Resume formatting for engineers

Improved Engineering Resume Formatting

Resume formatting tips for engineers:

The job of a resume is to get you the job interviews you want. Sounds simple, right? Well it’s not – in fact, it’s complicated. There are plenty of potential pitfalls job seekers need to be aware of when looking for work – and engineers are no exception. A well-crafted engineering resume highlights your most notable professional achievements to target the job you want. But these days, a resume also has to be formatted so it is selected by the Applicant Tracking Systems (ATS) that many companies use to determine which job candidates to interview. You do not want to have the resume that chokes the ATS. If you do, then your resume will never reach its intended audience – recruiters, HR managers, and hiring managers.

Rule #1. When formatting resumes, text is the only way to go.

From TheLadders:

“Overly formatted resumes and resumes embedded with pictures, graphics and logos can be incompatible with most ATS software.”

Another important aspect of effect resume writing is keyword density. Applicant Tracking Systems have gotten a lot smarter, so it’s not a good idea to overload, or spam, your resume keywords. These systems are doing a lot more than looking for and counting particular keywords.

Again, from TheLadders

“With the next wave of ATS technology coming soon to an HR department near you, a keyword such as “Java” had “better be framed by descriptive material that demonstrates experience and familiarity with the subject.” This next-generation ATS software will examine the entire passage as if it were a human reading your resume: closely, and with an understanding of the subject matter.”

Rule #2. Include keywords in the resume and detail an understanding of the subject matter.

For instance, a resume written for a software engineer might include “Object Oriented Design” in the Core Competency section. To increase the likelihood that the resume will be selected by the ATS, a bullet point should be added to the Related Experience and Achievements section of the resume describing how the candidate applied this knowledge to the benefit of an employer.

Getting past the ATS is just the first hurdle that engineers face in today’s tough job market. There are additional issues to consider such as whether to use the chronological, functional, or hybrid resume formats. I’ll be writing an article about this soon, so stay tunes.

Engineers and IT professionals

I do know how to communicate the VALUE of what you do to hiring managers and technical recruiters. This short video illustrates how my educational, professional, and family backgrounds have combined to create this unique ability:


Make an investment in your future with a resume / CV and cover letter written by Vivian Adkins, CPRW of Foremost Resumes. Foremost Resumes offers affordable resume writing services – resume prices are published here. If you have any questions about my resume services, call or text 1-321-442-7994.

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If you found this post helpful, I’d be grateful if you would help spread it by emailing it to a friend, or sharing it on Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook, or Google+.

Thank you!

—Vivian Adkins, Resume Writer at Foremost Resumes

About Author

Vivian Adkins, CPRW
Vivian Adkins, CPRW is the owner of Foremost Résumés and a Certified Résumé Writer. On this blog you can learn about résumés, how LinkedIn can help with your job search, how to conduct an online job search, and more.
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