Nerd Guru

Because technical people need good soft skills to get ahead.

Thursday, October 19, 2006

Great engineering resumes: Part 4 - For the Early Career

A year or two into your first job, you might start looking around for other opportunities. Welcome to the big leagues! The good news is that you have plenty of work experience to draw from. The bad news may be that the GPA you spent so many sleepless nights on now matters a whole lot less, if at all. You will now be vying for jobs with people who are old enough to be your parents and might have been in your field longer than you’ve been alive. How do you compete with that?

For starters, you’re cheaper labor than somebody who has a mortgage to worry about, their kids college to pay for, and been around forever. You are also more likely to be willing to work longer hours. It’s not all lower pay for more work, though. You have enthusiasm that a person with decades of experience just can’t have any more. Plus, you are more likely to be up on the latest technologies and tools since you just learned them in school. An older candidate might come with a certain working style, too, and is less open to change than you are since you’re still in the prime of your youth (enjoy it while it lasts).

As such, be sure to spin your resume to these strengths that set you apart from your older counterparts. Mention a project where you put in weekend time to meet a deadline. Point out that you know how to use the latest toolset. Let your passion for your profession come across in your word choice. Where you might lack experience of an older candidate, you can make up for in these other areas and draw attention to yourself.

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posted by Pete Johnson @ 1:14 PM   0 comments links to this post

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