Qualifications on a Resume

I received this resume from an Engineer recently. At the top of the resume, the job seeker starts with section titled "Qualifications" with two bullets:


  • More than three (3+) years of engineering experience; proposal and project execution of air pollution control systems. Additional experience in production pilot plant, and research and development.

  • Former self-employed authorized retailer of Dish Network satellite television service, connecting hundreds of customers in the area of <metro area>.

These are the only two bullets under the qualifications section. The candidate’s objective states that they are seeking a chemical engineering position.

The first bullet is ok. It shows 3 years of experience in the industry, with a few specifics that may help – air pollution control experience and pilot plant experience. These aren’t great, but they’re better than nothing.

The second bullet is a waste of space and distracting. When I first read it, I was surprised. It doesn’t have any relevance to chemical engineering. Worse, it made me wonder why this individual didn’t have a single accomplishment after three years in the engineering field to highlight. Do you think an engineering manager wants to hire someone that had no accomplishments after three years? Probably not.

The self-employed experience does have a place on this resume. It shows independence, good business experience and initiative. The problem is that these attributes aren’t the key to an engineering position. The self employed experience should be covered in the work experience section (where it was detailed more fully) but not in the qualifications sections.