The first step is creating a perfect engineering resume that highlights your skills and experience – without that, you won’t even get to talk to the recruiter.
A great resume helps you to apply for the best-paid engineering jobs in the market and gives you the confidence to negotiate better pay – since not every job will be your dream engineering job.
This is a complete guide to writing a perfect engineering resume covering every engineering discipline out there.
This also includes:
- A guide to choosing the best resume format for engineering resumes
- Killer engineering resume templates
- Complete resume examples
- Section by section writing guide
- Pro resume writing tips
Read to the end before creating your engineering resume to make it stand out among the rest of the candidates.
Also, check out our resume builder where you can create beautiful engineering resumes with ready-to-fill resume templates that you can tailor to your profile – 10 minutes is what it takes on average to create a resume on our resume builder.
Let’s dive into the complete engineering resume writing guide👇
Engineering Resume ExampleCheck whether you’re looking for resumes in any of the following engineering disciplines. Here we have well-targeted resumes with more examples👇
How to Write an Engineering Resume to Get Top of the Class Jobs?
Every engineering job is not the same – especially when it comes to paying and benefits. Top-of-the-class engineering jobs come with top skills and to communicate them effectively, you need an excellent engineering resume.
If we ask you to tailor your resume to each job you’re applying for, that’s a lot of work right – but that’s how you get interviews for the best jobs.
The HR standards, resume best practices, templates, and structures used to create an engineering resume are slightly different from other professions. Therefore, it’s important to have a complete idea from scratch.
We start the process by defining the resume layout and the format – then pick the right template to match your personality and the industry – finally, write the content in each section of the resume.
Here’re some general guidelines to write your engineering resume:
Engineering Resume Layout
In a resume layout, you specify the headings and subheadings that will appear in your resume in the right order.
Having a pre-defined resume layout makes your life easy when writing the resume – it makes your writing process faster and you won’t miss any important information.
We recommend the following layout for an engineering resume:
- Header: name with contact information.
- Professional summary.
- Work experience.
- Engineering skills.
- Additional sections (certificates, languages, research papers, and patents).
You could always change this order, however, most recruiters are pretty much familiar with this. Therefore, following this makes their life easy when reading your resume.
Professional resume format for engineers
The format of a resume defines the order in which the information in the experience section is written – which job experience to write first – on what basis the job experience should be categorized.
There’re basically three standard resume formats in use:Functional (skill-based) resume format: Here, without first mentioning the employers you worked for, you should put the engineering skills you acquired. Under each skill heading, you should write details about how you performed in different situations, the decisions you made, and the results you achieved. Then you could mention the respective employers.
This is mainly used when you are applying for an entry-level position without having solid engineering experience to showcase. Also, this format is used by candidates to hide any career gaps.
Reverse chronological resume format: In this format, you should start your experience section with your most recent relevant experience. Hiring managers love this format as they can quickly scan the candidate’s work history.
This format is popular among candidates and hiring managers – we recommend you to use this format for your engineering resumes and it matches most engineers’ work profiles.
Hybrid resume format: This is a combination of the above two formats. If you possess engineering work experience and freelance or project experience, you could use both the above formats to write them.
If you need to know more about how different formats affect your resume, read our complete guide to resume formats.
Engineering Resume Templates
With the right resume template in place, you just have to write the content in your resume. A resume template develops the connection between each section and the overall look and feel of the resume.
The resume template you select should:
- Choose a color theme that reflects your personality.
- Define the fonts, font sizes, and colors for the headings, subheadings, and text
- Place appropriate margins from all sides
Modern resume templates are not just linear documents – they use two or three columns utilizing the resume space effectively to present information clearly.
Of course, you could create your own resume template that no one has ever used – you just have to wrestle a little with MSOffice. However, if you think a premium resume template would help your resume to catch the hiring manager’s eye, check out our resume templates.
Start Your engineering Resume with the Header
Your engineering resume starts with the header as every other resume does – the difference here is what you include here. In your engineering resume, you should only put your name and contact information – just enough for the hiring manager to find you.
A good & a bad header
See what to include and what to exclude from your header to create a great first impression:
- Put the first name and the last name
- Write your current job title under the name
- Use your personal email address – do not use your current employer’s email
- Put down your mobile number
- Include a link to your LinkedIn profile or portfolio website – make sure they’re updated
Demonstrate Your Experience in Engineering
When recruiting engineers, hiring managers’ biggest concern is their experience – some engineering jobs specifically require experienced candidates with a particular set of skills.
