California State University Long Beach is just one of several universities in the region producing quality engineering grads. That’s why a stellar and eye-catching resume package is so important for those seeking to stand out from the competition in landing an internship or job.
A concise cover letter and solid resume containing power words, a clear objective, and accomplishments with quantifiable outcomes can go far in separating yourself from the pack, said Director of Internship and Professional Development Emmitt Clark during the Engineering Student Success Center’s first professional development workshop of the fall semester.
“Look yourself in the mirror and ask yourself, ‘What is your brand?’” advised Clark. “A brand is important because you need to stand out. There are a lot of schools in Southern California.”
Clark said human relations managers will expect students’ job experiences to be limited. To make up for a short job history, students should be sure their resumes include volunteer experiences and any other accomplishments, such as learning a second language.
The Sept. 8 workshop also gave the nearly three dozen attendees a chance to create effective objective statements. Such statements—normally placed near the top of a resume—explain the type of position the student is looking for—be it internship or job—and their specific area of engineering interest. A skills summary should clearly highlight skills, accomplishments, and experiences.
Students sending out resumes and cover letters should understand that human relations managers typically receive hundreds—if not thousands—of inquiries for open positions. A resume that’s quick to scan and easy to understand can help it be sent to the hiring manager rather than passed over or filed in a drawer.
Among other tips from Clark:
- Use your school email address or another business-like email address (Smith@csulb.edu reads much better than firstname.lastname@example.org);
- Check your spelling and grammar; a mistake-ridden resume or cover letter doesn’t inspire confidence;
- Try targeting smaller feeder companies in addition to large companies;
- If you’re targeting a specific company, make sure you set up a personal profile on their site.
Mechanical and aerospace engineering senior Abraham Meza said the resume workshop was very useful, since he’s currently looking for an internship where he can gain experience in heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) systems. Wilson Sim, a senior in electrical engineering, agreed. Sim said he’s getting ready to find an internship where he can gain hands-on experience in solar energy.
The next Professional Development workshop will be held on Tuesday, Oct. 6 and cover job search skills. View the full schedule here.