Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Career Tips: Engineering Resumes

Here at Penn State, the engineering career week is this week and I am so excited! I love seeing all the guys and gals in their suits, my lovely recruiter friends and all the potential jobs to be had. I have accepted a full time job that I am so excited to start but I wanted to share some tips to snag the recruiter's eye with your resume!

Before I even get into my tips on how make your engineering resume the best, I want to give some basics on resumes. I find that clean, well laid out resume does the best at the career fair. It should be one page at the stage in your life and detail all of your experience, leadership and your education. As a freshman, your high school things can be on the resume but after your first year, those should be replaced with college activities. For your first two years, important things to list are classes - major specific ones at that as well as any group projects that you do in your classes. These are vital experiences! As a junior or senior, you should have an internship or business experience to add to your resume (posting about how to find them soon!).

Linked in this sentence are some great resume layouts and a great basic break down of a resume and a list of verbs that should be used in an awesome resume. Now, on to my special tips for engineering resumes!

1. As a engineer, the use of numbers in your experience section is very important. Numbers are essential to how engineers think and the larger the number,  basically the amount of responsibility it shows. For example, if you were a cashier, writing a bullet point like this (Handled monetary transactions) is great. An even better sentence would be (Handled 100+ monetary transactions in any given day). This shows that you handled a lot of money and people without breaking a sweat or losing your cool.

2. Take on leadership positions and proudly display them on your resume. For example, I am president of my organization, involved in 4 other organizations on campus and placed my past roles as mentor or sophomore helper for an orientation program on my resume as well. These show how involved I am, that other things beside school are important to me and that I can balance my time between school and improving my community.

3. Lastly, I say, this is controversial, to put both your cumulative GPA as well as your in-major GPA. Depending on the person, it can really show that you are in the right major finally, that you love what you are doing in the major you picked or that you are doing well in general. I know a lot of people that had below a 3.0 (that's a good GPA in engineering) that put their in-major which is higher and got good internships with top companies using this method.

Of course, I could wax on about editing resumes but with my tips and the basic links I have provided, you are on your way to a great resume and an great career fair.

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