Computer Science Resume and How to Write Guide 2023
Technical skills, programming languages, and problem-solving skills are essential to computer science positions. But even if you have all the needed qualifications to make a recruiter's day – you still need to have an excellent computer science resume to back up your experience and education.
While there were a few years when computer science majors numbers were dropping, that's no longer the case today. Tons of people learn all the skills needed to make software, handle databases, create video games, work with completed programs, and make mobile apps every year.
Since many people have this kind of background, a resume can make you stand out. If you're applying for a major company, making sure you have an excellent computer science resume will push you to the top of the candidate list. This guide will walk through everything you need to know to create the resume any hiring manager wants in their inbox.
Computer Science Resume Example
There are lots of computer science resume examples out there, but it can be hard to decide which to focus your attention on. We will make it easy by providing a sample CS resume that can be used no matter how much experience you have. It has all the needed information to get you started.
We'll share CS resume examples and explain what they convey to a hiring manager or recruiter. We'll also ensure you know how to write a competitive resume even if you're just getting your footing in the industry. For those who have years of experience, we'll share tips on sharing a resume that is read from top to bottom.
In addition to providing a finely tailored sample computer science resume throughout this guide, we'll also go into all the resume sections that matter. For example, most recruiters will expect your resume to include the following information:
- Contact information
- A resume objective
- Your past work experience
- Any education in your background
- The skills you hold in technical fields
- References who can vouch for you
Link to resume builder
You can see how these sections come together to create an excellent computer science resume in the example image above. The majority of this guide will focus on how each of those sections should look and be written to give you the best chance of getting the job you are interested in.
How to Make a Computer Science Resume: A Full Guide to Writing Successful CS Resumes in 2023
Creating the absolute best computer science resume doesn't happen by chance. It takes a good amount of work to ensure you include all the correct information and format it the way a recruiter expects. One of the best ways to do that is by choosing a computer science internship resume template that you can add your information to.
The appeal is that the bulk of the formatting is done for you. While you can change things to show your personality, all the needed sections are included and adding your personal information is simple and straightforward. However, you can also make your own resume for computer science students using a program like Microsoft.
The most common format for a computer science resume is reverse-chronological. That means you list the most recent education and work positions you have had first before moving on to experiences that occurred in the past. We'll explain more about that in the appropriate sections.
However, a functional resume can be used if you are new to a field. It's designed for those who have less work experience. It focuses more on your skills than the actual work you've done for other employers. Another option is a combination resume that combines the reverse-chronological and functional resumes.
Now that you have an idea of what a computer science resume should include and look like, we want to delve into the sections you should include. We'll share important tips that will help you get noticed, even if dozens or hundreds of other people are applying for the same position.
Section #1: Personal Contact Information for CS Resumes
Now that we've talked about various resume formatting options, you can get started with the actual production of the document. This will be easier using a CS resume template but feel free to handle the process by hand if you prefer. The first section we will be focusing on is personal contact information.
This section is easy to create and integral to the resume creation process. It can get you started on the process and guide you to the other sections, so you're ready to apply for a job you want to get. The primary purpose of this section is to introduce yourself and provide information about how a hiring manager can contact you.
Contact Information Example
As you can see in Aaron's resume, the contact information is a short section. It shows the applicant's name and provides several ways to reach them. A recruiter can easily see who you are and knows how to email you, call you, or even send over physical documents to you, depending on the information you provide. This should be a concise section with only the necessary contact details.
How to Format This Section
The CS resume example above gives you an idea of a format that works well. In this case, the contact information is on the left side of the resume to keep it separated from other information. In addition, the top of the resume will have the applicant's name, so that is provided in two places.
However, you can also include all this information in the top middle section of the resume. You want to ensure you have an email address and phone number. Other information is helpful but doesn't have to be included.
For the purposes of a computer science resume, you may wish to include a link to your LinkedIn, GitHub, or both. Add your address if you wish or at least include the state and city where you live.
Section #2: Resume Objective
The computer science resume objective is next and is more in-depth than the contact information section. In fact, this might be the most crucial section of the entire CS resume, so you should spend your time crafting and proofreading it to get the best results. This section should not be ignored because it's the first place a recruiter will look.
Studies show that most resumes are only looked at for a few seconds, so you want to make every one of them count. The resume objective acts as your pitch, so you need to show that you are the ultimate person for the job. That's a lot of pressure, so you need to really think through what you place in this section and how you present yourself on paper.
Resume Objective for Entry Level Computer Science Resume
Above, you'll see a computer science intern resume. In this case, Aaron has some experience, but it may not be as extensive as some other applicants for the position. Most of what he's done has been in a peripheral field.
This can also be adapted to a computer science student resume with no experience. In that case, make sure to include information about skills you have that might fit the job. For instance, you could make a note of your knowledge of HTML and CSS.
As someone who is still a student, you can also note projects you've done in university or on your own time to show off what you are capable of. The point is to sell yourself and show an employer that you can do the job. There are many ways to do that, even if you've never worked in a computer science position in the past.
Resume Objective for Mid-Career CS Resume
Now we come to a mid-career CS resume. This image gives you an idea of what a computer science undergraduate resume might look like. In this case, the person has worked full-time in programming and has projects they can describe to show their knowledge base. You can do the same but make sure it fits the job description you are working off of.
The important thing here is to show you can do the job. However, being able to quantify your skills is also a great idea. If you show that you've done great work in the past, it's more likely a recruiter will be interested in additional information. Use action words to make this section exciting so it is read all the way through.
Resume Objective for Senior Computer Science Resume
Finally, we have an example resume objective for a computer science professional. When you have several years of experience as a computer scientist, you should have plenty of information to add to your resume objective. Whether your focus is on algorithms, programming, or debugging, you can share that with hiring managers and recruiters.
