Resume and Cover Letter Tips from a CEO
Resume and Cover Letter Tips from a CEO

Naseem Bashir on the Importance of Writing a Good Resume and Cover Letter

Naseem Bashir, P.Eng. is the President of Williams Engineering based out of Alberta.

Many years ago I had an English teacher who taught me how to write a resume and a cover letter.  After reading hundreds of resumes over the past 20 years, I know what I look for in new hires and have some advice to offer the new graduate engineers.

First of all resumes must have a cover letter.  The letter should be addressed to a specific person and not to some anonymous person in HR for example.  The letter should have four main parts each of which should address the key areas of Attention, Desire, Conviction and Action.

The attention paragraph comes first and it should work hard at getting the reader’s attention in some way.  The second paragraph should speak about the candidate’s desire for the job. The third paragraph should offer up the candidate’s conviction or dedication to pursuing an opportunity and in serving the company.  And the final paragraph should set a course of action that the candidate will take to make further contact with the prospective employer.

Another area that young engineers struggle with is getting an engineering job without much experience in the field.  My suggestion is that they concentrate on skill sets and accomplishments rather than their actual job experience.  Many times the candidates I have seen dwell too much on the Pizza Hut job rather than their learned skills of handling cash or customer service…focus on the skills learned not the job itself.

Last words of advice are to never make any spelling or grammar errors.  In my office, they just go in the garbage.