Engineer a New Resume Strategy
by EngineerSalary Staff

Enormous changes in the technical job market attributable to the net, changing demographics, frenzied technology advances and globalization have forced the rethinking of how engineering candidates begin their job search - by updating their resume to focus on them.

The problem? It’s the wrong focus.

It's centered on you, not the target employer. The new strategy should address the employers technical requirements by defining how you are the expert, and how you are able to immediately contribute to their design and development initiatives.

Engineers and technical managers should approach the job market as a buyer’s arena, where employers make the rules. It shouldn't be based solely on the position you want. Rather, it should focus right in with solutions to challenges employers are trying to solve, recognizing their needs and reflecting their priorities. The resume that sells will be nearly custom tailored to their requirements, using the specifications they published.

Targeting your search from this perspective will make you stand out as the more competitive (and interesting) candidate, an experienced technical resource who understands how the market functions. Remember, hiring managers will respond very well to "being sold" with a resume that addresses... and may solve... their immediate needs. When they review your resume, it will overlay neatly with what they are looking for. You go to the top of their stack, becoming a viable candidate worthy of consideration. You're getting the phone call... you're the engineer or manager they want to attract and hire.

Implement a Strategy

When executed correctly, a search is similar to a strategically designed marketing campaign.

Developing your own strategy starts with defining specifications of your target employer including product, industry sector, size and geographic location, designed to help you identify firms most likely to select you... and recognize your value to them -- based on your technical skills, experience gained over time, leadership and industry connections. Next, you should identify the needs and challenges you can solve. Finally, you should demonstrate how you can solve them by describing prior measurable results.

After completing this analysis, you should be able to create a positioning statement that demonstrates why you are best qualified, prepared and ready to begin a new position. This doesn't end with providing your credentials - it's about differentiating yourself from every other candidate whose experience may equal or exceed yours. In addition to illustrating that you can immediately contribute your technical expertise (by providing a compelling and verifiable narrative of what you've done in the past), your objective is to encourage the employers confidence in your ability to take on new responsibilities, remove barriers and ultimately add value - with a fast learning curve, using the comprehensive and relevant experience you have gained with other employers. They want to hire the engineer that can immediately impact, enhance and accelerate their design mission.

As a strategy, centering on the employers requirements and expectations is a departure from creating a resume that's a pure personal marketing tool, focused strictly on your own background. Although it may accurately describe what you can offer, the traditional resume doesn't persuade hiring managers of your ability to meet their needs. Typically, candidate-centered resumes fail to communicate the singular message the employer must understand: "I am the engineer or technical manager you want to hire. I have value, based on my education, training and previous work experience. I can solve your problems. I will produce the results you want… so hire me now before your competition gets the chance." 

This is a multi-pronged campaign to attract employers. It's about more than the resume. You must clearly, consistently and compellingly
communicate your value to the decision makers via your actions and ability. You want to pique their curiosity, so they will want more information -- and are motivated to move forward on you.

This approach will set you apart from the competition, and position you in front of even better qualified competitors.

It is an approach that is working consistently, but not yet widely recognized. Hiring managers are digging through piles of poorly written, dull and misdirected resumes daily… looking for that one resume that stands out from the crowd. Unless you are exploiting the latest innovations in attracting employers, you will be relegated to the wastebasket. Don't let your resume get walked out by the cleaning crew. Chances are, applying this strategy, you will make the final cut and move to the interview stage.

Give them compelling reasons and facts to make the initial contact - and ultimately hire you. Leave your competition scratching their heads.

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