Great engineering resumes: Part 5 – For the Established Career

Once you’ve been around the block a few times, you’ll have a pretty deep well of information to pull from for your resume. Maybe you have a stack of performance evaluations at your disposal and perhaps dozens of projects to use as source material. The key is knowing what to use and what to skip. To a certain extent, advice at this stage in your career is not nearly as useful as it was before you had some decent experience, but still here are a few tips:

  • Be careful of size. My man Martin Yate suggests 1 page per 5 years of experience in the 2006 version of his guide. A particular pet peeve of mine is resumes longer than a page, but I may be behind the times.
  • What have you done for me lately? This relates to the first bullet, but things moves fast enough that what you did 8 years ago hardly matters now as it relates to the technology. For demonstrating people, organizational, communication, or other soft skills it still can make sense to use examples throughout your career, but for the techie stuff stick to the last 5 or so.
  • Schoolwork. Unless you recently obtained a new degree, schooling doesn’t deserve more than a line or two. Resume real estate is precious, stick to the experience you have as much as possible.
  • Emphasize the things you’ve done in your recent jobs that will help you get the one you are applying for. Not all of your experience may be relevant, be sure to focus in on the parts that are. Again, be descriptive and compare your accomplishments to what was expected or an actual dollar figure, if possible. Just listing completed projects will not be enough.
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