How To Write An Engineering Resume
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We live in an era of technological marvels. Things that seemed impossible during the early times now stand before us. Towering skyscrapers, wireless communication, enhanced healthcare, sturdy infrastructure, everything was created for the betterment of human life. And for that, the engineer’s role shouldn’t go unnoticed.
Engineers know the art of dismantling and understanding the science behind how anything works. Their brilliant minds can bring visions to life. Not to mention, they’re excellent problem solvers. As today’s world focuses on progression, the engineer’s job is never done. The world needs more engineers, so striving for a career in this industry is most promising.
But even though the world does require engineers, it doesn’t mean engineers will get a job if they ask. Engineers have to endure the same ordeal of getting a job like any career. What we mean by that is that if you’re planning a career in this field, having a professional engineering resume is the first step.
Suppose you’re wondering how then this blog is your answer. The following blog explains how to write an engineering resume. We’ll go over the format, structure, and keywords for an engineering resume. In addition, we’ll also discuss the common mistakes to avoid. So, without further ado, let’s get to creating the perfect engineer resume.
Engineering Resume Tips to Remember About Formatting
Just like an engineer must follow specific steps to solve a problem, the same goes for the resume. It has to follow specific rules to ensure the recruiter has no problem reviewing the resume. Below are some engineering resume tips about formatting:
1. Ideal Page Length
Although you may be tempted to list everything about your career, education, and skills to boost your chances of landing an engineering job, remember that your resume has a size limit. Recruiters have to go through hundreds of resumes to find the ideal candidate. So, you can expect they won’t have the time to read everything. If you think more pages mean a better chance, let’s stop you right there.
Keep your resume short and comprehensive. A one-page resume is enough if you’ve just graduated from engineering college. However, if you have prior work experience, keep it no longer than two pages.
2. Readable Font
Apart from its length, your resume should be easy in the recruiter’s eyes. Not only should it be easy to navigate but to read as well. And for that, you need to ensure the resume font is proper. Your resume is professional, so you should only use simple and formal fonts. Some formal font styles include Times New Roman, Calibri, Georgia, Helvetica, etc.
In addition to font style, ensure the font has the right size. It shouldn’t be too large, nor too small. 11-12 pts would prove to be an optimal font length.
3. Keep it in the Third Person
As a formal and professional document, the resume shouldn’t sound biased. We know this may sound weird, as a resume focuses on your qualifications and skills. But using the first-person perspective in your resume can sound more like bragging.
Instead, either drop the first person pronoun (I, me, my, we, our) or go for a third-person perspective while writing a resume. Writing it in the third person distances you from your experience, making it more impactful than using the first person.
4. Follow the Reverse Chronological Format
The reason for the resume is to highlight your skills, qualifications, and experience to the recruiter. Through it, the recruiter learns what you did before applying for the position. So, it’s a good idea to write about your recent experience first, followed by older ones.
You should use This reverse chronological format while writing about your experience. To write each entry in your work experience section, focus on your most recent employer first and then discuss older ones.
5. Separate Heading with Bold, Underlined, and Italics Text
Your resume should be easy to navigate. The resume should have a proper heading to tell the recruiter what the section focuses on. Your resume talks about your skills, experience, and education.
To make our heading stand out, you should use bold, underline, and italics text to make them stand out. This will ensure the recruiter knows what they are looking at in your professional engineering resume.
6. Use Strong Action Verbs
Your engineering resume should showcase you as a professional who is a good fit for the company. Although a resume highlights your experience, skills, and qualifications, it can only do so much through text.
One way to boost your resume’s impact is through using strong action verbs. Rather than using generic verbs like “worked,” “managed,” or “ensured,” instead go for more quality verbs to boost your resume performance. Here’s a list of strong verbs that will go well in either an entry-level or principal engineer resume:
Professional Engineering Resume Structure:
Now that the engineering tips for a resume are in order let’s talk about the structure it needs to follow. An engineering resume needs to have a proper structure to ensure the recruiter doesn’t have any trouble locating your work experience, educational background, and skills. The following is a simple yet effective resume structure you can use:
1. Resume Header
It is the first section of your resume. This section provides your name and contact information on your resume. The header is by far the most crucial section of the resume and is placed at the top.
If the resume impresses the recruiter, they can contact you via the contact information. Ensure your contact information includes your cell phone number, email address, and a link to your digital portfolio.
