The Ultimate Guide to Writing a Computer Science Resume for Software Engineering Internships

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If you’re a Computer Science major getting ready to apply to Software Engineering internships, read on.  The competition to land top internships at Facebook, Google and Amazon is fierce these days.  Having the right resume is just the first step to getting your foot in the door. 

Here are 5 key steps to follow when writing your Computer Science resume.

1. Format Your Computer Science or Software Engineering Internship Resume Correctly

The world of computer science is a competitive one and if you want to stand out to employers, it's important for your resume to not only show what programming languages you’re proficient in or skills you have but also how detailed and organized you are. Software Engineering interns are tasked with building products that will be used by the world. Your resume should show future employers that you can thoughtfully write clean, well-organized code. 

Pay close attention to spelling and margins for ease-of-readability, line spacing so those reading your work can understand it more easily, and fonts as this could convey professionalism or creativity depending on what typeface you choose.

 2. Create a clear Career Objective at the top of your resume

Are you a Freshman, Sophomore, Junior, or Senior?  What school do you go to? What programming languages do you have experience with? And what type of internship, job, industry are you looking to work in?

Not only does a clear objective help the reader, it’s an opportunity for you to highlight key skills using relevant keywords that an employer or Applicant Tracking System might be looking for.

3. Tailor Your Resume to the Job Description

Have you already completed a Software Engineering internship? If so, this/these go in the work experience description on your resume. 

There’s an important way to do this to beat out other internship applicants. You have to know the skills employers want and show you’ve got them:

  • List your newest internship or job first
  • Tailor your resume by adding a bullet list that showcase examples of your achievements
  • Write the name of the company you interned at, job title, where the company is located, and the months you worked there.
  • All your bullets should start with resume action words like designed, developed or debugged.
  • If you don’t have computer science-related experience, show transferable skills from projects that you’ve worked on.

4. Build up the Education Section of your Computer Science Internship Resume

Since you’re writing a resume that likely doesn’t have a ton of experience, the education section has a bigger job to do.

  • Put the name of your educational institution right after your career objective.
  • List the school name, your degree, the date you’ll graduate—or the date you graduated—and your major and minors.
  • To make sure your resume is long enough and strong enough, add education sections. You can list relevant coursework and school projects that showcase your experience using certain programming languages.
  • It’s also helpful to add extracurricular activities like a robotics club or student programming association.
  • If you’re still a student or recent grad, add your GPA to your resume. If it’s not above a 3.2, include a weighted GPA.

5. Build Computer Science Skills

Here's how to show your CS skills are Google-worthy:

  • Learn the skills in the job posting. Note the ones the company seems to place a priority on. They’ll be up top in the posting.
  • Find both soft skills and hard skills in the job posting. Soft skills are things like communication and teamwork. Hard skills are coding languages or machine learning skills.
  • Next, write a skills list for your resume of the top 10 skills you found. But don’t stop there. Add those skills to the achievements in your bullet points, too.

Here’s a short list of skills we see often:

  • Programming languages (Java, Python, Scala, Node.js, Golang, C#, C++, HTML, JavaScript, XML, C, PHP, Objective-C, Swift, Ruby)
  • Software engineering
  • Databases: Oracle, SQL Server, MySQL, MongoDB
  • Machine learning
  • Product development
  • Productivity Tools: Notion, Coda, Trello, Slack, Asana, Todoist, Zapier, Basecamp
  • Data structures
  • Algorithms
  • Data mining
  • Debugging
  • Prototyping
  • Time management
  • Strong Communication skills (verbal and written)
  • Testing
  • Problem solving
  • Troubleshooting skills
  • Project management skills
  • Detail-oriented mindset
  • Interpersonal skills
  • Teamwork skills

If you’re still unsure and want some help with your resume, we’ve got you covered. We created the PathMatch Guide to Writing an Effective Resume. Click here to get started!

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