How to write a killer Resumé: Software Engineer Edition (PRACTICAL INCLUDED)


hi and welcome to my channel my name is
Linda and as mentioned in my previous videos I work as a software engineer if
this is your first time here well welcome if this is not your first time
welcome back I’m going to be showing and telling you how to write a great resume
as a software engineer first I’m going to be talking about how important
resumes are exactly then I’m going to be talking about the questions to ask
yourself before writing your resume or before modifying your resume or before
rewriting your resume then I’m going to go into the practical
tips to writing a great resume before we proceed with this video though I want to
show you a resume this is a fictional resume this is not real
none of the companies in the resume are real and also it’s just all made up
by me but I want you to take a look at this resume and see if you can
think of any things that immediately jump out to you that are wrong with it
because later on in this video we are going to be applying some of the tips
that I will share and some of the ways that I will show you on how to write a
great resume to this resume now that we’ve taken a look at that resume
hopefully you paused the video to actually look at the resume we can now
go into the video proper the first thing I want to talk about is how important is
your resume exactly I feel the need to talk about this because I mean the
question comes up like why do I need to be extra careful about my resume why do
I need to care why can’t I just slap my skills my experience my whole life story
into the resume well this is because in many cases especially if you’re applying
to jobs that have high traffic your resume is basically what gives you a
foot in the door and many times like this is where a lot of people get cut
off a lot of us get caught off at this point at the point where our resume gets
to a hiring manager gets to a recruiter another reason why it’s important to
care about your resume is that a lot of hiring managers don’t really have time
so you need to write your resume in a way that captures and holds their attention
you really don’t want to just slap your skills and experience in a haphazard way and push it on I know how it is, a few years ago, I sucked at writing a resume. I also taught the same thing like I was just going to
slap my skills experience and stuff on my resume I was lucky enough to meet
someone wonderful who gave me a great review on my resume and basically
launched my interest into resumes refining resumes and like researching
what’s best to do on a resume shoutout to you nkem by the way if you’re watching
this you’re amazing another thing is like okay sometimes you have a referral
sometimes you have someone that can actually place your resume in the hiring
pipeline not that this shields you from the fact that you have
to work on your resume but if you don’t even have that then it becomes doubly
more important to work hard on your resume another thing is when you have
less experience or when you have less of something that is the most sought-after
team in your industry you have even more reason to pay attention to your resume
because that’s the only thing that you can rely on to reach people and to break
through those barriers of like expectations and communicate that you
are actually awesome at what you do you need to write about your skills and
experience not just the way it happened to you not just the way I’d like to call
it your life story not just that you need to also write it in the way that it
appeals to other people which is basically thinking of them what they
will be able to receive and not just what you want to tell them because do
you need to consider both things when after you writing a resume so a quick
shot disclaimer your resume is only as good as your skills on your experience
ideally in an ideal world so your resume shoot represents your skills your
experience everything about your profile accurately that’s the goal that’s the
aim you have a higher chance of being ignored when your resume doesn’t even
work if you can’t communicate to the hiring manager or the recruiter
what you can do what you are it’s just it’s useless it really is okay let’s get
on to the next beat before I can arrest me there are
questions that are usually good practices to ask yourself because they
guide you in writing your resume the first question is what is my profile who
are you how would you introduce yourself to someone who hasn’t met you and not
just anyone who hasn’t met you someone who you are hoping we will eventually
have to offer you a job how would you introduce yourself to that person you
have to know these in mind like you have to have a goal for a resume that you
want your resume to communicate the second question that I think is really
helpful to ask yourself is what am I trying to sell because your resume is
like trying to sell yourself or selling yourself even and there’s quite a number
of things that you could be selling as a software engineer you could be selling
the fact that you have a lot of experience or that you have expertise or
that you have skills or that you have education that could be tons of things
you sell ideally I think if you have all of these things and they are relevant to
your job then you should definitely be selling all of them but it often happens
that you don’t have one or two of these things now this question is especially
important it’s especially important because while selling yourself you want
to highlight things that you want to sell you want to lay emphasis on them
because that’s what you actually want to communicate you don’t want to give equal
standing to two things and where one of them is something that you actually have
to sell that exactly valuable and the other one doesn’t have any value like
there’s no reason to place them on the same skill when writing your resume as a
software engineer some of the things that should be on your resume contact
information technologies you are skilled at your work experience projects you’ve
