What is a general/sample template or structure for a software engineer resume? My resume has this structure. Also, should the Name/title be Left Justified or Centered?

Name  Email Phone

       skill set
       work experience
       professional summary
       personal details

Should I change the order or structure of my resume to make it look more professional?

  • 3
    This is just way too broad a question to answer on a Q&A site. There are plenty of templates available online. As long as you put the most important stuff first, respect the 1/2 page limit and don't go overboard on fancy design there are still thousands of ways to format a resume. Don't have an Objective on it though. – Lilienthal Nov 6 '15 at 10:54
  • As for indententation, I would try to keep it simple. If you have "Objective" at the first level, "Projects" at a second level, and then have another level for each project, and then a further level for details on each individual project, then it is getting too complicated. A flat list with meaningful headings would probably be better than an indented layout in that case. – Brandin Nov 6 '15 at 15:00

Here's some good tips on getting a resume/Cv that gets past ATS (Applicant Tracking Systems - automated screening):

How to Get the Applicant Tracking System to Pick Your Resume

And in answer to your question, always left justify (anything else looks odd, and confuses the automated systems).

Another thing is to keep your layout as simple as you can. I've had for several years a CV that was based on one an employer did for me for pitching work to clients. Looked very nice, but used lots of invisible tables in Word to get the layout, and meant lists showing experience didn't actually match up to the ATS scrapping (as they were 2 different columns).

Try taking your resume/CV in Word and saving as a text file and see what it looks like, this is what the automated system will actually see.

  • Not that I disagree with the overall premise of your question but I don't believe justifying left or right would confuse most (if any) data scraping techniques. – Michael A Nov 6 '15 at 13:06
  • You may say that (and I'd agree), but I have seen it mentioned on a number of articles on ATS and apparently it does make a difference (they apparently will reject you with no address in the doc, but can't read it from header/footer either) – The Wandering Dev Manager Nov 6 '15 at 13:16
  • Interesting. Not how I would approach this (technically I mean). Appreciate the insight! – Michael A Nov 6 '15 at 13:19

One important matter is to make sure your resume does not contain nested tables, for two reasons. The first is that nested tables make it harder for automated software to process the relevant data. The other is that nested tables are hard to get right, and even harder to edit, especially on mobile devices and online platforms, to the point that they often do not display properly.

Another important caveat is, when you give someone your resume digitally, send it as PDF. PDF looks exactly the same on all computers, whether they're using OSX, Windows, a *nix product, iOS, Android,... It's basically a printed version of your resume, so you won't have any surprised like the user not having your special font or your tab stops being mangled.


General Rules

Typically the only cardinal rule I see with resumes is to list work experience or qualifications as the first two items in the order that represents you best. Be sure to list the periods worked as well as the year that you obtained your qualifications. Often major projects will be listed in the work experience area (i.e. if you worked on a big project at x, list it with x).

Formatting and Templates

Microsoft Word has some great templates in its gallery to get you started. There are also a number of great templates to be found online. Don't over think this too much - above all just be sure to keep it easy to read and professional looking.

Also be sure to keep in mind that if you're going through a recruitment agency that they're likely to reformat your resume into their standard or system anyway. Make sure your key selling points for a position are quick and easy to find for this reason.

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