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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 »

More Great News for EDA…MUST HAVE Fundamentals To A Great Resume…Key Word Information Is Critical…

August 9th, 2013 by Mark Gilbert

The EDA Consortium released 1st quarter results for 2013 and the news continues to be not only encouraging but also significant. EDA revenues increased 8.1 percent from the first quarter of last year to $1.67 billion. The four-quarter moving average increased by 7 percent with total revenue for the last four quarters at $6.66 billion, not bad at all.

When you see strong growth in the Services sector, this suggests business is strong and companies need to look elsewhere because internal needs cannot meet the demand timely and hiring outside is the fastest, and in many cases, the most reasonable solution.  This also suggests that hiring is still robust (as I can certainly attest to) and that the hiring pool continues to diminish, making it harder and harder for companies to find good people.  Either way this is great for EDA as the more people working, the more tools needed to get the job done.

Now about your resume…Let us start with the simple premise that Every Word in Your Resume Matters…the right words can go a long way in ensuring your resume is interesting to the reviewer thereby getting further consideration, rather than being passed by.  Here are the facts…when someone is looking at your resume whether it is me, another recruiter, HR or the hiring manager…either you have the information that grabs us or you lose us.  Once we move on, the likelihood of considering you again for that position is marginal at best.

Get the odds on your side. I read so many resumes…some impress me and others make me wonder how the person ever got a degree. You spend so much effort getting an education and exceling at what you do, why not make sure your knowledge is communicated in the document that purports your knowledge base.  In EDA (not unlike other industries) what you write about shows what you know and detailing what you know the right way is the difference between being considered or having your resume placed in the D pile (dare I say it is the Doo-Doo pile of resumes).  Remember, that is after the A, B & C resumes, not a great pile to be in.

Today searches are done by keywords.  My new software allows me to search using “with”, “and”, “or” conditions for specific words in a resume.  Make sure you have the words that I might choose when searching for someone in your domain.  Incorporate as many significant relevant key words as possible so when I pick relevant criteria for a domain search, those words will be extracted from your resume.  Spend time to think about all the possible relevant words and incorporate them in your description of what you do or have done.

In some instances, English is not your first language but making sure your resume has the right information can over-ride a few grammatical errors. So here are some examples specific to EDA that I like to see in a resume.  These are language or phrases that make me think this person is worthy of further consideration.

First, a clear objective or summary or both, always helps.  Being ambiguous and using phrases that sound good but say nothing gets you no-where.  Too often, I read fluff and say, “what does that even mean?”…stuff that sounds good but says nothing about you is a waste in a resume. Be clear, the first thing you need to say is something about your skill-set, i.e. Account Manager, Application Engineer, etc.  If it is an Account Manager, say that and point to specific successes and highlights in as few words as possible.   If it is an APPs engineer, talk about your precise experience…To utilize my x number of years of experience in the Physical domain supporting key accounts and implementing back end tools such as Physical layout, P&R and floor planning for a leading edge company.  This tells them who you are and what you do specifically, short and sweet.  Same holds true for R&D, Marketing, Design…clearly state your objective positively but make sure they understand who you are, what you do and what domain(s) you specialize in.  To say, to bring my vast experience in EDA to a leading edge company, says nothing. If you’re in management then say so, hands on, then say so, lead a team with hands-on leadership, then say so.  A good objective should be 3-4 good sentences.

Here is an example of a phrase that says little, followed by the same phrase but with a few added words…

Original…Relishes facing fresh new challenges with a logical and creative approach in solving problems to provide value added solutions.

Modified… Relishes facing fresh new challenges as an Application Engineer with a logical and creative approach in solving customer problems by providing value added solutions to the process.

Clearly those few extra words told a more complete story.

