Curating a resume – presenting your life’s work and accomplishments for a few seconds’ glance from a recruiter – can be a daunting task. Many people understand the resume basics: one page limit, appropriate contact information, etcetera, but often engineers are unsure of how to optimize their resume when applying for technical jobs so it shows up in recruiters’ searches . TriMech Staffing recruiters look at hundreds of resumes daily. After reading this blog, you’ll have a better understanding of how to make your resume work for you when applying for engineering jobs, using tips straight from TriMech recruiters themselves.
Having a well-written experience section on your resume provides recruiters and hiring managers with key insights to what value you could bring to their company. TriMech recruiter Justin Evans stresses the importance of being specific with your job descriptions. You should include detail on your job duties, what software or tools you used, and any awards or accomplishments you made in the role. Writing detailed job descriptions is especially important because the first person to scan your resume may only be scanning for keywords provided to them by the hiring manager.
Recruiter Caroline Boyle suggests the idea of creating a separate resume specifically for recruiters and staffing firms, one that is longer and includes more detail about your skills and experience. After sending your job-specific resume, ask the recruiter if they would be interested in seeing the longer resume you’ve made. By doing this, the staffing firm can have a broader scope of your skills and use it to cross reference your resume for multiple jobs, rather than only having a resume that you’ve created for one specific position.
No two engineering jobs are exactly the same, and because of that it is important to have a detailed skills section on your resume so that employers and recruiters can ensure that your skillset meets their needs. Recruiter Alicia Cecil notes that a concise but detailed skills section makes a candidate stand out and easier to place. A good skills section is not simply listing skills, but also rating your proficiency and/or how long you’ve practiced the skill. An example of this could be “SOLIDWORKS (2 years),” or “Proficient in 2D and 3D CAD modeling with experience designing sheet metal components.”
TriMech recruiter Kristin Holloway notes that many applicants make small spelling and grammar mistakes, especially when writing CAD software names; for example, “SOLIDWORKS” should be spelled as such, instead of “Solid Works” or “Solidworks.” Although these differences are small and may seem irrelevant, any mistake can communicate that you aren’t precise with your work. Giving a quick glance over when you’re finished editing the content of your resume can save you from bad impressions and missed opportunities.
The key to a great resume is understanding that it is a fluid document, always needing to be adapted and updated. Before applying for any role, you should optimize your resume to the specific role and company to which you are applying. Not only will you stand out to recruiters, but your resume will be well-suited to the resume screening software many companies use to prioritize candidates to increase efficiency in their hiring process. These programs are designed to place all applications in order of compatibility for the role and they do so by scanning your resume for key words related to the job they are hiring for. Optimizing your resume for a computer’s eyes means taking key words directly from the job description and applying them to your resume where they are relevant.
Another tip for continually improving your resume comes from recruiter Justin Evans, who suggests that building a relationship with staffing agencies can be mutually beneficial. Many recruiters are open to offering advice and feedback. Ask if there are foreseeable concerns on your resume, and what adaptations you can make to it. Not only will you be putting forward the best version of your resume, but you can also notice trends in the hiring market, discovering what employers are looking for so you can adjust your resume when applying.
Optimizing your resume for both computers and recruiters can be tricky, but insight from recruiters who have a behind-the-scenes perspective can make the process much easier. Understanding niche differences in technical resume writing gives you a competitive edge on other candidates. TriMech recruiters have a lot of experience as a liaison between employers and candidates and offer valuable guidance on how to best present yourself to a prospective employer.