Resume Hacks for Engineers
Getting a coveted engineering job starts with a resume that gets the attention of your prospective engineering manager. But if you want to get your foot in the door for an interview for an engineering role, you must have a well-written resume. While there are several ways to achieve this goal, there are some fundamental methods worth implementing to shine among other engineering candidates. Here are some useful resume hacks for engineers you can use:
1. Customize Your Resume to the Job Opportunity
All engineering roles aren't created equally. While tasks may appear similar, you won't complete the exact duties for each job. That's why it's critical to customize your engineering resume to your job opportunity. And you can do that by reviewing the qualifications of the job you're applying for and tweaking your resume to align with the qualifications needed for that role. For example, finding the most relevant skills and projects will likely intrigue the recruiter or hiring manager who is reviewing your resume.
2. Demonstrate You're a Changemaker
If you want to stand out among the crowd, show how you can bring value to the company by demonstrating you're a changemaker. Changemakers demonstrate leadership and show real results of their efforts. So, it's important to communicate this on your engineering resume. One way you can explain how you make change happen is by showing how you can improve processes with actual results. You can also demonstrate how you're a changemaker by demonstrating how you helped boost productivity or generated revenue for your company. Also, don't limit your accomplishments to what you learned in school or on the job. Companies like Google look for engineers who can demonstrate leadership skills and other examples of change-making beyond these typical avenues. For instance, you can use an internship or project with a local engineering society like the American Institute of Chemical Engineers or the Society of Women Engineers to demonstrate your leadership skills.
3. Quantifying Success via Metrics
Engineering roles often have to show results, and one way you can demonstrate the types of results you can bring is by quantifying your success via metrics. Rely on numbers to help quantify your success whenever you can, and your success will appear more impressive. For example, demonstrate how you helped generate your company $1 million or how you helped boost productivity by 20% rather than leaving out the amount of the impact of your actions.
4. Use Engineering Resume Templates
While you'll want to make sure you tailor your engineering resume for roles you're targeting, you'll likely be entering in similar content in your resume. Inputting the same content and format can become time-consuming, but that's where an engineering resume template comes in handy. You can create your engineering resume templates or use pre-made engineering resume templates for your engineering resume to help you streamline your application process while ensuring that you share your career story in a clear and concise manner.
5. Learn to Write an Engineering Resume
Understanding what it takes to write a well-written engineering resume calls for applying a few effective tips. Here are some essential tips that can help you write a resume:
- Make your resume easy to read. Recruiters and hiring managers skim through resumes, so it's important to make sure you have a resume that's easily digestible. Consider using formatting that accommodates scalability, such as bullet points for listing duties and achievements from your previous roles. It's also ideal to use bold-face type to highlight companies you've worked for and important roles or projects you've done. You'll also want to avoid using tiny text or font styles that are difficult to read, such as fonts that are smaller than 10-point.
- Use keywords. If you want to get past the "resume bots," you have to be strategic and selective with the words you use in your engineering resume. For example, if you're applying for a mechanical engineering role that emphasizes certain qualifications, such as SolidWorks expertise in 3D modeling or requires a Professional Engineering (P.E.) license, don't forget to include these keywords in your resume.
- Tell a story. People are wired for reading stories, and storytelling can provide a way to connect with recruiters who are reading your resume on an emotional level. Make little tweaks to your resume and tell a story of your career journey by filling in any gaps of time, such as including relevant volunteer projects or internships you completed during summers you weren't working. Show a distinct progression of your work history and roles with the most recent listed first. Also, use a resume summary to help tell the story of your progression in your professional career concisely.
- Use action verbs. Action verbs, such as "designed" or "initiated" help hiring managers and recruiters gain insight instantly about what you do or what you've achieved in previous roles. Action verbs bring life to your resume and make it easier to read. Do some research and consider including action verbs used in the industry you're planning to work in. For example, consider using the action verbs "implemented" or "developed" when describing accomplishments you achieved as an industrial engineer in the manufacturing industry.
- Frame tasks as accomplishments. Don't let your resume read like a list of tasks or responsibilities. Instead, frame your duties as accomplishments as much as you can. For instance, instead of listing your responsibility of assessing project proposals for fitting in a company's budget as an aerospace engineer, show how you saved the company money. Show your work and include a line about how you revamped and used effective cost reduction strategies to save the company 30 percent of the design budget for a new airplane.
Getting past the resume bots calls for more than just listing your tasks on the job. When crafting your engineering resume, it's important to be strategic in order to stand out among other candidates. Just follow these tips and have a professional or friend review your resume before submitting it, and you'll help increase your chances of getting to the next phase of the job application process for your dream engineering role.