Use numbers throughout the objective to show your impact in previous positions. Focus on skills that are familiar to you that are listed on the job description. The idea is to share what you can do and why you are applying for a specific position. Take bits from past jobs to show why you should get an interview.
How to Format This Section
Hiring managers expect to see a specific format when reading your resume objective. The good news is that it doesn't change regardless of your level of experience. You want to be sure your computer science resume is very informative while only taking up a few lines of space. The best resume objective will be about two to four sentences in length.
Section #3: Professional Work Experience
If you're looking to get an information technology position, it's essential to consider how you frame your work experience from the past. Make sure to include any past computer science jobs you have had. However, even those without experience can make this section work for them. The resume objective might get a recruiter to continue reading; the work experience also plays a massive part in being called back.
Keep in mind that the information you include will vary based on the positions you have held in the past. As such, the work experience section needs to be updated for every job you apply to. For those without computer science experience, you can add in projects you did in class, volunteer information, and other things in other sections to ensure you get the chance you deserve.
Work Experience Example
Aaron's resume above shows his work experience. He has some relevant experience in the industry as well as experience in other positions. The work experience he includes focuses on things that might be useful in the new position if he gets an interview. Add in skills you've used, such as programming for Linux or Android, so you keep recruiters interested.
How to Format This Section
Most computer science resumes have a similar format for your work experience. This is where you start using the reverse-chronological format we mentioned earlier in this guide. Place information on the top about your current or most recent job (such as the company, when you worked there, and what projects you did). Next, move to the job you had before that one and continue until you have added all relevant information.
Section #4: Educational Background
Now that you have all your experience at work included, you want to share what kind of educational background you have. While some people in computer science only have a high school diploma, it's more common to have some level of college coursework. This is the area where you will include all your education, so an employer has a way to determine what you know and have experience with.
In Aaron's education section, it shows that he went to university and has a bachelor's degree in computer science. It also has the name of the university and what years he was studying. You can see that Aaron's CS resume example also includes additional information about his GPA and achievements, like being on the dean's list. This is often done when an applicant has limited experience in a position.
How to Format This Section
You should make sure you format this section with your most recent education on top. So, you'd add your master's degree to the top and follow that with your bachelor's degree information. Make sure to include the same information for each entry, so it looks good on the page. Otherwise, use a simple font and consider a resume template to make things shine.
Section #5: Skills
When you want to nail the process of getting your dream job, you need a computer science skills resume. The truth is that computer science covers a wide range of positions, so you need to show that you have skills that correspond to the job you want. If you haven't had a chance to share all the abilities you have in other sections of the resume, this is where you can add them to ensure they are noticed.
You can see above that Aaron has included both hard and soft skills on his resume. If you're curious about which technical skills are most common on a computer science resume, the list below will give you an excellent place to start:
Of course, your resume will differ from Aaron's. Maybe you have knowledge of SQL, PHP, and Java. You might focus on programming for specific operating systems or specialize in web development rather than software development. Add the appropriate skills to show you know what is needed for the position.
How to Format This Section
For programmers, this section needs to be concise and easy to understand. It's usually a simple list that encompasses the skills you are the best at. But don't put in random skills that don't apply to the job you wish to interview for. In addition to stating the skills you have, make sure that you include insight into how experienced you are with each of them.
Section #6: References
Now that we get to the reference section, you're almost to the end of creating a resume for a computer science position. If you use a computer science resume template, this entire process should be quick and easy other than the brainstorming needed to create the content. We started off with the easy-to-write contact information section, and now we're finishing with another easy section: references.
The references section Aaron uses is the most simple of all, but it might not be sufficient for everyone. In the example, rather than including reference names and companies, Aaron has simply asked the recruiters to contact him for that information. This can work well for privacy or if you need to decide which references to use if you get called back for an interview.
How to Format This Section
The example above is one sample of a references section, but there is another possibility. Instead of leaving a short description letting employers know to contact you, consider adding the names of references and where they are employed. This doesn't mean you have to share their phone numbers and emails. Add "available on request" for that section and you retain privacy while sharing references who know you have relevant experience.
Other Science Resume Examples and Templates
Now that you have an idea of the resume format best for computer science and have looked over our resume sample, you can start creating your own work document. While this sample is an excellent template for a computer science job, others can be used with a bit of modification to meet your needs.
Consider viewing these other resumes to decide which is most appealing to you. After all, you want to show yourself in the best light. The examples linked below can easily be used for various jobs in the computer science world. Each is unique but has a format that will appeal to any recruiters who come across your information:
No matter which resume template you choose, you can be sure it's a tried and true option that has helped individuals like you get jobs in the past. Make sure to fill in the template fully and go over it for typos and other issues before you send it in to the hiring manager.
Final Points on Writing a Good Comp Sci Resume
If you've followed the steps above, you have a computer science resume that is sure to get your foot in the door. The final step is crafting a compelling cover letter to send in with the resume, so you have all your bases covered. But just to go over the basics again, you should do the following when creating a CS resume:
- Organize all your information, from contact information to accomplishments and experience.
- Choose the best format for your resume, whether that means a reverse-chronological, functional, or combination style.
- Create the sections and outline what you will include in each of them.
- Decide whether you will use a template or build your own resume in word processing software.
- Craft your personal information, write your objective, and list your education and job experience.
- Include skills and references and make sure you use relevant keywords.
Once you reach this point, all that is left is going through the resume for grammar issues and typos. Programs like Grammarly can help you with this so you can be sure you are turning in the best possible computer science resume. Once you're sure things look as good as they can get, turn in the resume and cover letter.
If you follow these steps and adhere to the tips throughout the guide, you'll be sure to hear back from one of the companies you are interested in. Good luck!