Six Tips to Write an Effective Resume

Both recruiters and hiring managers say that they have seen more badly written resumes in recent years than ever. These six key tips will help you get more interviews and keep your resume from being rejected.

1. Make Your Resume Work for You

Your resume will not be read the first time, no matter how well it is written. A resume is generally scanned for 25 seconds. If the resume is difficult to read, poorly organized, or more than two pages long, scanning can be more difficult.

  • Make sure to use a clear heading, large margins, clean type and clear titles.
  • Use bold and italic fonts that guide the eye to help you choose.
  • Bullets can be used to draw attention to key points (e.g. accomplishments)

2. Not just job descriptions, but achievements!

Managers in technical fields such as engineering are looking for candidates who can solve a problem within the company. You can’t solve their problems if you don’t share how you have solved similar problems in other situations and companies.

  • You should be focusing on the work you did at your job and not what your job was.
  • First, list the top two jobs you have held and then your achievements.
  • Ask yourself: What was the benefit to doing what I did?
  • Your accomplishments should be your own and not based on others’.
  • Do not use the generic descriptions of the jobs that you have previously applied for.

3. Quantify Your Accomplishments

Q: Which is the most common mistake in a resume?
A: Too many general statements and too much industry jargon. This does not market the candidate. Resumes are marketing documents that highlight your strengths and sell you as a candidate.

  • Highlight and include specific accomplishments that give a complete picture of your marketability
  • To increase confidence in hiring managers and generate interest percentages, dollars number of employees, etc., quantify your accomplishments.
  • To quantify your achievements, work backwards and ask, “If I hadn’t done X, what would have happened?”

4. Make your resume relevant to the industry

The mechanical engineering industry is not like advertising and design professionals, who are more creative in designing their resumes for these fields. They may be less impressed by a distinctive resume design.

  • Be conservative stylistically
  • Your accomplishments, error-free writing, grammatically-correct, clean, crisp type and paper will make the impression for you

5. Replace “Your Objective” with “Career Summary”.

The purpose of a Career Summary is to provide a quick overview of who and what you are. Most objectives sound the same: I am looking for a challenging and interesting job in X that allows me to use my skills of XY and Z to help improve the bottom line. It’s not hard to tell.

  • At the very beginning, grab attention from a hiring manager.
    You have just 25 seconds to make an impression.
  • Create a summary that grabs their attention immediately and effectively describes you as a solution to their problems.

6. Network. Network. Network.

Handing out resumes to unemployed candidates should be a full-time job. Networking is a major way to fill mid- and senior-level jobs. Make sure to reach out to everyone you know, as well as recruiters who might be able to hire you. Networking can also include

  • Contacts for personal business, people who have worked for you or for whom you worked
  • You’ve worked with vendors and sales reps in the last five years
  • Alumni directory listing of your alma matter

A solid resume will increase your chances of getting a job and getting an interview.