Top Engineering Resume Examples and Tips

An engineering resume needs to have specific traits that can push you through to the interview round. How can you make a great engineering resume?



Table of Contents

  1. Engineering resume example
  2. What Is an Engineering Resume?
  3. What are employers looking for in an engineering resume?
  4. Pick the right format for your engineering resume
  5. How to write an engineering resume
  6. More resume examples and tips
  7. Write an engineering cover letter to accompany your resume
  8. The big takeaways
  9. FAQ: Engineering Resume Examples

Engineering resume example

Engineering resume example

What Is an Engineering Resume?

Engineers are highly trained, incredibly knowledgeable individuals who need a thorough understanding of technical processes to do their jobs well. That means when you’re writing a resume and cover letter for an engineering job, you’re competing against other people who also have amazing skills and plenty of education. How do you stand out in a field where even an entry-level job often has many requirements?

On this page, we’ll provide:

  • Expert engineering resume examples you can use as a foundation for your own resume.
  • Step-by-step guidance for writing an effective resume.
  • Tips on formatting and writing a cover letter to accompany your engineering job application.

What are employers looking for in an engineering resume?

  • A focus on specific skills
  • A hiring manager often sees the same skills, work history and education over and over again in engineering resumes. If you want to turn heads, buck the trend and energize your resume by focusing on specific skills that the employer is looking for.

  • Key engineering accomplishments
  • If you’ve been responsible for a ton of engineering projects over the years, don’t laundry-list them! Instead of focusing too much on everyday responsibilities and projects, highlight successful projects that have been most important to your engineering career.

  • Tailor your resume to the job
  • No two jobs are the same. Read the job description carefully to determine the requirements and responsibilities of the engineering job, and create your engineering resume accordingly. Some employers might value a candidate skilled in AutoCAD and SQL, while others might be searching for someone more knowledgeable in Linux and CSS.

  • Use keywords
  • A big part of tailoring your resume to the job is including keywords and key phrases from the job posting in your resume. Select a handful of skills and listed responsibilities from the job description that apply to you and write them in different sections of your resume.

  • Keep your resume ATS-friendly
  • An applicant tracking system (ATS) is a software that most companies use to filter through resumes so only the most qualified applicants make it through. To make sure your resume is ATS-friendly, use keywords and select a resume template that is easy to read. Our templates are designed by experts with ATS software in mind.

Pick the right format for your engineering resume

There are three standard resume formats you can use to create an engineering resume:

  • Chronological resume: The common resume format, ideal for job seekers with extensive work history. The chronological format places your work experience front and center, so it works best if you have more than nine years of continuous work experience as an engineer.
  • Functional resume: On the other end of the scale is the functional format. This format is better for job applicants who just graduated from college or with less than two years of experience. It emphasizes skills over work history, making it the best option for people who want to assure their potential employer that they have the skills needed to do the job.
  • Combination resume: As the name suggests, the combination format — also known as the hybrid resume — is a mix between the chronological and functional formats. It’s best suited for mid-level professionals with three to eight years of work experience, as it gives equal focus on the work history section and skill set.
  • Some additional resume formatting tips you should consider:

  • Use a professional font. This isn’t the time to be flamboyant; use fonts like Arial, Times New Roman, Verdana or Helvetica.
  • Keep the margins consistent. Stick to 1-inch margins but if you need to make room, you can take them down half an inch.
  • Ensure readability. Your font size should be large enough for recruiters or hiring managers to read. Typically, the body text should be 11-12 points, the subheadings 14-15 and your name 16 or 18.
  • Use the right spacing. Go with a single or 1.5 spacing between lines.
  • Save and download in the correct format. The job description will let you know if the employer wants a specific file format, but usually, saving your engineering resume as a PDF or MS Word format is the best way to go.

How to write an engineering resume

When you’re writing an engineering resume, you need to remember that there are certain writing tips that can help you stand out. Here’s what you need to keep in mind with an engineering resume.

