Tips for preparing a resumé
CLEAR AND CONCISE. The biggest challenge for an engineer preparing a resumé may be deciding what information is important enough to include, and what should be omitted. Too many details could turn hiring managers away; not enough details and you may be selling yourself short.
- FORMATTING. Your engineering resumé has only 40 seconds or so to capture the reader’s attention. A clean, well-organized format is critical to readability and easy navigation. And, while you may want to exhibit all your skills and experience, it’s important to remember that too much information may confuse or overwhelm the reader.
- USE BULLET POINTS. A resumé should be very easy to scan, and bullet points do the job well. Each bullet point should begin with an action word that correlates with words in the job description. When a recruiter or hiring manager has a large stack of resumés to review, plowing through paragraphs of information in yours won’t make you stand out in a good way.
- ACCURACY. Precision is imperative in the field of engineering, so do not, under any circumstances, make an error in spelling, grammar or formatting. Proofread the document carefully yourself, but also have someone else check it for consistency and accuracy. No matter what your experience and education, if your resumé contains an error, it will likely be passed over.
- EXPERIENCE FIRST. College degrees, while important, hold less weight than your professional experience, so put that experience up front. Also, be sure to remove any work history that is not relevant to your engineering background, as it will not be of interest to your next engineering employer.
- ACCOMPLISHMENTS. Hiring managers want to see results. Demonstrate, with concrete examples of your achievements, that you have something more to offer than your competition. Don’t include anything you are not prepared to discuss in depth during an interview. If you can’t elaborate, it will appear you did not play a significant role, or that you didn’t actually know what you were doing.
- APPLICABLE SKILLS. Employers need to know the specific skills you have acquired. Including a section that lists your technical skills, as well as your familiarity with certain hardware, software and programming languages, plus a quick overview, efficiently presents what you can handle your first day on the job.
- ADD A PROJECT LIST. Unless you are new to the field of engineering, you should have a number of key projects to showcase. List them by employer or client, along with a brief description of your role and be sure to include the outcomes. Exhibiting your ability to identify a problem and implement a solution is vitally important. If space allows, add this list to your resumé. However, if your projects are flowing onto a second or third page, it’s best to create a separate project list document.
- KNOW YOUR AUDIENCE. Revise your resumé each time you submit it for a new position. The action words used should match the action words contained in the specific job description. Emphasize any experience that relates to the job for which you are applying. If you include an objective statement, it should also correspond to the specifics of the position. Alternatively, you can supply a qualifications summary to highlight your credentials instead.
- GET AN EDGE. When you work with Ware Technology Services, you receive the personal guidance you need to effectively present your knowledge, skills and experience to prospective employers. We’ll ensure that your resumé gets the attention it deserves.