Resume advice

This is a discussion on Resume advice within the General Discussions forums, part of the Community Boards category; Hey all, coming close to getting my bachelors and need to start looking for a *new* job. I have a ...

  1. #1
    Epy
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    Resume advice

    Hey all, coming close to getting my bachelors and need to start looking for a *new* job. I have a really nice resume already, I've had about 4 tech jobs since high school and it's allowed me to find a job within two weeks or so of looking.

    However, in my section covering my technical skills, I realized that all I have are things that I've picked up outside of school. So my question is this: there are a lot of things that employers expect you to know implicitly since you have the corresponding degree. Do you go a step further and elaborate on these implicit things, or do you only put in the things that are really above and beyond what comes with the degree?

    In my case, my resume will read that I have a BS in mechanical engineering, and my technical skills section is full of programming (languages, work/personal projects) and CAD/CAE stuff (programs I know, years exp). I could put a lot of points in there like "Energy efficiency analysis of a system from a thermal standpoint", things that you learn how to do across various ME classes. It feels like my resume will be misdirected if I don't have anything in the tech skills section about ME, but it also feels redundant, like I'd be wasting the reader's time if I elaborate on these things that an ME grad should know. I know that a resume should be very concise as to catch the reader's attention and not waste their time.

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    I would only put things I feel very confident with, and have applied in projects, etc. For me that's about 30% of stuff I learn in classes.

    I'm in a similar situation, too. I'm an electrical engineering major, but about half my resume is about programming, since that's what my previous jobs have been, and what I'm more confident with.

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    Epy
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    Thanks. I think I'll add a section but only put things I'm really strong in and technical electives.

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    The superhaterodyne twomers's Avatar
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    I tend to embolden various points that I like to emphasise. That way a possible employer can scan through the resume quickly and all the important points I want emphasised can be seen at a glance.

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    Epy
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    I never even thought of that, guess just because I've never seen an example resume with bold anywhere but in headers. Thanks! Starting on a masters in engineering management...adding that will help a bit

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    The superhaterodyne twomers's Avatar
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    Just be careful to not over do it. It's very easy to put it in too much, and you might think it will assist in your own self-promotion, but it reduces the effect of the tactic, I think.

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    Recruiters rarely read all your resume (and understand only parts of what they do read...)

    The recruiter wants to find if you fit the required skills as quickly as possible, if they have to read your whole resume to find if you have enough experience in <insert skill> then your resume is probably in the bin.

    So I have a table on the first page of my resume that lists all my skills and the number of years experience.

    This lets a recruiter quickly see if I have the skills required, without having to read past the first page.
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    Super Moderator VirtualAce's Avatar
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    Recruiters rarely read all your resume (and understand only parts of what they do read...)
    Could not have said that better myself. Most recruiters seem to gloss over half the resume. I have had offers from the medical field b/c one simple key word was in my resume and the recruiter marked me as a possible candidate and yet I have never ever held a job in the medical field. I usually use one or two bullets describing what I did at the job and then one or two bullets (usually one) describing something I improved upon or innovated while at the company. That says a lot more than simply what you did while on the job and it shows initiative. Often I feel like 3 bullets is the max for each job and while it feels like you are not completely describing the job it is sufficient for the resume. The rest can be discussed in an interview.

    When I interviewed candidates at my previous job I received some resumes that were nearly 6 single spaced pages long. It does not make the candidate look good and also makes it appear as if the interview is going to be long-winded. Those kinds of resumes do not give the right impression.

    My resume starts with education, then job experience (last 6 or 7 years), then skills / tech experience, then a statement saying that I will provide references upon request. My cover letter is short, simple, and to the point and I find most of the time no one even reads it. The online job process has made it much simpler to present yourself and so far I have never needed an actual hard-copy resume. I use to have the skills on the first page like novacain but I found that was leading to a lot of false positives. After putting my skills on the second page most of the recruitment emails I have received have been more on target.

    Remember the resume is there just to sell yourself enough to get a phone call or a return email. You probably do not like it when a car salesman tries to oversell his car so in the same token recruiters and HR do not like it when you oversell yourself.
    Last edited by VirtualAce; 01-08-2012 at 01:59 PM.

  9. #9
    Epy
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    Well, my resume is about a page and a half....I start with my "professional objective", then skills, then job experience, then education, then professional memberships (ASME, etc.), and finish up with references. The skills part is by far the longest, listing CAD programs I know how to use, languages I can program in, and professional projects. This makes up about half of the resume itself.

    I was planning to add a small section about specific things I'm good at in mechanical design, bold some of the important things as suggested, and take out a few of my older jobs that only lasted a few months. The current job I'm at right now has been for the last 3 years, so I feel that I'm pretty solid with that and one or two jobs before that.

    I think I will try and trim down some of the skills section...might be entirely too much to read.

    Thanks guys, any further suggestions would be welcome still.

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