  1. 1. Header and contact information
  2. Write your name in the header, along with your phone number and email address. Make sure that the contact information you use is up-to-date and professional (no silly email addresses here). You can also include your LinkedIn social handle if it’s relevant to the job and will provide additional information about your career.

  3. 2. Resume summary/resume objective
  4. Next, it’s time to summarize your career. You have two options: write a resume summary or write a resume objective.

    A resume summary is a two-to-three-sentence paragraph that gives the potential employer an overall picture of your experience and top skills. It’s best for candidates who have more than two years of experience in the field. For example:

    Detail-oriented engineer with five years of experience in software development. Able to collaborate with others to implement application designs, create a better user experience and solve technical problems. Skilled in AutoCAD, quality control, troubleshooting and advanced knowledge of Microsoft Excel.

    A resume objective is also a short paragraph that provides an overview of your career thus far but also states your career goals. So if you have less than two years of experience or you’re changing careers, you can tell employers what you’re looking for. For example:

    Problem-solving college graduate with a B.A. in computer engineering seeking entry-level computer engineer role in tech company. Well-versed in Python, JavaScript and other programming languages, as well as secure coding and engineering metrics. Skilled communicator and critical thinker.

  5. 3. Skills section
  6. Fleshing out your skills section as an engineer is all about highlighting what you’re best at. Use bullet points to write a mixt of 8-10 hard skills and soft skills, such as:

    Hard skills

    • Prototyping
    • AutoCAD knowledge
    • Project management
    • Troubleshooting

    Soft skills

    • Excellent communication skills
    • Conflict resolution
    • Problem-solving skills
    • Attention to detail
    • Time management
  7. 4. Work experience section
  8. Work experience is often very important for engineers and job seekers will frequently have many years of experience when filling out their experience section. Use your engineering resume to highlight past jobs as well as any independent projects or extracurricular activities where you may have gotten experience. This includes volunteer work in engineering-based industries, internships where you’ve had engineering responsibilities and even academic experience and coursework if you’re still in school.

    In addition to the tips mentioned above, make the most of your work history section by:

    • Using bullet points to highlight accomplishments rather than mundane tasks.
    • Starting each statement with an action verb like planned, organized, coordinated, programmed or oversaw.
    • Quantifying your achievements and using numbers to better portray your work achievements.
    • Writing specific responsibilities that match what the new job wants.

    Take a look at this example of an engineering resume work experience entry:

    Software Engineer / June 2019 – Sept. 2022
    Hue Tech., San Francisco, CA

    • Configured and tested over 15 different troubleshooting methods and documented resolutions for support team.
    • Installed and configured software applications and tested solutions.
    • Worked with team of five engineers and developers to resolve technical issues.
  9. 5. Education
  10. Engineers usually need at least a bachelor’s degree in an engineering discipline in order to get hired, such as aerospace engineering, civil engineering or chemical engineering. A master’s degree may be needed to advance in some fields.

    If you’ve finished your college degree, there’s no need to list your high school experience in your education section. Just feature your undergraduate and/or graduate degrees, along with any relevant specialized coursework or awards. Likewise, if you graduated from university more than 10 years ago, you don’t have to include the graduation date.

    Engineers who are accredited by ABET and are licensed, can include their license number and additional certifications in this section as well.

  11. 6. Additional sections
  12. If you have awards, publications or have participated in important conferences, you can create additional sections in your resume to highlight these accomplishments. Just make sure they’re relevant to the job and will help establish your engineering expertise.

More resume examples and tips

ResumeHelp has plenty of other resources, examples of engineering specialties and expert guides for writing a solid resume.

