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Fresh out of school, entering the workforce is full of challenges. Competing with seasoned professionals for quality positions can be intimidating and even frustrating. With a proper resume, you can stand toe to toe with any other applicant, regardless of how long you have been in the field. That is why we had our experts go through this real Civil Engineering resume to show you a few of the most common mistakes that could prevent you from landing your next job. Take a good look at the following advice. If you apply it properly, you can shore up your resume and present yourself properly as a professional in the engineering world.
All lists should be bulleted
This example uses bullets for some lists and not others. It is a great chance to show how much aesthetically superior bullet formats are to any alternative. They make a list easier to read, and this should always be the goal of any resume. This example makes an additional error by creating a table where three out of four columns are left completely blank. Simplicity is king, and it is fine to just list skills the way they appear in the highlights section of this example. The best way to resolve this particular problem would be to combine the technical skills with the highlights, keeping each column five to eight points deep.
Experience should refer to volunteer or employment positions
In the sample there are two different sections with experience included in the heading. This makes the document confusing. By convention, experience should reference any previous or current jobs. Volunteer positions are acceptable here, but if you want to separate the two, then volunteer work should have an appropriate heading. For the most part, the experience section in this sample should instead be considered achievements or awards. Each entry should be a bullet instead of having subheadings with additional bullets. Consolidating the information will make it much easier to read. Also be sure to exclude irrelevant entries. Joining a soccer team is only meaningful when applying for a position that may have specific athletic requirements.
Emphasize work experience
In most cases, the work experience section is the most important part of a resume. This is where hiring managers can most accurately gauge your aptitude and successes. The parts before work experience usually just summarize and lead into this section. In the case of a new graduate or current student, the work experience can sometimes be lacking. In these cases you can compensate by emphasizing education. This particular example takes it a little too far by listing a number of high school merits above actual work experience. Even if your previous jobs were in different fields, demonstrating your ability to work in professional environments is extremely important. On a resume, emphasizing a sections importance is done by locating it higher on the document.
Do not list high school diploma
If a high school diploma is your highest level of completed education then it is fine to list it. If you have attended or completed college, then an employer can assume that the admissions personnel confirmed that you have completed a high school education or equivalent. In such a case, listing the high school diploma is redundant. These examples are sure to give you much food for thought, but a perfect resume has even more to it than could be listed here. You can use QuintCareer’s Resume Builder to build your entire document from the ground up and ensure that it stands out even in the most fiercely competitive environments.