7 Ways to Get an Engineering Job with No Experience

how to get an engineering job with no experience

“Entry-level position! *Requires 3 years of relevant industry experience*” is probably the most infuriating thing a recent grad can see. Many students, despite their best efforts, find themselves graduating with no internship or co-op experience, and are finding it difficult to secure a job after graduation. The pandemic didn’t help, seeing as many companies stopped hiring interns or even retracted offers. So how are you supposed to get experience when every job requires experience?

Unfortunately, there’s no one set answer to this question. But here are some ideas that are hopefully more helpful than the typical “make sure your resume is in good shape”, because I’m sure you didn’t think of that, right?

Quick Links

  • Pivot your resume
  • Create a portfolio
  • Apply to larger companies
  • Apply to alternative entry-level positions
  • Go through a contracting agency
  • Apply to internships that accept graduates
  • Apply for grad school

1. Pivot your resume

Employers like to see internships on resumes because it shows hands-on experience. If you don’t have internship experience, include projects you’ve done for classes on your resume. Go into detail on what the project was and what you specifically did for it. Write about it as if the project was something a company gave you as an intern project.  

2. Create a portfolio

Creating a portfolio is a great way to stand out. Take any class projects, personal projects, or research you did in undergrad and turn it into a portfolio. Include pictures, what you did for the projects, and any learnings you took away from it. Keep the portfolio short and to the point. Portfolios are typically created in word, but doing them in PowerPoint can be a great way to keep it organized and to the point.

On most applications, there’s a section to include any additional documents. Submit it there. Going the extra mile to create and submit a portfolio will be very impressive to employers.

3. Apply to larger companies

The problem with applying to smaller companies or start-ups is that they have a much smaller budget. Having the budget to hire someone is a big deal and they can’t afford to take a risk on someone. They also usually don’t have the time or resources to train brand-new engineers. Start-ups tend to need someone who can just jump into the role and not need much guidance.

Larger companies have ample hiring budgets. They can afford to hire engineers and take the time to train them from the ground-up.

4. Apply to alternative entry-level positions

If you’re really struggling to find an engineering job, you can try applying to another engineering-related entry-level position. Look for the job titles of field service engineer, technician, and drafter in your job search. These are often less competitive to get, but still look impressive on a resume.

It may not be the ideal job, but it’s very common for new grads to use these jobs as stepping stones. They do the job for a year or so before getting promoted to an engineer at the company they’re at, or switching to another company as an engineer.

As long as you’re proactive about switching to an engineering role after a year or two, this is a great option for new engineers.

For more information on the alternative entry-level positions, check out 3 Alternative Entry-Level Jobs for Engineers .

5. Go through a contracting agency

Many engineers start their careers as contractors. Contractors are engineers that are hired from contracting agencies to join the company for a designated amount of time, typically a few months. They are usually hired when teams need extra help for a specific project, but don’t expect to need a full-time employee.

Contracting is a great option because contractors are often converted to full-time employees after their contract is up. It is also a great way to try different companies/industries. If you don’t like a specific company or industry, you can just leave after a few months with no hard feelings. It also looks great on resumes because you are doing real engineering work.

The major down-side of contracting is that the company is typically not required to provide any benefits. As a contractor, you probably won’t receive a 401k, insurance, or any other benefits a full-time employee would have.

6. Apply to internships that accept graduates

Internships for graduates are definitely harder to find than internships for undergrads, but they exist. Look for job postings that don’t mention having to be enrolled in an undergraduate program. Also, look for smaller companies. They are less likely to have strict requirements.

For more information on getting internships after graduation, read Can you Get an Internship After College? Yes. And Here’s How .

7. Apply for grad school

Applying for grad school might be a good option for you for two reasons. First, if you have any desire to go to grad school, it’s worth at least applying. Getting a masters will give you more time to complete an internship. It will also make you more appealing to employers. Many companies consider years of industry experience equal to years of graduate school experience, whereas that doesn’t apply for undergrad.

