Purpose and Key Points – The Engineering/Tech Resume
As you navigate through your academic career, working towards your exciting ever-evolving professional goals, you may wonder what the purpose is of a resume. The answer is short: to secure an initial interview for a co-op, internship, or a job. A resume does not land you a job, but rather serves as a “passport” and invitation to an interview. With this in mind, it is important for your resume to stand out and highlight the best you are and have to offer. With hiring managers and employers surfing through high waves of resumes to select candidates for their interviewing process, the onus lies on you as applicant to ensure that your valuable strengths, skills, experience, and accomplishments not only stand out, but also align with what the employer is looking for. In building your resume, it is also important to keep in mind that recruiters only scheme through the document and don’t read it word for word, so make sure that your resume is clear, concise, and consistent. The following four steps hold the key points in building a resume: Preparation, formatting, content, and final checking/review.
- Read and understand the job description, duties, qualifications, and requirements. Highlight key words that match your skillset and qualifications. Research and understand the company and what they are about.
- Reflect over, collect, know, and document specific details of your education, experience, accomplishments, skills, strengths, and professional interests.
- Header: First and last name in bold, email and phone (avoid college email address), portfolio link/website/LinkedIn optional.
- Body: Utilize font size 11-12 pts for content. Incorporate bold, underlining and italics to highlight different sections and headings.
- Utilize bullets for action statements.
- Remember the 3 c’s: clear, consistent and concise.
- Periods vs. no periods: Either option is acceptable with the emphasis on consistency throughout the resume.
- Length of resume for early career professional: 1 page.
- The Objective: Don’t feel obligated to add an objective at the beginning of your resume. If you decide to include an objective (consider spacing and length), make sure it aligns with the position and that it also highlights a couple of your important/relevant skills.
- Action Statements: Utilize PAR statements (project, activity, result) and start each statement with a relevant action verb. Be specific and utilize numbers, processes, applications, and data where possible.
- Important engineering and tech skills to consider, including relevant skills/experience required for position:
- Trouble shooting
- Technical and computer programming skills (coding languages, lab techniques, machine shop skills, software, etc.)
- Industry skills (or relevant skills related to industry)
- Attention to detail
- Data modeling
- Stress management (ability to work productively and deliver under pressure)
- Leadership skills
- Communication skills and Team player
- Growth mindset (continuing professional development)
- Quality Assurance
Final checking/reviewing and updating
- Are your skills representative of the skills required in the job posting?
- Did you check for grammar and spelling mistakes?
- Is your formatting and content clear and consistent?
- Have you saved a copy in pdf format and titled the document with your first and last name to submit?
- Schedule an appointment with your career consultant through HANDSHAKE for further guidance: https://pitt.joinhandshake.com/edu/appointments/new
- Additional resources:
- Online resume building resource VMOCK: https://www.vmock.com/pitt
- Keyword alignment resource: You can run your resume through https://www.jobscan.co/ for keywords alignment.
- Resume Samples: Check out the resume samples right here on the Engineering and Tech Career Communities page.
You’ve got this! Celebrate your best self and enjoy the journey!
*Look out for our Career Fair Tips blog coming soon!