Use a hybrid resume format that combines timelines and skills

Tips for Mechanical Engineering Resumes

Here are 5 resume tips for mechanical engineers plus 1 Power Tip:

Tip #1: Begin your resume with a summary paragraph, easily visible at the top of the first page of your resume.

Resume tips for mechanical engineersThe summary paragraph is the part of the resume that will be most often read by your audience, so it must be composed using strong, clear verbiage.

Tip #2: Use a hybrid resume format that combines timelines and skills.

Here’s a description of the features of the hybrid resume from the For Dummies, Making Everything Easier website

Essentially, in a hybrid format a functional summary tops a reverse chronological presentation of dates, employers, and details of each position’s duties.

Tip #3: Include a CORE COMPETENCIES section on your resume.

This is important because many companies and recruiting firms use Applicant Tracking Systems (ATS) to select which resumes to review. If your resume does not contain the required keywords, you will be overlooked. The CORE COMPETENCIES section of your resume must be rich in the correct keywords. A well written CORE COMPETENCIES section for a Mechanical Engineer should include both hard and soft skills. Hard skills might include Thermodynamics, Equipment Design, or Static and Dynamic Analysis. Soft skills might include Team Building or Leadership.

Tip #4: Elevate the language in your resume.

For example, instead of writing “Responsible for”, write “Charged with”; instead of writing “Managed”, write “Oversaw”.

Tip #5: State in quantifiable terms how you, as a Mechanical Engineer, have contributed to the success of the companies where you have worked.

If you’ve made a design change to a product or process that has reduced operating costs for the company, state how much money you’ve saved the company and over what period of time. The job market today is very competitive and employers are looking for engineers who can improve their bottom line. So be sure to describe your professional accomplishments on your resume in quantifiable terms.

Power Tip: Be careful not to include overused, junk phrases on your resume such as Proven track record, Proven leader, A true visionary, or Distinguished. I have been advised that employers often discard resumes that include verbiage like this.

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Engineers and IT professionals – I do know how to communicate the VALUE of what you do to hiring managers and technical recruiters. This short video illustrates how my educational, professional, and family backgrounds have combined to create this unique ability:


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—Vivian Adkins, Resume Writer at Foremost Resumes

About Author

Vivian Adkins, CPRW
Vivian Adkins, CPRW is the owner of Foremost Résumés and a Certified Résumé Writer. On this blog you can learn about résumés, how LinkedIn can help with your job search, how to conduct an online job search, and more.
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