One of the most important skills you’ll need to master when it comes to securing a job in the engineering industry is the ability to craft a resume that draws the attention of the human resources (HR) manager and makes them want to know more about you. It’s basically the art of making yourself look irresistible to a company.
Of course, there are plenty of different approaches you could take here, and there’s no right or wrong way to move forward (OK, there’s definitely some wrong ways to do it), but, today, we’re going to focus on the key aspects you need to be thinking about to help your resume appears as professional as possible.
Be Precise, Concise, and to the Point
This applies to all resumes, but in particular, engineering, because it can be such a broad spectrum, where many different skills could be relevant or not. Just like when you’re working on an engineering project, you need to be concise and accurate with all the information you choose to share and how you present it.
There’s no point trying to fluff up your resume so it sounds fancy or looks a certain way because the vast majority of HR managers are just looking for someone who can get the job done, is qualified and skilled, and fits their business culture. This is what you need to showcase throughout your resume.
Just get to the point, highlight your skills, qualifications, experience, and references. Make it easy for your interviewer to see exactly what you have to offer.
It’s also important to say that you should be concise with how you present the information you’re sharing. For example, look at this list of achievements:
- Saved the company money;
- Led a small team; and
- Created blueprints for a project.
Are these kinds of achievements going to get you the job? Obviously not. On the other hand, look at the precision of these skills:
- Spearheaded the installation process on commercial projects;
- Created maintenance timetable for regular clients; and
- Managed the team regarding scheduling and resource allocation.
Can you see the difference?
While on this point, as a bit of a side note, it’s vital you go through your resume before sending it off to correct any typos or grammatical mistakes, and this is another way to be precise and accurate.
Focus on Experience and Qualifications
For many businesses that are hiring engineers, it’s all about your experience, the qualifications you have, and the certifications you hold. You may well be able to do a job properly or even learn on the job, but many businesses simply require, by law, someone who can match the legal standards.
As you should know, there’s a huge amount of expertise that goes into engineer industries, and health and safety, knowledge, and so on, and recruiters are going to be looking for people who fit the bill.
This is why it can pay off to write a professional summary at the top of your resume that highlights what you’re bringing to the table. This will need to be rewritten for every single job you apply for, and you’ll need to customize what you say in order to match what the company is looking for.
Not sure what they are looking for? Just reread the job description. Make bullet points of the key information they’ve chosen to include because this is a clear indication of their hiring criteria.
Highlighting Both Hard and Soft Skills
Hard skills are all the skills you need to get the job done, and you must include them within your resume. This umbrella term includes things like math, prototyping, computer skills, workflow development, troubleshooting, project management, knowledge of laws and regulations, mechanical skills, and so on.
On the other hand, the other soft skills you need to highlight include things like being able to work in a team, leadership skills, prioritization, communication skills, being creative, being able to listen, managing your time, sticking to deadlines, and more skills along this line of work.
Both soft and hard skills are essential for engineers to succeed, so don’t just focus on one or the other. Make sure you include a combination of both.
Other Key Points to Remember
While focusing on everything I’ve mentioned here, it’s easy to forget the core basics that go into making a professional resume that will make or break your application. Once you’ve finished writing your resume and you’re happy with the content, come back to this page and use the following as a checklist to ensure your resume is the best it can be.
- Your contact details are easily accessible and viewable at the top of the page;
- Your resume fits a single document;
- Everything is nicely laid out in sections, ensuring your resume is scannable;
- The most relevant information to the role you’re applying for is at the top; and
- You have proofread and checked your resume for accuracy.