All too often, a resume lists the companies where you worked, followed by the position held, only to go on and give little or no description of the domain or types of tools you have worked on.  Leaving that information off is ridiculous.  How is someone reading your resume suppose to understand your real and actual strengths if you do not take the time to list them?  The opposite is true as well…sometimes some of you go into such unnecessary detail that unless you know what a Gizmo 4xw41gmz chip is, you have no clue what the heck the person does. Do not over detail…Use clear terms like Synopsys P&R tool Astro, or Formality formal verification tool from Synopsys, Circuit Spice simulation tools like Ultrasim or Fastspice for example.  Use as many tools or tool types as possible and even the company as well…it tells a story of who you are and what you know. Use terms like Layout or Formal Verification, terms that are easily definable to anyone doing a fast review of your resume.  Remember, not everyone looking at your resume knows the deeply technical jargon.  The cleaner you make the terms, the more people will understand. It is not uncommon for even hiring managers that have been in the biz for years, to not know whose tool does what.  They know their own tools, not all the others, so tell them clearly.  Your resume is suppose to say, I am in your domain and here are the parallels, now call me!

Sometimes it takes me more time than it should trying to figure out what a particular candidate does because they are so ambiguous in describing their clear skill-set.  Clear concise terms like SW Developer, or Application Support Engineer, or Technical Marketing Manager tells the story of who you are and what you do.  Another important point; do not try to be someone you are not simply because you want a particular type of position.  That might get you the call but the reality will come through in the interview.  A good recruiter can convey what you would like to do or the types of positions that would interest you.

Below are some specific examples of what I like to see in a resume.  It is what I think works well and interests the reader, which should ultimately help your resume further consideration. Another thing and this applies more to fresh grads. I kind of get why they do it as they have no real industry experience but still…being too broad is going to waste a lot of people’s time.  Just because you took a course in a domain does not make you an expert or worthy of being considered to support the domain.  The biggest mistake is listing everything you ever touched as examples of your experience.  Also (for example), if you supported analog 10 years ago but have been all-digital since, don’t call yourself an Analog Expert.  While you might get the call because you put it in your resume, you will most certainly not pass the technical muster that today’s engineers are put through to qualify…contrary to public delusional belief, it is not like riding a bicycle, you will not pick it up in no time.

If your resume has frequency, meaning a job change every year or so and it can be easily explained, then explain.  The best example of easily explained is acquisition…so when listing the new company use parenthesis and say “Acquired by” so they know it is not a new job.  If you’re showing a contract position, say so; this way the reader understands the shortness of the tenure. One more, if your grade level is truly impressive then brag about it, if not, then don’t mention it.

Below are a few examples of layouts that I think work well.  These simple suggestions are what will make your resume great and easily discernable to almost anyone and after all, isn’t that what you want?


  • Solid experience in maintaining customer relationship on a worldwide scale.
  • Ability to build strong relationships with stakeholders at all levels based on credibility and trust.
  • In-depth understanding of the embedded system, semiconductor and design automation industries, including technology challenges, product life cycles and structure of the large leading companies.
  • Proven expertise in complex system architecture (hardware and software), in EDA tool definition and in IP integration which form the basis of technical solutions provided to answer customers’ designing needs.
  • Broad experience in sales, technical sales and technical marketing.
  • Software Languages:           C, C++, VC++(MFC), Java/J2EE
  • Hardware Languages:         Verilog, VHDL, System Verilog, SystemC, Vera, Promela
  • Scripting Languages:           Tcl, csh, ksh, bash, Perl, Python
  • Platforms:                                HP, Sun, Sun Sparcs, 386, 486, Pentium versions
  • Operating Systems:              Unix(Solaris, SunOS, Linux, HP-UX), DOS, Windows versions.
  • Editors:                                     vi, VC++ IDE, eclipse, vim and gvim
  • Software Tools and Packages:  Lex and Yacc, MFC’s, Purify, Purecov, Profiling tools, STL, Boost, Clearcase,  CVS, SVN, gdb, ddd, sed, awk, worshop, Visual C++ IDE, Verilog-XL, VCS,  NC-Verilog, NC-VHDL, NSIM hardware-accelerator  and emulation in VLE, make,  Synplify ASIC, DC(Design Compiler), Spice circuit simulator, Geometry Extractor, Swig, Xspin, pthread, UML, Design Patterns

