A great engineering resume is the equivalent of a beautiful formula: when done correctly, it will empower you to reach the next step in your career. Begin fabricating the perfect design solution for your engineering advancement with a resume that gets you noticed.
Let Resume.io help you get there with its powerful resources for job seekers, including writing guides and resume examples for 300+ professions, backed up by an easy-to-use resume builder.
This guide, along with the corresponding engineering resume example will cover the following topics:
- What does an engineering professional do?
- How to write an engineering resume (tips and tricks)
- The best format for an engineering resume
- Advice on each section of your resume (summary, work history, education, skills)
- Professional resume layout and design hints.
What does an engineering professional do?
Engineers are structured yet creative thinkers who perform a host of tasks that lead to improving products and systems. Here are some action words that describe engineering tasks (and that you should use in the body of your resume): evaluate, design, test, modify, install, inspect, maintain, build, oversee, invent, fix, improve, research, calculate, construct.
Some engineering professionals do several of these tasks, others focus on one. Engineering is a large category that encompasses many specialties. Types of engineers include:
- Aerospace engineer
- Mechanical engineer
- Electrical engineer
- Civil engineer
- Structural engineer
- Nuclear engineer
- Biomedical engineer
- Chemical engineer
- Computer engineer
- Industrial engineer
- Environmental engineer
How much do engineers earn? It depends on where their expertise lies. Below are the top 5 earning engineering careers.
Engineering job market and outlook
The job market for engineering professionals, like the salary scale, depends on the type of engineering you specialize in. The market for four of the five highest paid engineers is expected to stay fairly stable, but the demand for computer software engineers is skyrocketing.
If you are looking for a lot of opportunity, here are eight specialties that are in high demand, according to New Engineer:
- Data science and machine learning
- Automation and robotics
- Alternative energy
- Project manager
How to write an engineering resume
You don’t start a project without knowing what elements go into it. Here are the parts necessary to create a winning CV:
- The resume header
- The resume summary (aka profile or personal statement)
- The employment history section
- The resume skills section
- The education section
Your resume is a means of selling your skills to your prospective next employer. It's your job here to explain to them how you are going to engineer solutions to their problems. You do that by understanding what their problems are and what the work style and environment are like. That means doing a bit of research so that you can use a tone appropriate to the company and direct your message directly to the boss’s pain points.
Do as much research as you can. If you know anyone who works at your targeted company, get in touch. Find out the name of the hiring manager and your prospective boss. Try to make a connection to one or both of them that you can leverage during your interview.
A engineering resume that will get you in the door should follow these guidelines:
- Write as though you are speaking directly to the boss and answering the question: “Why should I hire you?”
- Use a resume template that makes a positive visual impression, since it will be the first impression the hiring manager will get.
- Tailor your resume for each job to give you a better chance at avoiding the ATS filter.
Use your knowledge to beat the ATS
As an engineer, you probably understand algorithms and computer thinking. Use that knowledge to tailor your application and get the upper hand on the Applicant Tracking Systems designed to scan and filter resumes.
Your analysis skills will also come in handy as you survey the job listing and check it against your resume. Make sure you use those keywords and phrases that come up within the listing exactly as they are written!
Here’s another hint: If you are applying online, you will know which ATS the company uses. You may also find that information by looking on the company’s website (where you are sure to go during your research).
Choosing the best resume format for engineering
Typically, the best resume format is the standard reverse chronological order structure. There may be some cases within engineering where a function format serves you better. This format is valuable for technical professions and specialists (as well as for some scientific roles) as it emphasizes important niche or complex skills with an expanded skills section and a shortened employment history section. The skills section allows for detailed explanations of your competencies.
Barring the need to explain your technical skills in detail, we highly recommend the reverse chronological order resume as recruiters and ATS software prefer it.
Resume summary example: modeling your best
The summary section of your engineering resume distills your career into three or four lines that offer insight into who you are as an engineer. This section is not as tightly formatted as the rest of your resume, but you can use this basis structure to guide you:
- One or two sentences to highlight a career accomplishment or two
- One sentence to explain why you want the job
- One sentence to bring out a special skill and describe your engineering style.