If you’re applying for an entry-level engineering job, your experience section would be overlooked, right?
From the hiring manager’s perspective, even if you’re an entry-level or experienced candidate, work experience is mandatory as they’re hiring an engineer to run a critical function in their business.
This article is for both of you: if you’re an experienced engineer, we will show you how to demonstrate years of your experience in a single piece of paper in the most relevant form – for entry-level engineering graduates, we’ll show you how to write your experience section using your internship, projects, and workshop skills.
Meantime, your experience section should exhibit your skills – engineering often involves a set of specialized technical skills and soft skills.
Carry out keyword research at the beginning and identify what you should include in your experience section. Most recruiters use an applicant tracking system (ATS) to shortlist resumes which uses keywords and their density as a measure to rank resumes. You should pick the right keywords and include them naturally in your experience section and other sections.
Example experience section for an experienced mechanical engineerAs an experienced engineer, you should focus on demonstrating your leadership, team building, and people management skills apart from your technical skills.
Do not just write a list of roles and responsibilities in your experience section – make it more impactful by adding your achievements and accomplishments.
Use power words such as developed, designed, managed, etc. to start each sentence.
Get Recruiters’ Attention with Your Project Experience
As an engineer, projects are part of your life – planning, managing, and executing a successful project involves many valuable skills.
When you’re writing your project experience, talk about the objectives, achievements, challenges, and results.
This is especially important for entry-level engineers to fill out their experience section – if you have no other work experience, your projects are going to be your experience.
Your Engineering Education is Mandatory
Every engineering job ad highlights the level of education they expect from the candidates. In most cases, a bachelor’s degree in engineering would be preferred, and having a Master’s would be advantageous.
In some cases, your engineering education is transferable – for instance, your mechanical engineering degree could be used to apply for civil engineering, material engineering, or industrial engineering jobs.
In writing your education section, mention the details about your degree and specializations or minors if available. Provide a clear understanding to the hiring manager about your learning outcomes.
Also, highlight your academic achievements – dean’s list selections – GPA – selective subjects you did that relate to the job.
Use a consistent format to write the education section.
Put your education section just below your experience.
The Most In-Demand Skills for engineers
Engineers develop a specific set of skills during their studies and field work – this consists of technical as well as soft skills.
The technical skills would differ based on your engineering discipline and the soft skills would depend on the type of work you were involved in.
Your skills section should include a mix of soft skills and hard skills.
How to find what skills to list on your resume?
Writing your resume is not a one-way process. You need to identify your skills and strengths as well as what your potential employer is interested in. Read the engineering job description to find out what they are looking for in a perfect candidate.
Technical skills are also called hard skills – these are easy to measure and could acquire through education or experience.
Soft skills are hard to measure – any candidate can claim that they have the soft skills – these are personality traits of the candidates. Find the right soft skills to list on your resume – your task here is to identify what soft skills are required to perform the job duties.
List about 4 to 7 skills altogether.
Soft Skills for Engineers
- Communication skills
- Interpersonal skills
- Analytical skills
- Attention to detail
- Time management
- Presentation skills
- Organizational skills
Hard Skills for Engineers
Depending on your field of specialization, there could be hundreds of hard skills – pick the right ones for your resume to stand out.
- Project management
- 3D Modeling
- Business Process Re-engineering
- Facilities management
- Programming – Java, Python, C++
- Lean manufacturing
- Product costing
- Just In Time
- Computational fluid dynamics
- Machine learning
Engineering Resume Summary to Hook the Reader
Write a sales pitch at the beginning of your resume to hook the reader.
Does this really work?
Almost all the time!
If you write a professional summary of about 2-3 lines at the beginning of your resume, most hiring managers read it first. The right resume summary would make them read your resume to the end.
Your resume summary should highlight the key skills, experience, and expertise required by the recruiter – by a glance at your resume, they will understand whether it’s worth their time reading your resume.
Save your hiring manager’s time and you’ll most probably secure an interview.
Write your professional summary in two sentences. The first sentence should point out your key skills, level of experience, and why you’re interested in joining the company or industry. The second sentence should feature your experience and achievements that are relevant to the job you’re applying for.
Check out these examples👇
Be specific in your summary. Use numbers to add credibility and interest. Here are some of the details you could include:
- The number of years of experience
- The number of staff who worked under you
- The number of operations you carried out or managed
- Any specific data that make your profile interesting
For entry-level candidates without experience, you could write a resume objective summary highlighting your skills and your interest or passion for the particular industry.
