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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:
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
There are three standard resume formats you can use to create an engineering resume:
Some additional resume formatting tips you should consider:
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.
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.
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:
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:
Take a look at this example of an engineering resume work experience entry:
Software Engineer / June 2019 – Sept. 2022
Hue Tech., San Francisco, CA
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.
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.
ResumeHelp has plenty of other resources, examples of engineering specialties and expert guides for writing a solid resume.
Your engineering job application won’t be complete without a professional cover letter. We have plenty of cover letter writing resources available:
To wrap up, here’s a summary of what we covered in this article:
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.
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.
To write an engineering resume, you should:
Make sure to read the job description carefully and tailor your resume to the job by including key requirements and responsibilities.
Writing a resume with no experience is possible. Here are some expert tips to keep in mind:
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:
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.
Here’s a list of good skills you can include in your engineering resume:
10 soft engineering skills:
10 hard engineering skills: