10 sections recruiters and hiring managers look for in an engineer resume
1. Your Bio
This is one of the simplest ways to make an engineer resume more effective. A simple sentence describing who you are and (possibly) what your goal is does wonders for setting the overall message of your resume from the beginning.
2. Your Strengths
This is where you’ll want to put that “show, don’t tell” mantra into action. Explain what your strengths are, but make sure each is accompanied with a concrete example. So don’t just say you’re great at managing people, demonstrate it.
Clearly this section is at the core of all but the most junior engineering graduates’ resumes. This is where you need to apply all of the lessons mentioned above: think about the person reading your resume, use metrics, make sure you’re showing the skills and attributes mentioned in the job spec, etc. All that is to say, two people with identical engineering experience can have wildly different experience sections. So this is a place to have a big impact.
4. Your Uniqueness
There are obviously plenty of ways to show who you are as a person on a resume, so this is a place to get a bit creative. Network engineer Marcellus Nixon showed his passion and strict personal regime in his “day in my life” section:
5. Your Languages
Being multilingual is about much more than just the languages themselves. It’s about understanding different cultures and perspectives, as well as increasing your cognitive abilities. It’s no wonder speaking more languages makes it more likely you’ll get hired. That’s why it’s worth mentioning, even on an engineer resume.
6. What you’re most proud of
This is perhaps the best section to really stand out and show who you are and what’s important to you. You can share a story about overcoming hardship, learning a life-changing lesson, or triumphing over an engineering challenge. In any case, this is the place to put something that will make the reader really remember who you are as a person and an engineering professional.
7. Your philosophy
What’s your approach to engineering? Where do you stand on how projects should be run, how engineers and management should interact, or just on how life should be lived? This is a place to include a short sentence or two which can really show an employer that you’ll fit into their work culture and that you share their values.
8. Your projects
It’s your choice how to balance this but a projects section is a great place to show work you did in university, as a side project, on your own, or just anything that won’t fit neatly into your experience section.
9. Your contact information
Yes, you’re probably thinking this is too obvious to mention, but plenty of people get do this wrong. Your contact information is worth carefully considering with the recruiter in mind. What message are you sending, how would you like to be contacted? Just make sure the recruiter can get in touch with you as easily as possible.
10. Your education
Some professionals can get away without really mentioning their education, but engineers are not among them. You need to mention not just where you went to school but your technical qualifications. If you have some qualification which isn’t required for the position you’re applying for, you can choose whether to include it. But in general, this is an essential section for any engineer resume.
How to get a referral on LinkedIn for the Engineering role you want
There are few things you can do to improve your chances of getting hired more than getting referred to a position. Referred employees are hired 60% of the time compared to the 2% of regular applicants who typically get interviewed. This is an area where it’s worth investing some time.
Even if you don’t think you know anyone in a company you’d like to work for, your 2nd degree contacts just might. So start with LinkedIn and try to attending industry events and meetups to establish a better network. Even if you might not be able to develop one in time for this next job, those networks will be invaluable in the future.
Check out our guide on getting referrals for any job you’re applying for.