- Engineering Resumes
- The main goal: To start a conversation
- The resume is intended to give a snapshot of you not to be your autobiography
- The person doing the interview probably has other tasks that they have to accomplish
- Your interview is important but it is likely not their main focus, keep this in mind
- Too much information is a bad thing – remember people hiring have to read lots of resumes
- The 1 page rule
- 0 to 10 years experience – 1 page
- 10 to 20 years experience – 1 to 2 page
- 20+ years – possibly more than 2
- The resume is intended to give a snapshot of you not to be your autobiography
- The HR pit of doom
- There is a high likelihood that your resume will not go to an engineer when you apply via any portal/service/online app
- These will all be judged
- You may be the best engineer out there but if you can’t get that across to a non-engineer then you are in trouble
- Humble Bragging
- You are not Engineering Jesus
- Use tangible wording and describe cornerstones of your career
- Example – I did X task and productivity increased Y%
- Do not obfuscate your work with unclear words.
- Be clear about your involvement in your tasks
- Avoid the following
- “Responsibilities included”
- Think outside the box
- Go-to person
- Value add
- Team player
- Use Verbs to describe your work
- Avoid the following
- Do not Pad your resume
- Shorter and clearer are much better than essays
- Remember the HR pit and the person reading your resume
- Control the white space on your page – This can be more powerful than writing a ton of fluff
- Get to the point
- Be proud and confident in what you have done and highlight it concisely
- Use Technical Writing
- Graduate resumes
- Probably does not include much other than your schoolwork
- Absolutely put anything other than school
- Internships should be front and center
- Anything that shows your passion for your degree
- If you don’t have anything like this get on it
- Show stuff you have built or designed
- Describe how you used your degree to do something
- Only put classwork that is relevant to the job you are interviewing for
- Remember – everyone in your degree had to do the same thing, it doesn’t make you special
- If you do this then be prepared to talk about it
- Nothing is more telling than not having knowledge of what you put down on your resume
- Objective statement – I can take it or leave it
- Dont just put – looking for a job
- See if you can make it interesting to read
- Better to write a cover letter if you have something to say in an Objective Statement
- How to describe things you can’t describe in detail on your resume?
- The main goal: To start a conversation
- Engineering Interviews:
- Research Research Research
- The more you know the more you can be prepared
- Remember that if you get this job you could spend 1/3rd of your life there
- You are interviewing them as much as they are interviewing you
- Dress appropriately
- Under dressed is not helpful – Avoid if possible
- Overdressing is safe but you don’t want to look like a square
- Come prepared – No place is going to fault you for bringing things in
- Bring a briefcase or bag
- Notepad and something to write with
- Don’t take this out of your bag unless you are going to write something, leaving it blank at the end of an interview is almost as bad as not having anything to write on to begin with
- Bring multiple copies of your resumes
- You never know when the president will swing by the interview room and you can be ready
- Yes print them on good paper – no it doesn’t have to be ultra resume paper
- Travel with them in a folder or sleeve or something that allows you to access them easily and quickly but also prevents damage
- If you have a card – bring it
- If you have both cards and resumes have them paper clipped together
- Bring your work
- If possible bring your gizmo
- Bring portfolio of your work
- Could be an overall look
- Could be broken out into projects
- This shows that not only can you make the gizmo but you can document it well
- You never know where the interview questions will go and you may have encountered that exact problem on one of your projects.
- The more you know the more you can be prepared
- Personality Tests
- How to prep for these kind of questions?
- “If you were an animal, what would you be?”
- “What is your greatest weakness?”
- Research Research Research
Special thanks to whixr over at Tymkrs for the intro and outro!
About The Hosts
Parker Dillmann is MacroFab's Co-Founder, and Lead ECE with backgrounds in Embedded System Design, and Digital Signal Processing. He got his start in 2005 by hacking Nintendo consoles into portable gaming units. He also runs the blog, longhornengineer.com, where he posts his personal projects, technical guides, and appnotes about board layout design and components. Parker graduated with a BS in Electrical and Computer Engineering from the University of Texas.
Stephen Kraig began his electronics career by building musical oriented circuits in 2003. Stephen is an avid guitar player and, in his down time, manufactures audio electronics including guitar amplifiers, pedals, and pro audio gear. Stephen graduated with a BS in Electrical Engineering from Texas A&M University.
Host 1 00:11
Hello, and welcome to the macro fab engineering podcast. We are your host, Stephen Craig and Parker Dolman. This is episode 279.
Host 2 00:21
So this was your idea, Stephen. This is all your fault.
Host 1 00:25
Yeah, my Yeah, blame it all on me. So this week, our topic, we're gonna be talking about engineering, resumes and interviews.
Host 2 00:36
When you suggested this, I'm like, This is gonna be a lot of fun to talk about. But I don't know if I am qualified. Like, everything. I was taught about resumes, and interviews and stuff like that when I was in school. I don't do. I don't know if that's a good thing, or a bad thing. Or people should take advice from me. I've read Stephen, this notes before the podcast. Whatever Stephen says, Do what he says don't do what I say during this podcast. Oh, come
Host 1 01:12
On. Yeah, I'm sure you have plenty of good things to say about it. Right. And that's actually okay. So that's, that's one of the things to start with is like, the, I agree with you sort of like the classic way of both doing resumes and interviews, I really don't think they apply as much anymore. There's, there's a handful of things that I'm certainly I'm going to talk a lot about my experience being on both sides of the table, giving my resume and reading other people's resumes. But but I've seen a trend where the way my father taught me how to write a resume, and how to, you know, act and be a particular way in an interview, just in my experience hasn't really applied. Now, at the same time, we're, we're specifically talking about the subset of engineers. This is the Mac web engineering podcast. So we're talking specifically about how we as engineers, approach this and like, what are tips and tricks in order to get past this?
Host 2 02:14
Yeah. And also, it's like, you like we both currently work for non engineering firms or anything like that we engineers are not the what's a good way to put it? Because we're both manufacturing companies, where engineering is just a side thing that you need in those companies, not like an engineering firm, where there's like 600 people and 550 are engineers.
Host 1 02:39
Right? Right. That's a scary place. Well, okay, so we'll break this into two. And we'll talk about resumes first, and just a bunch of stuff around resumes. And then we'll talk about the interview, and what you can do in there. And so for under resumes, I think, I think it's important to step back and just look at what is the main goal of a resume. And in my opinion, a resume does one thing and one thing only, it gets you to start a conversation. That's it. Like a resume itself isn't the thing that gets you a job. It is a thing that gets you a conversation in order to get you a job. And it shouldn't be approached that way, in my opinion, as an engineer. So we should we should be kind of honing our resumes and sculpting everything in with that in mind, how do we get this to get somebody excited to want to talk to me, because I could put boatloads of information on a piece of paper, someone's still gonna want to talk to me, and the end of the day, so
Host 2 03:46
You're not you're not just going to be like, you hand your resume over and you get an email back. What's your direct deposit information?
Host 1 03:53
Right? Yeah, that's just not going to happen. Right? Like, that's yeah.
Host 2 03:56
So for me a resume is like, if I if I get someone in for a interview, I've already decided that you have the qualifications needed for the job, which is your resume is supposed to show that. And when we get to the interview section, we'll go more into that. But that's, that's for me. Like, your the resume is to show that you have the qualifications for the job.
Host 1 04:26
Yeah, in a lot of ways. The resume the first time it's looked at, it's basically a sniff test just to see did is there just some random person applying for this job? Did they even read the job description? Do they have the bare minimum that we asked for in the job description? Like the first look, most of the time isn't digging into detail? It's just like, you know, yes, or no pile real fast. Yeah.
Host 2 04:49
It's, it's like you're going through the, for lack of better terms, the SEO of the resume and the terms that you're looking for?
