Employers looking to fill engineering positions place a priority on hard skills – learned technical skills that have been mastered and demonstrated by performance – and a lower priority on soft (interpersonal) skills. So, when applying for a position as an engineer, you will want to place priority on your skills and experience, while you write your resume.
If you have no clue where to begin, here are some quick writing tips to help you organize your thoughts for your resume, followed by a resume example for engineering roles.
Draft a Resume Summary First
Consider adding a resume summary at the very beginning of your document. It doesn’t have to be long (3 sentences). But it should list your core skills that relate to the position opening and summarize your experience/education that relates directly to those skills.
Mine the Job Posting for Keywords
Before you write that resume summary, review the job posting carefully and look for keywords that you can include. A lot of employers are using digital screening devices, and the more keywords you can get into that summary, the better.
Determine the Focus of Your Resume
If you’re an entry-level candidate with no experience, focus on major projects during your coursework, as well as your GPA and any awards/recognition you may have received in your resume summary.
If you are not an entry-level candidate, then get an outline down in writing of each position you have held. Again, look at the posting and identify any accomplishments or responsibilities that directly relate to the opening. These will be the focus for your description of each position you have held.
Use bulleted lists rather than paragraph prose as you speak to each of the positions you have held. And, as much as possible, state your accomplishments, including numbers when you can.
When to Include Soft Skills?
If the position is at the management level, you will want to speak to your experience in soft skills too – any leadership role you have played, for example.
Don’t Re-Invent the Wheel
There are a huge number of resume templates out there for you to review, many of which have been designed for engineering candidates. You don’t necessarily want a “canned” template, but you can use these templates as a start point as you design your own.
Keep in mind the organization’s “culture” to which you are applying. If you are a software engineer, for example, seeking a position with a new fintech startup, you will want to use a more “progressive” resume. If, on the other hand, you are seeking an electrical engineering position with a long-established utility enterprise, then you will want a more traditional, conservative document.
Mind The Grammar
STEM candidates are focused on their skills. During their college years, they may have only taken the bare English composition requirements and may, therefore, not be as proficient in composition and grammar as candidates in other fields. Still, the resume cannot have any errors – none. at. all.
If you know you are not the perfect grammarian, then get thee to someone who is. Your resume must be flawless.
Software Engineer Resume Sample (.docx version)
Resume Example for a Software Engineer (text version)
1367 Crowfield Road,
Phoenix, AZ 85017
Professional Summary: A software engineer/data scientist with 10 years of progressive experience in coding, development, and management in the financial services industry. Specific accomplishments include custom CRM software development, including the incorporation of chatbots, and an algorithm design to gather and sort data related to consumer behavior.
XYZ Mortgage 2012 – Present
- Led a team in the development of an algorithm that gathers and sorts consumer data, in order to predict the types of loan products that will be most popular and in-demand. Resulted in revision of loan products and a 13% increase in mortgage applications.
- Managed the design and development of new CRM software that incorporates chatbots, AI and ML. Resulted in a 28% reduction in customer-service department costs.
ABC Bank 2009-2012
- Revised existing software architecture for online banking, to provide customers with summaries of their expenditures by category
- Began a data collection and analysis process to make recommendations on loan products. Resulted in new loan product development and a 9% increase in loan applications over an 8-month period.
- Massachusetts Institute of Technology 2007 – 2009
MS, Data Science, 3.8 GPA
- University of Michigan 2003 – 2007
BS, Computer Science, Magna Cum Laude
- The professional summary does NOT focus on what the applicant wants; rather, it focuses on skills and achievements that will prove valuable to a potential employer.
- Each accomplishment listed in the work experience section is accompanied by a numerical benefit to the organization.
- Keywords may be terms, such as “software engineer,” “data scientist,” CRM software,” and “financial services.”
- If this applicant were going to apply for a position outside of the financial services industry, the same skills could be translated to that industry but it would mean some change in wording.
This is a basic resume example for an engineering applicant. Adding personality and other enhancements might be warranted for an organization that is considered more progressive.