Will adding projects from my Software Engineering degree to my resume improve my job application?

  • I don't like seeing homework assignments on your resume, because they are very small, very structured (i.e. the entire spec is practically handed to you) and overall tell me very little about your abilities as a software engineer. I want to see big scale projects that you built from the ground with very little guidelines like a capstone project. – jcmack Dec 6 at 5:19
  • @jcmack I mean to say the Semester Project, not Class Assignments, what do you think about them. – Waqar Ahmad Khan Dec 6 at 14:52
  • @WaqarAhmadKhan I'm not familiar with the term Semester Project. Is that a project that you work on over the course of a school semester? – jcmack Dec 6 at 17:07
up vote 3 down vote accepted

It depends what type of project it was, what role you had, and how desperate you are to find things to put on your resume.

As a general guideline, include the project if any of these are true:

  1. You had a big role (ie. "Lead Developer", "Project Manager", etc) and you actually did a something representative of the role. If you were officially the team lead but didn't do any leadership or guiding the efforts, then you don't meet this qualification.
  2. It was for a real client. When I was in college, I worked a full semester on a group project building out a website for someone. Yes, it was for a friend of someone on our team, but we had a live, external person giving feedback and going through the process with us. Plus, at the end of the day the person did use the website (!).
  3. It was a project that shows skills and can be viewed as a live product online. ie. You built a CRUD application that hooks up to a database and you deployed it to Azure.

Everything else - Things like a bingo game, algorithm practice exercises, or your midterm assignments - should go into your GitHub repositories. Then put a link to your Github repo in a prominent spot on your resume (right under your name is usually nice).

Obviously, if you have work experience or internships, those go first. Don't go out of your way to push these projects onto the list... They are mainly useful for showcasing real-world projects or hard-core communication/technical experiences when you have no other way to prove yourself.

Good luck!

  • I'd recommend against having your school projects on your public Github repo. At least where I study this could be a case of plagiarism (it's happened before) if somebody else copies your code and you could be heavily penalized. – IEatBagels Dec 6 at 18:22

Yes, I would add the source code for it as well. Perhaps on a github account. I would include some typical ones like record managements, inventory systems, etc but I would also include some of the more technical ones to show understanding of the language like cryptology (simple xor-ing, or finding the key for a xor'd string), or network code. I'd include what data structure you used and why it is.

It will definitely help your chances especially if you're really passionate about it and describing it in a very technical way, "I used X, Y, Z to solve A, B, C."

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