The engineering resume is the engineering job seeker’s primary marketing document that sells the product – the skills and experience of the engineer. Engineering resumes can be a more difficult document to develop than a regular resume, especially because engineering jobs are often technical while those doing the hiring are not. Most engineers can get the basics of their past projects and experiences down on paper in a chronological and sensible fashion.
An engineering resume should clearly show a candidate’s technical skills. To achieve this, add the Technical Summary or Technical Expertise section to your resume. Further break this section into subcategories for a quick scan of your knowledge of programs and applications. When writing a resume for a highly technical position like engineering, a full range of your technical skills needs to be highlighted. Transferable skills such as departmental coordination and project management should also be included in order to create a powerful engineer job resume.
Follows are several essential tips for best engineering resumes:
1. Organizational format. Most resumes are written in chronological format, but that does not mean that the chronological choice is best for you. A combination format may be best. The combination format is evenly balanced between skill set description, achievements, and employment history, with the advantage being that projects can be highlighted for greater impact.
2. Details. Employers want to see the details of your engineering work history and experience, but they don’t need your life story. Keep information specific to the job and with one goal in mind – getting an interview. That means anything that you have done in past jobs that is not relevant to this job in any way is just filler.
3. No errors. Make absolutely sure your document is error free. An error in a resume can often be the killer between two closely matched candidates. Engineers are expected to be detail-oriented so an error in the engineering resume reflects badly on possible future performance.
4. Find a balance between wordiness and lack of detail. Employers need to see details about your work history and engineering experience, but they don’t need to know everything. The fact that you were Den Leader in your Cub Scout troop is irrelevant. Keep information germane to the goal of attaining an interview.
5. Think “accomplishments” rather than “job duties”. What made you stand out from the crowd? How did you come up with a way to do things better, more efficiently, or for less cost? What won honors for you? Information such as this will be what makes you grab attention and put your engineering resume on the top of the stack.
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