Software Development CV Example and CV Writing Guide – CV Nation

Software Development CV Example and CV Writing Guide

The number one guide to writing the perfect software development CV, with a software developer CV sample and expert career advice.

Software development is one of the fastest growing professions.

As stated in CNBC’s job growth guide, the number of software development jobs is expected to grow by 31% by 2026.

The world is going to require more and more computer applications and programs, along with talented developers to make them.

As such, software developers will always be in high demand. With this in mind, software development is a great career choice.

However, competition for software development jobs is strong.

It’s vital that you approach your job applications with an effective, professional software development CV to ensure you have the best chance of success.

What’s included in this guide?

- The best software development CV example

- How to structure your software development CV

- How to present your technical skills on your software development CV

- The most important soft skills for software developers to include on their CV

- How to format your education and training on your software development CV

- How to optimise your CV for Applicant Tracking Systems (ATS)

- A software development CV template that you can use now


Software Development CV Example


How to structure your software development CV

Include a professional profile

When writing a CV for software development jobs, it’s important to start with an engaging professional profile that highlights your job skills and experiences.

Ensure your professional profile – sometimes referred to as a personal statement or a CV profile – shows what makes you unique. Make yourself stand out from the competition by drawing attention to how you can add value as a software developer.

Above all, ensure your professional profile is tailored to you and your career experiences.

Take a look at the professional profile example below. Notice that the professional profile is tailored to the candidate, focusing on her successes, skills and experiences as a software developer.

'Methodical, client-focused full-stack software developer, with over seven years of experience in mobile application development. Adept at managing all stages of the software development life-cycle, from requirements gathering and feasibility studies to deployment and maintenance. Recognised for developing bespoke communication and mobile applications that optimise business performance and generate positive customer reviews.

Proficient with object-oriented programming languages, as well as algorithms, data structures and machine learning. Enjoys collaborating with colleagues and building cultures of cross-functional working to provide a greater platform for the success of projects.'

Include your technical skills

The technical skills section is one of the most important parts of software development CVs.

Employers and recruiters need to know which technical skills you bring to the table, and it's important that they can instantly access this information.

In this section, you should include all of your technical skills, including languages, environments, applications, development tools and methodologies.

It’s vital that your technical skills are presented in an easy-to-read manner.

Don’t bunch them all together in one big block of text. Use columns to spread them across the page, as well as line spacing to add space between blocks of text.

Here is a sample of a good software development technical skills section:

Software development CV technical skills section

What if you’ve got a huge list of technical skills? Should you take up the entire page?

The key to effectively presenting large amounts of technical skills is to utilise word processors' formatting features.

With Microsoft Word, you can add three columns to spread the content out across the page. This way, you can include multiple technical skills without taking up the entire page.

Take a look at the example technical skills section above and note how the section utilises two columns, which takes up less space on the page.

Which technical skills are important for software developers?

The most important technical skills for software developers depends on the role you are applying. Some employers might require proficiency with C++ language. Others may require you to be competent with Java or PHP.

This is why you should always study the job listing when preparing your CV. This way, you can tailor your CV to the requirements of the job.

Key technical skills for software developers includes:

- Cloud Computing Expertise

- Agile Methodologies and Scaled Agile Methodologies

- Waterfall Methodologies

- Data Structures, Programming and Algorithms

- Coding

- Design Software

- Web Development

- Operating Systems

- Process Analysis

- Database Technologies

- Source Control

- System Design

- DevOps Practices

- Machine Learning

- Development Tools

- Software Testing

- Computer Languages (C, C++, Java, PHP, Python, JavaScript, CSS, HTML, Go, Ruby, C#, SQL)

Only include skills that you do in fact possess. We would never recommend lying on your CV. Not only is lying on your CV unethical, but it will also cause you problems down the road when you actually need to rely on the skills.

Articulate Your Soft Skills

While it’s vital that you convey your technical skills effectively, don’t neglect your soft skills.

When it comes to describing your soft skills, the key is to show, don’t tell.

What does this mean?

Instead of stating that you possess soft skills, provide examples of times you have utilised the skills in the career section of your CV.

By showing your soft skills instead of telling recruiters about them, you’ll make a much greater impact.