Skills Set Or Proficiency Strengths…

  • Project Management
  • Software QA processes
  • Software development processes
  • Management of international virtual teams
  • Analyzing, debugging & Root Cause Analysis
  • EDA tools – Incisive, NC-Verilog, NC-SystemC Simulators, Specman
  • HDLs – Verilog, VHDL, SystemC, E (Specman)
  • Technologies – Simulation, Formal Verification, Emulation, Coverage, Testbench,  SOC
  • Languages – C, C++, Perl, Unix Utilities

Professional Background:

Total of 12 years experience at various organizations:

48 months as Corporate Applications Engineer at ABC (Jan 2008 – present).

41 months as Product Specialist at DEF  (July 2004 – Jan 2008).

25 months as Senior Physical Design Engineer at GFY (Jun 2002 –  July 2004).

9 months as Design Engineer at DDD  (Sep 2001 – Jun 2002).

18 months as Design Engineer at ZYX (Jun 1998 – Dec 1999).


  • Over 10 years of EDA industry experience in  Front End Application Engineering.
  • Expertise in the field of Optimizing & Migrating Physical Designs and providing DFM Solutions for technologies like 65nm, 45nm and 32nm.
  • Good Understanding of DSM Technologies, IC Design methodology & Physical Design rules.
  • Worked with Customers like Intel, AMD, IBM, Microsoft, HP, Marvell, Motorola, Qualcomm, MindSpeed, PMC-Sierra, Micron, ST, Virage Logic, Skyworks, MIPS, LSI Logic and more.
  • Excellent analytical and problem solving skills.


  • C/C++, familiar with x86 and SPARC assembly
  • Tcl, Unix shell scripting
  • Verilog, familiar with VHDL


  • Standard UNIX software including C/C++ compilers, shells, network tools, Emacs.
  • Version Control and Concurrent Development Systems:
    • CVS, ClearCase, Perforce
  • X11, Xt, Motif, Qt, UNIX API and standard libraries, Purify, Quantify.

Additional skills:

  • Algorithms, Data Structures
  • Simulators:  Cadence Verilog-XL
  • EDA tools: Synopsys Physical Compiler, PrimeTime, Astro, Compass, Altera MaxPlusII

* Sun Solaris, Linux.

Past Experience:

  • Sr. Global Account Technical Manager From ~10M$ to ~60M$ account in 4 years
  • Project Program Manager                    Won > 30 field engagements (never lost one)
  • Strategic Account Planner                   Taken away 50~> 60% of competitor’s market share
  • Asia Pacific Channel Manager            Managed engineers from Taiwan, Korea, China, India
  • ASIC tape-out & CAD engineer            Hands on P&R  tape-outs & tool evaluations
  • R&D, PV, Account Field Engineer         > 10 years of factory (San Jose) & field experiences

EDA Tools used:

Foundation Series, Xilinx: Includes FPGA express from Synopsys for synthesis. Foundation Series from Xilinx, is a complete Package, which supports Design entry in Schematic, VHDL, VERILOG, and FSM. Design synthesis. Simulation (both Functional and Timing). Implementation for Xilinx FPGA’s and CPLD’s.

Quartus II : Integrated design environment from ALTERA.

Synplify Pro:   Synthesis Tool from Synplicity Inc.

Model Sim:  Simulation Tool from Mentor Graphics.

Synopsys Design Compiler: Synthesis Tool from Synopsys.

NC – SIM :  Simulation tool from Cadence

Ambit Buildgates: Synthesis tool from Cadence

HDL Designer : Complete solution for creating & managing complex Verilog , VHDL and mixed language ASIC & FPGA designs

EDA Tools Expertise level

Formaility-Expert, DC- Expert, P-T- Good, Pcompiler- good

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