How to Build the Perfect Computer Science Resume

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Frank Hackett

Certified Professional Resume Writer (CPRW)

Frank Hackett is a professional resume writer and career consultant with over eight years of experience. As the lead editor at a boutique career consulting firm, Frank developed an innovative approach to resume writing that empowers job seekers to tell their professional stories. His approach involves creating accomplishment-driven documents that balance keyword optimization with personal branding. Frank is a Certified Professional Resume Writer (CPRW) with the Professional Association of Resume Writers and Career Coaches (PAWRCC).

Building a compelling computer science resume is no easy task. Breaking down high-level technical projects and conveying your individual contributions can be difficult for technical professionals who often struggle to describe their work experience. Your resume should be accomplishing two primary objectives in the most basic sense. One is to highlight your expertise in specific technologies. The second is to showcase how you’ve used your technical background to solve problems and create value for companies. Keep this methodology in mind as you craft your bullet points, and always showcase the positive impact of your accomplishments. Below, you’ll find expert tips to help you prepare the perfect computer science resume.

Balance the Language of your Computer Science Resume

In an ideal scenario, your resume will be evaluated by a hiring manager that has a firm grasp of technology skill sets and concepts. During the initial application process, this may not always be the case. If your document is being reviewed by a non-technical member of the HR team, they may struggle to see that you have the necessary qualifications for the position because the language isn’t accessible. By drawing attention to the bottom-line value of your professional achievements and the problems you solved, you’ll build a compelling document for both technical and non-technical audiences.

Identify the Appropriate Technical Skills

As a technology professional with extensive technical skill sets, you may find it challenging to identify what information would be most compelling to include in your document. This can be especially challenging because technology is constantly evolving, and names are in a constant state of flux. For example, Microsoft Office 365 is now being referred to as Microsoft 365 to better encompass broader aspects of the productivity suite. When building your resume, you should carefully evaluate how your computer science background aligns with the role you’re applying for and feature technologies, programming languages, and platforms that match the company’s needs.

Quantify Your Computer Science Experience

As a general rule, quantifying your professional achievements is almost always advantageous for the candidate. Numbers allow you to create a sense of scope for the reader and showcase tangible results for the hiring manager. Within the computer science space, how you quantify your professional experience will depend on your specific discipline. A software developer might draw attention to the number of users impacted by an application they designed. A cloud solutions architect may draw attention to reducing infrastructure costs following a migration from Oracle to Microsoft Azure. In either case, the end goal of the bullet point is to draw attention to the bottom-line value of your achievements. This will help differentiate you from the competition during your job search.

Showcase Your Technical Project Management Expertise

As more companies integrate project management concepts such as Scrum and Agile into their organizations, knowledge of these methodologies has become almost a mandatory requirement for many computer science professionals. If you have experience leading offshore project teams, creating roadmaps, or managing stakeholder expectations, you should incorporate specific examples of these accomplishments into your document. However, if you’re an early-career professional lacking management experience, you can still stand to benefit by describing your experience working within Agile development environments.

Computer Science Resume Samples

Now that you’re familiar with some of the best practices for building your computer science resume, it’s time to see how you can use them to enhance your document. These strategies will provide you with a framework for describing your technical expertise and professional achievements, but you also need to adapt them to your individual career needs and experience. Below, you’ll find three examples of strong computer science resumes across the various sectors of the technology industry.

Computer Science Resume Sample 1

When crafting bullet points to showcase your computer science accomplishments, it’s important to provide context and establish a sense of scope for your projects. Saying you generated a cost reduction by automating a manual process won’t grab the reader’s attention if there’s no understanding of how this was achieved or the size of the impact on the company. In the example below, the job seeker uses informative bullet points to help the hiring manager gain a better sense of their technical background. The candidate also does an effective job of providing content that is accessible to non-technical readers by framing the results of their achievements clearly and concisely.

Professional Experience

Senior Database Developer, Westcoast Software Enterprises, San Francisco, CA

May 2016 – Present

  • Lead the migration from Oracle databases to SQL server with minimal impact to 20K users, resulting in a 15% reduction in infrastructure costs and $200K in annual savings
  • Coordinate with technical project managers and database developers to architect data structures and schemas to support a suite of scalable business applications
  • Improve SQL performance by monitoring and optimizing queries using SolarWinds, resulting in a 30% reduction in CPU consumption

Computer Science Resume Sample 2

In the following example, we’ll analyze a resume for a Senior Java Developer seeking a high-level technical project manager position. You’ll notice that the candidate provides an effective balance in conveying both their technical understanding and cross-functional leadership abilities. As a computer science professional, you won’t always be interfacing solely with colleagues that share your technology background. Employers will see the value in a candidate with the skill sets needed to coordinate with diverse teams throughout the project lifecycle.

Professional Experience

Senior Java Developer, Ohio Software Solutions Inc., Cincinnati, OH

November 2016 – Present

  • Design, develop, and deploy Java microservices for a suite of applications supporting insurance companies and enterprise customers valued at up to $30M
  • Manage onshore and offshore teams of 20 to 30 developers and software engineers, define workflows, prioritize project tasks, and drive the implementation of Agile development methodologies to enhance software development and deployment
  • Interface cross-functionally with client executives, sales teams, and IT personnel to align application features with business requirements and objectives

Computer Science Resume Sample 3

The following example captures the experience of a jobseeker pursuing a career in front-end development. This resume is effective because it showcases how the professional has utilized their technology expertise to provide web development solutions for clients across various industries. After establishing context for their achievements in the opening bullet, the candidate highlights specific aspects of their technical experience, such as translating requirements from non-technical users into scalable code. Establishing context and background for your accomplishments is key to building a strong computer science resume.

Professional Experience

Front-End Developer, Bay Area Web Design Inc., San Francisco, CA

May 2018 – Present

  • Design user interfaces and websites for a startup technology company delivering web development services for client accounts valued at $100K-$500K across the insurance, banking, automotive, and financial industries
  • Translate user requirements into scalable code, develop prototypes, conduct wireframing activities, and ensure alignment with client business specifications
  • Perform testing on web pages, analyze user feedback, and coordinate with cross-functional teams to identify opportunities to enhance web page responsiveness

Before submitting your job application, it’s important to carefully proofread your resume and ensure that you’re using up-to-date terminology for your technical skills, as even minor errors seriously impact ATS compliance. You also want to make a strong first impression on the hiring manager. Providing a document with glaring grammatical errors won’t paint you in a positive light. For more help in building your computer science resume, you can review our samples for Computer Scientists, Database Developers, and Front-end Developers.