First realize that the need to send a single page paper resume is a requirement of the past. Over the past 4 years I have witnessed the sending of paper resumes drop to zero amongst all my engineering colleagues. Online submissions, either through company websites or job boards, is the norm these days. This is a very good thing. Now you can add as much as you wish to your resume.
- Make your resume as long as you wish. Go into excruciating detail on every project you ever worked on. It is important to cover all of your experience to the smallest detail. It's no longer the idea to be ambiguous or vague about your knowledge to give the impression of being more experienced.
The pitfall of implying more than you know goes like this: you imply you know, you're given a task they think you know, you can not do it quick enough, you let them down, you are let go. If you only have cursory knowledge on something, it is best to say you only have an "academic understanding" of the subject. Trying to "con" your way through a job will only last so long.
It is important to highlight all of your accomplishments on a job no matter how small. For example, I was hired to design software for a UAV fuel pump. While designing the software, I taught myself 3-Phase motor control. Although the commutation scheme wasn't the focus of my job, I felt it was important to add to the resume. My resume is over 6 pages long, and I am always expanding its content. So, don't be afraid to elaborate.
- Placing your education history has two simple rules. If you are a new graduate or have little work history, place the education portion above the work history. If you have extensive work history, place the education after the work history.
- Much like education, put a list of skills and abilities at the top if you have a lot of experience. Or, place skills and abilities below education.
- Include a hobbies and accomplishments section, at the end, to go over experience you are particularly proud of, that may not fall under any particular area. For example, I built an "e-book" based on a 68HC11 and a 20x5 LCD for a school project. This was during a time when there were no e-book readers were not invented. It showcases some further embedded experience I have.
The hobbies and accomplishments section also shows you are a human being with other interests. This is an important, and subtle, section of the resume that makes you look motivated and well rounded. For example, I rebuild old motorcycles and play paintball. On one interview my then future employer commented that they liked the fact I had non-embedded interests. They said someone who is stuck in a vein of doing only "one thing" isn't someone they wanted for the team.
Here is a basic outline of what I recommend for a resume, this is based off of my own:
Who you are/what you want
SKILLS AND ABILITIES
Electrical Analysis and Design
- list knowledge points
Mechanical Drawing and Solid Modeling
- (place knowledge of practices such a Six Sigma)
Machinist and Fabricator
Job Time – Present
Company name, City, state
- highlight experience
School Name, City, State
- Degree name, Date earned
HOBBIES AND ACCOMPLISHMENTS
- what you are proud of
Now write that resume, and make it as long as you like!
When you are done, move on to part two.