Resumes can be a challenge for even the most skilled engineers on the market, but to impress your next employer, it’s important to present yourself to the best of your ability, even before you meet face to face. These 5 tips will help you craft the kind of resume that gets you the attention you deserve.
Resumes need to be short and sweet to show readers exactly what they want to know in less than 10 seconds. If your resume is too long, you run the risk of losing the reader’s attention. Instead of simply listing all your skills and experience that you have garnered over the past decade or two, focus on the most relevant information that will help win you the job. If a chronological format isn’t cutting it for you, try a skills-based format. Bring those real-world chemist experiences front and center so employers know what you bring to the table.
The first line of defense for recruiters is often simple search engine optimization. Many applicants are put through a software program that searches for the key words, skills, and abilities that an employer is looking for. Pay attention to those key words. When putting together your engineering resume, remember to include computer languages you know, the types of projects you’ve been involved in and the kinds of solutions you helped to innovate throughout your career. Think about what your hiring manager is looking for from your resume, and be sure you put it front and center.
Rather than creating one resume and blasting employers with a document that is a poor representation of what you and only you can bring to a specific position, take the time to fine-tune your resume for the engineering job that you have your eyes on. Highlight the specific qualifications and skills that matter for that job and make sure you are highly relevant to the hiring manager who is reading the doc.
At the end of the day, your resume should be a good representation of the great engineering work you have done and what you can bring to a new job. Try out a couple different resume formats to see which one presents your career in a more compelling (and concise) light. Remember that the average employer looks at a resume for just a few seconds before deciding whether to follow up with a candidate. So, whatever you choose, make sure that it gets the point across quickly and effectively.
Especially for more experienced engineers, that education section can get pushed to the side. If you have the type of academic career that will impress a future employer, put it at the top of your resume. List your degrees, your specialization, and show how proud you are of that accomplishment. When it comes to the field of engineering, those accolades can really make a difference for hiring managers.
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