At the start of the engineering job application process, you are just a resume in a stack with many others. In order to move on to the interview phase, you have to set yourself apart from the rest of the applicants. When you only have a few pieces of paper to make an impression, you need to craft your resume carefully. Make sure it includes these elements.
Let Your Format Work For You
The average resume only gets scanned for 25 seconds. Make sure that whoever is doing the scanning is able to digest as much information as possible in that short time. Use clear headings, bullet lists, boldfaced text, and succinct writing to enhance readability. The most important information should be the focal point of your resume.
Know Your Audience
Tailor the format and content of your resume to the company you are applying with. Some companies will expect a conservative approach, while others will appreciate a more creative look. Consider the type of company it is, the position you are applying for, and the environment you will be working in. You can immediately ingratiate yourself to a hiring manager by delivering the kind of resume he expects to see. Conversely, don’t break the mold thinking that it will get you attention. It is almost always the wrong kind of attention.
Avoid Job Descriptions
Engineering professionals know what other engineering professionals do. Don’t waste space describing your duties in past positions. Focus instead on why you were exceptional in those positions. Stress your accomplishments, talk about your innovations, and highlight what made you different from others performing the same job.
Express Your Accomplishments in Quantities
Whenever possible, use actual facts and figures to describe your accomplishments. Numbers are more descriptive, and they assure the hiring manager that you are not inflating your accomplishments or obscuring your lack of them. If you cannot provide a figure to support an accomplishment, strongly consider removing it from your resume.
Use a “Career Summary” Rather Than an “Objective”
Typically, the “objective” section of a resume is so bland and predictable that it is basically useless. Grab a hiring manager’s attention by including a “career summary” at the top of your resume instead. This is a short and succinct statement that describes your education, experience, and unique abilities as clearly as possible. Be honest, be direct, and think about what the potential employer most needs to know about you.
List Your Skills
Don’t expect hiring mangers to be able to identify your unique and specific skills based solely on your education and work experience. Make sure you include a section on your resume that specifically lists technical skills like hardware, software, and programming expertise. This is a clear and direct way to tell hiring managers exactly what you are capable of.
Landing a great engineering job is a process, and every step matters. Don’t underestimate the value of a great looking resume. Consult our website to learn more about finding and landing engineering positions in today’s job market.