A well-written resume is one of the keys to standing out in the competitive world of engineering. Whether you're an aspiring engineer looking for your first job or an experienced professional looking for new opportunities, we’re here to walk you through the step-by-step process of creating an impressive engineering CV.
Our engineering recruitment firm explains which essential information to include, practical tips, and how to avoid common mistakes.
A clear career goal
Your profile is usually the first section of your resume a recruiter reads. A clear, punchy presentation helps create a positive first impression and keeps the recruiter interested in learning more about you.
In your profile, use just a few sentences to summarize your key skills, relevant experience and career goals. The recruiter will be able to quickly understand who you are as an engineer and what you could bring to the company. By highlighting your most relevant skills and experience first, you draw the recruiter's attention to what is most relevant to the position you are applying for, increasing your chances of being selected for an engineering job interview.
Professional experience is important for all professions, but it is essential in engineering.
For each project or position on your resume, note the time period, the company name, your job title and an outline of what your assignments were. Instead of simply listing general information, highlight your specific accomplishments and note any tangible results you achieved.
For example, draw attention to successful projects, ways in which you improved a process or reduced costs, and any professional recognition you received. Include anything that helps you stand out and show your added value.
The engineering sector puts a strong emphasis on a candidate's education. An engineer's academic background plays a key role in demonstrating their technical expertise and theoretical knowledge.
Your academic background will reveal the principles, concepts and technical skills that you acquired during the course of your studies.
As an engineer, your education demonstrates your commitment and your ability to assimilate complex knowledge. Mentioning prestigious institutions of higher learning where you have studied will enhance your credibility and attract the interest of recruiters.
You can also highlight specific areas of specialization, which is a distinct asset, these show that you have specific skills and expertise that employers may be looking for.
Skills are among the most important elements of an engineering resume. Be sure to differentiate between technical skills and interpersonal or "soft" skills.
An aerospace engineer will obviously not have the same technical skills as a civil engineer, but their relevant personal qualities may be the same.
Technical engineering skills
When you describe your technical engineering skills, be as specific as possible. Use precise, clear language and focus on the requirements of the job you’re applying for.
An engineer's role is to design, develop and manage projects. Since engineers are usually the backbone of a team, they must be thorough, precise and detail-oriented. Show this by listing the technical skills the company seems to need. Adapt to the ad or position you are applying for to show that you are the best person for the position.
You could also list your engineering skills in order of relevance and prioritize them according to your area of expertise. Back them up with concrete examples to give them more weight: recruiters like to see skills put into practice!
Examples of technical engineering skills
- Design and modeling
- Programming (C, C++, Java, Python, etc.)
- Use of design software (AutoCAD, SolidWorks, MATLAB, etc.)
- Project management
- Analysis and resolution of technical problems
- Evaluation of technical feasibility
- Risk management
- Process optimization
- Feasibility studies
- Knowledge of technical standards and regulations
- Quality management
- Testing and validation methods
- Knowledge of materials and their behavior
- Mastery of simulation and modeling tools
It’s up to you to expand on your own abilities and experiences! 😊
It is important to mention soft skills in an engineering CV because they complement technical skills and add value to your professional profile. Also called personal or behavioral competencies, interpersonal skills are character traits and non-technical qualities that influence the way you work, collaborate and adapt to different professional environments.
As an engineer, some of these are crucial, such as:
- Effective collaboration - An engineer needs to work as part of a team. Communication, active listening and flexibility are all qualities that you need to demonstrate to prove that you can work effectively with others and make the most of team dynamics.
- Complex problem solving – This is the hallmark skill of an engineer! Not everyone can solve complex problems; it requires critical thinking, coolness in decision making and innovative and intelligent approaches to implementing strategies.
- Adaptability - The engineering field evolves constantly to embrace new technologies, changing work methods, and emerging challenges. Being flexible shows that a company can rely on you to adapt.
- Team management - Taking initiative, leading teams, and growing professionally alongside others are all qualities that convey positive energy from an engineer.
In Quebec, an engineer will often find themselves working in a position that requires knowledge of both English and French (at least). On your engineering resume, indicate all languages you speak and your level of proficiency.
Where to put skills on an engineering resume
When it’s time for an employer to effectively recruit an engineer, the candidate’s resume comes first.
One way to format your engineering resume is to create sections for "Technical Skills" and "Interpersonal Skills". Note the skills that best represent your abilities and expand on them in a few words.
You could also draw attention to your engineering skills throughout your CV, especially when you describe your academic and professional background. Did you develop critical thinking skills by writing a thesis? Did you learn how to adapt when managing new employees at a particular company?
In short, mention relevant qualities and skills you have acquired via experience, achievements and past projects. Nothing should be left to chance on a resume: be thorough and write with the goal of convincing the recruiter that you are the right person for the job.
Bonus tip: be concise
Your resume will first pass through the hands of people who know little or nothing about the specifics of engineering. Remember this and use terms that recruiting managers or human resources staff will understand. Acronyms or convoluted terms will not help you stand out.
Remember to be concise. Engineers are recognized for being rigorous and organized. Demonstrate these qualities with your CV. You will have plenty of opportunities to expand on certain points when it is time to answer job interview questions for engineers!
Send your Quebec engineering resume to Fed Engineering
At Fed Engineering, we are continually on the lookout for engineering candidates to fill our clients’ positions. Whether it is for a temporary or permanent position, our goal is to ensure you prosper within a company where you feel comfortable.
Consult our job offers, or send us a spontaneous application so that we can review your profile and help you during the hiring process.