2. Resume Objective or Summary
Next up, we have the resume objective or summary. This is another crucial section of your resume. This comes right after the header. Did you know that a recruiter receives around 118 job applications for a single job advert? With so many resumes, you can’t expect the recruiter to go through them all.
So, they filter them out based on the resume objective or summary. Think of the section as the resume for the resume. It helps summarize your resume into 3-5 phrases highlighting the relevant skills and qualifications that make you a good fit for the company. Place the resume objective if you want to discuss what you aim to accomplish through your experience and skill while writing the resume summary if you want to focus on your past experience.
3. Work Experience
The next section of your resume should list the work experience you gained over the experience. Even if you don’t know how to write an engineering resume, you must be aware that work experience is the thing that the recruiter looks at if they approve your summary.
To make an engineering resume work experience section, you should use the reverse chronological format to include each entry of where you were employed in the past. Each entry should include the organization name, employment title, date, years of employment, and the achievements you had.
How to Get Engineering Experience?
If you don’t have any prior experience, we recommend getting some experience before applying. Here are some ways to get experience to put in your resume:
Although most do not directly relate to engineering, you could use them to discuss your transferable skills in your entry-level engineering resume.
4. Educational History
Your educational background is another section that is as crucial as the work experience section. Through it, you highlight your prior education as an engineering graduate. For this section, you must identify the educational institution, the degree you took, the major you applied for, and the years it took for you to graduate. Please note that only mention your GPA if the job advert asks for it or the GPA is over 3.0; otherwise, don’t.
Your skills also matter. Any engineering position requires that you have some specific hard and soft skills. If you possess any hard and soft skills, you should list them in this section. This includes any technical abilities and machine knowledge that you possess.
6. List Down Accomplishments (Optional)
Apart from these sections, if you’re left with some space, you could use it to list down your accomplishments over the past years. Although employers don’t ask for it, mentioning your nomination and honors could prove a way to make your engineering resume stand out.
Keywords for Engineering Resume
Before reaching the recruiter, your resume passes through the Applicant Tracking System (ATS) software. The role of the software is to filter the relevant resumes from the irrelevant ones.
The ATS works by scanning your resume for relevant keywords. If it finds relevant keywords, then it sends it to the recruiter. So, apart from your qualifications and experience, you must also integrate relevant keywords in your resume. To know what keywords to include, you must first extensively research the employer and job advert. Through it, you can get an idea of what keywords to include.
Apart from that, here are some keywords for engineering resumes you should include:
However, if you find integrating keywords troubling, consider consulting an expert resume writer.
Engineering Resume Common Mistakes to Avoid
By now, you know how to write an engineering resume. But before making one, let’s also highlight some common mistakes so you can avoid them:
You’re making a resume for an engineer position. So, it needs to reflect your experience and qualifications as the perfect fit. For that, talking about anything else unrelated to engineering in your resume is an absolute no. Although you can discuss part-time jobs and volunteer work you did, you need to highlight the transferable skills and how they would help the job role.
2. Keeping it the Same for All Jobs
Engineer is a broad term, and not every job requires the same engineer. A software engineer is different than a mechanical one, and a construction engineer has a different career than an architectural engineer. Just as each industry requires different engineers, you can’t expect the same resume to impress every recruiter. You should always tailor your resume according to the job you’re applying for.
3. Using Outdated Contact Information
Ensure that your resume has up-to-date information. If you’ve changed your address or cellphone number, then you must ensure that your resume has your current one. Think about it: the recruiter finds your resume interesting, and they call you only to find no response from the other side. You just potentially lost an interview.
4. Not Proofreading
When you’re done with your resume, don’t just send it right away. Take the time to read it first. Your resume still might contain grammatical errors and spelling typos that require fixing. Failure to proofread it could result in these spelling errors being present, which could offset your resume. So, before sending, always proofread it carefully.
In conclusion, learning how to write an engineering resume is crucial for either an entry-level or principal engineer. By using the points listed above, you’ll be sure to craft a professional engineer resume that is sure to impress the hiring manager.
Your engineering resume should include the following elements:
- Contact information
- Resume objective or professional summary
- Work experience
- Educational background
- Hard and soft skills
Always go for a reverse chronological format for making an engineering resume. This way, you can highlight your experience that recruiting managers often consider before calling in for an interview.
An engineering resume looks the same as any other resume. It contains a header, summary, work experience, education, and skill section. It is around a single page in length, written in formal font style with an 11-12 pts font size.
If you don’t have any prior experience, you could discuss other work experience you have apart from engineering, but you should emphasize your transferable skills.