When there's an engineering position open that sounds like your dream job, you may find it harder to prepare your resume than usual. Many people agonize over how to detail and format their resume to make the best impression on a hiring manager.
But resumes don't have to be a challenging feat. In fact, they're simple, subtle, and send a message about your talent and expertise. Crafting a great engineering resume is within your reach to stand out and get the position you desire.
So if you've been struggling to put together a well-organized and concise resume, here are five strong tips for an engineering resume that helps you focus on what really matters and sets you apart from other applicants:
5 Tips for an Engineering Resume
1) Open with a Summary
Some engineers feel that writing an objective is part of any resume. However, experienced hiring managers often advise against it.
Skip Black, principle/owner of Minneapolis-based mechanical, electrical, structural, civil and environmental engineering firm Double Eagle Group, shares his experiences on leaving out the objective:
"Not only does it consume valuable space, but it can also hurt your candidacy. I’ve seen hiring managers disregard otherwise solid candidates because their objective did not match the specifics of the position opening." (Source: Monster)
Instead, open your engineering resume with a summary highlighting your skills and experiences. This is your opportunity to draw attention to your best titles and abilities. Show a little bit of personality in your two or three sentences.
2) Customize Your Resume to the Position
One mistake many candidates often make is using the same resume for every position applied to. Yet, even if the skills required are the same, not every position is identical. Each company seeks different qualities in a new hire and how well they fit into their organization and its culture.
So start by tailoring your listed skills and experiences to what is relevant to the position. An employer looking for a skilled engineer doesn't need to know that you spent a few years working retail to pay your way through college.
Also, consider editing your summary and any additional information you provide like interests and additional skills. A resume for an engineering role in construction should be very different from one in an R&D department.
3) Highlight Major Projects and Accomplishments
As someone with a practical, hands-on job, the things that you've done and achieved can be clearly defined with pride.
Use a bulleted list to stress all of the major projects you've been involved in that's pertinent to the engineering position. Mention a separate list for your accomplishments. These might include a complete study, performance rating, or the number of difficult inspections passed under your supervision.
The goal of sharing your accomplishments is to show how you'll be an asset to your new company and the value you bring to the position.
4) Be Clear and Concise
Once you've written your resume, look at it from a hiring manager's perspective. If you were in their shoes, would you see a capable and well-organized engineer? Be frank in your assessment. Upon review, remove anything that isn't relevant or distracts from your central skills, experience, and accomplishments.
Do your best to cut any unneeded details and words so your resume is as clear and concise as possible. Remember to target everything for the specific position and company.
5) Hone for Precision
Finally, engineering is all about precision. Just as you would never declare a project complete without a full inspection, give your resume one last lookover before submitting. Typos and factual mistakes are the enemy.
Get rid of them by using a combination of your own skills and spell-check and services like Grammarly. Leverage such tools to ensure your resume is precisely written and error-free. This will show that you're a careful person who doesn't let mistakes happen on the job.
Writing an engineering resume can be more intimidating than you expected. Yet with the right skills, experience, and organization, your resume should clearly show your capability and experience.
Need additional tips for an engineering resume or advice on finding an engineering position? Reach out to us today and let's chat! We're eager to help you.