Your resume can be engineered to function as a strong marketing tool. Although engineering jobs encompass a wide range of fields, there are some very effective resume strategies which can be applied across multiple disciplines. Let’s check out these seven pieces of expert advice to keep in mind while writing an engineering resume.
1. Think Precision
When it comes to engineering, precision is of paramount importance. The same likewise precision must also be applied for an engineering resume. Many engineers fail to proofread their resume and miss errors that otherwise would be easy to correct. It is imperative to double check and ensure your resume is free from any grammatical errors or typos. It is even a good idea to triple check it and have other people take a look at your resume to make sure it’s absolutely perfect.
2. Be Concise
Avoid information overload on your resume. It only takes the hiring manager about 30 seconds to accept or reject your resume. This means if your resume fails to provide relevant information within those 30 seconds, it may easily end up in the rejected pile.
For this reason, it’s recommended to keep the resume as concise as possible. Don't include any unnecessary information that is not related to the job you're applying for. There is no reason for the hiring manager to spend extra time trying to sort through the information on your resume, so keep it crisp and to the point.
3. Ditch the Objective and Add a Summary
When it comes to engineering resumes, experts recommend avoiding adding a career objective. It takes up significant space on your resume and might also hurt your candidacy. Many solid candidates are passed over because the objective on the resume does not match the specifics of the job post. However, if you are changing careers or shifting to careers outside the field of your education, objectives are definitely essential.
But for an engineering resume, instead of a career objective section, you can include a qualifications summary. A qualifications summary will list the strongest skills which you can bring to the job. With just a few lines, a well-written summary can successfully bring to attention your most marketable skills. The basic idea of this summary is to pique the interest of the hiring manager, right at the beginning of your resume.
💡 Tip: Here’s how you can write an amazing resume summary statement according to The Interview Guys!
4. Tailor Your Resume
Tailoring your resume for each job application can really help you stand out from the crowd. Instead of mass-posting the same resume for all jobs, it’s always a good idea to customize your resume as per the requirements of specific role and engineering specialties. It will convey to the hiring manager that your attention to detail in looking through and meeting the requirements of that particular job.
5. List Key Accomplishments
Your resume should be easy to read. Bullet points can really help to increase the readability of your resume. While adding bulleted accomplishments, make sure to quantify your achievements and keep the text to just a few key points. For example, instead of merely stating “Increased sales of a new product”, try using numbers to quantify it, such as “Increased sales of a new product by 50% over a period of 3 months.” By including either a dollar amount or a percentage to give solid numbers to your accomplishments, it will help employers understand the significance of your work.
However, if you’re a fresh graduate with no mentionable experience, you should read How to Write a Resume When You’re Just Out of College.
6. Add a Project List
If you have an engineering specialization and many years of experience, it’s very likely you can come up with a number of key projects that you've worked on over the years. These should be highlighted on your engineering resume. If this causes your resume to be too long (over two pages), a separate sheet for your project list can be an effective solution. The projects should be listed with the names of your employers or clients. Every project should have a brief, single-sentence description of your job function, or what you did to serve on the project, as well as any quantifiable results of the project. If you’re not a seasoned engineer, including personal side projects you’ve worked on would be a plus as well.
7. Be Honest
Your resume should be captivating, but it should never be deceptive or misleading. It is never a good idea to lie on your resume. Employers will have ways of finding out whether you are embellishing facts or even if they find out much later that you have been untruthful, the outcome will not be good
Additionally, be sure not to include anything on your resume that may be embarrassing or something you would not want to expose publicly. A perfectly honest and well-crafted resume can successfully land you a great engineering job and lead you to the career you’ve always dreamt of!