Are you a graduate with a degree in computer science seeking employment? The Bureau of Labor Statistics shows that the computer science job market is on the rise, meaning there are many jobs in the sector. However, this does not make it easy to enter the workforce, as the industry is highly competitive.
To increase your chances, consider using a resume as a marketing tool. It is more than just a simple document; it is a summary of your training, qualifications, skill set, and experience so that a future employer can quickly understand how your unique skills might benefit their business.
Potential employers will likely reject a poorly structured resume as they have thousands of other resumes to skim through. According to research, the average time an employer skims a document is seven to ten seconds. So, getting the structure of your resume right is a critical factor in improving your chances of getting a job. This article will provide detailed guidelines about how to write a resume if you have recently earned a degree in computer science.
What is a Resume?
A resume is a document that summarizes an individual’s education, work experience, skills, achievements, and other relevant information that could help them get a job.
It serves as the first point of contact between a job seeker and a potential employer and aims to market the candidate’s qualifications and suitability for the role they are applying for.
Resumes are essential when seeking employment because they allow employers to quickly evaluate a candidate’s qualifications and determine if they are a good fit for the job. A well-written and properly formatted resume can increase the chances of being invited for an interview and ultimately lead to a job offer.
Resumes are also important because they demonstrate a candidate’s professionalism, attention to detail, and communication skills. By taking the time to create a compelling resume, job seekers can demonstrate their commitment to the job search process and show potential employers that they are serious about securing employment.
In summary, a resume is a critical tool when seeking employment because it can help job seekers stand out from the competition, demonstrate their qualifications and suitability for a role, and ultimately get them the job they want.
Step-by-Step Guide for Writing a Resume as a Computer Science Student
As you embark on your job search, crafting a well-written resume becomes a crucial element in showcasing your potential as a computer science professional. In this section, we will provide you with a step-by-step guide to creating a resume that highlights your skills, experiences, and academic accomplishments:
Create a header
The header is one of the most fundamental elements of the resume. Here are some guidelines to follow when writing the header:
- Your full name is the header of your professional computer science resume.
- An example of how to write your name is Richard (first name), J. (middle name), and Grayson (last name).
- Whether you use a standard left-aligned horizontal header or a vertical header, the header must be positioned at the topmost part of your resume.
- Be sure to write your resume header in a font size of 15-20 points.
- Do not forget to add your phone number and professional email address for communication.
- Make sure you add a LinkedIn profile or a professional website for further confirmation of your resume.
- When concluding your header, do not forget to add your current location.
For your header to appear professional, you must structure your contact information properly, match your cover letter heading, and be brief.
The following is an example of a cover letter header:
Richard J. Grayson
email@example.com, linkedin.com/in/richardgrayson, 603-234-1798 TB, FL
Tip: In some countries, a resume picture in a header may be expected; however, be sure to research what is acceptable in the region where the potential employer is located.
Create an appropriate profile title
Just like every other section of your computer science resume, your profile title must be structured in a way that will pique an employer’s interest. The profile title projects information about your career, including your functional industry, your degree of seniority, and your present official title, which an employer can easily use to assess your qualifications for a job role.
Some tips to remember while inputting your job title include:
- Your profile title should be typed in the same font size as your contact details.
- Exaggerating your profile title will be interpreted as a purposeful attempt on your behalf to be considered for a position for which you are ineligible. So, be honest while writing your job title.
Richard J. Grayson
firstname.lastname@example.org, linkedin.com/in/richardgrayson, 603-234-1798 ⥉TB, FL
CYBER SECURITY ANALYST
Write a strong personal statement
A personal statement is a brief paragraph (usually 2-3 sentences) at the top of the resume that summarizes your skills, qualifications, and career goals. It should highlight your unique qualities and abilities that make you a strong candidate for the position.
Your personal statement should give the employer an idea of who you are as a person and what you can bring to the company. It should be tailored to the specific job you are applying for and demonstrate your enthusiasm for the field of computer science.
Here is an example of a personal statement for a computer science graduate’s resume:
“As a recent computer science graduate, I am passionate about using my technical skills to solve complex problems and create innovative solutions. With a strong foundation in programming languages and software development tools, I am eager to apply my knowledge to a challenging position in the industry. I am committed to continuous learning and growth and am excited to join a team that values innovation and creativity.”
Add your educational details
The education section of your computer science resume is critical as it shows your formal education and your academic performance. This section should have the following information:
- Schools/Universities attended
- Location of the Educational Institution
- Graduating with honors from an institution
- Courses taken
- Date of enrollment and graduation of each course
An example of this section will look like this:
Bachelor of Science in Computer Science
University of Washington, Seattle, WA, January 2017–September 2020
Write an experience section
If you have recently earned your degree as a computer science student, your experience section may not be as robust as someone with several years of experience. However, there are still some things you can do to make this section stand out on your resume.
