“10 Tips for Writing a Great Engineering Resume” was contributed by Nora Mork.
It’s important to have a resume that will immediately stand out to the reader and to have a successful job search you need an effective resume. In engineering, it can be hard to write a normal resume because there is so much technical jargon that hiring managers might not understand. Here are a number of tips to focus on when creating the perfect resume. For more in-depth advice on creating or updating your resume, check out our SWE Advance Webinar on Resume Writing.
10 Tips for Writing a Great Engineering Resume
1. Don’t limit yourself to one page.
A resume no longer needs to fit on one page as it used to in the past. Yes, it should be short and concise and meet a certain minimum of information, but you need to use the appropriate amount of space to catch people’s attention and distinguish yourself from other applicants.
2. Be clear about your experience.
You don’t want the reader to have to look hard for your experience and skills, so it’s important to list these clearly. Consider listing the projects you’ve worked on at a company and then giving the details about what your role was. Try to showcase problem-solving skills in this section.
3. Avoid errors.
This should be obvious, but it’s absolutely of the utmost importance to keep all errors out of your engineering resume. Don’t check it once, or twice, but recheck it multiple times, especially after making any changes, no matter how small. Don’t hesitate to ask someone to review it for you, as a new set of eyes will often catch something you missed. Engineers are known to be detail oriented so a small mistake on a resume could make the difference between you and another candidate. To help you with this step, we’ve prepared a list of online tools you can consult to help you out:
- Academadvisor and Studydemic are online writing guides to help you create a well-crafted resume.
- Academized and Australian Help are editing tools you can use to make sure your engineering CV is clear and cohesive.
- Simple Grad and Via Writing are grammar checkers that help you keep errors and typos out of this important document.
- Paper Fellows should be consulted for a second proofreading opinion and is well reviewed by Australian Reviewer.
- My Writing Way and Let’s Go and Learn will help you generate catchy words, keywords, subheadings, etc.
- Big Assignments and Ox Essays are the go-to sites for formatting help.
4. Prioritize your professional experience.
College degrees simply don’t hold the same weight as professional experience, especially in the engineering field. While it may be necessary to have a degree for the role, you should still list them after your professional experience. This is not the place to put your student jobs, but only those that are relevant to an engineering position.
5. Use your own project if you’re lacking experience.
It’s possible that you don’t have any professional experience yet, we understand. If there are any gaps in the timeline of professional experience on your engineering resume, fill them with learning experiences you might have gotten from your own do-it-yourself projects. Create something from scratch and showcase how you made it through each step and any lessons learned from the exercise. This will show readers that you’re motivated, passionate about your work, and might just put you above the competition.
6. Include your skills.
Miranda Kruger, a recruiter at State of Writing and Elite Assignment Help, adds a suggestion about skills: “You also need to be very explicit about the skills you have, including hardware, software, and any programming language. Give a quick summary of what you can bring to the table with these skills.”
7. Use relevant industry terms.
Although it’s important to avoid technical jargon that the reader might not know, you still want to showcase that you are familiar with the latest industry advancements or tools. Only include these if they apply to the position you’re hiring for and make sure to update them periodically as new designs or fields of device are created.
8. Don’t use passive voice.
While we’re on the subject of words, it’s important to use action words and stay away from passive terms. Hiring managers will look for words that show initiative and leadership. Look online for great words to use in resumes and don’t hesitate to include them. These include options like leading a team, managing a project, or conducting research. They show strength and action, so consider updating your resume to include more of these.
9. Be positive.
It should go without saying that your resume should highlight the positive aspects of your life and career. This is not where you’ll explain failed projects, why you left an old position, or anything else negative. Try to write in a way that showcases your passion for the work and how you can contribute in hard and soft skills to a new position.
10. Review regularly.
The final step is to regularly review and update your engineering resume. It can be easy to forget what you’ve done which leads to information gaps, so set yourself a regular project a few times a year to review your resume and update it accordingly.
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