Compiling quality job-search materials is a time-consuming headache, especially early in your career. One page résumé or two? Or a full curriculum vitae? Should you add your high school babysitting experience? Click below for some great advice and materials on putting together a job-winning résumé.
How do you even start to design a résumé? The good news is, you don’t have to anymore–LaTeX has solved it for you. These beautifully designed templates are free to use (and assume that you’re an engineer!). All you need to do is fill in the fields and the template will populate for you. Generate your résumé here.
But what really matters on a résumé? Engineering is a decidedly tough field–what if you don’t have the highest GPA? “Leave it off,” says career and hiring expert, Alison Greene of the popular Ask a Manager blog. Focus, instead, on work, internship, and/or co-op experience, which is often more relevant anyway. Find the full article here.
A great cover letter can also put you ahead of the pack, especially since engineers often, by definition, aren’t the best communicators. If you do these well, you can demonstrate crucial soft skills early in the process. Talk about:
1) Why would you be great at doing the job? Stay away from how you can learn from the company–they’re not there to serve you; you are there to fill a role and do what they need. Prove that you can do it.
2) Anything that’s not already on your résumé. If they wanted a list of your accomplishments, they would look at the one you have already compiled and included. Instead, this is your chance to prove that you have a personality. Are you so organized that you color-code and alphabetize the tools in your workshop? Do you love building so much that invented your own 3D printer from parts around the house and a new coding language to go with it?
2a) Remember that hiring managers are people with senses of humor and personalities. They are hiring people. Not robots. Writing a cover letter with this in mind will help you loosen up and avoid overly stuffy language.
For more about crafting an excellent cover letter, read the Ask a Manager Cover Letter section.