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20 Mistakes When Writing Engineering Resume and CV

If your engineering resume falls short of the minimum job requirements and standards, your phone isn’t going to ring, no matter what.

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Ever wondered why you always don’t get the job—these detrimental mistakes in writing an engineering resume might be the reason why.

The engineering world is a vast ocean, there are a lot of fishes swimming and it’s up to you whether or not you’ll choose to be beaten. In this age, where innovation and engineering solutions grow rampant, companies are on the lookout for the best hire to edge out rivals.

This only means that even though the demand is high, the competition also leveled-up. What’s left to do now, is to take the first strike and figure out what it takes to be hired. When it comes to job hunting, your number one weapon is a well-crafted resume.

You have to tailor your resume both for a computer and for a person because many businesses have several filters. If your resume falls short of the minimum job requirements, your phone isn’t going to ring, no matter what.

Here are some of the most common resume-mistakes engineers make and ways to prevent or fix them:

1. No Single Resume is Good Enough

It’s pretty much obvious that you won’t be applying for a single company, right? There are a lot of engineering firms around and the more you apply equals the more chances of you getting hired. But perhaps the most common and most harmful mistake engineers make, is thinking that one resume will suffice. The truth is that you have to update your engineering resume for every position you’re applying for.

2. Too Long, Less Enticing

Long resume will take too long to review. Remember that recruiters got a lot of applicants, so sending in a long one has a tendency to consume more of time. Customize your engineering resume. Fit the most relevant experience onto that first page, making it easy for prospective employers to find your best qualifications. It also proves that you know how to prioritize what is important, a highly desirable trait in any employee.

3. Glaring Mistakes are Sore to the Eyes

Writing an engineering resume is an art. And the more mistakes it has, can cause it to become unappealing to the eyes.  Formatting, grammatical, or spelling error, tells all the wrong things about a candidate. Thus, it is always worth it to pay someone to edit your engineering resume to make sure it is clean and presentable.

4. Vague Facts are Not Smart

When engineering firms post a job vacancy, they provide specifics. They are looking for that perfect hire who at least have the same level of attention to detail as their future employees. In this case, you should make it a habit to give them what they want. For instance, if you’re applying as a computer engineer include in your engineering resume different kind of apps you know how to program.

5. Highlighting Things that are Not Important

As engineers, you should be output-driven. Forget about the boring elaboration of your previous duties and come straight to the point. Focus on what matters like how efficient you can be. If you work on an assembly, highlight how much you can process in an hour and the percentage of your work that was accepted.

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6. Why Use Weird and Unprofessional Email Address

If you think you can get away with small details, well you’re just as wrong. Email addresses are important as it tells how seriously you want to take on the position. Professional engineers don’t use personal and offensive email address as much as their former employer’s email address. Try out a simple one with your name on it from

7. Adding Graphics When Not Applying as an Artist

Although, this can get the attention of employers, graphics just takes up space. Even if you work with graphics for a living, you should provide a link to a portfolio instead than cramming everything onto your resume. Engineering resume needs to highlight experience, not a headshot or image of you.

8. No Links No Portfolios

If you are a computer engineer or an ECE with a proud experience in software design and web development, one fatal mistake is not including a link to your portfolio. What could have been a perfect opportunity to show more than the contents of the resume would be wasted away if you dare forget this.

9. Unfocused, Unstructured Resume

Staying organized is a feat that makes it to the cut. Sections inside your engineering resume need to be clearly defined, previous positions should be easy to view (especially the duration of work for different divisions or companies), and bullets should be consistent. Remember, hiring managers average about 6 seconds on an engineering resume during the initial perusal, so they need to be able to find all of the basics so that your resume ends up in the pile for further review instead of in the discard pile.

10. Ignorance with Keywords

If you really want to prove that you are truly interested with the job, then you shouldn’t miss the job description part. It includes key words in it that are pleasing to any employer’s eyes. Also, include as well the keywords of your profession. Use those engineering buzz words to show that you know how to use them and that you possess in-depth knowledge of your profession.

11. Including Fluff and Weasel Words on your Resume

Remove all the excess and uncertainties. Words like very, nearly, and approximately really don’t have a place in your resume. You need to keep it as clear and concise as possible. If a word is not required or does not offer a deeper description of what you did or achieved, delete it.

12. Objective Not Found

There are two ways to mishandle the objective section of your resume. The first is to leave it out entirely. This can be an extremely easy way for potential employers to eliminate your resume within the first second of checking it. The second way to mishandle it is to be vague.

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13. Missing Verbs

Verbs are the heart of your resume. It keeps the content flowing. Lack of action verbs is a really easy item to fix, but a mistake that far too many job hunters make. The best way to fix this is to change all of your bullets to start with an action verb.

14. Omitting Things That Are Relevant

Have you ever done any volunteer work? Put all of this on your resume if you can tie it back to why it makes you a valuable employee. There should be a section on your resume that covers your extra-curricular activities and hobbies. Everyone has hobbies, and odds are those hobbies require a level of expertise, organization, and planning that can be applied to the job.

15. Too Painful to Look At

Style is as important as the content of your resume. Using different font types (or just a really bad font), more than two font sizes, or too much information crammed into too little space are indeed sore to the eyes.

16. Badly Sorted Experience

Bring more logic to the way you present yourself. What you highlight in your resume should flow in a way that makes sense, such as including meeting related activities together, programming items together, defect-monitoring tasks together, customer-driven tasks together, and so on. Each point should flow into the next one.

17. Presenting Irrelevant Jobs

If you’re an engineer would it benefit you to include positions not even related to the job you’re applying to? Cull things that don’t pertain to the position to which you are applying and delete jobs that you did more than 15 years ago. You can also provide the type of degree you have without including the year.

18. Too Lazy to Customize

Once again, resumes represent your profile in every job application. Exert more time and don’t rush it just to get done. Also, customize your resume to show a bit of who you are so that it stands out.

19. Unequal Treatment Equals Different Presence

Ideally, your engineering resume should be nearly identical to your online professional presence, whether on LinkedIn or your own website. Your resume could be a shortened version, but it should be consistent with the experience you present on job boards and on your site.

20. Writing your Resume in the Wrong POV

Of all the times you are prohibited to use the first person, this one counts as an exception. Your resume is one of those places where the first person is necessary. However, since it is evidently about you, you may safely eliminate pronouns entirely.

Engineering resumes require careful attention to details in order to become an attractive and compelling presentation of yourself. Make it as concise as possible and maintain the look of a professional.


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10 shares, 190 points
Patricia Ann


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