The Question Your Resume Must Answer

Recruiters often have to sift through dozens and sometimes hundreds of resumes to find candidates to fill a vacant engineering position. What’s worse is that the majority of these resumes will sound exactly the same. If you want to make it through to the interview stage, you need to take steps to stand out from the crowd.

Instead of relying on gimmicks, craft a resume that answers the single most important question on a recruiters mind – is this person the absolute best fit for this job? If you make this the focus of your resume – from the first word to the last – you can quickly rise above other candidates. Use these tips:

Carefully Study the Job Description

Most job descriptions are bland and generic, but important details are often buried inside. Pay close attention to the specific skills they mention. Determine as much as possible about the project you will be placed on. Decide if the details of your education are an actual priority, or just necessary filler. The closer you look, the better you will understand exactly what they are looking for.

Start From Scratch

It’s tempting to reuse the same basic resume and simply tweak it to match the opening. But if you are serious about getting the job, start from scratch. This gives you a fresh perspective on the information you are providing, allows you to try different formatting strategies, and ensures that everything included has the maximum relevance.

Cut Out the Filler

Too often, engineering resumes position the candidate as the best possible engineer rather than the best possible candidate for the specific engineering position. That leaves the resume cluttered up with irrelevant details, unnecessary accolades, and outdated information. Focus on the details that will be relevant to the recruiter and cut out everything else, even if it leaves your resume feeling threadbare. If they are impressed initially, they will give you the opportunity to flesh things out later in the recruitment process.

Incorporate a Mission Statement

A mission statement gives you a chance to make a simple, direct, and assertive statement about why your are the best candidate for the job. Use clear language and definable metrics, and avoid buzzwords, abstractions, and transparent attempts at flattery.


Crafting a strategic resume doesn’t just cast you in a positive light, it also saves the recruiter time, and they will definitely appreciate your brevity. If you need help preparing this document, or standing out at any step in the recruitment process, work with a staffing firm that specifically serves engineers like you. Work with the experienced recruiting team at Selectek.