Our engineering resume guide will serve as a blueprint for creating your best resume yet. With the help of our free examples, you’ll understand every element of fine resume writing.
These engineering resume templates are free! Pick the one that fits you the most, click the download button, and edit them on your favorite word processor.
This guide will serve as a blueprint for crafting a complete engineering resume. Learn everything about resume formats, how to choose your skills, and key formatting tips. Let’s get started.
Before writing your resume, you need to understand that all resumes follow one of the three resume formats: chronological, functional and combination. Picking the right format will help you organize your resume’s content by making your strengths shine and your weaknesses less obvious.
The chronological format focuses on your work history section by outlining your most recent roles in reverse-chronological order. You’ll include three bullet points that describe your top achievements in each job. Although this is the most commonly used format, we only recommend you use it if you’ve had 10+ years of relevant experience in engineering.
The functional format minimizes the importance of the work history section, making this an ideal format for recent engineering graduates or trainees with no previous work experience. In functional resumes, the skills section takes center stage and is expanded upon with specific details of how you’ve mastered your respective skills.
The combination format highlights equally your work experience and your skills; one section is not more important than the other. This is an excellent choice for applicants who are changing careers into engineering or vying for a promotion in the same company, for example.
Engineering is a highly technical field with diverse skill sets. Employers want to hire applicants who will rise to any work challenge, whether that is finding solutions for an engineering hazard or making sure multiple departments communicate and work together seamlessly in a project. When creating your skills section, it’s essential to include various skill types that show you’re the strongest and most well-rounded candidate.
Skills are divided into the following categories: soft, hard and technical skills. Hard skills are those that pertain more directly to your job and its tasks. For an engineer, hard skills would include system design, computer science, or statistics.
Soft skills consist of innate characteristics that help you efficiently achieve your tasks. They don’t necessarily have to do with your industry, but they help you be a better employee. Any engineer should include soft skills such as teamwork, presentation skills, good verbal and written communication, scheduling, and organization.
Technical skills fall under the umbrella of digital or technological knowledge. Technical skills have to do with your expertise in tech tools like Computer-Aided Design (CAD) software, Finite Element Analysis (FEA) software, and Excel.
If you need help finding skills to include in your engineering resume, browse the list below and pick the ones you feel apply to you:
We also recommend browsing the job description and identifying any repeated keywords. These keywords are usually required skills and qualifications. Make a list of the ones you possess and include them in your skill section and throughout your entire resume. Recruiters that are quickly skimming resumes will be on the lookout for these particular skills.
Once you have your complete list of skills, decide how you want to present them on your resume. It is standard practice to include a list of six to eight skills in your resume. In functional resumes, you also need to select three more skills to include in a main skills section. These skills will have three to four bullet points describing achievements and tasks that show your mastery of the respective skills.
Take a look at this example of an expanded skills section in an engineer resume:
Your work history should always appear in reverse-chronological order and include your job title, company, location, and dates of employment — no matter the resume format. In chronological and combination resumes, your work history is accompanied by three to four bullet points that outline the key accomplishments you executed in each role.
An excellent way to maximize this outline is by including quantifiable achievements. Whenever you list a task or accomplishment, try to think of ways you can measure it with numbers. Whether it’s the number of clients served, an increase in productivity, or anything else that can be quantified, express it with numbers, percentages, or dollar amounts. Employers love to see how you can impact their business in measurable ways.
Use this engineering work history example to build your own:
Ferrer Development LLC, Buffalo, NY
10/2015 to 06/2019
Engineers need to have at least a bachelor’s degree in engineering for entry-level positions, and a master’s degree and proper license to oversee other engineers, sign off on projects and provide services to the public. Including your high school graduation date would be redundant in this case.
Here’s an example of an engineering resume’s education section:
University of Illinois at Chicago Chicago, IL | 05/2012
Master of Science: Engineering Technology
Eastern Illinois University Charleston, IL
Bachelor of Science: Civil Engineering
Including licenses and other certifications can be included in an additional custom section titled Licenses. Here you should list your Professional Engineer (PE) license and any further training.
Here’s how to list your engineering license on your resume:
Licenses and Certifications
Including a cover letter in your job application gives you a bigger chance of impressing potential employers. Any information you couldn’t fit into your resume can be showcased in your cover letter. Because of its narrative style, you can even explain in more detail how you managed to sell a multimillion-dollar infrastructure project to a very demanding client, for example. Our Cover Letter Builder is the best tool to write a cover letter quickly and easily.Build a Cover Letter
Writing a successful resume for an engineering internship will depend on choosing the right format and highlighting the ideal skills. For students or recent graduates looking for an engineering internship, we recommend the functional format. This will allow you to primarily showcase the skills you’ve learned in school, science fairs or competitions, and any extracurricular activities. Don’t be discouraged by a lack of formal experience; employers want to know that you’re proactive and motivated to work, so feel free to include your participation in any robotics clubs, college associations or even final projects that show you have an idea of how to work for an engineering firm.
Engineering jobs are one of the most high-paying occupations in the U.S. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the median annual pay for engineering and architecture jobs was more than half of the median annual salary of all occupations in the U.S economy. However, what you earn depends on what area of engineering you’re specialized in and where you practice. Check out this table to compare the wages of the highest-paid engineers:
Engineering programs around the country are highly competitive, meaning the required GPA tends to be higher than most fields of study. The average GPA in engineering programs around the U.S. is around 3.2. If you want to stand out, a GPA between 3.5 and 4.0 is outstanding in all fields. However, the GPA’s importance is progressively decreasing when it comes to finding a job, so don’t stress if yours is not that impressive. You can always compensate for an average or below-average GPA by highlighting achievements such as projects or practical experience in your resume.
The best templates for an engineering resume should show professionalism, a lean layout, and not too many distracting design elements. As one of the oldest fields, the engineering world remains traditional, so you would do well with professional, simple, or basic resume templates.
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