worked on, another thing that typically should be in your resume is education if
you have any of these certifications that are useful to add to your resume okay
now that we’ve gotten that out of the way let’s get to practical tips for
writing resumes your resume needs to be relevant to the
job description usually when you have to open your resume when you’re modifying a
resume or writing your resume there’s usually like a job that you want to
apply to or more one or two jobs that you want to apply to I’m actually a firm
believer in making sure that your resume speaks directly to the job that you’re
trying to apply to if you’re trying to apply to a job as a your resume should
speak of a person that can do a it should clearly communicate that I
personally like to read the Job Description very very carefully and this
is what I whole-heartedly recommend. the Job Description find parallels
between it and your skills that you experience the technologies that you are
used to write your resume with that in mind imagine that you have your resume
right and you basically just do the same thing for different roles even though
the roles had slightly different responsibilities it’s not it’s like
using one template for everything it just thought it isn’t practical it’s not
effective now of course if you’re applying to the same kind of rules then
this particular piece of advice isn’t necessarily binding like you don’t have
to modify it separately but if you’re applying two roles that aren’t that
close to each other you want to pay close attention to what you actually
have on your resume and all this is within the boundary of honesty of course
this is obviously keeping in mind that you are still representing yourself
accurately so it’s typical of resumes to have an objective the thing with that is
that nobody really cares what you are looking for or what you want they care
about who you are and what you can do ditch the objective use a profile use a
summary use something that shows who you are what you can do not what you are
looking for or what you would like I mean that’s just not the purpose of a
resume there’s other points of your interviewing or just like relating with
so-and-so company or recruiter that you can’t communicate clearly what you are
looking for and honestly you have just about so much space I would use it in
being convincing about what you can offer and what you can do one of the
reasons why using a profile is great is that it’s a great opportunity to show
what you can do right off the bar so assuming that a recruiter or a hiring
manager looks at your resume actually and per adventure go to your objective
and technologies that you use they should get immediately a clear idea of who
you are if you look at both your profile actually I set objective a profile
because we’re changing to profile if you look at both your profile and
your technologies or your skills and they aren’t like communicating that
you’re the right person for the job I frankly think that that is also
ineffective so let’s go back to the resume that we looked at earlier and see
what we can do about it considering this that I just said so in the resume we have an objective I am looking to join a good team and
contribute skills to maximize team out put interested in building
aesthetically pleasing functional and accessible user interfaces I like the
second sentence I will offer my full commitment and be pleasant and friendly
addition to your team I think that this objective slash summary could be better
so I personally would change it first of all to a profile then I’m going to
switch the text completely so this person is a front-end software engineer
this person works on the front end and to write a profile about themselves I
write something like this front end software engineer with professional
experience translating design into pixel-perfect user interfaces and great
at building accessible user interfaces this already tells anybody who is
looking at this that maybe I should pay attention to this person they just like
right off the bat they know what you can do and they know exactly what they are
signing up for by looking at your resume and then I’m also going to be replacing
the next line with another sentence I am skilled in the latest front and
technologies like react js vue js and CSS grid this is another really good
thing to do imagine that this person was applying to a job that needed these
things right off the bat you already know that this is someone to talk to interesting and relevant information
should come first when ordering the items in your resume
the most interesting thing should come first you want to grab the attention of
whoever is reading your resume fast before they lose it because they
probably have tons of resumes to read through you want to order it in terms of
like the most recent thing you’ve been doing because that’s interesting because
lots of people want to know what you’re doing now your experience is probably a
lot more interesting than your education this is not the case for everybody
obviously if your education is more important in that role then the reverse
is the case like it should come first whatever is more important for an
average software engineer like someone who just works as a software engineer I
think it’s going to be likely true to say that your experience and like what
you’re doing right now matters and in that order what you did before that what
you did before that it just should happen in order so I’m going to go back
to this resume that we’re using as our example right now what we’re going to do
is that we have this block about education which is like high school
education doesn’t seem particularly relevant so I’m just going to completely
remove it and then we have another block about the actual university degree it’s
a university degree so it seems relevant to mention that you do have it like a
bachelor’s but I’m going to move this down the list because it just isn’t
something that I’m looking to see when I look at this resume now I’m going to be
