5 Useful Resume Tips for Engineers
Your resume is an important part of landing your dream engineering job. These simple 5 resume tips for engineers are designed to help you succeed.
Enscicon Corporation – Award-Winning Engineering & Construction Staffing and Recruiting Agency
5 Useful Resume Tips for Engineers
They say you never get a second chance to make a first impression. When it comes to applying for a job, this means you have to have a killer resume. There are any number of sites you can look to for some general resume tips and there are a lot of good ones out there. If you are applying for a job in the engineering field though, there are some specific things you want to do to make sure your resume and cover letter will make a great first impression on the person reading it. Here are 5 useful resume tips specifically for engineers.
1. Keep an Eye Out for Details
If you are an engineer, you know how important it is to pay attention to the details. A small mistake in the tiniest detail of a project can throw the whole thing off and lead to the project failing or costing your employer or client lots of money. The people hiring for engineering positions know this too so the first thing they are going to notice is the details of your resume.
This does not mean you should include every single detail of every job you have ever had on your resume (more on that later). What it means is your resume needs to be clearly laid out and not contain any mistakes. Even the smallest misspelling or punctuation mistake will raise a red flag and take your resume from the “yes” or “maybe” pile right to the “no” one. Proofread your resume after every draft. Make sure it is easily readable and there are no mistakes. If you can, have someone else take a look. It is always good to get a second set of eyes on it.
2. Focus on Relevant Skills
Resumes are usually accepted or rejected in the first 30 seconds after a hiring manager picks it up. Many times there’ll be an internal employee that screens the resumes prior to it landing on the engineering manager’s desk. If this person has been asked to do a “keyword” search on that resume prior to forwarding it on for review, you’ll want to ensure that what they’re looking for is clearly listed on your resume. . You’ve probably heard people recommend that your resume be condensed down to one page, but we firmly believe this is a terrible idea. If it’s not on your resume, it never happened, and could therefore negatively affect your candidacy if a generalist is screening resumes.
For engineers, you want to get your technical skills front and center. Conveying to the hiring manager that you have the requisite engineering-specific skills for the job will get your resume some extra time and consideration. To do this, we recommend putting together a skill set summary, below your education, and above your work experience. Use analytical data whenever possible so hiring managers can understand the size, scope, and relevance of your experience. This includes a number of hours or years with specific software, the number of employees reporting to you, the dollar amount of the project or budget you’re managing, etc.
3. Create a Project List
Engineering is a very project-based field as you know. If you have industry experience and have worked on relevant or impressive projects, you want to be able to include that in your resume. As discussed above though, you do not want your resume to be overstuffed with information or cluttered and hard to read. A great solution to this is to create a second or third page that is designated as a Project List.
This list will serve two purposes on your resume. First, you will not have to overload each job you have had with the projects you worked on while you were there. You can focus on the skills you gained and utilized that pertain to the job you are applying for. Second, it will give you more space to expand on your role in the project. Each project on the Project List page should be bolded with a very short, 1-2 sentence explanation of your role in the project’s success.
4. Forget the Soft Skills
In many ways, engineering is a very black and white world. You either get the project done or you don’t. It either succeeds or fails. And, we all know, the math doesn’t lie. However, working at a company is not always black and white, there are many gray areas you need to know how to navigate. More and more employers are not only looking for people who can get the job done while also contributing to a collaborative work environment. However, that’s what the face-to-face interview and referencing process are for. Describing yourself as a “team player,” “great communicator” or “go-to guy” on your resume is simply clutter that an employer will later decide for themselves.
5. Get Your Resume in the Right Hands
Your resume can be perfectly presented with no mistakes. It can focus on all your relevant skills clearly and concisely. You can add a dynamite project list and a killer cover letter and still, your resume might not find its way into the hands of the person making the final decision on hiring. How do you combat this problem? By working with engineering staffing specialists who have connections in the industry and can get your resume in front of the people who truly matter. General job boards and sites are fine but unless you work with a company that specializes in the engineering industry, you will never have a leg up on the competition.
At Enscicon, we are an award-winning staffing and recruiting agency that specialize in technical staffing for some of the engineering and construction world’s hottest niches. This includes fields such as oil and gas, power, mining and minerals, environmental, transportation infrastructure, and water and wastewater. We will help get your resume to the people who really matter at the best companies in the industry.
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