Does your resume pass the three-second test? That’s the average time recruiters spend on your resume. How about the top one-third test? That’s the only part they glance at before deciding whether to continue reading. If your resume doesn’t pass these tests, it may not get any further than the recruiter’s out-box; that’s why it’s essential to follow best practices for formatting.
As an engineer, you know the value of being precise. You know there are certain principles you must follow in design and construction, and the same goes for resumes. You need to give your professional document the right structure to create the impact you want. Use our engineering resume format and best practices as a blueprint for building a resume that gets the attention it deserves.
Engineering Resume Format
Phoenix, Arizona 11111
Civil engineer with extensive experience in all stages of engineering, from concept to completion. Critical thinker, able to analyze problems and identify solutions. Future-focused and skilled at planning a variety of commercial initiatives and residential developments. Consistently complete construction projects that meet budget and deadlines. Dedicated professional who works to minimize environmental threats and design risk management processes for all construction projects.
Senior Civil Engineer
Strong as Steel, Phoenix, Ariz.
* Plan and design structures using computer-aided design software; serve as ASCE consultant and trainer for association seminars in use of software
* Determine grade and load requirements, speed of water flow, and material stress elements to develop building specifications; maintain 100% accuracy rate
* Advise executive management in design, building, and repair of roads, buildings, and bridges
* Research, analyze, and report on environmental impact, deeds, and bid proposals; deliver public presentations on findings
* Analyze maps and topographical information, blueprints, photos, survey findings, and geologic reports to develop construction plans
* Direct survey crews in facilities layout to guide setup on building projects; provide ongoing evaluation of progress and ensure adherence to design specifications
Steel Magnolias, Tempe, Ariz.
April 2006–April 2012
* Tested and evaluated strength of soil and building materials, including steel, concrete, and foundations; recognized by company for developing proactive testing process that helps avoid costly delays
* Researched and estimated costs of materials, labor, and equipment to analyze project viability
* Liaised with government agencies for approval and building processes; developed materials and speaking points for public presentations
* Completed ongoing education in construction administration course from ASCE
* Mastered project management software to aid in developing and tracking timelines and milestones
* Gained knowledge of local and regional laws and codes, court processes, government regulations, executive orders, and political process
American Society of Civil Engineers, member 2006-present
University of Arizona, Phoenix, Ariz., 2006
Master of Civil, Environmental and Sustainable Engineering
University of Arizona, Phoenix, Ariz. 2002
Master of Construction Engineering
Skills and Certifications
Autodesk AutoCAD 3D, Bentley MicroStation, Dassault Systemes, Microsoft Project, and Oracle Primavera Enterprises Project Portfolio Management CATIA Data
Licensed and registered professional engineer in Arizona, Nevada, Colorado, New Mexico, and Utah
Is This a Good Engineering Resume Format? Let’s Check
1. Does this engineering resume pass the top one-third test?
It gets the green light on this question. The writer uses a summary statement that features her most important skills at the beginning. This is an excellent use of the top one-third of her resume, the first place recruiters look. Note that she also keeps the statement to between four and six lines; longer blocks of text can appear uninviting.
2. Is this resume well-organized?
It sure is. For most career-seekers, the best format is the one used here. It has five sections, arranged in this order: summary statement, work experience, professional organizations, education, and skills and certifications. Recent graduates can use this order: education, experience (relevant internships or volunteer work), leadership, awards and activities, and skills. For those seeking an executive position, move professional organizations below your work experience.
3. Is it easy to read and understand?
You bet it is! Our jobseeker has used several best practices in her engineering resume format to keep the document reader-friendly. First, she uses a font and size that are easy on the eyes; never use a size smaller than 10 points.
Another reading aid is the use of bullets in the work experience section. This format allows the use of short phrases instead of complete sentences, and periods are unnecessary at the end of each bullet item. This separates each thought and makes the section read faster. Note how the writer uses first-person sentence structure. Your resume should read as if you are speaking directly to the reader, without using the “I” pronoun.
4. Does the resume give a good picture of the candidate’s qualifications?
Certainly. Instead of a list of job duties, the writer uses powerful verbs and descriptive wording to outline work experience. She includes essential abilities, without duplicating information in another entry. That allows her to showcase skills that exhibit a broader understanding of her field. She also includes contributions, recognitions, and achievements.
5. Does it include crucial contact information?
Of course. It’s easy to overlook this basic information, but that’s what makes it so important. You don’t want a typo in your phone number or email address, but there’s a little more to it. Good contact information includes an email address (other than your work email) that doesn’t sound like an unprofessional one you likely had in college. Be sure to hyphenate your phone number for readability, too.
The Most Important Engineering Resume Format Takeaways
Like designing an attractive building, crafting a resume takes time, patience, and perseverance. Use this engineering resume format to create a resume that recruiters are likely to give a stamp of approval. Starting your resume with a strong summary statement can help it succeed on the three-second test by capturing the reader’s attention and making him or her want to read more.
Use your work experience section to tell a story about your abilities, accomplishments, and qualifications; don’t get bogged down in dry, repetitive, and list-like job duties. The bullet-list format lets you move easily from one point to another; use it to your advantage by keeping phrases short and informative.