SWE Résumé – What is it and why should you care

Resume – n. A brief written account of personal, educational, and professional qualifications and experience, as that prepared by an applicant for job.

SWE Résumé – n. A brief written account of involvement in the Society of Women Engineers (SWE), as that prepared by an applicant for a leadership position or award in SWE.

What is a SWE Résumé?

A SWE Résumé is a résumé usually written specifically for applying for either a leadership position or an award within the Society of Women Engineers. This 2-page résumé should highlight all relevant involvement within the organization.

Format: Competency vs. Position

There are two major types of SWE résumés to consider – competency and position-based. In the professional world, there are many other types of resumes, but I am just going to focus on these two. Which one is right for you? Think about what is the story you want to tell. Consider making both and then asking a mentor or peer for their opinion.

Competency based

If you have a wide variety of experience and want to focus on the common ties between that experience, consider using a competency based résumé. Sample competency areas are: Leadership/Management, Communication/People, Research, Technical, Teaching, Financial, Organization/Detail,  Business Knowledge, etc.

When choosing your competency areas, consider what story you want to tell your audience. What do you want them to learn about your SWE involvement from reading your résumé?

SWE recognizes four main areas in the official Leadership Competency Model. These areas are: Leadership Abilities, Communication, Business Knowledge & Management, and Self Management. The SWE article on these four areas give excellent starting point to describe your SWE involvement. Also, check out the Engineering Competency Model for even more ideas.

A sample resume will be placed here soon.

Position based

A position based SWE résumé is the format with which most of us are more familiar. It focuses on the number of experiences. A position based SWE resume excels at highlighting the number and diversity of experiences.

A sample resume will be placed here soon.

Why should you make a SWE Résumé?

A SWE résumé is the best way to highlight your involvement in SWE and the unique skills you have acquired through that involvement. If you are nominated for a SWE award or a leadership position, you will be asked to optionally attach a SWE résumé.

Last tips

  1. Find a mentor! Ask longtime SWE members for help when crafting your SWE Résumé. They can advise you on what experience is relevant and identify areas of growth. For example, if you want to be serve at the society level, a mentor can tell you what positions should you volunteer for and what experience should you develop.
  2. Start now. Before you forget all of the excellent things you have accomplished for SWE as a grad student, write it down! You don’t want to be caught a day before a deadline without any resources to fall back upon.
  3. Emphasis what you accomplished not the position held. It is more important to show people what you did rather than simply what title you held. Use strong verbs and describe specific results.
  4. 2 page maximum! Unless you have been in the Society for 60 years and held every position possible, keep it to two pages or less.
  5. Experience comes from all over. You have surely learned something valuable at all levels of involvement in SWE. You don’t have to be director or chair or president of your section or committee to have had worthwhile experiences.

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