moving the blocks for experience up in order starting from the 2018 to present
2016 and everything else emphasize your individual contributions when people
look at your resume they want to know what you did not really what your team
did not where your company did what you did I like to think of this part as a
call to think about your task on your rule and like everything you did in the
past in terms of the advantages that you introduced or the value they introduced
because this is what is ideal to actually put in your like your
experience blocks where you go a little bit in depth about what you do in rows
not in depth but like where you write a few details about your set your
in places it’s more about the things you did and I especially know that this can
be hard when you haven’t been tracking it and then you have to write your
resume or something but you forgotten everything you did so I think it’s also
like good practice to document stuff you do like write about it share it keep it
to yourself but just keep it somewhere make another working log of what if
doing so it doesn’t get lost in time it’s just always better to highlight the
important things about the rules you had about to what you did let’s go back to
this resume and actually show this an action back at the resume we have this
experience block which is for full-stack software engineer which is the current
rule the description of the rule is built api’s and real components that is
them testing UI component discussing and implementing new features that concern
external API staff business integrate with ok they aged in some cases in some
cases good but I’ll completely replace the first one which is built api’s and
we add components that use them with something like creating modular reusable
and flexible react components that are easy to maintain sounds better
communicates that you actually did something valuable even though it’s
still creating react components I think I would go with this one and then for
testing UI components I will replace this week something a bit more technical
like you need testing with chai plus mocha and regression testing you eat
five of CSS like that already sounds more impressive and just like shows that
you knew what you’re doing it’s not like you haven’t worked with this stuff
you’ve worked with this stuff sure that you have when it comes in last up which
is discussing and implementing new features that concern external API is
our business sis integrate which I would completely
change this to say brainstorming and planning application features and
flexible implementation of Ted patty REST API it’s the same thing or building
it the ice for third parties maybe just usually right wedding and show some kind
of value pricing it for the juice for the value that’s important so now we
have it looked at is not only very technical it
communicates immediately that you know what you are talking about this is
basically what I mean show your individual contribution show the value
that you actually add it we also have another block which goes like rules
include that come up with ways on how to make a user interface more interesting
and informing to users optimizing the code ways to make it more efficient and
more developer-friendly which isn’t completely bad I just I will reward this
I will change it to something like redesigned the user interface I made it
more engaging by presenting the information in a more meaningful and
interactive way yeah by massively improving and Jesus experience
emphasizing the value that you introduced because you didn’t reduce the
value so why not so the next item optimizing the code base to make it more
efficient and more developer-friendly I will reward these two refactoring legacy
code base to make it more modular and maintainable boom same thing sounds
better numbers are good numbers are good especially when they mean something good
actually I’m going to go for that and say only when they mean something good
if a number isn’t helping you isn’t introducing any kind of advantage your
resume I just wouldn’t add it there but when a number is good when you present
something good then in general it makes sense to other because numbers are very
very concise little things that pass the message quickly an example of this is
something like experience if you’re applying for a room that needs a
particular number of years of experience and you have that number or you have
above that number and you’re already on the good side of things when it comes to
experience but you definitely want to make sure that it’s collect from your
resume maybe immediately let’s go back to the
resume that were using as an example and see if we can use numbers to actually
improve this resume in any way we go back to the resume and we add to the
profile front-end software engineer with five years of professional experience
translating design into pixel-perfect user interfaces and great at building
accessible user interfaces perfect I know there’s no doubt in whoever’s mind
that really distracted me map this is someone
that I like I know what the person can do I know what they are skilled at and I
don’t even have to go through the whole resume conciseness you need to make your
resume as concise as possible what without leaving out any information that
you think is relevant for the resume you have to be concise that’s the goal
because honestly if someone has tons of resumes to review conciseness is going
to be really great in that case I mean this is also different from when someone
has all the time to spend on your resume so need to keep that in mind but at the
personal rule I think one-page resumes are best when things can fit in one
place donate and necessary information there is no need to list every single
technology or skill that you’ve ever done in your life fit in the
technologies that are relevant to the rules we’ve had and in a way that
doesn’t make it cluttered anyway that doesn’t make your resume hard to read
because that would defeat the purpose of even having them there in the first
