Monday, March 17, 2008

Achievements on Technical Resume

I'm looking for work in engineering. It's an employers" market, and salary negotiations are tough. What can my resume do to convince an employer of my worth?

An employer values someone who can produce results. Use your resume to demonstrate your worth by talking about your achievements, rather than simply listing job duties.

Many professionals in technical fields wince when they hear the word "achievements" because they feel foolish making their experience sound like bells and whistles are going off -- which is what achievements sound like on a salesperson's resume. I understand the need to be less dramatic in engineering and technical fields.

Your audience is more interested in facts than it is in hype. None the less, the technical person's statements need to be achievement-oriented, frequently relying on technical information to indicate level of ability. Here's an example of what I mean.

Instead of saying:
- Outstanding structural engineer with superb communication and exceptional technical skills who wins contracts based on an excellent reputation.

It would be more appropriate to state:
- 20 years as a structural engineer in a geographic area wrought with underground streams, earthquakes, and heavy rain.

The second example implies, without "salesey" language, that the job seeker's ability to solve difficult problems can add value to the employer's services.

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