You make machines work by making sure every part is taken care of.
Good news: you also make a resume work by making sure every detail is taken care of. Does it show your strengths? Does it show how you can help the company? Does it speak to the job and the company? Is it typo-free?
Follow these steps and work through each detail to make your mechanical engineer resume work.
What should be on a mechanical engineer’s resume?
1. Contact information
It doesn’t matter how impressive your resume is if you don’t have clear and accurate contact information on it.
Put your essential information right on top of your resume. Consider adding your LinkedIn profile, personal website, or career title if they help convey your strengths. A full address is no longer preferred - a city name is all recruiters need to know.
Checklist for a resume header:
- Full name
- Email address
- Phone number
- City and state (optional)
- LinkedIn profile (optional)
- Personal website or portfolio (optional)
- Career title (optional)
2. Resume summary or resume objective
Imagine you are a recruiter with hundreds of resumes piled on your table. Wouldn’t it be nice if you can decide if each candidate is a go or no-go in less than 10 seconds?
Definitely. That’s what resume summaries or resume objectives are for.
For experienced professionals, a resume summary highlights your top expertise and achievements so that recruiters can grasp your strengths and experiences in seconds.
For freshers, a resume objective outlines your educational background, core skills and career goals so that recruiters can quickly decide if you’re a fit.
How to write a compelling resume summary/objective, then?
First of all, write it AFTER you finish the rest of your resume. Look through all your listed experiences and jot down keywords that best represent them.
Next, look closely at the job description that you’re applying for and highlight the skills and experiences that are specified.
The keywords that are on both lists should be the first thing in your resume summary since they show that you’re a good fit. To stand out even more, add relevant achievements, hard and soft skills, as well as your career goals if you have limited professional experience.
Finally, remember to keep your resume summary/objective within 2 to 4 sentences. Pick only your best skills and leave the rest to other sections.
3. Work experience
As a mechanical engineer, you hold huge responsibilities. How to describe your past jobs to best showcase your capability?
A resume is not built to show what you have done. It is built to show how you can help the employer. Which means if your work couldn’t help a company, for example, save costs or increase profit, it doesn’t worth much to an employer.
How to focus on achievements? Here’s a simple model:
As a mechanical engineer, show off your skills with numbers and data by describing your impact with metrics. Be as specific as possible!
Finally, make sure to tailor your words to the position you’re applying for. You don’t want to make up things you never did, but you can highlight and prioritize the work that’s most relevant, and use the exact keywords specified in the job description.
Mechanical engineers rely heavily on solid technical skills. A list of keywords makes it quick and easy for recruiters to get an idea of what you’re capable of.
Skills vary depending on your field, but remember to include both hard skills and soft skills. Hard skills are technical and field-specific knowledge, while soft skills are often interpersonal skills or personality traits that are valued across fields.
Another option is to merge your soft skills into your resume summary/objective by describing what kind of person you are, instead of listing them in the skills section.
Common hard skills for mechanical engineers:
- CAD skills
- Programming skills: Matlab, C++, Python
- Data Analysis
- Fluid Flow Analysis
- Production Planning
- Production Testing
- Machining and Welding
- Computer Simulation and modeling
- Quality testing and troubleshooting
Common soft skills for mechanical engineers:
- Analytical mindset
Education can be a brief section if you graduated more than 5 years ago. Simply list your school name, degree, graduation date and location.
However, if you are a junior mechanical engineer with less than 3 years of work experience, you might want to make better use of your education background.
Additional details to add to a resume education section:
- GPA (only if it’s impressive)
- Relevant coursework
- Relevant class project, thesis or research
- Academic awards
- Student leadership roles
Why add those details? Think about your college classmate who graduated with the same degree. Chances are you have very different college experiences since you took different electives and participated in different student activities, yet your education looks identical on your resumes. To stand out, add details that let recruiters learn more about you and your unique experiences.
Have more to show off? Consider adding a bonus section for them.
For example, relevant certificates can prove your credibility. List the name, organization and issued date. Or you might want to share your research and projects that showcase your skills and speak to the job or the company.
Keep it short though - remember that a bonus section is secondary to all the sections listed above.
Further reading: 7 Effective Tips for a Successful Engineering Resume
How to choose the right resume format?
1. Resume format & order
Unless you have large time gaps between jobs, a chronological order is the best option since HRs can see your top and latest achievements first.
You can also try a hybrid format by adding longer descriptions to your resume skills section but still write your work experience section in a chronological order.
2. Resume design & layout
Being a mechanical engineer doesn’t mean your resume should look boring. You can easily make your resume reader-friendly and visually appealing by the help of customizable resume builders, such as our very own CakeResume builder.
Note that the purpose of resume design is not to make it fancy, but to make it clean and clear. Your goal is simply to make HRs willing to read and easily find key information.
To make a reader-friendly resume, you might consider using a 2-column layout. However, be careful with columns if your resume might go through an ATS system.
As an automatic software, some ATS are not compatible with columns. They read only from left to right and from top to bottom, which might cause distortion to your resume.
If you are applying for a competitive position that will likely attract hundreds of applicants, it is likely that the recruiter will use an ATS. With that in mind, you might want to stick to a safer single-column resume layout. If you’re sure your resume will land in a human’s hand, feel free to try different layouts and columns.
3. Resume font
For a document with large amount of texts, your choice of font matters a lot.
Again, the purpose is to make your resume easy to read. Stay away from script fonts, playful fonts such as Comic Sans, and heavy fonts that are for large posters. Stick to clean and classic fonts that look professional and reader-friendly. Here are some examples:
To distinguish headings and paragraphs, you can choose different font types, sizes or colors, but use no more than 2 font types and no more than 2 colors other than black and white.
Mechanical engineer resume examples & templates (Downloadable!)
Like the design? Use CakeResume's free resume builder to easily make yourself a stunning resume.
Check out more resume examples on CakeResume!
3 bonus tips for mechanical engineers
- Avoid non-necessary technical jargon. It is likely that HRs and seniors without mechanical engineering background will read your resume first. You want them to understand your strengths too.
- Build an online portfolio for your mechanical projects. Have you built impressive projects that’s difficult to explain in bullet points? An online portfolio site lets you showcase your experience in multiple formats.
- Remember to proofread! As a mechanical engineer, you don’t want to look careless by having typos or grammatical errors in your resume.