Resume Writing Tips for Engineers
It’s a new year and that means it’s time to refresh your resume! Whether you are looking to make a change in your engineering career or not, your resume acts as a wonderful tool of reflection and planning.
2020 presented its challenges – however, it likely brought many professional accomplishments, projects, and new skills which are important to document while they are still fresh in your mind. Additionally, this is the perfect opportunity to review where you are at professionally and set goals for what you would like to accomplish professionally in the new year.
If you are not seeking a career change, keep in mind that some companies include their teams resumes in proposals to show prospective clients that they have the expertise to get the job done. It can be a determining factor for your firm to win new and exciting projects.
While updating and/or crafting your engineering resume, consider the following tips:
Cut to the chase – It is imperative to catch the attention of the person reviewing your resume within 30 seconds or less. It is easy for engineers to provide lots of detail but providing too much detail on a resume can be a quick turn off. Your resume should speak specifically to the role you are applying for and should market your background in a clear and concise manner.
Honesty – Honesty is the best policy. When speaking to what a hiring manager is looking for, never be deceptive or misleading. Paint a compelling picture of your background, projects, skills, education, and experience, but not at the risk of not being 100% truthful.
LIST key accomplishments – It’s your time to shine! Focus on your accomplishments rather than typing a long list of all your duties and responsibilities when describing the positions you’ve held. Also remove words and language that might sell yourself short like “tried” or “almost”.
Include a technical expertise section – Employers want to know which software programs and systems you have experience with. Adding a technical expertise section will allow the hiring manager to glance at what you bring to the table, rather than digging for this information within your resume.
Add a Project List – An engineering resume should stay to 2 pages or less. Ensure all the vitals are on the first one to two pages – contact information, your professional experience, key accomplishments, technical expertise, education, and specific related project experience.
If you are lacking project experience, that’s okay – set yourself apart by creating something, go through the design process from A to Z. This will show the hiring manager you are self-motivated and passionate.
Depending on the length of your career and engineering specialty, you may have dozens of related project experience. In this case, add a project list to supplement your resume. List projects by employer or client and give a concise description of what you did and the project outcome.
Proofread – Accuracy is vital when it comes to engineering projects and it is just as important when it comes to your resume. If you make a spelling or grammatical error, that error reflects you and what can be expected in the quality of your work. We recommend proofreading your resume several times, using spell check, reading it aloud and enlisting the help of friends / family for another set of eyes. Sometimes there are things hiding in plain sight and because you are so close to it, you miss it.
I hope these resume writing tips prove helpful as you update or craft your resume to land a new job or simply keep it relevant and current.
All my best,