place there’s no need to spend time describing your your workplace or your
previous work place the point of the resume is you as a person now let’s go
back to be sure to me that we are still using as an example to see if there’s
any of these things that we can correct and distracting me and there is first
thing we can see obviously is that the technology is at least there lights
it’s a massive clutter of things that just don’t follow any order that I can
think of really and I said of having something like this I would have
something like this so basically instead of live scene and all the JavaScript
frameworks and like literally every testing library I’ve ever used or this
person has ever used I would replace it with JavaScript hands-on es6 experience
another heading GS frameworks list some frameworks that I knew I relevant to
this rule or relevant to my experience rest
api’s graph QL another heading testing list the testing libraries that I’ve
used or that are very relevant to my role and then this other keywords that
are relevant but do it without cluttered and so if we scroll down this resume
we can also see a block where this person actually describes the company
that they worked with you know if the company is doing something really
interesting I can’t judge that so much but I would completely remove this block
as it’s done so if the block is hogwash lethwei is a company that specializes in
developing indigenous team and local games for people who the company also
makes this cheap and affordable on necessary I would completely remove this
book from this resume because it just doesn’t belong here be technical use keywords being
technical is part of your whole career and this shouldn’t change in your resume
using the right terms using the right technical terms as always a plus if
there’s a right time for something like an acceptable term like a jargon for
this particular concept you definitely want to use it as is because these are
ways that we immediately communicate what we’re trying to say so it’s better
that you use something that is known like the phrase that is known or the
word that is known for communicating what you want to communicate because
then people don’t have barriers when trying to understand what you’re saying
if you look at the resume that we had we can see that we have replaced a lot of
text that we started with with technical terms I assume that this is something
that like everyone does but just in case you haven’t been doing it definitely too don’t be vague or boring by being vague
I mean just writing generic statements that do not actually tell people
anything it’s tempting especially if you don’t
like writing resumes so just put in feel of stuff in there try not to do this and
also don’t put in boring tasks when you are writing about what you did somewhere
else you don’t want to make it sound boring like you don’t want to make it
sound like routine or every day because no matter what if you work every day
there is something interesting that you are solving you just have to think of it
documented have it somewhere I don’t really care how you get it out just get
it out and put it on that resume you should always highlight the interesting
things that I do the complex things I do you do it difficult to achieve by the
way this is all bearing in mind conciseness
this is all bearing in mind everything upset earlier so why not try a new way
conciseness or just saying if anything is there make it count this is like your
opportunity to present yourself it deserves this and these are for don’t
even feel any type of way about the fact that you have to do all of this work
just to write a resume it’s definitely what it’s the last practical resume tip
that I have is the simplest and also somehow one of the hardest to get right
keep it simple and easy to read this should actually be a guiding factor when
it comes to resumes it’s very easy to make it closer it’s very easy to just
put things in there try to have a very weird distracting design but like keep
it simple one easy to read let me go be that you are trying to
communicate and your goal is that people understand what you’re saying first
before it is to impress them you choose I mean this of course this this is
applying through software engineers but I’m pretty sure there’s roles where your
resume could need a bit of distraction but just as software engineers you want
to communicate your skills your abilities your expertise you don’t want
to distract you want to keep it simple you want to keep it smooth and you want
to keep it to the point this takes a lot of work I’m not even saying it like it’s
easy like this takes a whole lot of work but I think it’s work that is watch it
and that’s why I really wanted to make this video because I personally have had
to do a lot a lot of work on my resume I still do a little poke on my resume
whenever I need to use it that’s all I have for this video thank you so much if
you stop with it till the end and if you found this video really helpful I really
appreciate it if you give me a thumbs up feel free to share with someone who you
think it might be helpful to or leave a comment let me know what you liked about
it the feedback means a lot to me thank you so much for watching this video and
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that people want to see the content that I make and if you aren’t subscribed yet
if you like the kind of content that I’m making or that I’ve made so far
definitely subscribe I’ll see you in my next video which hopefully is going to
be sooner than this video took like in Tamil have a good day whatever time
of the day you’re watching this and bye see you next time

9 thoughts on “How to write a killer Resumé: Software Engineer Edition (PRACTICAL INCLUDED)

  1. Hi Lynda, thanks for sharing.
    Do you have any recommendations or is there a possibility you could work on an episode on cover letters for software engineers. It'll be really helpful.
    Thanks again.

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