Host 1 04:57
Yeah, yeah, for sure. Well, Okay, and before we go any further, I've, at every job, I've had post college, I have been involved in interviewing. Just somehow, for whatever reason, I always got pulled in. At my first job, I did 100% of our engineering, interviewing. I also did recruitment and went around to schools, like colleges in Texas and things and we did Job Fairs and things like that. At Mack fab, I helped out with a handful of interviews, depending on how engineering would fit with whoever we were interviewing for. And then at my current job, I, I pretty much in every interview, except for jobs, I just have zero interaction with like, shipping, I wouldn't be in a shipping persons interview. I just that doesn't, that doesn't apply to me. So I have a decent amount of experience across the board. From engineers all the way across. So Parker, have you sat in on many interviews and looked at resumes?
Host 2 06:03
Lots lot. Yeah, like, when Steven got hired at Mac fab, that was one, any engineer at Mac fab. For a long time, when we were we were like sub like 40 employees, I pretty much interviewed like every other person.
Host 1 06:23
So you and I both did marketing? Yes. Yeah. Mainly because we had to grill them about the podcast, podcast. Yeah, that was fun. So okay, so a resume, in general is intended to give somebody a snapshot of you. It's not meant to be your entire autobiography, it's not meant to tell them every little aspect about you. It's not meant to be your entire life story. It's just a snapshot of you. And one of the things that I want to drive home that I think is super important, and we'll probably talk about this a handful of times down done away, is being clear and concise 99% of the times is better than than putting too much information. That thing to remember. And I've driven this home with so many different topics, especially actually see memes and stuff. How many times on the podcast do I say like, pay attention to who's going to get what you're making, or put yourself in their shoes. I remember, multiple times, I wasn't even aware that I was going to be in an interview. And like 20 minutes before a string of interviews, I get the resumes on my desk, and I get like four or five, and they're like, Oh, your next two hours, you're you're going back you're interviewing now, I had never seen their resumes, I'd never done anything, I had to learn about these people in 20 minutes. And I just had to scan the resume, I didn't have enough time to go with a pencil. So you know, I really appreciated when I got resumes that were very clear and easy to read and easy to see, when I got those resumes that were just a brick of text all the way down. It's not that I didn't want to, I just didn't have the time to read all of that. So guess what I didn't, I didn't read all of the stuff that that person wrote. And the thing is, I'm sure that they really poured a lot of their passion into writing all of that. And I feel bad because I would like to read it. But just remember, the person on the other end who's getting your resume probably isn't going to read most of it. So you got to put the information in the right spot that makes it easier for them to read. And, and also in kind of going leaping forward a little bit for the interview side of things. In that same vein, if you're trying to put yourself in their shoes. In the interview, they're trying to think of questions to ask you, they don't always have those interviews directly in front of them. So if you make your resume easy to read, they can scan your resume, look at it real quick and come up with questions on the spot almost. If it's just a giant paragraph of every little thing you've ever done at your job, like that's not going to spark any questions or worse, it'll spark some really awkward dead silence in the middle of an interview. That's usually not good. Both sides of the table don't like that.
Host 2 09:10
When the interviewer egos are as they're trying to scan your resume.
Host 1 09:15
Again, not a good sign. Yeah, usually usually isn't good. So err on the side of caution when it comes to adding stuff to your resume. And I just mean more words, more words does not equal better. In fact, fewer typically equals better. So now, you were talking about this earlier, Parker the whole like the the old school method of what we were taught about resumes doesn't necessarily apply. I still think that this next rule applies pretty, pretty hard. The idea of keeping your resume to one page.
Host 2 09:51
Oh, this 100% Like that
Host 1 09:54
Is one page. Just keep it to one page.
Host 2 09:58
If someone if I Get a resume. That's more than one page. I do not go to the next page. I just see what's on the front page. Yeah. Now there's there's a stipulation, because sometimes you get a cover letter. And we'll get to that later. Because that's actually you did not put that down. That's something I want to talk about, because I love cover letters. Cool. Which that's the only exception to a two page resume. My or one page resume is to have a cover letter, which makes it two pages.
Host 1 10:26
Well, technically, I would say that that's different because a cover letter nowadays, I think it's acceptable for the cover letter to be an email, if you have someone's direct call. Yeah, that's, that's true. So I wouldn't call a cover letter a page, even though it is in a way,
Host 2 10:38
I can see that being the email if you're actually applying that way.
Host 1 10:42
So here's, here's my general rule of thumb is one page. I don't care who you are one page, but I think I think we can be relaxed. So if you have one to 10 years of experience, you should not have over one page. I'm sorry, you just probably don't have enough to say that should be over one page. If you have 10 to 20 years experience, maybe you need a second page, maybe. And then if you're 20 years plus, or like an expert in the field. At that point. It's kind of moot. Because when you're at that point, a lot of times people already know you. And you're just calling networks or contacts and things like that.
Host 2 11:23
Yeah. So my thing about that is, you put these like, your cut offs. For me, I don't really care too much what you did five or six years ago, you want the most recent stuff, I want the most recent cuz that's, that's what you're what you are currently doing. Yeah. Which is more important. Now, that can change, of course, but for me that that that your cut off, were like, Oh, if you're over 10 years experience you can have, you can possibly have two pages like now I still don't what you did as as what you did 10 years ago to me, doesn't really apply anymore, maybe. And most of them it doesn't.
Host 1 12:04
And like I said they like if you even have to consider it do one page just no matter what, once again, it goes back to what I said, if you have more than one page, I'm probably not reading both of them. You know, I'm not reading most of those. And like I said, it's not because I don't want to, it's supposed to be a snapshot of you. It's not supposed to be everything about your entire life. In fact, I talked to my father, who worked as a geophysicist for 30 something years. And I said, Hey, if you were going back to get a job, how long would your resume be, and he said, it wouldn't be longer than one page. Even with with 30 something years of experience working in multiple countries doing all this stuff, he would keep it to one page. And and once again, the resume is there to get you that conversation. And you can talk about your entire life story in that conversation. One page is best. So I have a thing that I like to call the HR pit of doom. It's a good term for it. It's the most depressing business structure ever, especially for us engineers, mainly because, well, let me put it this way. If you go and submit your resume at x Corp, and they have some kind of online portal where you have to upload your resume and then you have to give all this information. And at the end of the day, you've spent two or three hours sculpting a resume for these people and go jumping through all their hoops. And at the end, you press Submit and it's like Thank you. You just submitted you just threw your your resume paper airplane into the HR pit of doom, it goes into a pile who just with a bazillion other resumes. And it's going to be passed through a filter. That is the HR department. Now there is like 150% chance that that that the HR department doesn't have engineers in it doesn't know engineers and doesn't understand engineers. So your first, the first people who are going to look at your resume are highly likely to not understand any of the technical stuff you put on your resume. And if that's something you're super proud of, and you sculpt your resume to be perfect in that sense, it may just go right over their head. And what that that that passionate resume that you just created, just got thrown in the no pile because they just didn't like it or whatever reason.
Host 2 14:38
So So in my experience, what HR does if HR is the filter for resumes at this company, they have a job description that has a list of requirements, which is like I must have this much experience much have these you know if it's like a it's a technical like software or like must know, these kinds of lying software languages, they just get a list of things. And if you don't hit those, you don't go past that gate. BINGO, BINGO. And that's all they're doing. That's all HR is doing is, is, is filtering based off SEO, or Ctrl F en, your, your, your resume for the terms that they want.
Host 1 15:24
They have no idea what the word, EDA tool or CAD software means. They were just, they're looking for SolidWorks or, or AutoCAD. And if you have that, and you type that in, you put that on your resume, then they do a search and they see that those line up, you just got thumbs up, you know. And that's just the thing, the, like I said, HR. Okay, I'll give you an example of something that happened that I was really not a huge fan of this. But it's exactly the HR pit of doom. When I was doing college recruitment at colleges around Texas. I it was me, and the HR department they called me in because they actually wanted to kind of stop the HR pit of doom. So they got me as an engineer to come in and, and talk shop with with students and things. Well, we would, at the end of the day, we would gather up all the resumes and we had a like a system of like how we marked people we liked and people we were okay with those kinds of things. And at the at the end of the day, we would compare all of our notes and and see who liked who and what what resonated with people. And there were there were some students that like, they came up to me, we chatted, they were really nice, and they were awesome. And I was just like, these are not the right fit for the job, these people just don't care whatsoever. And there were so many times that the HR department be like, I really liked this person, this person was super awesome. And they were great. Like, they had no pertinent knowledge, they were not very well suited for the job, I could tell that they this is not what they wanted to do. But HR liked them. And, and HR would pass me as a filter on that. And that was really helpful. But it also was really eye opening for me that HR and engineers are not going to see things through the same light. So your first line of defense is trying to be likable by a non engineer person. So what that means is you have to sculpt your resume to work for them,
Host 2 17:25
Yet well yet the scope your resume for that particular job application. Correct. And so you go look at the job application go, Okay, it's saying these things. I put those things on my resume, I make Oh, I make sure those things are on my resume. So you get past the HR pit of doom. Well now. Right, good.
