An Engineering Student Resumes And Cover Letters

Engineering Employer Preferred Resume Format

A resume is an organized summary of your qualifications, your goals, your accomplishments, and your interests. It should tell the reader what you have accomplished (as related to what you want to do). A resume should demonstrate preparation and qualifications for a specific position or career field. It's important to tailor your resume to each opportunity of interest. 

Undergraduate Students
Refer to the template below, BEFORE drafting your resume, to view tips (based on employer feedback) for writing an effective resume.
Engineering Employer Preferred Resume Format with Pro Tips

Use the template below to create your engineering resume and the action verbs handout for crafting your descriptions.  This template is a way to get started with a format that is appreciated widely by Engineering employers; however, if you are going into a more creative field, you may wish to design your own format.
Engineering Employer Preferred Resume Format w/out tips
Action Verbs for Engineers

Graduate Students
Refer to the template below, BEFORE drafting your resume, to view tips (based on employer feedback) for writing an effective resume.
Engineering Employer Preferred Resume Format with Pro Tips

Use the template below to create your engineering resume and the action verbs handout for crafting your descriptions.This template is a way to get started with a format that is appreciated widely by Engineering employers; however, if you are going into a more creative field, you may wish to design your own format. 
Engineering Employer Preferred Resume Format w/out tips
Actions Verbs for Engineers 

Resume & Cover Letter Review: The English Language Support Office in collaboration with the Graduate Writing Service, offers individual appointments for multilingual international graduate students and professional students who would like to have their resume or cover letter reviewed. Make an appointment online.

Objective Statements

Opinions differ widely among employers on the value of including a career objective. In general, an objective on your resume can be helpful if it concisely describes your immediate employment goal, but it is not an essential component of a successful resume. An objective can be helpful if your resume doesn't clearly align with your career goals. You may prefer to incorporate an objective in a cover letter instead of on your resume, especially if you want to be considered for a range of positions.

An objective should convey specific information about what you are seeking, but those that are too narrow can limit your options. If you decide to include an objective, specify the type of position you are seeking. If you find it difficult to write a definitive statement of your objective, describe the skills you want to use or the functions you want to perform. If you have more than one career interest, prepare several resumes, tailoring them to different objectives. The following are three examples of effective objectives:

  • A position in financial services using well-developed research, analytical, and quantitative skills
  • A research position in health care, combining interests in policy and medicine
  • A position as a process engineer in the chemical industry utilizing strong design, analysis, and problem solving skills

Employer Perspectives

To develop your resume content and writing style for maximum effectiveness, you must understand that employers use resumes to:

Screen applicants
Employers will scan a resume quickly—in under 30 seconds—for evidence that a candidate will be of value to their organization. Your resume should be results-oriented and tailored to the employer's needs.

Develop interview questions
Statements on your resume often serve as the basis for interview questions.

Judge an applicant's communication skills
Because a resume is a written document, it gives the recruiter a taste of your written communication skills.

Remind them of a candidate's qualifications
Employers want to know how your experiences have prepared you for the job. Understanding the specific job or career field requirements will let you highlight your related experience and personal attributes, distinguishing yourself from other candidates.

To make your resume stand out among the hundreds, address an employer's concerns about your ability to do the job. Even if you don't have relevant experience, employers recognize that many personal attributes are transferable to the workplace. For example, a leadership position in a student activity translates into leadership potential in an organization. Specific, concrete information describing your activities and accomplishments will illustrate these qualities:

  • Initiative and self-motivation
  • High energy level
  • Ability to communicate effectively
  • Leadership potential
  • Strong interpersonal skills
  • Critical-thinking and reasoning abilities
  • Ability to handle competing priorities
  • Willingness to assume responsibility
  • Capacity to work as team player
  • Skill in dealing with stress
  • Persistence

Before writing a resume, always consider what employers are seeking in desired candidates. First, inventory your experiences and compile data about yourself. 

Second, analyze what you accomplished in each experience. Consider skills you developed and your level of involvement. Prioritize information and be selective, highlighting what is most significant and relevant about your background in relation to your career field and the needs of employers.

Third, write accomplishment-oriented statements introduced by action verbs. Convey through direct language that you are active and produce results while matching your achievements and skills to employers' needs.

Your resume markets you and your accomplishments. Be honest, and emphasize your strengths and goals. Your resume will also serve as a perfect professional introduction at career fairs and interviews.

Information you need to have:

Contact: Include your name, email, address and phone number.

Objective: What kind of job do you want?

Internship, entry-level, etc.
Industrial areas of interest
Don’t use words like “challenging” or “interesting”. Don’t focus too heavily on what the employer can do for you.

Education:

Include degree level, major, intended graduation date and university
Include GPA: can be your cumulative/overall or within major
Optional: important academic projects, honors or scholarships

Experience:

Highlight any directly related experience (this can vary based on who you are sending your resume to)
Include sections of your choice, such as: lab experience, additional work experience, communications experience, cross-cultural experience. etc.
For each experience, list your duties and accomplishments. Be quantitative, if possible.
Use phrases and avoid personal pronouns
Use action words (i.e. achieved, developed, enhanced, etc.) to start your descriptive line

Skills:

List:
Language Skills
Computer Skills (i.e. MATLAB, R-Studio, Java)
Lab skills/tools (i.e. CoE shop, welding, milling)
Note: Use descriptive words such as proficient, advanced, etc.

What else could you include?

Activities, org. experience, leadership roles
Volunteer experience
Awards, scholarships or honors
Other extracurricular interests (i.e. sports, band, etc.)

ECS Job Search Guide: Developing Your Resume (pdf will open in a new window/tab)

Cover Letters provide a more in-depth explanation of your resume, relevant experiences and your immediate career goals. It is usually a response to specific job postings, but can also be used as a follow-up. A good cover letter should paint a picture of what you will bring to this job experience, and how it aligns with your goals and skills. Your cover letters should be specific to each employer.

Include the following elements in your cover letters:

Introduction: Clearly state why you are writing to the employer. If appropriate, identify, by name, the person who suggested you contact the employer.

Body: Emphasize why you would do well in this job. Match your qualifications with the employer’s needs. Expand upon specific details from your resume that match the position for which you are applying.

Closing: Request an interview or a site visit at the employer’s earliest convenience. Close with an appreciative statement (i.e. “Thank you for your time and consideration.”).

Note: Remember to maintain a professional tone. Double check your grammar and spelling.

Resume Tips & Samples:

Cover Letter Tips & Sample:

 

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