The Use Of Acronyms In An Engineering Resume

Engineers are notorious for writing resumes that are filled with content. So filled with content in fact that they often read more like an engineering dictionary than a resume!

This is especially true for aerospace, mechanical, electrical, electronic, civil, software, petroleum and chemical engineers. Mostly due to the fact that acronyms are particularly common in these fields. Resumes that are filled with complex and sometime undecipherable listings of three and four letter combinations are not very effective and should be changed.

Bear in mind that the first person to read your resume is likely a non technical professional (most likely a recruiter) that may not be completely versed in the technical details of your experience.

So your resume should include enough technical detail to impress your skills on the engineering manager. But not so much detail that the HR manager or recruiter will not know what to make of it!

It is important to mention your critical skills and in particular those that are directly relevant to the job posting. But temper it with text, descriptions of your achievements and your roles. The acronyms should be the salt and pepper of your engineering resumes, not the main ingredient.

For example, instead of writing: “Parameters acquired included spectral characteristics, XTAL, VCO and PLL phase noise levels and subsystem s-parameters.”, consider instead: “Developed parameter acquisition methodology and software which was used to derive microwave system performance characteristics.”. You can expand on the detailed characteristics during an interview with a technically competent manager.

In summary don’t scare or bore the non technical reader of your resume. If they can’t understand it, your resume is going to end up at the bottom of the pile and with it go your chances of getting that job you want.

Get a head start with our Very Best Engineering Resume Collection, a collection of the best engineering resumes and cover letters. Available to you in a simple download.

If you have any questions about this or any other topics please feel free to contact me directly. Good luck with your search!

Thanks for visiting!

Michael Brit
President & Chief Resume Writer


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