Host 1 17:48
Well, so here's the thing, this is where I think for a second time, the old school way of resumes come back to bite us. The old school way of having like a well designed like perfectly created resume with proper grammar, proper spelling, good design, good layout, a thought on how it gets read. Those are the things that are that are going to resonate more with HR, as opposed to the things that are like the hard technical stuff where perhaps an engineering manager who's interviewing you, he could gloss over the fact that you misspelled a word. Because the rest of it is like phenomenally amazing that you can design this rocket, you are awesome. Who cares if you misspell a word? Well, HR doesn't know anything about rocket design, but they know stuff about spelling. So you gotta you gotta play both sides here.
Host 2 18:40
So you say that though? I would if someone misspelled something obvious, obvious on the resume, I would probably dock them for that, because that's the attention to detail.
Host 1 18:52
Well, and that that is something actually we'll we'll talk about this in a little bit. If your resume is well done, that shows that you can do documentation that shows that you can
Host 2 19:06
That's a good point. I've actually never thought about that.
Host 3 19:08
Yeah, like if you if you show up and you can't you haven't written a sentence and everything's formatted crappy and everything looks like garbage. But you can write a whole bunch of code. Who cares? Like I mean,
Host 2 19:21
So if you're going for a software job, format it in the language you liked the best?
Host 1 19:26
Yeah, is it two spaces or a tab or whatever for all your indentations?
Host 2 19:31
Oh, man, your your your insight, a holy war in your interview process? Yeah,
Host 1 19:37
Yeah, for sure. But But no, that's that's a big thing. Okay, so we, I have done resumes with an individual in the past who I love this guy to death. He's so much fun to do interviews with. He is an older gentleman, but he was like kept in business in the 80s Like, shoulder pads so sharp, you could probably cut yourself on him. Captain businesslike lawyer like awesome, dude. But like, he's the kind of guy that, you know, if he calls you and leaves a message and you don't call back in within a reasonable amount of time, let's say like six to eight hours, then he'll dock you for that. Or, like, if you have anything wrong on your documentation, he will make sure it's known. And he'll tell you about it in the interview, and things like that. He's kind of an asshole about that. But it's also kind of fun to be around it because those people still exist. And those people will, those people are potentially looking at your resume. So here's the here's the easiest thing to do. Write up your resume, hand it to somebody else and have them go through it with a fine tooth comb, and find all of your issues, and potentially hand it to multiple people. And give them each different tasks, say like, please, you go and check the spelling of every word on this case, give it to another person, please check the indentation on on every little bit of that, you know, get as many as much help as you can, and make your resume look perfect.
Host 2 21:06
So the trick with that, though, is one thing we haven't covered yet is, especially if you're applying for an engineering job is make sure it's written. Like you were in your technical writing class. That's the biggest key takeaway from there, too, is actually we're about to get there is like avoiding excessive verbiage, excessive adjectives, that guys have been clear what the down is of your sentences, that kind of stuff? Absolutely. Because that furthers the documentation side of things, is if you're, let's say you wrote a cover letter, if your cover letter is not clear in its intent, and, and each sentence makes sense, then, well, are you actually going to be good at writing documentation?
Host 1 21:56
You know, I'm gonna throw a little monkey wrench in there as well. I think it is important for you to write as much as possible, like it, don't get me wrong, it's plenty. It's plenty great to have someone else help you, right? My wife is an editor. And so whenever I have to do stuff like this, you bet your ass she's looking at everything that I write. But I tried my best to write as much as possible, because I want it to come from my tone. If let's say you write your entire resume, but someone else helps you write and I mean by how to write they write most of your cover letter, most of the time you can someone can sniff that out and see like the the tone shifts, these are so different that it's clear that you didn't write this or you did write this or try to be consistent on on all of that. Now, here's sort of the next thing that I think engineers can be kind of bad at. And this is one of the most difficult things. It's how to properly humble brag. Basically, how do you say you're the best at what you are? without coming off as engineering Jesus? Like it? It's difficult. But there's there's a few simple things you can do about that. So you are not engineering Jesus, you have not solved world peace with your engineering. Just keep that in mind yet, yet, right? Here's something that is really helpful. Use tangible words that describe the things you have done in your career. This is a lot more difficult. When you're talking about younger engineers that have done a lot less, they tend to use more of the engineering Jesus words, as opposed to the tangible ones. But as your career grows, you'll get more experience and hard things. So what I mean by a tangible wording is I did X task, and productivity increased y percent. If you have those numbers. That's a really great statement. And it's very simple. You did a thing. And here's a result. It's really straightforward. And it doesn't make you look like engineering Jesus, because you didn't say like, because I was there, the team was really great. That makes it seem like you're just bragging on yourself, you didn't actually do anything you're just your mere presence was enough to make the team Great. That's not something to put on your resume. Try to put as much concrete I did something. And here's the results. I designed a product and we sold 10,000 of them. That's there you go that's great. So So as much tangible stuff is a great way to brag about your stuff about about what you have done because there is a result just doing something without the result is kind of a brag in a way that doesn't come off really well.
Host 1 24:50
Alright, agree with that? Yeah.
Host 1 24:53
Okay, so, like Parker was saying, the your your adjectives and your verbs matter a lot. When it comes to how you write, and how to avoid being a bragger,
Host 2 25:04
Don't use the word a lot on your resume. Yeah, just
Host 1 25:07
Don't. Yeah. Actually, that's a good one I should have put on this list. So don't obfuscate your work with unclear words. Unclear words.
Host 2 25:20
This goes to the technical writing. Yeah. Well, okay. So
Host 1 25:23
If you're unclear that's going to require they ask you a question about it. You would rather have a discussion about things as opposed to them asking you to just clarify what should have already been clear on your resume. So avoid things like I collaborated with a team. Okay, great. That doesn't tell me anything. Tell me exactly what you did on that team. responsibilities included? I've seen that before. No, just tell me the exact things you did. There's also some other buzzwords that are, that don't really pin anything like think outside the box. Okay, cool. I mean, that's fine, whatever. But but the here's the thing. If you say like, I'm a great person that thinks outside the box, you could write that or you could tell me all the products you've designed. And I can set were how you thought outside the box. Yeah, see how there's, there's unclear and then like, wow, this is very clear directly to the point. One is a brag. and one's a humble brag, right? I'm a go to person, or I bring up my value add kind of person. No, all of these are just nebulous. They don't really mean anything, right? Or, this used to be big. And I used to see all the time put this on your resume, but the team player. So yeah, Team Player is kind of just what the hell does that even mean? It doesn't really mean much at all. So there's one to
Host 2 26:57
Add. That's kind of a new term. Who was it? I'm a TEDx engineer. Oh, God, who says that? Oh, that's the new thing. That's like value add or go to person.
Host 1 27:09
10x. I'm an order of magnitude above my competition. Exactly. No,
Host 2 27:14
God exactly what it means. That's awful. That is, the best thing is you'll find job postings that have that that we want a 10x engineer. Oh, there we go. I got a one shot round up.
Host 1 27:26
I like that Bob. Engineer. Oh, god. Yeah, that is that is terrible. Well, okay. This is a great example. Don't do that. And if a company puts out on their job description don't apply. They're like, No, that's a great example of engineering. Jesus, you
Host 2 27:44
Oh, yeah. So the examples are, it's the new Rockstar term.
