An engineering resume format is perhaps the most potentially difficult resume to write. It’s the equivalent of an academic resume in some ways, and it’s a multi-skilled resume more often than not in other ways.
One of the major problems with any technical resume format (an engineering resume is sometimes called a “technician’s resume” in some cultures) is that complexity breeds complexity. For engineers, who may be required to show these specialist skills in combination with generalist skills, and/or their ability to work with particular systems as well, it’s a matter of getting the details right.
Engineering resume formatting and information considerations
Because of the very broad spectrum of engineering job requirements, we can’t go into extreme detail about information requirements. That said, it is important to realize that your CV must be competitive, must meet job criteria, and must contain all the required information, clearly set out.
A bit of lateral thinking goes a long way in this case. The easiest, and certainly the most straightforward way of managing your resume requirements is to use a very basic combination resume. A combination resume is a hybrid mix of a functional resume and a standard resume format. The functional resume element acts to provide a lot of information very efficiently in a relatively small space, dealing with skills, et cetera. The standard resume, particularly the chronological CV and employment history including achievements can be tailored to meet the information requirements of the job.
A certain amount of pragmatism and patience with your CV content will allow you to create a very reliable resume format. Best practice is to use the standard format resume sections to help you manage your information. For engineers, the most important sections are the Skills section, the Education and qualifications section, and the Employment history section.
For each section, you will need to tailor your information as follows:
- Skills – This section needs to contain a very clearly laid out list of your specific skills. This section needs to be designed to match the job criteria, preferably using the same terminology to match keywords for computer screening.
- Education and qualifications – This section can be significantly trickier than it looks. It’s strongly advised to ensure that you include all certifications, licenses, accreditations, and related qualifications directly matching the job criteria. This may seem like a no-brainer, but you’d be surprised how many people don’t get interviews simply because they leave out basic information.
- Employment history section – This section should be designed to show that much relevant experience as possible. If you have an existing resume, you may need to rewrite this section entirely. Be sure to mention any relevant systems work or other specific experience which will show the employer that you have the required skills and credentials.
Like any design job, stay objective, focus on functionality and efficiency, and you will write a very good engineering CV.
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