Engineers are highly in-demand professionals, and choosing the best resume format to showcase the unique technical skills and abilities that come with the job title is extremely important. The right format for you varies depending on factors such as your length of employment as an engineer, when you graduated engineering school and the types of projects you have been involved in.
Functional vs. Chronological Resume
A chronological resume is usually the best resume format for an engineer because it provides the detailed employment history recruiters want. A chronological resume lists information in reverse chronological order, beginning with the skills you acquired at your most recent position and working backwards. Sections detailing your education, skills and other experience come afterward. A functional resume, meanwhile, offers only a basic list of your past engineering jobs and often leaves out dates of employment. Most engineering firms and companies that hire engineers insist on knowing which companies you’ve worked for in the past as well as the types of engineering projects you’ve managed and how long you were employed. You should only use a functional resume format if you have recently graduated engineering school or if you’re switching to engineering after being employed in a very different field, such as teaching.
What Information to Include and Why
The best resume format for an engineer is one that showcases your most relevant skills and achievements. Engineering is a demanding field that is based on results, so the more work experience you have, the more you should promote your work history section. If you have a degree from a highly prestigious engineering program, consider placing your education section ahead of your work history to draw an employer’s attention to this detail.
As an engineer, your summary statement is crucial. Begin your resume with a short statement explaining your specific areas of expertise within the engineering field. Also, mention any particularly large or prestigious engineering projects you were a part of. Summary statements are often written in paragraph format and include no more than four to six lines.
Including a skills section is the best way to tell your employer what you are capable of in terms of specific engineering job requirements. From programming to working with dangerous equipment, there are a variety of job certifications and competencies that interest employers. The skills section is your chance to present this information in an organized way.
Tips for the best resume format for Engineers
The best resume format for an engineer is the one that demonstrates your specific abilities in a way that appeals to the sub-field of engineering you want to work in, such as mechanical or environmental engineering. This would suggest a chronological resume that features a strong summary statement, your accomplishments as an engineer and a detailed work history. Feel free to extend your resume beyond a single page, but avoid creating more than two pages. Engineering recruiters prefer succinct, organized resumes.
When formatting your engineering resume, always include your basic contact information and read over your resume to make sure that its focus is sharp. Employers screen resumes in as little as six seconds, which means that you should lead with credentials that showcase your ability to understand the technical aspects of your field, manage engineering projects and cooperate with other employees to achieve a common goal.
Engineering resumes are simple and to the point, which means that finding the right resume format is even more important.
The tips and tricks on LiveCareer may help you as you strive to develop the best resume format to highlight your engineering skills and impress hiring managers.