Host 1 27:50
Okay, cool. Yeah, yeah, no, you're not, you're not here to solve everyone's problem. I mean, you're an engineer, you're here to solve some problems, but just your mere presence is not going to solve everyone's problem. It's worth keeping. Keeping in mind, right? Yep. So okay, don't pad your resume. Don't sit there and just say like, ah, the sentence is too short, I need to just add a whole bunch of garbage to it. Remember, going back, there's, there's probably a good chance that I'm not going to read it, even if you add more. So it just looks like more text. I have this this, this interesting feeling. Whenever I get a resume, that's just like I said earlier, a brick wall of text, or I'm like, I'm not going to read it. Like it's just, it's hard. It's really difficult. So shorter and clearer. Sentences are much better than full essays about things. Once again, loop all the way back to the very first thing, the main goal is to start a conversation, leave the details of every little nitty gritty thing for the conversation. Have the bullet points to make you get that conversation. Yeah, remember the HR pit is and the person reading your resume? No,
Host 2 29:11
This is one thing I didn't get to mention. When you because you kind of we kind of went from a tar pit of doom right into technical writing basically. Yeah. Is depends on the company, though, because we're fortunate here at Mac fab, where we don't have the HRP to do. Yeah, same thing at your company to right now Steven, like, when a when when I'm hiring people, for engineers, I get to look, I get to be the first person to get resumes. So yeah, but yes, I do remember the HR pit of doom even with that because you don't know.
Host 1 29:43
You will. Okay, so here's the thing, if you design for the HR pit of doom, and it doesn't exist, whatever, it looks good, everything is good. And you got it. You got practice for another place. So, here's one that I think gets overlooked. A bit is controlled the whitespace on your resume. So all the place that doesn't have text, if you need help go find an artist. They're great at this kind of stuff. Like the way your eye gets trained as it goes down the page like things like do you left justified? Do you center justify paragraphs and things like that can help the human eye as it goes to read things? Yes, bald engineer. Absolutely. And whitespace is a good thing. It brings clarity, it makes it easier for that gives your eyes the ability to breathe, as you look at a page, as opposed to just being white with a giant black senator, right? Myself personally, I don't mind when people put color on their resumes. I've done it on one or two. In fact, I think the resume I gave to macro fab had a little bit of color on it just for some fun.
Host 1 30:54
But I think or leave it.
Host 1 30:56
It's one it's one thing or another. But I would, I would
Host 2 31:01
Err on leaving it out. In my opinion.
Host 1 31:07
Okay, we'll talk about this in a second. But research, research research, find out who you're like, what kind of company are you interviewing for? Like, when I interviewed for WMD. I knew this place was incredibly relaxed. I knew this place was like a bunch of guys who care more about vibe than they do. You know, like that was your resume just a bunch of memes. It could be I mean, like, don't get me wrong, like I needed to be professional. And I gave them a nice looking resume. But it like I could have used a splash of color. And it wouldn't have been a knock at all on this. But if I was going to, you know, I don't know, say I was interviewing for a job. Let's say at a law firm looking at patent applications and things like that. I wouldn't use color of the same, like whatsoever. Yeah, it would be like the cleanest, best looking resume known demand, because those are the kinds of people that will slaughter you if your resume is bad, right? So you just have to know where you're, who you're talking to? And
Host 1 32:08
What's your audience?
Host 1 32:09
Yeah, know your audience. Get to the point. With everything you do, like, here's my job that I most recently worked at, here's the points about it. Don't need to know much more about that. Be proud of what you have done and highlight that. So, you know, if you're proud about a thing that a project you did at a job, put that at the very top of your Oh, I
Host 2 32:37
Would say no, I'm just proud. Be proud and confidence about what you have done. Yeah. And even if it was like, I think I saw something earlier and chat, but it was like, even if you did something, and it wasn't a perfect outcome. So put that in there.
Host 1 32:55
Yeah, sure. Yeah. I mean, if that spawns a conversation about how you had to deal with something difficult.
Host 2 33:02
That's great, because I was hoping someone would replace connector and blew up $600 of equipment or something like that. I'm like, put that in there. Because I would definitely want to talk to you about what how that happened. And then how you wouldn't do that again.
Host 1 33:15
Right, right. Or yeah, it's not even like what you learned from that, but more about, like, the process of everything going on, like how did it all? Yeah, you know, Pat, go to pass. Okay, so just one, one quick little side segment. Everything we just wrote kind of applies to engineers that have already been somewhat established. Let's talk real quick about graduates.
Host 2 33:39
One more thing is we're at that do not pad resume section. Yeah, do not put that you have experience in Microsoft Excel and Word. Yeah, that's padding and Ms. Paint? Everyone does. And I've, I've see so many resumes that just list every single tool on the computer that ever used. And I'm like, Yeah, I don't care. If you if you if you've mastered SolidWorks you probably know how Microsoft Word and Excel works. And how outlook works. how email works. Like come on, right?
Host 1 34:12
Host 2 34:15
Blue moves, has a good good point here proficient in is a curse.
Host 1 34:18
Yeah. Yeah. Because Because really, what does that? What does that mean? That's what that's one of those nebulous terms where, when you say proficient in what I interpret that is like, you're going to be really good at this, like, not expert level, but you're going to be really good at this. So I'm going to need to really, really on that,
Host 2 34:36
Yeah, that or you actually are certified in or took classes and whatever piece of software or tool that is,
Host 1 34:46
Yeah. If you've just used the thing once or twice, you're not proficient in it, you know? Okay, so yeah, let's talk about graduate resumes real quick, because they're slightly different than that. You know, if you've been in industry for a while. So here's the thing about graduate resumes, they're they're a lot more difficult if you ask me, because you're not, you're usually not very unique as a graduate, especially in engineering. Once again, we're talking very specifically Engineering at Texas a&m, my class schedule. Okay? I've told this before, I bet, but I didn't see my student advisor until my second semester senior year. Because I knew what classes I had to take, I knew my entire path, I didn't have to go talk to an advisor, I had a piece of paper that said, Do this, this, this, this, and you'll graduate. And guess what, I did this, this, this, this, and I graduated, like, it's not it's not difficult. And so the thing about it is, everyone else who was in my, my year did those exact same classes. So we're all basically the same. The thing about it is, if you're a graduate, or if you're in college, and you're doing engineering, you got to figure out a way to make you unique, and your classwork does not make you unique, it makes it unique in terms of urine engineer to people who are not an engineer, but separating you from your classmates is very difficult.
Host 2 36:18
And in thinking about that it's also not your grade. Correct. So for some this might be different for other companies, whatever for me, all if I'm actually need an engineer that's got a degree, all I care about is they have that degree, I don't care what GPA is attached to that. All that matters is those degree. Now, there's a lot of positions that don't need a degree. That's a different discussion, like, different discussion altogether. But if it's a position that you need a, a Bachelors of Science in Electrical Engineering, that's all I care about. So I wouldn't even err on not even putting if your GPA is just average, or like me, that was horrible. I wouldn't even put it on there.
Host 1 37:08
Yeah, yeah. I mean, they might ask you for it. But they might ask you for that just to kind of fish for questions. If you if you have enough interesting information on your resume, they probably won't ask that, because you'll be talking about other things.
Host 2 37:24
So when asked me that I had, like a three. So
Host 1 37:29
I see I see a lot of the Twitch chat saying some of the next things that are coming up here. I know it's difficult because engineers, especially actual electrical engineers have zero time on their hand, free time. But personal projects, doing things outside of school that somehow relate back to your degree are infinitely better. Your your,
Host 2 37:55
But not just that, it could be in my opinion, any, anything that's like, let you do during school, you should put it down on there. Like any clubs, you're like, in that kind of stuff, you should put that on, because that's what you own. That's all you have. As long as those run over a page, right?
Host 1 38:16
That'd be even worse.
Host 2 38:18
That kind of stuff gives you more that I'm gonna use a buzzword life experiences that you can put on your resume and use Shall I would say avoid high school stuff. 100% did not even put any high school stuff on because doesn't matter. That's even more like you're talking about like, engineers, like you separating yourself other engineers, or every high school, especially here in like Texas, or our United States, actually, where we have standardized tests. Have you completed high school? You completed those tests? So everyone's the same? Yeah. So what makes you different that you did clubs and that kind of stuff. Same thing in college, what separates you from other engineers? The other stuff you did while in college, well,
Host 1 39:05
Don't projects, that kind of stuff. And the point I was getting at is I completely agree any put anything that is extracurricular out there. But But I guess the argument that I was thinking is like, let's say you're an electrical engineer, and you design circuits on the side, and you design PCBs, and you've been doing that for a while or Parker, you did Atari stuff and things like that.