Write an engineering cover letter to accompany your resume

Your engineering job application won’t be complete without a professional cover letter. We have plenty of cover letter writing resources available:

The big takeaways

To wrap up, here’s a summary of what we covered in this article:

  1. 1. Highlight your top skills in your resume summary or resume objective.
  2. 2. Mention skills and accomplishments relevant to the engineering job.
  3. 3. Include 8-10 hard skills and soft skills.
  4. 4. If you graduated more than 10 years ago, you don’t have to include the graduation date.
  5. 5. Create additional sections in your resume to highlight awards, publications and other achievements.
  6. 6. Resume formats are not interchangeable. Choose the one that best fits your years of experience.
  7. 7. Keep it professional with an appropriate font, like Arial or Verdana.
  8. 8. Maintain margin and spacing consistent throughout your resume.
  9. 9. Save your resume as a PDF or MS Word file format.
  10. 10. Complement your resume with a professional cover letter.

FAQ: Engineering Resume Examples

Q: Do I need to submit a cover letter with engineering resumes?

A cover letter is an important part of a job application, even if it’s not specifically stated in the job description. If you don’t know how to write a cover letter, don’t worry — use the ResumeHelp cover letter builder to create a great letter, with cover letter templates and examples you can use to really boost your experience and accomplishments.

Q: Is it a good idea to change up my engineering resume for every job posting?

Every time you submit a resume, you should make sure you’re updating it to suit the specific job description you’re submitting it with.

Recruiters write job ads with the ideal candidate in mind, so you should make sure you’ve scanned the job description to find important keywords that showcase the kind of skills and experiences they’re looking for (e.g., “ability to read mechanical drawings” or “experience with product design”).

That way, you can update your engineering resume to meet each individual hiring manager’s needs as much as you can. Keywords that match the wording in the job post will help your resume get past the applicant tracking systems (ATS) employers use to scan resumes.

Q: How do I write an engineering resume?

To write an engineering resume, you should:

  1. 1. Include a header with your name and contact information.
  2. 2. Write a professional resume summary or a resume objective with your top skills and experience.
  3. 3. Highlight relevant experience that speaks to your abilities as an engineer.
  4. 4. List between 8-10 hard skills and soft skills that are relevant to the job.
  5. 5. Include your education credentials, certifications and relevant licenses.

Make sure to read the job description carefully and tailor your resume to the job by including key requirements and responsibilities.

Q: How do you make an engineering resume with no experience?

Writing a resume with no experience is possible. Here are some expert tips to keep in mind:

  • Consider using a functional resume format, as it’s ideal for job seekers with little to no work experience.
  • Broaden your definition of work experience. You might not have traditional experience but if you were in an engineering internship, did volunteer work or participated in extracurricular activities that are related to the industry, you can include them as part of your work history section.
  • Include relevant coursework in your education section. If you graduated with a high GPA, write it as well.
  • Write a cover letter where you can further explain why you applied for the position and convince recruiters to get in touch with you.

Q: What does “engineering resume objective” mean?

An engineering resume objective states your goals of employment in engineering. It’s a two-to-three-sentence paragraph at the top of your resume where you:

  • Present yourself
  • Highlight your top skills
  • Clearly state your career goals or the type of work you’re seeking

For example

Diligent college student working towards B.A. in software engineering at Nevada University. Looking for engineering internship to build programming experience and hone coding skills. Excellent critical thinking skills, research skills and computer knowledge.

A resume objective is best for job seekers who have less than two years of experience or are changing careers, so if you’re a candidate with more experience under your belt, you might want to consider writing a professional resume summary instead.

Q: What are some good skills to put on an engineering resume?

Here’s a list of good skills you can include in your engineering resume:

    10 soft engineering skills:

  1. 1. Creativity
  2. 2. Attention to detail
  3. 3. Analytical skills
  4. 4. Ability to work under pressure
  5. 5. Research skills
  6. 6. Brainstorming
  7. 7. Self-management skills
  8. 8. Adaptability
  9. 9. Leadership skills
  10. 10. Reliability

    10 hard engineering skills:

  1. 1. Project management
  2. 2. Debugging
  3. 3. Troubleshooting
  4. 4. Prototyping
  5. 5. Web development
  6. 6. Data structures and algorithms
  7. 7. C++
  8. 8. SQL
  9. 9. Python
  10. 10. JavaScript
Engineering Resume Example

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