Here is an example:

‘Identified and rectified errors in the website’s code, which led to a better user experience and increased revenue of the company’s main product by 4%'.

Note how, while describing his duties and achievements, this software developer showcases her attention-to-detail skills.

This approach to detailing soft skills is much more effective than simply stating that you possess the skills.

Which soft skills are most important for software developers?
1. Communication

Whether it’s engaging with clients or team members, software developers must be good communicators.

The software development life-cycle involves a multitude of people in various roles. As such, software developers must be able to communicate effectively to ensure projects run smoothly.

Brian Cline touched on the importance of communication in software development in his article on GetCaddle, ‘I believe that a lot of my personal failures as a programmer were the result of communication problems and not usually technical reasons. The most important skill in software development is being able to communicate clearly’.

Communication encompasses active listening, providing constructive feedback, asking the right questions, confidence and clarity.

2. Problem-Solving

Software developers are faced with problems on a regular basis. Whether it be poor software performance, coding errors or client-related issues, an ability to solve problems efficiently is a key skill.

The best problem-solvers usually approach problems methodically: analysing the problem, exploring possible solutions and implementing corrective actions that deliver positive outcomes.

When writing your CV, show your accomplishments that came about as a result of your problem-solving skills.

3. Open-Mindedness

Software developers and engineers work in dynamic environments.

As such, being open-minded enough to adapt, explore new ideas and accept criticism is a vital skill for software developers.

Software developers who are open-minded are usually more effective as they don’t approach projects with tunnel vision. They take on-board input from clients, colleagues and others, which contributes to project success.

4. Adaptability

The environment software developers operate in changes often. New technologies, tools and software packages are constantly emerging, as are client requirements.

As such, the best software developers are able to adapt to change with ease.

This might involve being able to quickly master new technologies or swiftly responding to changes in the software development process.

Include Your Career Summary/Work Experience

Present your career history in a concise, well-organised manner.

Using the reverse-chronological format, start with your current or most recent role and work backwards.

Include your job title, the name of the company you worked for, the location of employment and the dates of employment.

Then focus on your duties, achievements and how you added value in your roles.

The best software development resumes and CVs articulate quantified achievements in a succinct manner.

Examples of achievements for software developers could include the implementation of new functionality for software products, the development of cloud solutions or the optimisation of software.

When writing about your achievements and duties, ensure your areas of expertise in software development come across to the reader.

For example, showcase your experience with Lean or Agile methodologies. Show the technologies you used. Show the front-end development and back-end development technical skills that you used to deliver positive outcomes.

If possible, tie your responsibilities in to your achievements. For example, while demonstrating the back-end development techniques you utilised, highlight the end-result. This may involve a completed mobile application or an increase in customer satisfaction by eliminating website errors.

If you can quantify your achievements with numbers, you CV will make an even stronger impact.

Here is an example:

‘Reduced customer complaints by 16% by eliminating website errors and rectifying coding issues’.

Note how the use of numbers bolsters the achievement and provides tangible evidence of the software developer’s accomplishment.

Use powerful verbs and adjectives

Bring your writing to life by using power verbs and adjectives. Powerful verbs and adjectives make you come across as a developer who gets results, so ensure to dedicate some time to choosing the best ones for your CV.

Power verbs to use on your CV
Achievement Verbs Efficiency Verbs Leadership Verbs

Integrated

Mitigated

Spearheaded

Mitigated

Amplified

Controlled

Strengthened

Maximised

Oversaw

Power adjectives to use on your CV
Analytical Adjectives Creative Adjectives Teamwork Adjectives

Calculated

Cutting-Edge

Spearheaded

Diligent

Novel

Cohesive

Methodical

Unique

United

How to present contract work on your software development CV

There are two options to consider when it comes to presenting contract work or temporary work on your CV. You can include your contract work under separate headings for each project. Or you can group them together.

If you’ve completed a multitude of projects within one role, you don’t necessarily need to list them all. Simply highlight the key projects you worked on and your achievements to show how you can add value.

Include your education and training

Many software development roles require a degree in computer science or a similar subject. As such degrees are important in the eyes of recruiters, include your degree as your first qualification so it stands out, if you have one.

