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3 Resume Tips for Engineering Candidates

It can be tempting to think of a resume as a low-effort part of your job search. Many job seekers just blandly list their education, last employment, and technical skills. That may be a mistake. As it turns out, how you structure your resume can greatly affect whether you land the engineering job you want.

In today's competitive job market, having a top-notch resume is critical to success. With the rise of applicant tracking systems, too often it’s a computer that narrows down the candidate pool. Mistakes on your resume can mean you're passed over for the next candidate. Here are three tips to consider.

Don’t write an objective section, but instead, write a summary.

Conventional wisdom advises that you should include a job objective area on your resume, just below your name and contact information. For engineering candidates, that can be a mistake. Because this is prime resume real estate, it’s the first thing a recruiter sees. It’s important to capitalize on this important area, to compel the hiring manager to keep reading. Do that by writing a job summary which includes the story of your career so far. You’ll need to customize this area for each position. To get started, take a look at the posting and jot down the three or four most important responsibilities or skills that the job involves. Highlight these in your summary, but make sure to avoid cliche and overused terms like “proven track record,” or “results-driven.” Keep it brief — no more than 30 words in length.

Tailor the resume for each job opportunity.

It’s crucial that you tweak your resume for each job. The first thing employers care about is whether you have the right skills. In fact, many companies use computerized systems to scan resumes for particular keywords to narrow down the candidate pool. By carefully customizing your resume to match each opportunity, it’s more likely you’ll get selected for an interview. First, carefully review the job description and align your experience and skills to it. Focus on specific results you’ve achieved. How did your past companies benefit from your work? Make sure to match the areas of expertise most important to the position.

Add a project list that reflects your portfolio.

Distinguish yourself from other candidates by listing projects you’ve worked on. Include a very brief summary of the project and its impact or profitability. Remember, this isn’t an autobiographical list: Only include projects you’re proud of, and that are relevant to the position.

As this article shows, it makes sense for engineering candidates to use a strategic resume strategy to land their dream job. For more job search and hiring advice, visit the Lehigh Technical website.

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