Resume myths: keep your resume to one page; list your GPA; list your college graduation year. Do you list your course work? Do these resume myths hold any weight anymore?
Well, like many resume and career-search questions, the answer is ‘it depends.’
Let’s start with the biggie. Should your engineering resume be one or two pages?
If you are just starting out in your career or still relatively new to the professional field (1-3 years), there would be very few circumstances that would warrant a two-page resume.
When your career begins broadening, by both scope of work and accomplishments, then it is time to start thinking about expanding your resume to two pages. In all reality, space will dictate this change.
But, before you select “page break,” cull and cut – ruthlessly.
There is a time in everyone’s career where we from an entry-level college graduate to an experienced and accomplished engineer. Before you go to page two of your resume, reduce your academic accomplishments to institution, degree and year. If your GPA was over 3.85, you can keep it. If you held a leadership position in a career-related club or activity, you can keep that too. But, all coursework, and non-career-related activities (yes, that means treasurer of the radio station) should be deleted.
List your career accomplishments succinctly.
Meaning, you want to demonstrate success through accomplishment and highlight your leadership skills.
Your resume should be a progression of responsibilities. In each new role, you want to only add new skills or accomplishments acquired. For example, you would not continuously list that you built design comps in SolidWorks or Autodesk in three different roles. If your level of expertise has changed though, from entry-level CAD drafter to an experienced product design CAD expert, highlight your progression.
Visual impact! Formatting, spacing and fonts.
Resumes are read by both applicant tracking systems (ATS) and real hiring managers. Write for both audiences and keep your formatting to a minimum, your fonts simple, and your text size legible (10 point is a standard).
Beware of bullets, they are not always read by ATS systems.
Be sure to include start and end dates. The months are not necessarily relevant, most resumes just have start and end years. The exception to this rule is if you do short-term project work, you’ll want to show you are continuously employed.
In the end, size doesn’t matter. It’s all about quality.
If you are an engineering professional and are considering your next career move, reach out to the engineering recruiting experts at the Jarvi Group. We will guide you through updating your resume, preparing for interviews and finding a perfect-match employer.