Here are some tips:
- Highlight relevant coursework or academic projects. Since you may not have much work experience to showcase, highlight any relevant coursework or academic projects that you completed during your studies. Focus on projects that demonstrate your technical skills and problem-solving abilities.
- Include internships or part-time jobs. If you have any relevant internships or part-time jobs, include them in your experience section. Focus on the technical skills you learned or projects you worked on during these positions.
- Use action-oriented language. Even if you do not have a lot of experience, you can still use action-oriented language to make your experience section stand out. Use strong verbs to describe your achievements, and focus on the results you achieved.
IT Support Intern, GHI Corporation
- Provided technical support to employees in a fast-paced corporate environment.
- Troubleshoot hardware and software issues for Windows and macOS systems.
- Assisted in the deployment and maintenance of new hardware and software systems.
- Communicated effectively with team members to ensure the timely resolution of technical issues.
Web Development Project, JKL University
- Integrated a third-party API to provide users with real-time data.
- Utilized agile methodologies to manage project timelines and ensure timely delivery.
- Presented project to a panel of industry experts, receiving high praise for design and functionality.
Highlight your skills
When writing the skills section of a recent graduate’s resume, you should focus on highlighting the technical and soft skills that are relevant to the position you are applying for.
Here are some tips to help you write an effective skills section:
- Make a list of your technical skills: Start by making a list of the technical skills you possess, such as programming languages, software tools, databases, operating systems, and other technical proficiencies you gained during your studies or any relevant work experience. Be specific and highlight the tools and technologies in which you are most proficient.
- Highlight your soft skills: Along with technical skills, soft skills are also important to include in your skills section. These may include communication skills, teamwork, problem-solving, adaptability, time management, leadership, and any other skills you have gained from your experience.
- Order your skills by relevance: Arrange your skills in order of their relevance to the position you are applying for. If you are applying for a programming job, make sure to list programming languages as your top skills.
- Use keywords from the job description: Read the job description carefully and include keywords from the job description in your skills section. This will help match your skills with the employer’s needs and increase your chances of getting hired.
- Be honest: Be truthful about your skills and avoid exaggerating your abilities. Employers will likely ask you to demonstrate your skills during the interview process, so it is important, to be honest about your skills and knowledge.
Here is an example of how to write a skills section for a recent computer science graduate:
-Eclipse, Visual Studio, Git, Jupyter, Microsoft Office Suite
-MySQL, Oracle, SQL Server
-Windows, macOS, Linux
Mention your certifications
Certifications confirm your technical skills and demonstrate that you are committed to lifelong learning. Certifications can also show you have specialist knowledge because the computer sector includes several specialized disciplines.
Be sure to include all the specifics of your certificates, such as the name, any specialties, and the date.
An example of a certification section will look like this:
Add relevant projects
It is a good idea to add projects to your resume as a recent computer science graduate. Projects can showcase your practical skills and knowledge, and demonstrate your ability to apply what you have learned in a real-world setting.
You can include projects in a separate section of your resume or within the experience section, depending on how you choose to structure your resume. Make sure to highlight the purpose, scope, and outcomes of each project and how they relate to the position you are applying for. Additionally, you can mention any programming languages, tools, or technologies that you used in the project.
An example of such a section is:
-Implemented states of the art graphical password authentication to prevent theft of sensitive educational information
-Collaborated with cyber analyst teams to start the first network analysis niche in my class at MIT
Include additional information
You can also include some additional information in the resume if it is relevant to your field.
An example of additional information would look like this:
-Researching new software
-Implementing my computer skills
Given below are resume for computer science student templates:
Things to Consider When Writing a Resume
When creating a resume for computer science, it is crucial to keep in mind that it should be customized according to the specific job and company you are applying for. A generic approach that fits all is unlikely to make a positive impression on a potential employer. Personalizing your resume based on your unique experiences and qualifications can significantly enhance your chances of securing an interview.
Highlight the skills, knowledge, and achievements that are most relevant to the position and demonstrate how you can add value to the organization. By showcasing your suitability for the role, you can position yourself as a strong candidate and differentiate yourself from the competition.
Below are some extra tips to consider:
Use action verbs
Due to the use of an ATS system to filter applications, the use of keyword-oriented solid action verbs can rank your resume higher.
Examples of such action verbs include:
Though the resume should be thorough, it should be concise and contain only relevant details.
Use a simple format
Your focus should be on communicating the information to the employer. Do not distract their attention with fancy fonts or tiny sizes and colors.
Align your resume with the job description
Tailor your skills, qualifications, and certifications according to what is mentioned in the job description. This can help your application stand out from other applicants.
- When writing dates in any section of your resume, use the month and year format.
- Location should be formatted using the city/state code.
- Always add additional information, as this shows commitment to your field.
- The personal statement should be brief, not exceeding five lines, apt, and powerful in articulating information to the hiring manager.
- Include the keywords in the job listing.
- When listing key projects, list the most recent ones before listing older ones.
- Always begin each sentence with an action verb in its past tense for past profiles and the present continuous tense for present profiles.