Tips and Tricks to Land Your Resume at the Top of an Applicant Pool
Have you analyzed your resume lately? Whether you’re a student pursuing your first engineering experience or a seasoned engineer pursuing new opportunities, AWE wants to help you get to the best position possible when going through the application process. Here are nine tips and tricks that will help you get there:
1. Short but Powerful
According to Andrew Naslund of consulting firm Mazzetti & Associates in San Francisco, “Resumes get accepted or rejected in 30 seconds or less.” What does that mean for you? Keep your background to the point: If you were the Hiring Manager, what would you want to see? Avoid providing an overload of information. By providing a clear, concise and precise description of previous experience the hiring managers will understand what makes you a qualified candidate for the position at hand.
2. Proofread, Proofread, Proofread!
A simple but often overlooked task, proofreading your resume is one of the most important steps you can take to ensure the way you present yourself comes across as prepared, eloquent and qualified. Check it once, check it twice and get multiple friends or family members to review it as well. It will set you apart from other candidates in the long run.
3. Feature Your Skills
Engineering is a fast-growing and ever-evolving field, with new technology and new tools constantly gaining precedence and use across the industry. When a resume provides a very explicit explanation detailing skills a candidate brings to the table – whether it’s hardware, software, or programming language – the hiring manager will take notice and can match the candidate’s skill list to those skills required for the position in question.
4. Promote and Prioritize Your Experience
Your engineering education and training will certainly lend some credence to your resume, but many hiring managers may rank professional experience higher when considering candidates. When writing your resume, physically listing your experience above your training ensures it’s the first thing hiring managers view. Short on professional experience? You’re not alone. If there are gaps in your professional experience, utilize learning experiences from projects that showcase what you gained from the experience. In addition, feature key accomplishments that employers will read and understand the significance of your past work.
5. Utilize Online Resources
Need extra assistance to create the ultimate resume? The internet has you covered. Here are some of our favorite tools:
• PaperFellows.com is a well-reviewed proofreading service that can help avoid grammatical or spelling errors in your completed resume.
• Canva.com is a free software service that features resume templates, in case you need a starting point to begin your resume writing process
• ResumeGenius.com is another resume building site dedicated to help you develop the most eye-catching and successful resume possible
• Dictionary.com and Thesaurus.com are great (free!) assets to utilize when writing and proofreading your resume
6. Stay Positive
When writing your resume, keep in mind it is not the place to dwell on the past in a negative light. Avoid explaining failed projects, why you left old positions or anything else with a negative connotation. Write the resume in a way the showcases your passion for the work and what your skills – both hard and soft – bring to the table.
7. Adapt it to the Opportunity
Hiring managers tend to look favorably upon resumes that feature a personal touch, tailored to the position in question. Resumes that are obviously mass posted for use applying to engineering roles across the industry lack those personal touches and may not get the reaction the candidate desires. A simple customization for each role you apply to, whether it’s bringing useful skills to the forefront in your skills section or tailoring your objective to mention the specific role and organization, will earn you favor with the hiring team at that organization.
8. Apply Industry Lingo
Another method of showcasing your skills besides listing them verbatim, is to utilize industry lingo that demonstrates your knowledge. Unless they apply directly to the position you’re vying for, avoid complicated technical jargon that a reader may not understand. Careful selection of terms that demonstrate your familiarity with the latest industry advancements or tools will do you favors in the hiring process
9. Go Ahead, Brag About Yourself
You are your own biggest advocate. If your experience takes more than one page to convey, use those multiple pages to your benefit! Feature experiences that have shaped you as an engineer and position you as a valuable candidate.