DOs and DON'Ts of Engineering Resume Writing

When it comes to Engineer resume writing, there is a standard set across the industry as to what information should be provided. More importantly, there is certain information that should be left off of an engineering resume. So what do you need to know when it comes to engineering resume writing? Well, we’ve compiled a list of what should, and shouldn’t be on your engineering resume.

DO Include

·    Relevant work experience, either in a functional or chronological format, depending on where the importance lies.
·    Training and education- this information is usually best presented in a chronological format because it just makes sense that way.
·    Other experience outside of work history and education, if any
·    All technical skills, qualifications, and abilities that you have, including where and when you acquired them.
·    Certifications and licensures, if applicable, including dates and other specific information.
·    Detailed explanations of which areas of engineering you excel in, with demonstrable proof (i.e. awards, work history, etc)
·    Keywords that will catch the attention of the hiring manager, and are listed in the job announcement.

DON’T Include:

·    Previous employment that is unrelated or irrelevant. An engineering firm doesn’t care if you worked at McDonald’s, unless you did engineering work there.
·    A chronological timeline, unless it is relevant to the job announcement or your training and experience. This is an entry level employment tactic, and should be avoided unless it is relevant or requested in the job opening.
·    Education or experiences that have nothing to do with engineering
·    Hobbies, interests, and such. This is not professional and has no place on an engineering resume.
·    References, unless requested
·    Generic formats or information that is going to lump you into the “just another applicant” category. You’re trying to stand out here.

Ultimately, writing an engineering resume is rather simple. There are also many different formats that you can use, as well as supplemental sections on your resume, such as career summaries and technical qualifications sections, to demonstrate your abilities. Your goal is to get into the reader’s head so that you stand out as the most qualified candidate. Thus, you need to place the emphasis in your resume on the things that will make you better than anyone else who applies. Also, it is important to focus on your accomplishments and achievements. This proves you’ve done something, and are capable of doing more, and is much more persuasive than a boring list of job responsibilities.

Anyone can try engineering resume writing, but only those who are willing to invest the time and effort will truly succeed at the task. There are many resourceful places online where you can find sample resumes, but please use these as reference only; DO NOT copy the format or content of a sample resume. This will be discovered and at the very least will prove you aren’t willing to put in the extra effort. The easiest way to approach engineering resume writing is to read the job announcement carefully, and then model your resume around the requirements of the announcement, to ensure you’re providing EXACTLY what the company wants.

Failure to create a unique resume that proves you’re the best choice will likely result in your resume ending up in someone’s trash can.


Gail Esparan