Finding the right job for you requires more than a checklist of skills, it requires the right chemistry within the department or company. But how do you make sure you’re not accepting any job, but the job? Start off with a chemical engineer resume that tells the complete story of your career success blended with your professional personality.
How do you do that? It’s easier than you think. While all the information in your chemical engineer resume is unique to you, there are common tips and resources that will guide you to the best showcase for your talents. Consider Resume.io with our resume guides and resume examples for 350+ professions, plus an easy-to-use resume builder that offers AI suggestions.
Among our resources is this resume guide and the corresponding chemical engineer resume example. Within this document, we will discuss:
- What does a chemical engineer do?
- How to write a chemical engineer resume (tips and tricks)
- The best format for a chemical engineer resume
- Advice on each section of your resume (summary, work history, education, skills)
- Professional resume layout and design hints.
Looking for some general advice? Check out our comprehensive guide on how to write a resume from scratch now.
What does a chemical engineer do?
Chemical engineers are the designers behind chemical manufacturing processes. The processes they create and troubleshoot may produce chemicals, food, pharmaceuticals, biotechnology, polymers and other construction materials, or nanotechnology to name a few.
Some chemical engineers develop or improve substances or chemicals. They must be proficient in math and chemistry as well as understanding manufacturing processes.
The goal of chemical engineers is to develop more efficient methods of production that reduce costs while increasing the quality of products. They must also be acutely aware of safety procedures and minimize the dangers of working with hazardous materials within the manufacturing process. Along with that, chemical engineers must stay up-to-date on all health, safety, and environmental regulations and incorporate them into their designs.
Chemical engineer job market and outlook
The past few years have seen a jump in the demand for chemical engineers and that trend is expected to continue throughout the next decade. By 2032, the demand for chemical engineers is projected to rise 8%, a higher than average increase across all professions, the Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts.
If you’re looking for a career where you can make more $100,000 without a postgraduate degree, you may be in the right place. The average salary for a chemical engineer is $128,980, but the range is quite wide: $78,850 to $182,110, Salary.com data shows. Salary depends on the industry, your experience and education level and the area of the country in which you are looking for work.
How to write a chemical engineer resume
Engineers must be methodical and that usually entails a structure. Resume writers employ the same strategy. Before you begin detailing your career, step back and remember the elements you need.
Every CV should contain the following sections:
- The resume header
- The resume summary (aka profile or personal statement)
- The employment history section
- The resume skills section
- The education section
Make it personal
Personal in the sense of aiming your chemical engineer resume directly at the position for which you are applying. Cutting and pasting the same resume into each Applicant Tracking System (ATS) won’t help you pass through that gatekeeper’s algorithms, but it also tells recruiters that you are applying to every chemical engineering position you come across.
Instead, your message should be that you want the job they have on offer. You can do that by:
- Changing your summary to fit the job
- Reorganizing the order of the bulleted items in your employment history
- Choosing your skills carefully
- Inserting keywords and phrases from the job listing
Choosing the best resume format for a chemical engineer
Typically we recommend reverse chronological order because it easily scans into the ATS plus it is the format recruiters are most accustomed to. If you can make this format, in which you list your jobs from most recent on back, work for you, then please do.
In your career, however, you may have a long list of technical and scientific skills that you want to include. In that case, you may consider a hybrid solution, which allows you to expand your skills section, or even go so far as to use a functional resume, which focuses on your knowledge and skills over your work history.
Resume summary example
Your scientific and mathematical skills are of the utmost importance, but how you look at problems, come up with solutions, implement and monitor them are also of key interest to any prospective employer. The summary of your chemical engineer resume is the place to detail these approaches.
This overview should also include a strong description of your career and one highlight. Then, if you have space, explain why this particular job is appealing to you and how you will add value to the company.
Diligent and skilled Chemical Engineer with over 6 years of experience in the petrochemical industry. Demonstrates strong analytical abilities and a deep understanding of chemical processes, committed to optimizing operations and improving safety protocols.
The resume summary example below will give you a start, but if you’re looking for more ideas, our other engineering resumes will help:
- Facilities Engineer resume sample
- Electrical Engineer resume sample
- Engineering resume sample
- CNC machinist resume sample
- Agricultural Engineer resume sample
- Technician resume sample
- Health and Safety Engineer resume sample
- Research Engineer resume sample
- Process Engineer resume sample
- Project Engineer resume sample
- Structural engineer resume sample
- Civil Engineer resume sample
Employment history sample
Your employment history tells recruiters what you have achieved on the job. That means this section of your chemical engineer resume is more than a mere listing of responsibilities. Consider your successes: the problems you solved, the efficiencies you created or the processes you developed.
Create bullet items around these achievements and quantify them with hard facts. As an engineer, you should be adept at using data to prove your point, so do that here to prove your value as an employee. Choose items that illustrate the requirements of the job you seek.
Chemical Engineer at ExxonMobil, Baytown
June 2014 - Present
- Led process optimization projects resulting in a 10% increase in operational efficiency.
- Collaborated cross-functionally to develop safety protocols, reducing incidents by 15%.
Intern at LyondellBasell, Houston
June 2013 - August 2013
- Assisted in evaluating chemical processes and proposing improvements.
- Supported the team in monitoring and adjusting production parameters to meet quality standards.
CV skills example
The skills section of your chemical engineer resume may be the first place a recruiter looks, so be sure you take care with what you list and how you rate your skills. Blend hard skills—or technical knowledge—with soft skills such as communication and organization.
If you have chosen a functional format, you may list more skills, but otherwise you should choose 5-7 of your top attributes that match the job you want.
- Process optimization and design
- Safety protocols and regulations
- Chemical analysis and synthesis
- Proficient in Aspen Plus and MATLAB
- Strong analytical and problem-solving abilities
- Excellent communication and teamwork skills
- Project management
Resume education example
The education section of your chemical engineer resume should include all your academic achievements. You need at least a bachelor’s degree in this profession, but if your studies extend beyond that, add your master’s or doctorate and drop your high school diploma.
Also include any certifications or awards you have earned. If you want to highlight these further, you may add a separate section if you have the space. Remember that a resume should not exceed two pages.
Master of Science in Chemical Engineering, University of Houston, Houston
August 2012 - May 2014
Bachelor of Science in Chemical Engineering, Texas A&M University
August 2008 - May 2012
Resume layout and design
When it comes to engineering, there’s a difference between adequate and beautiful design. Beautiful design is streamlined and efficient and makes others ooh and aah. When you begin designing your chemical engineer resume aim for those ideals and you will make a professional first impression.
What does streamlined and efficient mean in a design? Here are guidelines:
- Align text to the left
- Choose section headings that attract the eye
- Keep color to a minimum
- Vary line lengths to allow for natural white space
If design is not your forte, we have the solution for you. Our expertly-designed resume templates are HR-approved and customizable to suit your needs.
Key takeaways for a chemical engineer resume
- The demand for chemical engineers is on the rise and high salaries make the career an attractive one.
- Yours is one of a few careers that may benefit from using a functional resume format.
- Reveal how you approach problem-solving and why you want the job in your summary section.
- Do more than list your skills—rate them, too.
- Take advantage of the professional resources offered by Resume.io and jumpstart your job hunt today.