Becoming an engineer isn’t easy and requires an extensive amount of skills and qualifications. So, it's important to give yourself a fighting chance with a professional resume. The best engineering resume examples will highlight certifications, skills, work experience, and information specific to the engineering field. This helps the hiring manager or recruiter decide whether you’re the ideal candidate.
The structure of your resume will likely be defined by the resume format you choose. Engineers usually require lots of industry knowledge and skills, so will benefit from a chronological resume format. Regardless of the resume format, each resume will have the following five sections:
The header section is usually the first section of your resume and contains your contact information. In this section, you will list your name, location, phone number, and email address. Providing this information ensures that the recruiter or hiring manager can contact you for an interview.
You can also include a link to portfolio sites that showcase your previous work. This might be useful for mechanical engineers and civil engineers. You can also link to networking sites, like LinkedIn, to provide the recruiter with more information.
Your resume summary allows you to introduce yourself to the hiring manager. Explain why you’re the ideal candidate. You can do this by summarizing your experience and skills, and mentioning certifications that will grab the reader’s attention. This section is usually two to three sentences long, so it's important to be very succinct and impactful.
You should also include keywords in the resume summary. This can help your resume get through applicant tracking systems (ATS) that identify keyword-dense resumes. An ATS selects the engineering resumes that have the most industry knowledge and experience.
If you don't have any experience because you’ve only recently graduated, the skills section is your chance to show why you’re the ideal candidate for an entry-level job. The skills section contains a mixture of both hard skills and soft skills. Hard skills are role-specific and soft skills are transferable across many industries.
An effective resume will have skills specific to the type of engineering field you’re applying for. If you can’t think of terms that sum up your engineering skills, consider using these bullet points for inspiration:
If you have experience in an engineering job, your work experience section might be the most dominant part of your engineering resume. Your work history section is a record of previous roles in reverse-chronological order. You should only include relevant experience from the last 10 years so you don’t clutter your resume. If you have more than 10 years of experience, you can add it to your LinkedIn profile.
List your primary responsibilities in bullet point format under each job title. You should also include the company name, location, and the dates you started and finished. The resume builder from ResumeNerd will help you professionally format this section.
Your education section will largely depend on the type of qualifications you need for the specific engineering field you are applying for. For example, a software engineer might require a bachelor’s degree in computer science. Whereas a chemical engineer needs a bachelor’s degree in biochemistry.
You should list your degree title, the university, and the year you graduated. Unless you graduated within the last year and you have a GPA of 3.5 or higher, don’t list your GPA on your resume. Recruiters are normally more interested in your experience and certifications.
Cover letters are a great way to give the hiring manager or recruiter more information about your industry knowledge and skills. Although you don’t always need to provide a cover letter, you might be able to convey your enthusiasm with a cover letter. You can use a cover letter example to help you do this.
If you’re a recent graduate or going through a career change, you can still write an engineering resume with no experience. You can choose a functional resume format and explain how your skills and industry knowledge allow you to carry out engineering duties. You should also explain in your cover letter how you plan to compensate for a lack of experience.
To become an engineer, you need to follow these steps:
1. Earn a degree from an ABET-accredited course (Accreditation Board for English and Technology)
2. Gain your license with a Fundamentals of Engineering Exam
3. Get a master’s degree in your chosen sub-discipline like electrical engineering or industrial engineering.