Creating a resume as a newly graduated electrical engineer can be daunting, especially if you lack work experience. Your education and extracurricular passions may be enough to build a strong application, but in the age of automation, resume style matters too. A properly formatted resume can mean the difference between making the first cut and being the first cut.
Here's how to write your first electrical engineer resume to give yourself the best shot at landing an interview.
How to format your entry-level electrical engineering resume
There are five main components for every resume: the header, professional summary, skills, work experience and education. Using a standard format may seem uncreative, but these formats can be crucial for getting past the applicant tracking systems (also called "ATS," which are software programs that scan and sort resumes at many companies). Following a proven format can be essential to getting your resume into the hands of a human. Read more about best format for your experience level at our Resume Formats page, or use one of our Resume Templates to get started.
Here's a more in-depth look at the five resume sections:
This section, at the top of your resume, is standard. List your full name, preferred email, phone number and LinkedIn URL. Additionally, electrical engineers should document various engineering projects in a portfolio. If you have a digital portfolio or website, be sure to include the link in this space. We no longer recommend including your home address on your resume because of potential identity theft issues.
2. Professional Summary
An EE resume should include a professional summary that focuses on your goals and your most relevant skills related to the job. These engineering skills should only be high-level capabilities such as:
- PCB design
- Application development
- Systems architecture
The professional summary is commonly called the "elevator pitch." To impress the hiring manager, your professional summary should be concisely written and easily repeated in, well, a short elevator ride. You should also customize this section (and the others) to reflect the specific job posting, using relevant keywords when possible.
The skills section of your resume should reflect your electrical engineering skills, while going into more depth than your summary. Again, you should customize this section to reflect the exact words used in the job description to make it obvious to the hiring manager that you're qualified and to help beat the automated review.
This list of skills should be a combination of technical engineering skills and other related skills that could help you excel on the job. As an example, electrical engineering resume skills may include:
- Hardware and software system design
- Xilinx Platform Studio (XPS) familiarity
- Sensor signal processing
- Analog and digital microelectronics
- Image Processing
- Information Technology Systems
- One or two classes in which you excelled
You can also include non-technical skills (also known as soft skills) in this section, especially if they set you apart or would be helpful on the job, such as:
- Communicative and collaborative
- Leadership abilities
- Process documentation
4. Work History
Here's where you document your prior work, volunteer and internship experience, highlighting how your experience relates to the electrical engineering job you are applying for. This section should be uniformly formatted and organized, so ATS can easily recognize and digest this information. You can check out our article on writing your resume work experience section for more information.
The education section of your resume is straightforward: List where you went to college, your major and year of graduation. Include any special awards or honors you earned during your college years. Once you've graduated from college, remove any high school experiences from your resume.
For more information on how to highlight your work and education on your newly graduated electrical engineer resume, read our Get-a-Job-Guide for Graduating Electrical Engineering Majors.
Other considerations and electrical engineer resume objectives
Writing and formatting your resume is just the beginning. Once you've worked all your experience into your document, ask yourself these three questions:
- Is my resume customized?
We mentioned this earlier in the article, but it bears repeating. One mistake job-seekers make is using the same resume for every position. Customize your electrical engineering resume for each job, writing to the skills and requirements specifics listed in the job advertisement. If you are applying for a job as an aerospace controls systems engineer, your professional summary, skills, work history and education should all represent you as a future aerospace controls systems engineer. Creating a custom resume for each job is a must, and it will help you differentiate yourself from other candidates.
- Am I showing my accomplishments?
Focus on representing yourself in the best way possible. That means being straightforward and honest about your skills and experience while also noting your outcomes and accomplishments. Did you improve a system at your internship? Contribute to a paper that got published? Think about what sets you apart from your classmates and the competition.Remember: Your entry-level electrical engineer resume should only be one page. Cut it down if it's running over or try a different resume format if you're having trouble filling a page.
- Has someone proofread my resume?
Some employers will reject resumes for spelling or grammar errors on principle, even if the candidate is highly qualified. In programming, a simple typing mistake can cause monumental delays, monetary loss, improper performance and more. If a candidate cannot draft a resume without a typing mistake, would an engineering company trust them to complete a professional task? Double, triple and quadruple check to be sure your resume is complete and error-proof.
To create an eye-catching electrical engineering resume without experience use our Resume Builder to compile your credentials and present them in a powerful, effective design.