Additional Sections to Please the Hiring Manager
Why should you include additional sections when you could have put the same information under the main headings?
- Hiring managers are more likely to pay attention to small sections.
- Subheadings will make your resume clean and easy to read.
Pick the right additional sections for your resume. Here’re some of the additional sections you could include on your resume:
- Computer skills & certifications
- Extracurricular activities
- Publications and patents
Computing Skills & Certifications
There’re different skills certifications in demand for engineers – find out what makes your resume stand out – acquire some of those certifications. Most skill certifications are free to get and are available as online courses and examinations.
There’re hundreds of skill certifications for engineers. Some certifications require you to have a basic bachelor’s degree as the entry qualification. Research what is relevant to your profession and the type of job you’re looking for. Here’re some of the examples:Having solid IT skills as an engineer would add value to your profile even if your job does not particularly base on computer skills. Most engineering jobs require basic computer literacy plus the ability to understand and work with CRMs, ERPs, and MRPs, and relevant software tools. In addition, hands-on experience in the Microsoft Office Suite, and a couple of programming languages would make your application stand out.
If your extracurricular activities are relevant to the job or add value to your profile, consider putting this section. Remember, do not put any information that is not relevant to your job.
Some of your volunteer work, sports you involve in, and the professional clubs you represent would be ideal to put here. Showcase your leadership, communication, and teamwork skills with these.
Publications and patents
If there’re any professional or academic publications or patents under your name, mention them here in a separate section. Though they’re not directly related to your job, these would indicate your research skill, creativity, and technical skills.
Use one of our ready-to-fill resume templates to put your additional sections with ease and arrange them in the most efficient way to save your resume space.
Tips to Improve Your Engineering Resume
While this guide you just read shares everything you need to create a perfect engineering resume, there’re a couple of more tips we would share with you to make your resume exceptional.
- Use Grammarly or a similar application to proofread your resume no matter how good you’re with grammar.
- Research the skill certifications in demand for your profession and the industry and acquire them. Join the online certification programs and put that in your resume as you’re reading for the certification.
- Spend most of your resume writing time on your experience and professional summary sections.
- Tailor your resume summary, skills, and experience sections to different jobs.
- Write a cover letter to complement your resume.
- Structure your resume sections effectively by using a professional resume template with multiple columns.
Key Takeaways: Writing a Winning Engineering Resume
- Start your engineering resume with the header – include your name and contact information.
- Write a professional summary to hook the reader.
- Spend more time on your experience section – be specific and include numbers.
- Use a consistent format to write your education section.
- Write a mix of relevant soft skills and hard skills.
- Give the hiring manager a pleasant surprise using additional sections.
Complement Your Resume with A Cover Letter
An engineering cover letter is the best tool you could use to talk directly to the hiring manager before an interview. Think you’re in an interview and answering the hiring manager to their first question.
“Tell me briefly about yourself”
Answer clearly and concisely in 3 to 4 paragraphs – consume only one page.
In the first paragraph, describe how you could solve the most troubling questions for the employer – find out why they’re hiring you. From the employer’s perspective, they’re not looking to hire someone – they’re looking for answers to their problems – if you can convince them that you already know the and you have the answers, you’re way ahead of most other candidates. State any particular reason why you’re interested in joining the firm.
In your second paragraph, state how you solved the same or similar problems for your previous employers. Demonstrate with examples and figures – use numbers where relevant.
In the last paragraph, add your key strengths and skills. Include a call to action – ask them for an interview and state how immediately you could join.
Be consistent with your tone and express your interest throughout.
A cover letter is a tailored document for each job you apply for. You can’t send one clever letter to two jobs. However, with our cover letter builder, you can create your cover letter once and easily tailor it to each job you’re applying for in a couple of minutes – you just have to change the company, position, and body text.
How to become an engineer?
You should first find out the academic path based on the region you’re living in. In most countries, you need to complete a relevant bachelor’s degree to become an engineer. In certain regions, in addition to the bachelor’s degree, you need trade certifications to practice as an engineer.
How to get my first engineering job?
Finding your first engineering job would be somewhat challenging. Though there’re many job opportunities in the market for engineers, most recruiters are looking for experienced candidates to fill those positions.
You should write a great engineering resume with an exceptional experience section. Though you don’t have work experience, write about the relevant projects, internships, or any volunteer work to show the hiring manager that you have the required skills and expertise to handle the job.