The perfect resume

The perfect resume

How to make your software engineering resume stand out.


People make many mistakes when crafting their resumes.

To craft good resumes, we need to take a deeper look and ask ourselves questions:

  • What's the purpose of resumes?

  • Who will read your resume?

  • What's necessary to share and what isn't?

  • How should I write it?

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The purpose of a resume

A misconception many people have is that the resume will help you get the job.

Don't get me wrong, the resume is necessary. However, a successful resume still plays a small part in the process of you getting the job.

A resume only helps you get to the door.

To get through the door, you've to go through the interview process.

The people who hire


Recruiters are likely the ones to read your resume.

They get tons of resumes. They can't read every single one in detail, hence have to skim and filter out the resumes to be read in-depth.

On average, your resume will be skimmed and read for not more than 10 seconds.

Impact of your work

Companies aren't too interested in your work. They're more interested in your work's impact (if you have previous work experience). So it's more outstanding when you can articulate how your work elevated the business.

  1. I made our site more performant.

  2. I made our site more performant, which resulted in a 15% increase in our conversion rate.

The second point brings up the impact your work had. Recruiters love that. They'll eat such resumes for breakfast.

It's nothing more exciting to interview a candidate who not only had a positive impact on his previous company, but also understood the impact and could articulate it.


To some, it may sound cringe, but being able to display a glimpse of your personality in resumes goes a long way.

We are humans. We talk casually to our friends and family when we aren't at work.

When resumes come across as more casual and informal, not just do they stand out, but people connect with them better.

Funny story, I landed an interview at Google, where I began my email with "Yo."


If you've had previous work experience, seeing growth will make you a more attractive candidate.

Promotions are one of the things that indicate your growth. However, they also indicate other things. For instance, you could work with your manager toward reaching the next level.

That indirectly says you're able to receive feedback and act upon them.


If you've got a portfolio, a website about yourself, that'll make you stand out.

People would rather click on your portfolio to see something visually nice than the usual PDF resumes.

It's not necessary to get a job, but having a portfolio goes a long way.

Mistakes people make

Now that we understand how a resume is perceived, let's look at mistakes to avoid.

Rating your skills

Don't rate your skills.

People will put three stars on JavaScript. What does it even mean?

You are either undervaluing or overvaluing yourself. It's never the right metric.

Plus, the three stars of JavaScript may be exactly what the company needs. But now you excluded yourself because of the impression you left behind.

More than one page

Don't make resumes more than one page.

People are people. They don't wanna read pages just to see if you're a candidate for the job.

Keep your resume to one page.

Not bringing up your impact

If you've previous work experience or side projects with users, bring up the impact your work has had.

Highlight the impact. Let it shine.

Recruiters will eat that like a juicy burger.

Making it hard to read

Again, people are reading your resume, not robots.

Make your resume both easy to skim and read. Don't cramp things together to fit more onto it.

The resume aims to get you to the door, not reveal everything about yourself.

Keep the necessary things in the resume and use concise language.

Break things into sections to make the resume skimmable.

Zero personality

Personality will help your resume stand out.

You won't look robotic like the average resume. Instead, you'll come across as more authentic and reading your resume will be interesting.

This includes a nice photo of yourself.

A good example

Now we got the knowledge of what a resume should look like.

Let's take a look at my last resume. This resume got me interviews at companies like Cloudflare, Vercel, Google, Quora, and many other top-notch companies.

I've edited out some of the personal parts.

I created this with FlowCV:

I'm doing many things well here:

  • Keeping it to one page

  • Showing my growth from Junior to Mid

  • Highlighting the impacts with bold text

  • Multiple sections so it's easy to skim

  • A profile section about me

  • Links to my socials

  • A nice profile photo


The resume only helps you get to the door.

People are the ones reading your resumes.

Getting through the door is a different game.