The information below will provide information about the application and selection process that is specific to the Engineering, Science and Tech industries. As you are preparing your materials for the internship or job search, be sure to review the resume section of the website. The information there will help you lay the foundation for a strong industry focused resume.
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Your resume will often be the first impression for a potential employer. You want to make sure that your resume is succinct, direct, active and specific. It's also a good idea to ensure that your resume is tailored for the position and for the industry. For more technical positions this may mean moving your skills section up, or creating a section on your resume specifically to highlight your research experience. Because many positions will also be looking for you to have some content mastery, highlighting relevant coursework can demonstrate your fit for a particular position.
Positions in software development, design, and programming may require additional materials like an online portfolio or GitHub. You can use your LinkedIn account to start to create a professional online presence and keep track of your projects and experiences there. It is important to document your work early and often so that your portfolio can grow organically as you gain experience.
Other tools that you can use to create a portfolio or a web presence detailing your projects include:
For most positions in Engineering, Science, and Technology it is in your best interest to adhere to the standard one-page industry resume. The links below share best practices and tips for the types of resumes and applications you might encounter.
Resume vs CV
You may be asked to submit a CV or a Curriculum Vitae in place of a resume. What is the difference and when do you know which to use? Typically a resume is used for positions in business and industry. It is a short (one page) summary of your skills and experiences and is tailored toward the position at hand. In contrast, a Curriculum Vitae is typically used for applications to graduate school, and for submissions to positions in academia or research intensive positions. The Curriculum Vitae is much more comprehensive and detailed than what we typically see in a resume, and may span many pages. In addition to the standard sections you would find on a Resume (Name and Contact Info, Education, Experience, Skills) a CV may have the following categories:
- Teaching Experience
- Research Experience
- Project Management
- Conference Presentations
- Professional Association Membership
- Programs and Workshops
- Special Training
- Leadership Experience
If you are unsure which version to use, you can always contact someone in the organization to double check which version of your experience to send. Be aware that some organizations will use the word interchangeably, but a good rule of thumb is to use the resume for industry and the CV for academics. Be sure to look at the resume section of our website for more tips and examples of how to write a resume.
Resume and Cover Letter Resources
- SEAS Resume Writing Guide
- Applying to the NIH Summer Internship Program (video)
- Getting Strong Letters of Recommendation
- Valuable Words to Have on a Tech Resume
- Strengthening your Fellowship Application
- Writing a Successful NIH Application
- How to Write a Winning Resume
Most interviews will contain a mixture of resume based questions (questions about your past experience) and behavioral based questions (your ability to handle prospective situations at work. Most positions will begin with an interview that has a mix of these questions, and these may take place in person during On Grounds Interviewing, or via skype or telephone. As you move forward in the process you may encounter more of these basic interviews, but you will probably encounter technical or case related interviews that are designed to test your skills and abilities in particular areas. You may even be called upon to present and summarize past research and projects.
Many consulting firms and financial organizations will often engage in a case interview. Case interviews differ from behavioral and resume based interviews because they essentially present a problem for you to analyze and solve. The outcome of a case interview is less dependent on reaching the right answer, but more dependent on communicating your analysis of an issue and demonstrating why you arrived at the conclusion. Read more about case interviewing in on the Business Community page.
InterviewStream is an excellent resource for practicing behavioral and resume based questions in order to improve your interview skills. You can log into Handshake and access Interview Stream under the Resources menu.
Technical Interviews/IT Interview Process
For those interested in coding heavy positions, or IT administrative positions, expect the interview process to have multiple steps and components. Any or all of the following may be a part of the process, but each organization will run their interview process differently. You can use a resource like Glassdoor to understand the interview process and commonly asked questions each organization will ask.
- Screening Call
- Research the organization before hand.
- Review your resume and projects you have worked on both in and out of school.
- Have a paper and pencil ready to take notes
- Ensure you are taking the call or skype in a distraction free zone
- Review the skills that you have indicated on your resume and be prepared to answer questions in line with your indicated level or skill
- Practical Exam
- May occur in place of a screening call
- Task-based questions
- Measuring practical skills and abilities
- In-Person /Technical Interview
- May interview with several members of a team
- Best to review behavioral and resume based questions beforehand
- Practice explaining, walking through technical process out loud
- Prepare questions to ask interviewer ahead of time
- Remember to follow up and send thank you note immediately after interview
- Interview.io - Practice technical interview questions with anonymous reviewers. Free website
- http://www.lintcode.com/en/ Practice technical interview questions, filter by language, company or difficulty.
- https://www.interviewbit.com/ - Gamifies technical interview questions
- 5 Interviewing Tips for Engineering Grads - Mark Johnson (SEAS, '07) provides solid advice not just for engineers, but for anyone interviewing for a technical position
- Ace Your Video Interview
- The Human Resources Interview
- Ace Your Technical Interview
- Ten Tech Interview Errors
- Example Technical Interview Questions
- What it is like to Interview for a Technical Position
- How to Prep for Your Technical Interview
- 5 Smart Moves to Make in a Technical Interview