• Writing an engineering resume: Tips from Intel for female students and grads [video]

    June 08, 2017 by

     

    How are you supposed to stand apart from other engineering candidates? College Recruiter spoke with Jeff Dunn, Campus Relations Manager for Intel Corporation. He shared his advice for preparing an engineering resume, specifically for female students and grads who need tips in getting noticed in the STEM fields. Jeff is passionate about preparing students and grads for their career so his advice should be relevant to all kinds of job seekers. This is part 1 of our conversation. Next time we check in, Jeff will share tips for preparing for an engineering interview.

    Scroll down to watch the video of our discussion and hear Jeff’s insight into what he looks for when recruiting engineers.

    Jeff is a member of College Recruiter’s Panel of Experts, which is a group of professional around the country that regularly provide top notch advice for both talent acquisition professionals and entry level job seekers.

    Find what is special about your story

    Before you do anything else, Jeff stresses the importance of the top half of your resume’s first page. That’s the first place you’ll get noticed. You need to include something that will impress the reader, like a statement that makes them want to find out more about your story. Have a good objective to show focus and to show your goals. It’s also good to have a summary of skills, says Jeff. As a student or recent grad, he recommends putting your education right up front so he knows whether you’re looking for an internship or a full-time position.

    The key is to think about what makes you special. Maybe you have some internship experience in the field. For others, it might be that you’ve taken relevant course work. Perhaps you’ve been a project leader several times, or your GPA is outstanding. Whatever your best strength is, says Jeff, should be right up front.

    Don’t compare yourself with candidates with 10 years of experience, because you’re not competing with them. Employers like Intel, says Jeff, know that you are relatively inexperienced, but everyone has strengths. “So I always tell students not to apologize for experience or things they haven’t done yet. Be proud of what you’ve done. You’ve taken coursework. If you’ve taken engineering that’s cutting edge for the level you’re at, be proud of that. Promote what you’re good at. Promote your strengths.”

    Red flags that will put you in the reject pile

    If your resume has typos, that looks really bad. But more commonly, Jeff sees a lack of specifics. For example, a generic and un-compelling objective would be: “looking for challenging opportunity where I can grow my career.” Jeff says that tells him nothing about where you could fit and grow at Intel.

    Further, he often sees resumes with positions or experience listed like a laundry list, with no indication of the quality of that candidate’s work. “It would be like if Michael Phelps said he’s a swimmer.” You need to speak about the quality of work you have done.

    So the key? Be specific, and use numbers when you can.

    What to put on your engineering resume besides work experience

    At this point in an entry level job seeker’s career, everything counts. Jeff says “you can put community or volunteer work. You can put team projects that you’ve done. Certainly the relevant coursework that you’ve done. Awards. Anything that helps you enhance your skills.”

    Specifically for engineering candidates, Jeff likes to see that you’ve given some thought to where you want to go. “So for example, if you’re a computer engineer, are you more interested in hardware or software?” Are you good at coding? Testing? Validation? “Narrow it down, and that tells me what relevant positions and what managers to connect you with.”

    A narrow focus doesn’t imply that you have to know everything before your first day on the job. “Any employer is going to train you in some areas,” says Jeff.

    Overall, your resume should tell a story of what you have achieved and accomplished. However you have succeeded—as a team leader, in your grades, community work, any skills you’ve taught yourself—belongs on your resume.

    How to get past the machines that scan resumes

    For engineering recruiters, the key words that they (or their systems) look for are all technical. Jeff says that at Intel, they don’t program their system to look for resumes with words like “aggressive”, which might end up preferring male candidates. Instead, Jeff says his systems scan for skills like C++ or architecture, or grad degrees.

    Many employers are starting to gain awareness of possible biases that would deter females from even applying. For example, there are software tools that help organizations analyze their job descriptions and make them more likely to appeal to both women and men. Jeff makes more salient point, however:

    “Males are more likely to apply to jobs when they only meet 50+% of the requirements.”

    Women are more likely to apply only when they believe they meet nearly all requirements. Considering that employers like Intel truly want more gender diversity among their engineering teams, there is a lesson here for women. Apply for jobs that list more requirements than you think you meet, and make your case for why you deserve to be hired.

    To get “out of that black hole of a database,” says Jeff, the key is to use the right keywords. To find the right keywords, check the job description and use the language that the employers uses.

    Once a human being pulls your resume from the database, then they’re looking at the whole thing.  “The technical words will get you the attention of my computer. But what I like to see,” says Jeff, is “the whole person. So not just the technical side, but how they are going to fit within the culture.” Employers like Intel will likely appreciate people who can work with minimal supervision, who are self-starters, can take initiative and not just wait for things to be done. Make sure you explain on your resume (and in an interview) how you demonstrate those skills. Think of situations when you’ve stepped to get a job done.

    After you’ve been on the job search for a while, take stock of what’s working. Jeff’s advises, “If you’re sending out resumes and you’re not getting interviews, you want to keep changing the resume until it gives you those results.”

    Finally, remember not to rely entirely on your resume. A big key to finding a job is to always follow up after you apply. For example, search on LinkedIn to find some connections within the company. A real person who can refer you or at least put your resume in front of the hiring manager can make a big difference.

    Search for jobs and internships today! Stay informed of career advice by connecting with College Recruiter on LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook, and YouTube.

    Watch our discussion with Intel’s Campus Relations Manager Jeff Dunn, who provides excellent advice for female engineering students and grads, and any entry level job seeker:

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