write a concise professional summary

Another key section of a great CV is the professional summary. A professional summary is a brief paragraph that highlights your top qualifications as a software engineer. Usually, professional summaries are one or two sentences long. You can highlight your most impressive skills, accomplishments or programming languages. You can also include your career objective. For example, your software engineer professional summary might say, 'Passionate software engineer skilled in Python. Seeking positions in the London area.'

3. Create a section with your top skills

You can also create a section that features your top skills as a software engineer. In this section, highlight key skills that apply to your career as a software engineer, emphasising the skills that relate most to the particular job that you're applying for. You can make this section easy for your future employer to scan by presenting your skills in a bullet list. Some relevant skills for software engineers can include:

  • Attention to detail: Software engineers need strong attention to detail to write and debug code for software applications.

  • Communication: Communication skills are important for software engineers to work on teams effectively and report their results to other company employees.

  • Problem-solving: Software engineers also need problem-solving skills to spot and resolve bugs and logical errors in code.

Related: 6 Essential Software Engineer Skills

4. Add your professional experience

Be sure to include your professional experience in your CV. In this section, include companies you've worked for, your titles, the dates you were employed and your top responsibilities and accomplishments. You can list your responsibilities and accomplishments in a bullet list. Try to start each line with an action verb to make your CV engaging. Additionally, when you can, try to quantify your career accomplishments with numbers or metrics. For example, one bullet point might say, 'Developed three functioning software programs with a team of software engineers.'

5. Include your educational credentials

After your professional experience section, include information about your education, including the name of your educational institution, your degree and the dates you attended. You can also include activities you participated in, leadership positions you held, academic awards and any other information that illustrates your educational experience.

6. Add your certifications

You can also add relevant certifications in another section of your CV. Some popular certifications for software engineers include the Project Management Professional certification and the Secure Software Lifecycle Professional certification. Including this CV section can further prove your training and expertise in software engineering.

7. List your programming languages

For software engineers, it's essential to include programming languages in your CV. This shows recruiters that you have the basic skills and knowledge to excel as a software engineer. Some of the top languages for software engineers include:

  • Python

  • Java

  • JavaScript

  • Scala

  • C

  • C++

You don't have to list every programming language on your CV. Instead, focus on the languages you specialise in or the languages listed in the job description of the position you're applying for.

Related: FAQ: What Is JavaScript?

8. Create a section with your relevant interests

If you'd like, you can also create a section of your CV that lists your relevant interests. The purpose of including this section is to show employers your personality. It can also show them how you would fit in with their culture. In this section, try to include your interests that relate specifically to the job you're applying for.

Related: 6 Universal Rules for Writing Your CV

Software engineer CV template

Here is a template you can use to help you create your CV:

[Name]
[Location]
[Phone number]
[Email address]

Professional Summary
[Brief summary of your top qualifications.]

Skill

  • [Skill]

  • [Skill]

  • [Skill]

  • [Skill]

  • [Skill]

Professional Experience
[Company]
[Position]
[Dates worked]

  • [Responsibility]

  • [Responsibility]

  • [Responsibility]

  • [Responsibility]

[Company]
[Position]
[Dates worked]

  • [Responsibility]

  • [Responsibility]

  • [Responsibility]

  • [Responsibility]

Education
[Educational institution]
[Degree]
[Years attended]

Certifications

  • [Certification]

  • [Certification]

Languages

  • [Language]

  • [Language]

Interests

  • [Interest]

  • [Interest]

Related: CV Format Guide: Examples and Tips

Software engineer CV example

Here is a CV example based on the template:

Corinne Hamilton
Bristol, England
07117-555-555
corinne.hamilton@email.com

Professional Summary
Passionate software engineer skilled in Python, Java and JavaScript. Open to positions in the Bristol, England area.

Skill

  • Attention to detail

  • Problem-solving

  • Communication

  • Critical thinking

  • Creativity

Professional Experience
Bristol Tech
Junior software engineer
May 2021–Present

  • Work on a team of junior software engineers to design and develop software programs

  • Debug code and update software programs

  • Build applications for a variety of company platforms

  • Report results to senior software engineers and other company departments

Ignite Engineering
Software engineering intern
January 2021–May 2021

  • Worked under the supervision of a senior software engineer to apply engineering principles

  • Designed and wrote code for three unique software applications

  • Debugged code and tested programs

  • Wrote reports and presented results to senior staff

Education
Edinburgh University
Bachelor of Science in Computer Science
August 2017–May 2021

Certifications

  • Secure Software Lifecycle Professional

  • Project Management Professional

Languages

  • Python

  • Java

  • JavaScript

Interests

  • Building computers

  • Developing mobile applications

What is a software engineer?

A software engineer is a programming professional who designs and codes computer software programs and applications. Software engineers are also responsible for updating and debugging software. They often work in teams with other engineers and information technology professionals. Software engineers are in high demand across many industries, including information technology, health care, business and government.

Tips for creating your CV

Here are some tips you can use to create your CV:

Customise your CV for each position you apply for

One tip you can use to improve the effectiveness of your CV is to customise it for each position that you apply for. Be sure to match the information in your CV to the job descriptions of the roles that interest you. You can also scan job descriptions for keywords and incorporate these words into your CV. For example, if you're interested in a job with a description that contains 'teamwork', be sure to include this keyword in the skills section of your CV.

Add personalisation

You can also personalise your CV to make it more reflective of your personality and interests. This can give potential employers insight into who you are as a person, which can help them gauge how you could match their company culture. Along with your interests, you can also add relevant hobbies to your CV. For example, if you enjoy creating mobile game applications, you can include this in your CV.

Include your tech stack

If you're applying for software engineering positions, be sure to include your tech stack in your CV. This can help you show potential employers that you have the basic skills and knowledge to excel as a software engineer. Be sure to include your programming languages as well as any programming tools you're proficient in. You can also include any additional tech skills you have, such as database management.

Related:

  • 8 Software Engineer Interview Questions and Example Answers

  • How to become a software engineer (Plus key skills)


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