Host 2 39:27
That's the best thing is I did that and change my major so I can do that stuff better.
Host 1 39:32
You know, I did the same thing. I was an aerospace engineer when I when I entered college, and I dumped that as fast as I possibly could because I was like, I want to do electrical stuff. And and that's just the thing, like, I You better believe that my resume had all my extra projects that I did outside of college on it. And that gave people the ability to just have chats about stuff. And those are big. Here's here's a big no no. Too big no no's that I ran into There was one particular student who came up to me I was I was doing a job fair at Texas a&m. This was probably two or three years after I graduated. So not very long after I graduated, this student handed me his resume. And his resume was an like a huge block of all the classes he he had taken or is currently taking. And then underneath, he wrote one project underneath there. And I was excited because it's, oh, this is a project. Well, I realized that project was a homework assignment from one of the classes that I had taken. And I had had the exact same homework assigned, no. And I was like, Dude, this is not good. Here's the thing, like, I knew that like, I did that exact same project, because it was required of me, there was nothing special about that every other electrical engineer in that room had to do that exact same project. And then I asked him about it, and he couldn't speak intelligently about it. If you're gonna put something down on your resume, you got to be prepared to talk about it. And he was like, Uh, I don't remember exactly. And I'm like, Dude, you put this on your resume. And I was asking him some basic stuff about it. And so I think he had the right mindset, but just didn't prepare well, he was padding his resume really hard by putting big font of all the classes he put on there, and then put a project and couldn't talk.
Host 2 41:19
So that's actually a thing is we're saying one page, it can be shorter than a page. Oh, for sure. You do not need to pad your resume to fill up a page. I think that's a good clarification, put in 100%. But only put, I would say, I can actually go either way on this, because I didn't have internships that dealt with electrical engineering. I was my previous degree, which was I was a petroleum engineer for a little bit. And I had had internships with that. But once I switched over the ECG, I just dropped those off my resume, because they did not they don't apply anymore. They don't apply. I guess you had other stuff to put on there that like my side projects. But for me, the side projects are related to electric engineering, and are more important to me getting an electrical engineering job versus that I was sweeping floors and painting stuff for a compressor shop. Right.
Host 1 42:15
Yeah, I mean, if anything, it just shows that you can show up to a job and work right.
Host 2 42:19
Yeah, yeah, I'm saying if you don't have side projects, then definitely internships, even if they're not even related. To your degree is okay. For sure. For sure. You got to show you're reliable. That's at least what like that's, that's thing goes. I'm contradicting myself, is you getting a piece of a degree shows you're at least reliable enough for four years?
Host 1 42:44
I mean, that's honestly, that's, that's a college degree. Now we're getting on a tangent, a college degree shows that you can put up with a bunch of BS. I mean, that's kind of what it is like, you're gonna learn most of your stuff when you get in your job, right?
Host 1 42:57
Yes, yeah, I agree there. Okay. So
Host 3 42:59
One quick thing on objective statements up at the top, this is just a personal thing. I can take them or leave them gives Oh, I get it, you want a job, and you want to learn? That's what 99% of objective statements say, I don't care, I usually don't read them. Like I would
Host 2 43:14
Say, objective statements are very similar to cover letters. Either that there to your objective statements either too short, and it says what you just said there. That when you read between the lines, that's what that says. And if it's too vague, it gets any longer it becomes a cover letter, just leave the objective statement out and just write a cover letter. I would say cover letters are very important when if you're applying for a job that you don't have direct experience with. And it's not an introductory level. That will be like why are you switching changing your gears and familiar career path? That's super important.
Host 1 44:01
If I guess if you need justification.
Host 2 44:03
Yeah. And I would say if for me, at least, if I'm if someone applies to a job, and I'm like, you don't have any experience in this and we require five years of experience, but you worked in this industry, but not in this particular area. But if your cover letter says this is why you want to do that, then I'll actually consider it because most time people are just you know, mass spamming, you know, job portals.
Host 1 44:29
Shotgunning out resumes.
Host 1 44:30
Oh, yeah. Yeah, for sure.
Host 1 44:32
We got a we got a question in the Twitch chat from Blue moose. That says other ways to have that conversation besides sending in an online resume. Okay, I'm gonna give I'm gonna give you two personal examples, both of which got me a job. Example one, I called Parker Dillman. Yeah, I actually drove over to macro fab. I knocked on the door and no one answered. And so I drove home and Then I found parking Tillman's phone number and I gave him a call. And I said, Can I come in, and we talked, and at the end of it, I had an interview. That works. The other one was my current job. They didn't have any postings online for anything. No job descriptions or anything like that, I wrote them an email, I found an email for their info thing. And I just said, I love what you do, I can do this too. I'd love to work for you. And here's my resume, hit me up if you're interested. And that got me an interview. So if you want to try to find a way around the HR pit of doom, it ends up being a conversation with a real human being, you got to find a way to make that happen.
Host 2 45:41
Now, my first real job I got through the I got I worked for the electrical engineering department at UT University, Texas. And I got that job by walking into the adviser office and just asked if they had like job openings. And they said no, but you can leave resume. And then the next day, a professor called me and said, Hey, you want to like just sort mail and like load printers and stuff? And I'm like, yes. So that's how I got job. So yeah, just cold calling man.
Host 1 46:21
Works. It sucks. It's not fun. It
Host 2 46:24
Does suck. It's really not fun. Because you were like me, I'm like, at that time, like, a super introverted and didn't really like like, I was scared to like, talk to people on phones. I don't know.
Host 1 46:35
Yeah, it's not it's really not fun. But you know, that that gets you that gets you in the door way faster than you think. Yeah,
Host 2 46:46
It does. You could I guess you could with all social media and stuff. You could probably like side channel attack of looking at chat really easily nowadays. Find out where like, the higher up engineers are hanging out, like what bar they're at. That's stalking by someone a beer there.
Host 1 47:06
Okay. I do have, I do have a, I had that happen effectively, I wanted to work at a particular company. This was not long after I graduated. And I I found on Facebook, I don't remember how I just found on Facebook, somebody who's like, I'm an engineer that works at this company. And I just sent the guy a personal message. And I was like, and it was once again like, Hey, I'm sorry. Like, I didn't say I'm sorry. But I know this is this is odd. But I'm really interested. Here's my qualifications. If you wouldn't mind, I would appreciate if you pass off your my resume. I had an interview with that company. I didn't I didn't get the job. Because I was like two years out of college and they just really didn't need that at the time. But that worked. You know, so yeah, any any way you can get around the pit of doom? It works, you know? Yeah. It's really hard for graduates. Yeah. Yeah,
Host 2 48:03
Very hard. Good suggestion here is don't don't shit oval over your current or past employers in your resume at all.
Host 1 48:15
Okay, let's, let's take this as a as a chance to talk about a life. You know, just don't do that ever. Like, there's no need to like, what's the point to ever do that? Like, okay, if you're, if you're at the bar, having a beer with your buddy, and you want to talk some crap about business, I guess that's a situation where like, you might just be like, reminiscing about bad times in the past, whatever. But like, yeah, just professionally, don't ever do that.
Host 2 48:43
Yeah, there's no there's nothing to be gained. Right? Right. Yeah, actually, there's
Host 1 48:47
Only stuff to lose. Yeah. Okay. I mean, that was that was pretty lengthy about resumes. You want to move on to do an interview?
Host 2 48:56
Interviews? Yeah. So earlier, I was talking about how I use basic resumes to figure out if someone's qualified. So in interviews, this is just my opinion. And I know there's I actually, when I'm interviewing people, I have other people interview them as well, just from the fact that I don't think I'm a very good interviewer. Like interviewing people. There your resume says if you're qualified or not, I might ask like some things about it. There's something interesting. Like projects that kind of mostly in an interview, I'm trying to figure out who you are, and if you know stuff about the company or not. Oh, like if you did your research, yeah. Did your research because then it gets to that. We're talking about objective statements. Were looking for a job I want money. Like, yeah, that's, that. That's what that boils down to. Right. It's, you need money, you're gonna get a job, right. So what Is there anything more to that than, than this job exchange interview resume stuff? Is there anything else and that's what the interview is for.
