How to write an effective electrical engineer resume
Electrical engineers make our technologically-advanced world possible. From designing and testing new products to supervising the production and manufacturing processes, there are many key responsibilities held by an electrical engineer.
In this guide, we will cover everything you need to know about writing a resume as an electrical engineer. Keep reading to learn the answers to the following key questions:
- What is the best resume format for an electrical engineer?
- How do you write an eye-catching electrical engineer resume summary?
- Which electrical engineering skills are best for a resume?
- What details should you include in your work experience descriptions?
- How do you properly list electrical engineering education on a resume?
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1. What is the best resume format for an electrical engineer
Before you can begin writing your resume, you must first decide what resume format to use.
Generally speaking, the reverse-chronological resume is the most commonly recommended format for electrical engineers. This format focuses mainly on work experience, making this section the largest and most central on the document. It works well for electrical engineers, as most employers are more interested in your hands-on experience rather than your education or other credentials.
However, if you are recently graduated or otherwise new to the field, a reverse-chronological format may not be the ideal choice if you lack sufficient relevant experience. In this case, you may want to opt for one of the following alternative formats:
- The functional resume: A resume format that shifts focus from work experience to education, skills, and unpaid experience. Recent graduates with educational and internship experience will often choose this formatting option.
- The hybrid resume: A resume format that combines elements of both reverse-chronological and functional resumes. This format will spread the focus of the document more evenly between all sections and is commonly used by applicants who are changing career paths or who have large gaps in their employment histories.
2. How to write an eye-catching electrical engineer resume summary
A resume summary is a short statement used at the beginning of a resume to grab an employer’s attention. This is accomplished by an applicant including their most pertinent and impressive professional details, such as key accomplishments and years of experience.
To illustrate how to write an effective resume summary, we have provided a weak example followed by a correction and explanation.
Incorrect electrical engineer resume summary example
Electrical engineer with many years of experience working in corporate manufacturing. Skilled in improving overall efficiency, helping previous employer to boost production efficiency by a significant percentage. Expert in project management.
Why is this incorrect?
Though you do want to keep your resume summary brief, you should still aim to include as many specific details as possible. In this incorrect example, the applicant could improve by offering exact numbers and percentages to provide the reader with greater context around their accomplishments.
Corrected electrical engineer resume summary example
Driven electrical engineer with 6+ years of experience working in corporate manufacturing. Specialized in onsite efficiency improvements, achieving a 25% increase in overall production efficiency at previous company. Exceptional project management skills, with 3+ years of experience in a leadership role.
Why is this correct?
In this corrected example, the applicant provides much more detailed information, such as the years of experience they hold and the specific percent increases for efficiency improvements they have achieved. Additionally, they provide greater context around their project management expertise by stating they have held a leadership role for more than 3 years.
3. Which electrical engineering skills are best for a resume
You should always include a dedicated skills section on your resume that includes 5 to 10 different abilities in the field of electrical engineering. This section should include both technical and interpersonal skills to show you have a diverse range of abilities.
Technical skills refer to your learned abilities gained through education and training. Comparatively, interpersonal skills refer to your ability to work well and communicate effectively with other people. These people skills can be both inherent and learned.
Here are 10 ideas for both technical and interpersonal skills to include on your electrical engineering resume:
The best electrical engineer technical skills to put on your resume
- Electrical system design
- CAD drafting
- Electrical schematic development
- Preparation of operational plans
- Analysis of blueprint and structural schematics
- Electric equipment manufacturing
- Knowledge of OSHA safety standards
- Conducting research on new electrical systems, components, and products
- Specialized knowledge in specific electrical systems (automobiles, aircraft, commercial buildings, etc.)
Effective interpersonal skills for your electrical engineer CV
- Written and verbal communication
- Exceptional collaboration
- Active listening
- Attention to detail
- Critical and analytical thinking
- Time management
4. What details should you include in your electrical engineer work experience section
Your work experience section is typically the main section of your resumes, tying together your specializations and skills to showcase your level of expertise.
As you write your work experience section, you should consider how valuable the information included is to potential employers. Rather than simply listing out all your core responsibilities from previous jobs, you should strive to also include key accomplishments.
When constructing the work experience section, be sure to include the following elements:
- Job Title and Company: Clearly state the position you held and the name of the organization where you worked.
- Dates of Employment: Include the duration of your employment to provide a clear timeline of your professional experience.
- Responsibilities and Achievements: Describe your key responsibilities, outlining the projects you worked on, the systems you designed or implemented, and any notable accomplishments. Highlight specific technical skills and methodologies you utilized during your tenure.
- Impact and Results: Quantify your achievements wherever possible, such as cost savings, productivity improvements, or successful project outcomes. This provides concrete evidence of your contributions and showcases your ability to deliver tangible results.
- Technologies and Tools: Specify the electrical engineering technologies, software, and equipment you utilized during your role. This helps employers gauge your familiarity with industry-standard tools and demonstrates your technical proficiency.
- Relevant Keywords: Tailor your work experience section to include industry-specific keywords and terminologies. This enhances the likelihood of your resume being selected by applicant tracking systems (ATS) and catches the attention of hiring managers.
Here is an example of a work experience entry from an electrical engineer resume
General Dynamics Mission Systems, Tempe, AZ
June 2018 to May 2021
- Developed the schematics for new electrical tools for onsite use, resulting in a 15% increase in company productivity and a 20% decrease in resource expenditures.
- Provided detailed consultations and maintained ongoing working relationships with 40+ clients.
- Performed condition assessments for new product prototypes, including identifying electrical malfunctions and general functionality issues.
5. How do you properly list electrical engineering education on a resume
To become an electrical engineer, you generally will need a minimum of a bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering. Most employers will require you to have this level of degree from an accredited school.
However, to become a more competitive candidate and to earn higher-paying projects and positions, you will likely need a master’s degree or Ph.D. in the field. Whenever you have more than one degree to describe, always place the highest degree first and work backward from there.
Here is an example of a well-crafted education section on an electrical engineer resume
Arizona State University, Tempe, Arizona
M.A. in Electrical Engineering
Graduated: 2018, Summa Cum Laude
Tennessee State University, Nashville, TN
B.S. in Electrical Engineering