Your resume is your chance to make a first impression on a hiring manager. It’s your opportunity to distinguish yourself from the hundreds of applications that a manager might get daily. There are plenty of Software Developers and Hardware Engineers in the Silicon Valley, so it is of the utmost importance that your resume does your skill set justice.
So what do hiring managers look for in an engineer’s resume? Here are our tips for creating a killer engineering resume.
Now this seems intuitive, but you might be surprised how many people do not proof read this section. Candidates sometimes forget to update their phone number or misspell their email. It will be awfully hard to get the job if the hiring manager can’t get a hold of you. Ideally, this section should contain your phone number, email address, and home/mailing address.
The objective is meant to be a one to two sentence description of your career goals and interests. If you’re looking for a position outside of your geographical location, you may include your intent to move. The objective should be short and concise, and it should be adapted for each job you apply for.
Skills and Expertise
Have a bulleted table of your technical knowledge and expertise listed here. Be careful to list things that you have a solid understanding of. Any additional exposure you’ve received to software or programs can be listed under the specific job listed under experience.
Beginning with your current position, list your jobs in reverse chronological order. Each entry should include your title, dates worked, location, and the company. If you worked per diem as an independent consultant, include the names of companies that you worked for. The summary of your experience at any particular job should include 5-7 bulleted points that describe your job duties. Use data to describe your impact on the company.
If you’ve worked on any cool projects outside of your professional experience that you’d like to share, add it here. Show off your passion through projects that you’ve worked on.
List your education next. University location, date graduated and degree received should all be clearly noted.
Once you’ve built your resume, take another pass through to check for the following:
- Make sure it’s clear and concise
Get to the point. In a 2-3 page resume, there is no room for fluff. Keep it simple, readable, and clean.
- Useful action verbs
Use strong action verbs to emphasize the impact that you had in previous position. This includes words such as synthesized, managed, developed, operated, facilitated etc. They’re more powerful than saying you “worked on X” or “helped with Y”.
- Clean format
In an effort to stand out, some job seekers will artfully craft their resume into a creative masterpiece. While often they are appealing to the eye, the best way to make your resume stand out is to optimize on content rather than style. Engineering hiring managers typically prefer cleanly formatted resumes.
- Font, spelling, grammar errors
Font size should be no larger than 10-12, with a standard Times New Roman or Arial font. Make sure to check for spelling and grammer errorz as they can distract from your skills. This also may signal a lack of attention to detail that is essential to being a successful engineer.
- Cover letter
The cover letter is not dead! Cover letters should be tailored to each position and should show your interest in the specific role. They are the best way to connect your resume to a particular position. Keep it short, sweet, and relevant.
It’s important to update your resume with any consulting firms that you’ve worked with in the past. Shoot them an email with your resume and a brief summary of your updated work experience. This way they can correctly identify any potential contract or full time opportunities for you.
If you’re interested in hearing more about consulting opportunities with ERG, contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org or browse our job board at jobs.erginc.com.