Host 1 50:09
As I get older, this first statement matters more and more to me. Whereas when I was younger, it didn't. The, you're interviewing for a place where you're likely to spend a third of your life. Like, don't take that lightly, you know. And so like, interview, like, research the place, look at what they're doing, like these people who you're talking you are talking to, are going to be relying on you, or you're going to be relying on them. If you get the job to get things done. These are the people who are going to be in the trenches with you, either heaping stress on you or taking stress off of you, like, feel that out, is that something you want to do with them? You know, when you're a first graduate, you're you're hungry to do anything. So whatever, who cares? Just give me the job as you can. Like, remember, you are interviewing them? And and I think that goes exactly with what you were saying there. Parker. If you show up and you don't know anything about this job, then it's then it. Yeah, it does boil down to like, I'm just here to make a book.
Host 2 51:14
Yeah. And for most of my positions, like, I don't want to work with someone that's like that. I wonder, this is my opinion. I wanna work for somebody who's passionate about job, passionate about the company, that kind of stuff. And also, like, can I give this person a project, and I know that that person will succeed?
Host 1 51:36
So here's a question for you, Parker. If If an engineer shows up for an interview, and he's wearing jeans and a T shirt to get hired right away? How do you feel? Do you feel does
Host 1 51:51
I wear jeans and T shirts?
Host 1 51:54
How do you feel about the way they dress at an interview?
Host 2 51:57
Um, so microfiber is different. And so WMDs different. Now, I have worked for an oil and gas company that business casual is what you wear every day. Minus the days you're going to field most of these were in the field. A lot of times, I would bring two sets of clothes to work. One I'm wearing, which is business casual, and they're like, Oh, you're going into the field. Okay, I'm going to go into the bathroom and change into jeans and T shirt. But yes, dress appropriately. Number one, because you, you could also like, this would be very, you could actually call and say like, Hey, what's your your? What's your business? What's your, what's your tires, business attire? I was trying to think if that was the right term, and it probably is
Host 1 52:46
Actually I bet you Okay, so if you did that. So you reach HR, I would not be surprised if HR went goes to the engineering manager and just say, hey, this person called and asked about that. That kind of stuff happens all the time. If you do get taken out of HR pit of doom, maybe? Maybe? Absolutely. So yeah, the thing about it is wearing a suit. You know, putting on your absolute best that you got, you should have that if as an engineer, because you might need it. So it's always better to overdress than it is to under dress, but it's also, in my opinion, I think it's good to get a feel for it. If you can dress dressier than the people at the place you're going to so you you give off a good look. But you're not just like blowing it out the water, like think tanks? I think that's better. Yeah, like, okay, you know, my company is not an engineering firm. But if I would have shown up with a tux, then they would have been like, Get out of here, man. And just because like it would have been really awkward. And that's not good. I had seen this place I'd seen like the people who work there. So I showed up in jeans and a flannel shirt, and it looked nice. But that was my interview. And I knew that that was right for that situation. I didn't wear a suit for my mag fed and interview. And, and I and that was fine. That worked out. I sure as hell wore one from my first interview, which was an engineering firm and it was with the vice president and the president of the company and it worked out. So you just have to kind of figure out and feel Yeah, my my first job I wore business casual. Yeah. And actually the interview I had with Chris church at the previous company dining reception. I was wearing a slacks and a nice button down shirt, where you would call a Sunday dress I guess.
Host 2 54:41
Nothing too fancy. Fancy fancy. Do the wide normally word wear,
Host 1 54:45
You know, actually Okay, so this last year kind of screwed things up. So what's your thoughts about what to wear if you're doing a virtual interview, like during COVID time, like wearing a suit for a virtual interview would have been like oh That's weird. So we interviewed.
Host 2 55:01
I don't know if he's our most recent engineer. And he wore a suit during the interview and I thought it was really funny. So
Host 1 55:16
Grab lab. Yeah. No pants. Yeah, no, no pads? Well, I guess I guess, yeah. Business,
Host 2 55:23
I would say same thing applies. Dress appropriately, it's still a formal conversation that you're having with with the company. So I bought engineer has a very good point here. It's, it is cliche, but it's easier to dress down once you're there. If everyone has jeans on, take your tie off. I would say bare minimum is probably good pair of pants. So that can be slacks or a ton of really like new pair of jeans, don't wear jeans that are ripped. Even if they're in fashion. Wear a button shirt long sleeve. That looks good with a tie. And you could wear a tie. And everyone is in jeans and T shirts, you can just take your tie off. And it'll help you de stress, relax, that kind of stuff. But then, because that's that's would be formal enough for most because you're still business casual, bracketed, but you can easily dress up and you're dressed up enough. If you're okay, you can have a sport jacket. That'd be fine.
Host 1 56:30
Yeah, honestly, yeah, I think buttoned down shirt tucked in with a belt, and, and sports coat that can be done with jeans, or it can be done with slacks. Depending on like what level of business you need to go on to. And that just looks that looks classy in general. So I think that's, that's a really, that's a fairly easy one to pull off. And then you can you can do a tie if you want. You know, unless the company is like, unless you're designing like gag toys or something like that. Probably don't wear a bow tie or anything goofy. Like don't be goofy. In an interview, like goofy doesn't get you really far. You know, like I said, unless you like magic trick. stuff you're designing. I don't know whether
Host 2 57:14
You're applying to be a magician. Yeah.
Host 1 57:19
Cool. So I didn't think we'd spend that much time on on dressing. But yeah, it is it is important. So here's the next thing. Come prepared. Now that goes along with researching the company and just knowing general ideas about what you're interviewing for. But when I say come prepared, I mean, nobody's going to stop you bringing a briefcase or a bag or something like that with with things. Bring a notepad and something to write on. Bring multiple copies of your resume. You never know when like, the president of the company is going to swing by and pop his head in and be like, Hey, what's up, you can turn around and hand him your resume, like it looks great. Do that it's good. If you do bring your resume, for the love of God, don't just print them on regular printer paper and just put them in a bag. Like I personally don't think they need to be on like the ultra expensive resume paper. Just print them on heavier paper and then put them in a folder. But so they stay nice. You know,
Host 2 58:23
I I've been putting them on my printing press in Boston and goldleaf this whole time, and that's not necessary.
Host 1 58:31
Yeah, yeah. And monogrammed with your own machine that you designed. Actually, that would be pretty legit. If you did that. That would be that would be kind of awesome. Actually.
Host 2 58:42
I would agree there I would say, Yeah, copies yours. Make sure that this is the thing about that is make sure it's printed. Well, though, in terms of your printer, not that your printer is not running out of ink. Oh, yeah. Yeah, this might be worth something like if it's like, do it a couple of days before, don't do it. 30 minutes before you leave, because that's when your printer is going to definitely be out of ink. 100%. Like, think about when you're in school, and you're printing up your your your English paper, right, we have to turn it in, guess what your printer is always at 100%.
Host 1 59:15
So if you have a card for whatever reason, maybe you have a side gig or or whatever, maybe you just have a card, have that card, that card with a with a paperclip on that resume. So you hand it to them. And then they have like a takeaway. That's good. Like anything that that keeps you in anything that makes them remember you. Because most of the time when people are interviewing, they'll line up like four or five or more. And then at the end of it, you know, if you were number the first one of the day, then you know, at four o'clock in the afternoon, they're all sitting back and trying to remember all the people like if you have little things that help them remember you, those are those are big pluses.
Host 2 59:57
Now, there's some people talking about like A using a flexible PCB as your resume like an eight and a half by 11 sheet of flexible that goes into PCB business cards. And this is I made a PCB business card when I was first trying to get my first couple jobs. I don't it did not help. At least for me. I did not get my first job because my my PCB business card. I don't know. I would not suggest that to someone. Mainly for kitschy. Yeah, it well, you're trying to you brought up things that people will remember you by. And sure, it's different. But I think it gets to the point where I've actually seen a lot of interviewees give me that kind of stuff.