The idea behind a summary section (also known as a profile) is to enhance the rest of your resume without repeating it. Give the hiring manager a hook they will want to explore during your interview. Try something like, “My love of fixing cars gives me a unique perspective for solving the problems electrical engineers often face.” This sentence tells something about you and that you consider yourself a divergent thinker.
You can find a resume example for your summary section below.
Experienced Engineer bringing forth 5+ years providing superior technical guidance and successfully executed engineering designs. Adept in overseeing all aspects of project management including design, implementation, verification, and validation of engineering designs.
Employment history sample: compiling your career
For most candidates, this section will be the largest of your engineering resume, but it should not be a mere listing of your job responsibilities. Begin with your most recent position and work backwards through the past ten years of your experience.
Below each job title, start each bullet item with a strong action verb, following it with a description of exactly what you did and your results. Remember, your resume really isn’t about you. It’s about your prospective employer. You want the message to be: “See, I understand your problems and here are examples of how I have already fixed similar ones. I can do this and more for you!”
Use the STAR method to detail your career successes. Tell what the work situation was and the task you were assigned. Describe the actions you took and detail the results you achieved. You’re an engineer so you know the details are key. Use data to back up your assertions whenever possible.
Below you will find an adaptable employment history resume example.
- Effectively guided technical project development and helped to steer and improve program processes.
- Planned and executed assigned engineering designs with accuracy.
- Worked with program managers to ensure proper and adequate technical staffing.
- Executed design and development efforts in adherence to all engineering design standards.
- Worked to quickly resolve technical conflicts and issues.
- Developed and maintained project timelines.
- Monitored and adjusted control systems.
CV skills example: career coordinates
Your CV skills section is the at-a-glance look at your attributes and abilities. You should tailor this section to the requirements of each job (which will also help you win the ATS battle).
The main purpose of this CV section is to offer recruiters a quick way to see if you have the attributes they seek and to get a first glimmer as to what you think are the most important skills for the job.
Choose your top 4-7 skills and remember that your technical skills are an integral part of your value, but emotional intelligence as well. This may mean natural curiosity, logical thinking and reasoning, communication, creativity, and collaboration among others according to this list from Embibe.
As your career advances, your skill level and range of skills will grow. To keep track and ensure you are putting your best foot forward, develop a “Master List” of all your skills. Add to this list as you go.
Categorize this list in the way that makes the most sense to you. You may want to organize it by hard skills and soft skills and then further break it down by skills needed in various functions and for different projects. Refer to this list each time you apply for a new job.
Below you will find the skills section from our engineering resume sample.
- PMI Certified Project Management Professional
- Microsoft Project
- MS Dynamics AX
- Advanced Analytical Thinking Skills
- Hardware Design
Engineering education resume example
The education section of your engineering resume is the least time-consuming to put together. You are simply creating a list of your degrees and certifications and formatting these correctly.
Engineers at a minimum need a bachelor’s degree. If you have earned a degree higher than that, you may eliminate your high school diploma. Also consider adding any accolades you have been awarded. If you have a lot of certifications, you may want to create a separate section to highlight them.
Check out the formatting of our engineering education resume sample below.
- Master of Science in Systems Engineering, Boston University, Boston
- Sep, 2014 - May, 2016
- Bachelor of Science in Computer Engineering, Northwestern University, Chicago
- Sep, 2009 - May, 2013
Resume layout and design: structure your first impression
You’re an engineer, so you know how important clean design is. The first visual impression a hiring manager will get of you is your resume layout and design. What is it you want them to think? “Wow! If this candidate designs engineering projects as clean as this resume, we want to meet them!”
How do you make that impression? Here are some tips:
- Use at least ¾-inch margins even if it is tempting to get a few more words in. (Save them for your interview!)
- Choose legible fonts. Try a sans serif for the text and a serif font for your contact information or vice versa.
- Leave off the graphs and charts.
If you’d like to save time and effort in formatting your resume, you may benefit from using a resume template . These professionally-designed layouts are already equipped with attractive headers and font styles – all you need to do is add your own experience.
Key takeaways for an engineering resume
- Engineers are problem-solvers who know how to design — skills that will help you in your resume creation.
- The market for some engineering specialties is expanding rapidly, but demand in almost all areas is growing.
- Use your analytical and software skills to get the better of Applicant Tracking Systems.
- Check out our engineering resume sample for more ideas on how to format an attractive and effective resume!