How do you format your education and training on your software development CV?

Start by including the name of the degree you obtained, followed by the grade achieved, the dates of study and the university attended.

Here is an example:

Bachelor’s Degree (B.Sc.) in Computer Science (2:1) (2001-2005), Example University of London

Ensure to include any training that is relevant to software development. Common training and certifications for software developers includes:

- Node.js training

- Java training

- Full stack developer training

- Java programme certification

- CIW Web Development Professional

- IDE training

- Cloud platform training, including AWS, Azure and GCP

- Machine learning training

Don’t include any irrelevant training that you’ve completed.

For example, if you’ve obtained cookery qualifications, they won’t be relevant in any way to software development. So don’t include such courses on your CV.

Include any additional information

Provide details of any additional information in the final section of your CV. Relevant additional information may include languages, voluntary work and licences.


How to write a software development CV if you have no experience

If you’re a recent graduate and you don’t have any software development experience, make your education and training the focal point of your CV.

Include your education and training section near the start of your CV, before your work experience section. Ensure it is detailed, drawing attention to key projects, modules and grades.

If you’ve completed software development projects at school or in your spare time, include a section that showcases these projects. Use bullet points to highlight the key aspects of your projects, including your responsibilities and accomplishments.

If you intend to transition to software development from another profession, focus on your transferable skills. Include a key skills section that describes your strongest transferable skills, providing examples of times you have used the skills to achieve success.

Tailor your CV to your software development specialism

If you specialise in a specific branch of software development, tailor your CV to that branch. For example, if you work in the data science sphere, ensure your CV’s skills and experiences match those that are required for software development roles in data science.

Branches of software development include:

- Application Development

- Web Development

- System Development

- Embedded Systems Development

- Mobile Development

- API Development

- Cloud Computing

- Data Science

- Full Stack Development

How to format software development CVs

Unless you are pursuing a career change or you have no experience as a software developer, use the traditional reverse-chronological format. (Take a look at the earlier section in this guide to learn how to write a software development CV if you have no experience).

The reverse-chronological CV format should be formatted in the follow way:

- Contact Details

- Professional Profile

- Key Skills

- Career Summary

- Education and Training

- Additional Information

It’s important to ensure that these sections are clearly separated by professional borders. This makes your CV easier for recruiters to follow.

Optimise your CV for Applicant Tracking Systems (ATS)

In today’s digital era, most HR departments use Applicant Tracking Systems (ATS) to filter and rank candidates CVs. To ensure your CV ranks well and gets read by human recruiters, you need to optimise it by including relevant keywords.

Keywords that ATS may be looking for in software development CVs and resumes will be related to the essential criteria of the job you are apply for.

This is why it’s important to study the job posting or job description and tailor your CV.

For example, if the essential requirements includes proficiency with HTML, JavaScript, back-end frameworks, DevOps practices and object-oriented design, these are relevant keywords that you should include on your CV. This is, of course, assuming you do possess the skills.

Follow the standard CV writing guidelines

As with writing a CV or resume for any profession, software development CVs should be prepared in line with the generally accepted standards. These include:

- Two pages is the optimal CV length, so try not exceed two pages. However, if you have a lot of experience and training, you may want to extend your CV to three pages. Take a look at our article on three-page CVs to learn about their pros and cons.

If you have little or no work experience, a one-page CV may be your best option. One-page CVs can be very effective as they enable candidates to convey their skills and experiences in an easy-to-follow manner.

- Ensure your CV is well-organised and professionally formatted. Use line borders to separate sections and make your CV visually attractive. Well-organised CVs are hugely more effective in the job market.

- Don’t use creative fonts. Stick the trusty professional fonts, such as Times New Roman, Calibri and Tahoma. Proofread your CV to eliminate any grammatical errors and spelling mistakes. CVs that are polished and void of mistakes indicate an organised candidate with good attention-to-detail.

For comprehensive advice on the best way to format and prepare your CV, take a look at our guide which covers every aspect of the CV writing process.


We hope you’ve found the advice and guidance in this guide helpful in preparing an effective software development CV or resume.

Take a look at our career blog for more advice on CV writing and job-seeking.


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