Host 1 1:00:51
Like it's if everyone does it, then you're not unique, right?
Host 2 1:00:53
Yeah. Think guarantees the job offer might be worth it. That's things it didn't work out for me, it might have worked out for someone else. I will. Okay,
Host 1 1:01:03
I'm not saying that you bombed the interview. But like, if those things exist, but you're not good in the interview, you're not going to get the job shows things. All they are there is to help them remember you at the end of the day when they have to go back through resumes and like pick candidates and things. So
Host 2 1:01:20
There's a better way to do that. Oh, and is to craft Vlad brought this up earlier. And I was like, because it'd be good point for here is, is a couple of days later, or maybe a couple of hours after your interview is to call or send an email and think and think the people who interviewed you and said, hey, it my favorites, like even if you don't get the job is even ask them like, hey, what could I have done better? Yeah. Is why was why was I not chosen. Because they could just have been simply you weren't qualified, nothing's like, Okay, I gotta get more experienced to get that kind of job, or something else.
Host 1 1:02:02
So I see a lot of the chat saying the same thing. And it's actually the next thing on our notes. So it seems like we're all in agreement here. But bring your work. If you've designed a widget or a gizmo, bring it along, if you can bring anything that you've done. Show Intel is fantastic in an interview, and it really helps move the conversation along. It's something that you can point to, it's something that you can discuss difficult things on, you can grab a part of it and say I had trouble with this, this is how I had to design to get around it. It's just makes interviews go really, really smooth. So if you can't bring your gizmo, maybe you don't have one or whatever, if you have pictures of it, I would say bring a portfolio of what that is, with more information on it. Once again, print that up nice, make it look nice. I think this kind of goes back to what I said earlier, like, if you have a portfolio and you make your documentation of your work looks nice, then it shows that you can do documentation, it shows that you can compile something and make it look good. That always goes over well. And you could always I mean, if you wanted to you can make a portfolio of all of your work, I would I think I would recommend perhaps breaking it down into smaller chunks.
Host 2 1:03:23
Or if or if you do have that volume of work tailoring it for the job you're going
Host 1 1:03:27
For exactly like if I knew I was going to work for XYZ company and I designed a product that's in that realm, then I would really focus on that. And maybe I would just bring that one thing and then we could talk about all the rest of it. But if you have show and tell that really helps out a lot.
Host 2 1:03:45
Now what's what's interesting is the there's some talk earlier in the chat about we are in a unique space here where a lot of us are we live and breathe our, our job, so to speak, like we Steven and I come home and we work on electronics in our in our caves. Right? And and then we go to work and we were fortunate that that's what we enjoy doing is also like, we get paid to do it too. But there are the nine to five engineers that just don't have projects because they don't work on stuff at home. But that's where you can that's what I was saying earlier about putting everything on your resume, like for graduates like clubs and stuff that not even relevant, but separate you out from the pack of what makes you different. Because if you're if you're a person that likes to golf, like I bet you one of your interviewees will like to golf two and make put that like in that's like your hobby or whatever that sparks that conversation separates you out from there. And now it's kind of a weird thing bring up here but we're talking about projects And not every engineer, like enjoys engineering as their as their hobby. They might really like it. It's just that's not what they like to do when they get home, they might like to do woodworking
Host 1 1:05:12
And nothing wrong with that, right? Yeah, although I feel like this is highly unfair.
Host 2 1:05:18
There you go Han Han Bolden Jr, is when when Baldan engineer was hiring people, non electronic projects were just as interesting as electronic projects. So that is 100% true. Anything that's like, I love it when people build stuff. More crate creation is is what what we should be looking for here, for especially if it's a creation or creative type of job, which PCB layout and electronic design is 100% of our creative outlet.
Host 1 1:05:51
In the interview, for my first job out of college, the very last thing I was asked in that entire interview was, when was the last time you took something apart. And two days earlier, I had actually broken down something, just to get an idea of the mechanical stackup and how everything fit together and how they designed the PCB to put it all together. And that just destroyed the question. And it wasn't like had nothing to do with with any of these other any of the things I was interviewing for. But but just showing that like something like that had happened. And then being able to talk about why I did it and how it did apply even though like the physical guts didn't. That's big. Those kinds of things are great. So Parker, you added some personality tests onto the end of
Host 2 1:06:41
This. Yeah. So that's, that's like it. They've always been in interviews and stuff like that. But will you ever get those weird questions of like, if you were an animal, what would you be? What is your greatest strength? Which I hate that question. So I typically don't ask these questions at all, but I know they're very popular interviews. I'd rather get those personalities from the other things you're talking about, like projects, life experiences, that kinds of how you tackled how you tackled a problem. gleans more into your personality than answering one of these questions for me at least. But some people really liked them. So how do you prep for those kinds of questions? Because I'm one I'm awful at using those questions and two, I, I'm terrible at answering them as well.
Host 1 1:07:34
Well, okay, here's, here's the thing for me whenever I, whenever I see somebody,
Host 2 1:07:39
My greatest strength is making my weakness look strong.
Host 1 1:07:43
Make it sound like an anime. Okay, I prefer honesty when it comes to those kinds of things. So when whenever you ask somebody, what is your greatest weakness or your greatest mood, like when you say, What's your greatest weakness? And they're like, I don't know, they give you some kind of crappy answer about you know, I have I haven't learned enough yet. But I'm looking forward to learning like, No, I don't I don't care. Give me Give me honest, I want to know what is your I have a tendency to procrastinate sometimes. Or whatever. Recognizing that kind of thing. And being honest about it, I think is huge. Like you have to be vulnerable in front of somebody. But the fact that you're able to analyze yourself and actually give a real honest to God answer is huge.
Host 2 1:08:27
And if you if you're a graduate, the best thing you can say there is I don't have a lot of experience. What's my greatest weakness? Experience? Sure.
Host 1 1:08:36
It's a little bit of a canned answer. But sure, I mean, yeah, but answers the question. I guess it answers
Host 2 1:08:40
The question, in my opinion, really well, too. Sure. Sure. Yeah. And you gotta remember, a lot of college students think that they're the king of the world's
Host 1 1:08:51
Well, yeah, they
Host 2 1:08:52
Are queen of the world engineering Jesus. Engineering. Yeah.
Host 1 1:08:55
Yeah. Yeah, I don't know. Like those ones are. Okay, so I've interviewed with a guy once. And he asked this question to every candidate, he would say, who's your who's your best friend? And you know, the blah, blah, blah, they come up with Sarah is my best friend. Okay. If we called Sarah, what would Sara say about your heart? And then they would have to guess what their friend would say about them. And then they say, What would Sarah say about your your mind the way you think? And then and then at the end of it, they'd be like, what if we called Sarah right now? What would you say? And there's actually been a situation where the person pulled out their phone and was like, call Sarah. And they did you know, and she she answered because I think that's a little bit unfair, but it was also really funny. I remembered makes the answer my dog King. That's great. He Pat's, me every day. He takes me on walks.
Host 1 1:09:54
He feeds me.
Host 1 1:09:57
But it does it. It is interesting because They have to take themselves out of their own mind and think about the way that their friend would think about them. And I think that's an interesting
Host 2 1:10:07
Point. There's a lot of good stuff in this, but in chat right now, but yeah, turn out don't, I would say, don't take a call during an interview 100% Unless like, it's your grandmother or your mom or dad dying or something like that like, but your your interviewee will understand that I'm gonna otherwise turn your phone off.
Host 1 1:10:34
So this is this, this is in relation to that it's way, way worse, way worse. Don't do this. We once had an interview, where we brought the candidate in. And you know, we are all shaking hands and learning names and things like that, please have a seat. And then we heard a sound. That was I don't know how to put this, right. It was they were adult sounds, let's just put it that way. And then don't sign then a phone got pulled out of a pocket and somebody had to navigate away from a website. They were on, perhaps an adult website, and the rest of the interview because that was the very beginning of the interview. Don't look at adult websites, when you're in the parking lot waiting for your turn to do an interview.
