Hiring Tips for Engineers: Beef Up Your Resume (and Network)

November 2013 | Riviera Partners

There are a lot of engineering jobs out there, but that doesn’t mean that a job in the field is just going to land in your lap–especially if you are particular about the company you want to work for. The good news is that we...

There are a lot of engineering jobs out there, but that doesn’t mean that a job in the field is just going to land in your lap–especially if you are particular about the company you want to work for. The good news is that we here at Riviera have loads of experience in this area, so we know what it takes to land the job of your dreams. The first step? Making sure your resume–and your network–are up to snuff.

Know What You Want

Make a top 30 list of targeted companies in three domains (for instance, Payments, Big Data, Quantified Self) and research those companies. Be prepared to create slightly different versions of your resume for each position. Keep versions of your resume in the cloud so you can easily tweak it on-the-fly if need be.

Include The Most Valuable Info

Hiring managers at engineering companies tend to care about your ability to solve hard technical problems. That means it’s important to showcase your technical accomplishments. Winning hackathons, contributing to open source projects, answering questions on Stack Overflow, learning new technologies and building side projects outside of work all indicate that you really care about improving yourself as an engineer. It’s also great to highlight any hard technical problems that you’ve solved, such as scaling the backend for a site with millions of users. This shows the hiring manager the potential you have to solve their technical problems.

Create Content, Consume Courses

It’s a good idea to have your own personal website or blog where you can showcase projects and accomplishments that you won’t be able to include in a resume. You can include a link to that online portfolio though. Also, it‘s a good idea to read and watch online trainings and videos from the likes of Coursera, Udacity, Udemy and iTunes U. You never know what might be be worth including in your resume. Also, there’s a whole host of training and certification courses for engineers; find the ones that will best enhance your current experience–and look good on paper

Network, Network, Network

It’s important to show interest in other people, companies and products. Connect with them on LinkedIn, follow them on Twitter and like them on Facebook. Hiring managers will look at the resources when considering setting an interview or making an offer.

Also, be sure to contribute and participate in your local meetups, hackathons and other tech community events. Some examples include Meetup, Hacker League, TopCoder and LAUNCH. This gives you an opportunity to not only connect with others in your industry, but also to share your insights with and ask questions of other tech folks.

Become comfortable and practice speaking to Engineers, Sr. Engineers, VPs of Engineering and Product, VCs, and CEO’s about the industry and share your personal story. Socialize with the engineering, product, sales, marketing, human resources, and operations team, by absorbing information about their passions and the company, and share your ideas about their products.

All of this is great practice for when you meet someone from your targeted company, as you’ll be able to talk confidently about industry happenings and share personal stories relevant to your career. Before you know it, you might have just ‘networked’ yourself to your dream job!

Once you’ve strengthened your resume and network, it’s time to work on the next step: Realizing you  are the product. Stay tuned for our next tip, which will offer advice on how to sell yourself.