Ask 20 experts for the best way to create a
resumé and you'll get 20 different
answers. But if you are an engineer with five or more years
of post-graduate experience, most experts will agree on the
Please note: A human resources representative
will spend less than a minute on your resumé before
they move on to the next one in the pile. So make it easy
by highlighting the important points - your specialty, experience,
licensing, and milestones.
Formatting and Content
- Bulleted lists - bullets
help bring important points to the fore and are easy
for the reader to grasp right away
- Microsoft Word or rich
text (.rtf) formats for a clean, professional appearance.
Opinions vary regarding PDF, but we advise against
- Ample white space - don't
make your resumé copy-dense. With plenty of room
between sections and wide margins, your reader's eyes
won't be bombarded, which means they're likely to spend
more time and glean more information. Italicize names
of the organizations for
which you worked and the university(ies) attended
- Left justification
- Short descriptive phrases
(rather than complete sentences)
- Action words such as responsible,
implemented, directed, etc.
- Bold, underline, large
- Plain courier text
- Columns, tables and
- ALL CAPS
- Headers and footers
(parsing engines don't recognize them)
- HTML, PDF
- Fancy fonts or more than
two - max three - different
- Photos or graphic elements
- Full justification
(keep it left)
- Full sentences - the
fewer words the better
- I, me or your name
in the body of the resumé
- "Accomplishments" - save
them for the interview
- Combined font enhancements,
History (underlined and bold)
- References or the statement, "References
provided upon request," as this merely states
- Proper names
- Company and university names
- Titles - when they appear before a name, not
- Section titles
If you include a summary (we
like them if well written):
Summaries should appear at the
beginning of your resumé and clearly describe, in two
or three brief sentences or 3 or more bullets:
professional specialty, experience, and distinctions,
type of engineering position you are seeking, and
- Geographic preferences
(i.e. are you willing to relocate?)
Here is an example
of a strong, well-phrased objective summary:
- Licensed structural engineer, Stanford
MS; US Citizen
- 15 years steel design & project management
in high-seismic regions; designing and managing projects
up to $50 million
- Seek position as project manager
or structural department head with top-100 engineering
- Presently living in California; willing
to relocate within the western region
not include a Summary that
for a good job as a structural engineer with a company
that treats employees well." It means nothing.
Engineers often describe themselves as generalists with a multitude of skills
and experience, thinking this will help them be considered for more positions.
The opposite is true.
Most employers look for specialists, not
generalists. If you have more than one specialty, customize a resumé for each.
Education Section Content
- School Name
- Degree/years earned
- Class standing or GPA (no matter how
Job History Section Content
Your resumé should include the past 10-15 years. Be sure to include company
name, city, your title/position, employment dates, and a brief description
of your duties. Further detail and project lists should appear in an addendum.
When you are done
- Run spell check
and double-check capitalization of proper names, places and terms, such
- If you are not a native English speaker,
ask someone who is to check your grammar
- Re-read your resumé very carefully and remove
every extra word
Don't get lazy. Customize.
Each ad you respond to should be sent a resumé specific to that position.
De-emphasize or delete irrelevant experience or training.
Your resumé must position you as the ideal candidate,
a made-to-order answer
to their employment needs. Be sure those who are responsible can immediately
see how you meet or exceed their specific requirement(s).
Feel free to contact us at Ingman+Ingman if you have any questions!