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How to put down accomplishments on my resume as a senior engineer?

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Senior Software Engineer at Series D Startup2 months ago

How do you people, as a Senior engineer, put things such as:

  1. Team development and engineering excellence on your resume, or should I not mention them at all? I lead these activities daily at work, and my manager and team members appreciate it, but I have never thought to put those things on my resume before. I guess this should give me leverage in interviews for being considered for senior positions, but I am not sure.
  2. Annual awards given? Again, should I even mention that?

Below are the elaborated points

On the team development part, I regularly mentor 2-3 engineers almost daily. Reviewing their design and code, unblock them. I introduced a document-first culture in our team as before; everything was a bit chaotic as it is a startup where everyone knew their modules but not others. No on-call process or SOPs. I led this initiative by creating 20+ documents myself related to high-level design, SOPs for engineers and others, etc.

On the engineering excellence part, I reviewed close to 150+ PRs last year, making unit tests mandatory, introducing db migration tools to the team, etc.

For the award, I got your point. Annual award: out of 18 SWE-3s in my company, three got it, including me. The reason was a bunch of high-impact projects + above points.

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Discussion

(3 comments)
  • 1
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    Tech Lead @ Robinhood, Meta, Course Hero
    2 months ago

    Team development and engineering excellence on your resume, or should I not mention them at all?

    Can you expand exactly on what these mean? I'm also a bit confused as you mentioned daily activities (like leading stand ups?), and I agree that you can't really mention that.

    When it comes to team development, I immediately think of mentorship. There are a couple of angles you can mention here:

    1. The number of engineers you mentored
    2. The growth they achieved, particularly with promotion speed. I was able to get engineers promoted at Meta 2x faster than company average, and I mentored E3/E4/E5s. This is something quite tangible that shows that you're a strong mentor (instead of telling)

    When it comes to engineering excellence, I'm thinking more along the lines of commits landed/reviewed and the quality of that. This is hard to capture on a resume unless you have something concrete like "I was a Top 5% code committer in my organization". My code quality course dives into that: https://www.jointaro.com/course/level-up-your-code-quality-as-a-software-engineer/how-this-course-works/

    Annual awards given? Again, should I even mention that?

    I actually think this is fine, but you should mention the context of the award (i.e. what does it mean). A lot of awards have in-house terminology. Let's say you got the "Excelsior" award, something a recruiter won't understand upon reading it:

    1. What do you need to do to get the award? Ship high-quality code? Deliver impact? Mentor others?
    2. How often is the award given?
    3. How many people in your organization get the award each cycle?

    Here's more resources on resume optimization: [Taro Top 10] How To Write A Better Engineering Resume To Get More Jobs

  • 0
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    Senior Software Engineer [OP]
    Series D Startup
    2 months ago

    Edited the question and added pointers.

  • 0
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    Tech Lead @ Robinhood, Meta, Course Hero
    2 months ago

    For the mentorship, you can show the metrics I mentioned before. If you want to get even better at mentorship, I recommend this: [Taro Top 10] Effective Mentorship And Growing Others

    For engineering excellence, you can mention the unit tests and DB migration:

    • For unit tests, try to understand the impact, primarily with bugs/regressions prevented. A good testing effort should come with that understanding as I talk about here: "What do mobile testing strategies look like at top tech companies?"
    • For DB migration, you can describe the complexity reduction (I assume the previous process was very manual) alongside stability improvements (botched DB migrations is one of the most common ways to break production)

    Document-first culture is interesting, but I can't come up with good numbers for it minus pages of documentation created. I would just further explain what it is on your resume and exactly how it made the sharing of knowledge easier.

    For the award, I personally don't think 1 in 6 will look too impressive to a recruiter, but you can still add it if you want. I don't think it will hurt.

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