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Mark Gilbert
Mark Gilbert
Mark has been involved in EDA recruiting for over 18 years. He is Founder and President of EDA Careers, but started his career in EDA as executive Vice President at EDA Jobs. Mark was also VP of Marketing and Business Development in the beginning of the Internet revolution and has been a … More »

EDA Offers Incredible Longevity…CRITICAL, What makes a GREAT Resume

 
August 6th, 2015 by Mark Gilbert

EDA, Electronic Design Automation gets its share of getting kicked around. After all, since the Internet boom (or some might say bust), the Social Media boom, Analytics boom, and Big Data boom, several alternatives to EDA have had significant impact on hiring. This has forced upon us numerous challenges because these skills are in demand and plentiful. The mere impact of such world changing technologies cannot be understated. EDA has always had some of the most brilliant minds imaginable; creating technologies that only a select few could possibly understand. Who, just a few years back, could have possibly imagined a tiny (and I do mean tiny) chip doing the billions of functions it does today? Who could have ever imagined that we could build on a computer screen, detail all the functionality, and design chips (we will use “chip” as a generic word to make my point)?  Furthermore, who could have imagined that we would build devices that use to take a building to compute, would now work in the palm of our hands?

EDA is at the epi-center of all devices Electronic, which is why I coined the phrase, “All Electronics Starts With EDA”. (Use it EDAC, just give me the credit). With that level of intensity, comes a dynamic work space that few can possibly step into because of the incredible complexities and needed education/training. The good news is, once in, EDA could be your home for life. Now I get it, many that grew up in the Start-Up world, I guess even the big 3 were once start-ups, know that the environment has dramatically changed and over the last few years, or dare I say, matured.   Yet, EDA is still going strong and achieves quarter after quarter of profitability and growth.

My point to all this is that once you begin working in EDA, there should theoretically always be a place for you in EDA; whether with an EDA Company or a company with an EDA divisions. It is a limited expertise always in need and that few others can fulfill. Granted, modifications and additional learning will further ensure your longevity. However, I would argue that continuing education is something that holds true for almost anyone in any type of technical or higher education type position.

So, here is something to think about. If you are looking to enter or perhaps leave EDA, realize that your expertise is extremely hard to find and theoretically, you should always have a home if you are good at what you do.

Let’s talk about a great resume for a bit. There are KEY ELEMENTS, just like in a good code, THAT MUST BE IN YOUR RESUME! I have been recruiting in EDA for a long time and I have read over a gazillion resumes. All I can say is that very few resumes hit the mark and truly detail the story of your experience succinctly and sufficiently. Further, there is a definite line between putting too much and or not enough in your resume. As long as you hit the important KEY FACTORS, you will have enough.

Let’s start with Position and how you might TITLE it in your resume. You can say AE or Application Engineer…R&D or Research and Development, however it is much wiser to use both. For R&D, especially in EDA, you can add words like Software Developer, Principle Engineer, R&D Developer, etc. Thus, my main point is that when you write your job experience, which follows your title, clearly define your experience…for example:

R&D Research and Development, Software Engineer

Developing EDA tools for Physical Design, specifically, LAYOUT, Place and Route (P&R), Floorplanning. I have worked at 40, 22 nm and am the lead (or team member) developing in C++ or (perhaps) System C. No need to drill down to deep, just list all the words everyone knows that match your specific skills

Again, I want to clearly emphasize that we search for specific needs. Words like BDD, OVM, 20nm, and CPU can ensure that your resume comes up when searching for the aforementioned criteria. Please note that OVM is more than just verification. It is perhaps an additional part of a company’s job requisition and we will be looking for candidates with both. If your resume does not have these specifics (even if it is your expertise), guess what, you will not come up in the search and you will never get considered.

Remember that quite often HR is looking at your resume first and making the decision to pass it forward. Keep the words basic, COMMON KEY WORDS will get you much further than three paragraphs about the project you were working on.

At the risk of being redundant I want to emphasize again, DO NOT write about the heavy details except maybe only peripherally. Do not write about something you touched from a distance. Companies want folks with experience in their specific domain; it is that simple. Yes, they might consider you if you are close which is why you can mention things that you have worked on and currently want to pursue. You can even frame it that way for clarity.

A good resume can be TWO pages and does not need exorbitant formatting but the opposite is true as well; it should certainly not be done in a basic text editor either. Include your address, phone and email.

Your resume is all about Buzz (KEYWORDS) and the faster we see the WORDS that relate to what we are asked to find, or MORE LIKELY OUR COMPUTER FINDS, the better your chances are of having your resume reviewed.

This might also be the key to ensuring your longevity in the industry as the right position can take you to unimaginable places.

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