The computer science resume writing is no rocket science. It just takes an understanding of how to convert your passion for technology, computer skills, and qualifications into a readable and attractive document. Although computer science has a variety of applications, your resume has only one purpose – to make hiring authorities want to invite you for a job interview. Many computer science graduates find it hard, as combining all of the skills and passions on one document is often too confusing.
Whether you love working with new computer-based technologies, enjoy developing new software solutions or designing operating systems, your computer science resume is your key to landing your next job in the field of IT world. And yes, it is possible to create one on your own! All you need to do is a rough resume outline or a sample you can use to guide your writing efforts.
What Makes a Computer Science Resume Different from Traditional Resumes?
An effective computer science resume should be different from the run-of-the-mill resumes job seekers develop in order to impress employers. Due to the nature of the field, the document should address the interests of potential employers, which usually are a little bit different from those operating in other fields/occupations. Therefore, the answer to the question “What makes a computer science resume different?” should really be based on how hiring managers in this particular field evaluate applications.
Specialization. When it comes to writing a computer science resume, specialization can make a huge difference. As we have mentioned before, this field has a lot of practical applications in real life; thus, computer science has different subcategories (i.e. programming, research, network architecture, etc.) If you really want your application to be impressive, focus on a specific area. Ideally, it should be relevant to the needs and wants of potential employers.
Certifications. Professional development and certifications aren’t very important in traditional resumes. They are usually listed at the end of the document either in the education section or in the one following it. For computer science experts, certifications prove they dedicated some extra time to keep up with the latest trends and technological developments. This is crucially important for the professionals in this industry.
Skills in action. Now, this is also common for traditional resumes – all employers want to see how candidates used their skills as opposed to just reading the skills list section. But the difference is that computer science specialists often can easily demonstrate the results of their work – websites, software, etc. Therefore, including either the link to your portfolio or placing links to your work samples within your work experience section is a must.
How to Write a Computer Science Resume?
Just with any other resume, the ultimate purpose is to make sure the potential employers are interested in your candidacy to the extent that they would be willing to invite you for an interview. Usually, a reverse-chronological format works best but the combination format can also work just fine. Hiring managers expect one or two pages of a well-structured content outlining your relevant skills, qualifications. What matters the most is experiences similar to the responsibilities the company is looking for you to take on. So it is always better to carefully read the job advertisement before writing your computer science resume. This way you will be more effective in making your message relevant to the potential employer.
Start Your Computer Science Resume with Contact Details
This section usually includes a full name along with a physical address, email address, and contact phone number. Some job seekers don’t think this part of the resume is important but the truth of the matter is that if you fail to incorporate this information, the hiring managers might just discard your resume at once. Who would want to spend extra time looking for your contacts if there are other candidates who can be contacted immediately?
Also, it would be great if you could add here a link to your LinkedIn account, personal website, and online portfolio. It would demonstrate your skills in action – just what employers want to see.
Proceed to a Computer Science Resume Summary
The next section should be a summary (also known as a profile or overview of qualifications). This is the place where you have to briefly outline all of your credentials and skills that make up your value proposition to the employer. Keep it to 4-6 statements. Some people believe job seekers can still go with an objective statement but a summary is much more effective in terms of communicating your value to prospective employers.
A brief resume summary helps hiring managers to evaluate candidates within seconds. In about 6 seconds after your resume is opened, a decision will be made regarding you as a candidate – you will either be ignored or your resume will get some extra attention. So there are a lot of things at stake when you write this section. Make sure you include the most important information about your technical background, skills, and accomplishments that would be relevant for the particular employer.
Describing Your Work Experience
Finally, we got to the core of a computer science resume. All employers want to know what you actually did as opposed to simply what skills you claim to have or what degree you graduated with. Experience is one of the most important criteria for any type of resume, and a computer science resume is no exception.
List your jobs/projects in reverse-chronological order (meaning you start with the most recent experiences and end with the last ones). This way employers will be able to identify which skills you used recently. Include the name of the company, the dates, and your specific role. Additionally, list your responsibilities and accomplishments. But be brief here, there is no need to include more than 5-6 statements. Do this for every employment or project you had. It may well be that you will have to be selective and include those details that will matter to the employer (in case you have an extensive work history). The key here is to keep everything relevant, brief, and up to the point.
Include Your Educational Credentials
The fact that employers look more at work experience than on education doesn’t mean the latter is not important. In fact, having a degree in computer science or in a related field is a good starting point. So make sure you include the following
- Name of the educational establishment and its location
- Degree type and major
- Awards or academic achievements
You may also include your certifications and licenses as a subsection of your educational credentials (alternatively, you can have a separate section for this). As we have mentioned at the beginning of this article, your professional development and training mean more to potential employers than you think. So don’t be shy to include all relevant training courses completed as well as obtained licenses and certificates.
Don’t Forget About Your Skills Section
You might think that listing your technical skills must be more important than education or even work experience on a computer science resume. Therefore, they should be placed before these resume sections. Well, while there is a certain logic in doing that, the employers might have a different opinion about that. The reason is that the skills section on computer science resumes look almost identical. That means that this is not the section that will set you apart from other candidates (but your work experience and education might).
The employers want to know if you actually used those skills in real life rather than whether you can put them together in one resume section. That said, the skills section on a computer science resume is something most employers would expect but it is not as important as most job seekers assume.
Computer Science Resume Sample