As an engineer of any kind, when applying for a new position, one of the first chances you have to make a good impression is through your resume. Your resume acts as a powerful tool for conveying past experience, skills, and expertise to potential hiring managers.
Today, not only is it essential to have a carefully constructed resume—more on that below—but it is equally important to include specific keywords in your resume that will help it stand out. This guide is designed to help embedded software engineers, electrical engineers, and verification and validation (V&V) engineers discover the must-have keywords for engineering resumes and some tips for creating a professional document.
Why Are Keywords Important?
There are two main reasons why it is important to include specific keywords in your engineering resume. The first is to help human readers of your resume. Often, hiring managers will be inundated with a large number of resumes at once.
During the initial screening process, they will usually skim through resumes, making snap decisions on which resumes to keep and which to toss. Keywords will help these readers quickly understand whether or not you have the experience they need.
The second is to assist AI that might be reading your resume. Many companies use software that will scan resumes, automatically filtering out resumes that don’t contain a specific set of keywords. For most large organizations, the only way a hiring manager can possibly keep up with applications is by using a keyword tool. If you don’t include a robust set of keywords in your resume, you might not have the opportunity for an interview.
The Keywords and Skills You Need to Highlight
As you build out your engineering resume, the keywords you should include depend a lot on the type of role you are applying for and your specific skill set. The following are all currently in high demand, and if you have the skills, be sure to include them on your resume:
- Software resources that are related to the control of complex robotic equipment, including keywords such as ROS (robot operating system), middleware, real-time path planning, offline programming
- Electrical engineering experience using keywords such as power, analog, and digital
- V&V Engineering experience with keywords around medical devices and electro-mechanical products
Ultimately, take the time to think through the highly specific or technical experience you have and do your best to include as many keywords that are related to that experience as possible. You can even add a section near the bottom of your resume that contains a list of keywords related to your line of work. Usually, you can simply title this section “Technologies.”
Tips for Making Your Engineering Resume Stand Out
As you put together your engineering resume, the goal is to design something that will stand out from other applicants. Use the following tips to help craft a resume that gets noticed:
- Be sure to list your work in chronological order showcasing continual employment.
- Be consistent with the way you list your jobs. Choose a format and stick to it throughout the whole resume.
- Only include experience that is relevant to the role for which you are applying. It can be helpful to update your resume for each application, allowing you to highlight specific skills and experiences that match that specific position.
- Proofread your resume and ask for a second pair of eyes. Having another person read over your resume can help ensure that you catch any mistakes or clear up any information that is difficult to understand.
- Add proof points to your experience. Whenever possible, back up statements on your resume with numbers.
Avoid These Engineering Resume Mistakes
As you look over your engineering resume one last time before submitting it, make sure you also take the time to avoid these common resume mistakes:
- Avoid starting your sentences with “I.” Instead, focus on what you did on a project. Be clear and descriptive. This is where you can incorporate your keywords.
- Don’t submit an outdated resume. For engineers, technology and skills are continually changing. Make sure you take the time to remove older, non-relevant technology from your resume. Update your summary frequently and add the latest skills you have acquired.
- Stay away from difficult-to-read fonts. Stick with a simple, sans serif font and make sure that the font size is legible. Never shrink your font size in an attempt to cram more information onto a single page.
Need more help updating your engineering resume? Get in touch with your experts at Black Diamond! Contact our team today and learn more about how you can put your best foot forward when looking for a new engineering role.