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Part of Western Governors University

November 14, 2019

Information Technology

Computer science skills to put on your resume.

Man typing computer science resume

If you’re a student earning your degree in computer science, or just earned your diploma, the next crucial step is finding a job. Having a degree is vital to helping you be qualified for job opportunities, but you’ll need to have a computer science resume that showcases your skills and abilities to get yourself a great interview. Your resume is a big indicator about whether you’re qualified for a position, and it’s the first thing that will tell them about who you are, and what you can do. A great computer science resume is vital for your job hunt, and this guide will help you know what skills you need to list on your resume to interest potential employers.

Hard skills.

Hard skills are the tangible skills that you can quantify in a job. These kinds of skills directly translate to the daily tasks you’ll be asked to perform in a position. When it comes to IT, a lot of the hard skills are technical. These hard skills are important for computer science candidates to list on their computer science resume. Many of these you are likely learning or have learned as a WGU student.

Computer and technology knowledge. It’s vital you have basic computer and technology skills to excel in an IT position. This can include knowledge of hardware, operating systems, typing, spreadsheets, and presentations. When you earn a degree from WGU, you’re exposed to all of these vital computer skills or learn them as part of your coursework. Explain on your computer science resume that you have the general computer skills that are needed in almost every job today to show that you can be relied on when it comes to technology functions.

Data analysis. No matter what kind of IT job you get, you’ll need to be able to interpret data. Computing data can be done with software and reports, or simply through parsing through findings in your everyday work. Showing on your resume that you understand data analysis demonstrates that you are willing to go beyond simply doing the work, and that you want to understand how the work influences results and next steps. Data analysis helps inform future decisions and explains to everyone, from consumers to executives, how a project performed and what that means down the road.

Software development. An understanding of software principles and development is a great hard skill to list on your computer science resume. It shows that you understand the process of working with others to write code and programs, troubleshoot and test them, and ultimately create a software program that’s usable. We’ll dive into the kinds of programming languages that are great to list on your resume later, but listing software development as one of your skills on your resume is sure to catch an employer’s eye. 

Technical writing. Technical writing has a very specific purpose inside the IT world. It is used to give explanation and direction for IT situations. Employers want to see that you not only have knowledge and skills, but that you can explain your projects to others. By showing you can do technical writing, you’re demonstrating that reporting and presentations won’t be difficult for you, that you’ll be able to help train others, or write up any articles or informationals they will need on your projects. 

Mathematics. In the IT world, math plays a crucial part. Whether it’s statistics or calculus, math helps you with computing formulas and problems as part of your coding and development. Listing math on your computer science resume will help show that you have the knowledge and skills to be able to solve complex problems that can arise. Knowing how to solve math problems will end up being a huge asset to your potential team, so employers will be excited about the prospect.

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Soft skills.

Soft skills are sometimes called people skills. They are the intangible qualities you can bring to a job that are vital to help you interact with others well. They impact your efficiency and ability to perform the technical aspects of your job. These soft skills are important for your success in the IT field.

Attention to detail. When it comes to the computer science and IT field, it’s vital for you to have attention to detail. You need to be able to look at long lines of code, noticing if things are wrong or seem off. You need to be able to have an eye for small details that can add up to have a huge impact on a project. Listing on your resume that you’re prepared to keep track of the small details shows to your potential employer that you understand how impactful small things are on the larger project. They will know they can trust you. 

Creativity. Some people think computer science is all logical, dry work. But that’s simply not true. Creativity is key to solving problems and creating functional, good looking web programs and websites. When you put creativity on your resume, the hiring manager immediately can see that you’re someone who will think outside the box to solve problems, and give unique and solid solutions. 

Communication. In the IT world, communication is key. This soft skill is vital to help you talk to clients, coworkers, and managers. You need to be able to demonstrate that you are skilled when it comes to explaining your project and your needs to others. Listing communication shows that you recognize how vital good communication is in your job, and that you’re prepared to navigate relationships with others through effective communication.

Time management. When it comes to jobs in computer science, there is usually a deadline, priorities, and quick transitions between tasks. Effective time management will help you to stay on top of the various tasks and projects you’ll face. By listing time management you are showing to your potential employer that you understand that there are often deadlines and priorities in a job, and that you are equipped to stay productive and efficient in your work. 

A man and woman examine data on a computer screen.

Programming and coding languages.

When it comes to computer science and IT, there are a wide variety of programming languages that are vital to know. These languages are how you code in instructions, design, and software for your organization. There are some important programming languages to put on your resume to let the hiring manager know you have the technical expertise to be impactful in their organization. Putting some computer languages down shows you're capable of learning others as well.

C# is a general, multi-purpose language designed for Microsoft platforms. It does require the .NET framework on Windows to work. C# is considered a hybrid of Java, C++ and C languages. C# is quickly becoming an extremely popular coding language, and putting it on your resume shows the hiring manager that you’re up-to-date on new and popular languages. Since it is a combination of other languages, employers can assume you know or can learn other languages quickly. C# programming language can be used to build almost anything, but is really great for Windows desktop applications and games. If this is the kind of computer science job you’re looking for, be sure to list it on your resume. C# is also becoming popular for web and mobile development, so if you’re searching for a job building mobile or web applications, lising C# on your resume is a smart idea. At WGU, we offer software development degrees with two tracks, C# and Java, so you can pick which track will be most effective for you. You will have the chance to learn both languages in WGU programs. 

C++ is another general-purpose programming language similar to C#. What separates C++ from other languages is mainly its ability to precisely define operations for a computer to perform. Most of these operations involve manipulating numbers and text, but anything the computer can do can be programmed in C++. C++ is a great programming language to list on your resume because it shows you have the language in your abilities that can help manipulate anything on a computer.

Java is a popular computer coding language that allows programmers to write instructions in English, instead of numeric codes. It’s one of the easiest programming languages because humans can easily read and write it. Java is used for writing programs and uses open source, or community built projects to work. It can deploy, debug, and monitor other Java applications on the cloud as well. Android apps are often built on Java, and because there is a connection to the cloud, putting Java on your resume makes you extremely marketable. WGU offers courses on Java in the software development, data management and data analytics, and computer science bachelor’s degrees. These programs utilize Java coursework to help students be prepared for specific software development tasks they need to be ready for. 

Python is a higher level programming language and is used to develop desktop applications, websites, and web applications. Because it is more high level, common programming tasks are taken care of, allowing you to focus on core functionality. Python has simple syntax rules, making it easier to keep the code readable. Python is used to process text, display images or numbers, solve equations, and save data. Listing Python on your resume shows that you have skills in a coding language that has been around for a long time, and is used across different industries and for different functions.

Preparing your resume after getting a WGU degree will help you impress potential employers. Listing the right hard and soft skills on a computer science resume is key to making sure you clearly demonstrate what you are capable of doing. 

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