Host 2 1:11:26
I think it was also brought up Don't smoke weed before your interview as well. Yeah.
Host 1 1:11:31
You just want you want to avoid those kind of
Host 2 1:11:34
I guess it's less like you're working for grower.
Host 1 1:11:40
Actually, I mean, here's the thing up here in Colorado,
Host 2 1:11:42
Actually not a bad thing. Smoking your own product is probably not a good thing. Yeah.
Host 1 1:11:46
Yeah. Well, I mean, they're pretty strict up here. At most of the places that, you know, work in that industry. I have a good friend of mine. She, she's a part owner of it. And they don't really, you'd be surprised. It's not a bunch of pothead working at pot factories, you know,
Host 2 1:12:04
So it's the exact opposite of like a brewery that? Yeah, pretty much. Yeah. Because other brewery, it's totally people who like to drink beer are also brewers.
Host 1 1:12:16
Yeah, for sure. And honestly, that's a good thing. You, you wouldn't want somebody who's currently going through a to show up to your interview to be a head brewer. Right. Like that just doesn't ring that well. Yeah. Cool.
Host 2 1:12:31
So I would think, let's do a quick round of questions in the chat. So if anyone's got some questions, because I know we were going through some and adding some stuff, but if anyone's got some questions ready to go,
Host 1 1:12:47
You know, I'll let people think about it. There was actually a question from slack. I will I'll just do this one real quick. How do you describe things in your resume that you can't describe in detail on your resume?
Host 2 1:12:59
Oh, this goes back to putting enough information down to sparked a conversation. Yeah, I
Host 1 1:13:04
Agree. Like, you got to figure out what about the thing you're trying to describe? gets you in the door with that
Host 2 1:13:12
Conversation? Yeah. So like, like, let's say you were an engineer that worked on the space shuttle, you probably worked on, like 100 subsystems, but you can't explain all those being we like I worked on the space shuttle, and that's all you had to put down. And then yeah, tell me your interviewees gonna be like, Okay, I want to talk about right. Yeah, I think Yeah. Right. Would you prefer to give an elevator pitch at a job fair, or just walk up and start talking shop? Question from DEF CON 12345.
Host 1 1:13:43
Okay, so that depends. That depends a lot on on what the job is, but also your personality. I absolutely detest small talk. Small talk is I hate it. So I'd rather just walk up to someone shake their hand and just start talking shop. And being on the other side of that situation, I would have loved it. If a student walked up to me at a job fair, or it doesn't have to be a student. Anyone at a job fair just started talking shop with me. Those conversations always went best. In fact, talk shop first. And then once you're done talking shop, then talk about the weather or something like that.
Host 2 1:14:15
Yeah, elevator pitches don't work for me or on me either. I never got a job through a job fair as well. I never had good experience with those. Because again, your elevator pitch. doesn't differentiate if one's elevator pitch at a job fair for students is the same. So learn how to talk shop or talk about maybe your elevator pitch is just about the stuff that makes you 100% different. Like your side projects. You can can that I guess.
Host 1 1:14:52
Yeah, I don't know. Like if someone just walked up to me and was didn't want to hear about my stuff. Like if I If I was hiring for at a job fair, and they just walked up to me and was like, let me tell you about my side projects. That seems awkward. I don't know if that would work out well, but maybe I guess I'd have to see how it pans out. Damn, this was a this was a long one, wasn't it? I think we're
Host 2 1:15:16
At like an hour and 20 minutes. Hour 30 minutes?
Host 1 1:15:25
Well, I'm not seeing many other questions. Rolling here. Do you have anything to add to this Barker?
Host 2 1:15:31
Um, oh, we're hiring McAfee. We're hiring like three or four engineer positions. And then there's a bunch of other almost every single departments hiring right now.
Host 1 1:15:46
So So what if, what if a candidate came in and said, I took a lot of these things to heart and I listened to your episode? Would that give them? Would you give them thumbs up?
Host 2 1:15:55
Yes. Because one of the things I ask is, especially if I'm interviewing is like, like, I asked him like, what? What does macro fab do? Like, why you coming to macro fat for a job? What does Microsoft do? You know, that kind of stuff? Yeah. I think it's you know, it's really it's like how they answer that it's a big insight for me, at least in their personality. Yeah. And but if I'm asking someone in for an interview already, then I've gleaned enough information that they have enough, you know, have the chops so to speak on the resume? Oh, that's easy. maktab fabs on the macroscale hired.
Host 2 1:16:47
Though, Misha has got a good one here, find a problem your interviewer cares about become the solution to that problem. Why does the job exist? Figure it out?
Host 1 1:16:59
I'm good. I liked that, Misha, that's great. That's also like, That's intense. I mean, that requires that requires a huge amount of upfront knowledge, which sometimes is really difficult.
Host 2 1:17:11
But it could be as simple as you know, calling the company mean, like, you know, Hey, what's this job actually entail? Because a lot of times, like, when, let's say you go to like backgrounds, job posts, like all job postings like this, like the first like three page or three paragraphs are just like, junk that don't pertain to that particular job at all. It's just fluff material. So, for sure, if you're the interviewee, knowing one question I like, like, I'd like to be asked is like, what are their normal day to day job gonna be like, like, what are they actually gonna be doing every day? Because I'm gonna be able just don't know. You know, I worked with an engineer. It's different from each company.
Host 1 1:17:59
So I worked with a guy who did who did something interesting. I've never heard of this. It seems awkward. But in his interview, everything went well. And they asked him, you know, how, you know, how he was feeling things like that. And he asked them straight, straightforward. He just said, Can I come in for one day of work, and just sit and observe and see how everything goes around here. And they let him do it. And he got to sit one day at work and see how the company ran and everything. And he worked there for 25 years after that. He liked it. And they were cool with that. I think that's really cool. And I say, don't be afraid to ask questions of that sort. If, if that's if you feel that right. I mean, what's the worst they can say is no, right? But that's, that's a pretty cool idea. If you're worried about the culture of the company, if you're worried about like, the vibe, I guess, or something? You can, you could ask for something like that. Or maybe ask for like an hour or something a full day is odd.
Host 2 1:18:58
And depending on what the company works on to, yeah, if you're allowed to see it or not. Yeah. How do you feel if a candidate asked about the negatives of a job or company? Oh, that's that's perfectly fine. I mean, we ask, we asked the question, what is your greatest weakness?
Host 1 1:19:19
What's yours? Yeah, what's yours? Yeah, yeah. Yeah, for sure.
Host 2 1:19:26
Yeah. Especially since that's, you know, stress levels, how much is your workload, that kind of stuff?
Host 1 1:19:32
Well, and you have to word that correctly. You can't look at someone and be like, Why does it suck working here? You know, you have to ask it properly. Right?
Host 2 1:19:40
You had to ask him properly. But yeah. Yeah, that'd be that'd be actually I actually, I don't think I've had anyone asked me that kind of question before, so I would totally, I'd be done answering that though.
Host 1 1:19:52
Yeah, that's interesting. If you're less gutsy, you can ask why the position is open. Yep. It's a good one. Yeah, actually, the I think expanding on that you can ask like, is this position open because you're expanding? Or not even that direct, you can ask about growth. And then perhaps ask like, is this position because of growth and things like that? It's been my experience though, like, you'll get told that. Yeah. Actually, it's been my experience that that's like the beginning of the interview. Like we're opening up positions because blah, blah, blah, blah, blah. And this is one of them. And we're looking for an engineer to do XYZ kind of stuff. I think that's
Host 1 1:20:32
Gonna wrap it up. Yeah, I
Host 1 1:20:33
Think so. So that was the macro fab engineering podcast. We were your host, Stephen Craig and Parker Dolman. Take it easy.
Host 1 1:20:43
Host 1 1:20:52
Thank you. Yes, you our listener for downloading our podcast. If you have a cool idea, project or topic, let Parker and I know Tweet us at macro fab at Longhorn engineer or at analog E and G or email us. Email us at podcast at macro fab.com. Also, check out our Slack channel. You can find it at macro fab.com/lec
Transcribed by https://otter.ai