Applying for grad school can also be beneficial if you don’t necessarily want to go or are unsure. Many engineering companies require you to be currently enrolled in a program, but will accept an offer letter showing acceptance to a graduate school. Lots of students do internships between undergrad and graduate school and decide during the summer they like working industry and chose to stay rather than attend graduate school.

Getting into graduate school does take time, work, and money so it might not be the best option for some people. It’s at least worth thinking about, though.

Not all students find internships in college, and that’s okay. No matter what, engineering is still a very valuable degree and you WILL get a job. Hopefully, these tips will help you secure a job in engineering.

What to Wear to an Engineering Internship Interview

3 Alternative Entry-Level Jobs for Engineers

Can you get an Internship After College? Yes. And Here’s How.

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How To Make Your Entry-Level Engineering Resume Stand Out

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According to Glassdoor, for one job opening, only 2% of applicants will be called in for an interview. Yikes…that sounds intimidating. But don’t stress, I’m here to help you be part of that 2% by letting you know how to make your entry-level engineering resume stand out.    

You see, I have been on both sides of this process. As an engineering student, I held three internships and landed my dream job out of college. Then, as an engineer I have interviewed numerous candidates ranging from co-ops to principal engineers. Moreover, I’ve worked at a number of career fairs. Therefore, I am going to give you insight into what employers are looking for, which will make you stand out.

First, let’s start with what not to do. Hiring managers are bombarded with resumes so they look for easy mistakes to quickly cut the pile down.  As reported by Careerbuilder, 39% of HR managers spend less than a minute initially looking at a resume and 19% spend less than 30 seconds . Therefore, make sure you don’t give them a reason to pass you by, by avoiding the mistakes below.

Here’s what not to do if you want to make your entry-level engineering resume standout:

1. don’t list course work.

By stating you are an engineering major you are already covering this. It also takes up space that you could be using for valuable information to make you stand out. The majority of resumes I’ve seen from students include a course section, but yours won’t!

Instead think about what you did in those courses. For example, did you learn a specific skill? Did you complete a project? What was the outcome of the project? Did you lead a team working on a group project? This is much more important to an employer than listing classes. In addition, it is great to use if you do not have any relevant work experience. This is the information to include instead.`

2. Don’t Include An Interests Section

The interests section immediately makes the employer assume you are trying to take up space because you are lacking experience. It looks unprofessional as well. The only exception is if the interests relates to the job. For instance, you participated in a robotics club or you enjoy carpentry. These are hands on interests that are relevant to engineering. On the other hand, maybe you traveled to over 40 countries and the job you are applying for is a global company. If the job requires a lot of travel, then this would be okay to add as well.

You can also highlight your personality using a volunteer section for your resume. Think of it as what can you do for the company as opposed to an about me. So keep the relevant interests and ditch the irrelevant, like gym enthusiast (yes, that was on a resume).

This one might be shocking to you, but I have seen it a number of times so it made the list. If you are doing all of the work to get an engineering degree, please list it on your resume correctly. Do not list a Bachelor of Arts when you are getting a Bachelor of Science. You can verify the degree you are receiving by looking in the course catalog under your major. There, you can double check how your degree and major should be listed on your resume.

4. Don’t Have An Unprofessional Email Address

This may not seem like a big deal, but it is. Employers are looking for quick ways to review resumes so do not give them an easy reason to reject yours. Surprisingly, 35% of employers will reject your resume if it has an unprofessional email address. Usually your school email address is appropriate because it will usually be your name, such as [email protected]. So use that instead of your personal email address you created in high school that might not be professional.

5. Don’t List Something You Cannot Speak

There is nothing worse than sitting in an interview and being asked about something on your resume, that you cannot answer. Everything on your resume you should be able to talk about. Answering questions about your resume should be the easy part of the interview.

For example, if you list that you designed a specific part for a group project, you may be asked to explain how you did it or what materials you used. If you cannot elaborate or answer easy questions about a topic, it is better to leave it off your resume.

laptop, headphones, and sign

Here’s what you should do to make your entry-level engineering resume standout:

1. start with the basics.

  • Key sections you should include are contact information, education, work experience, projects, skills (computer, languages, activities/volunteer/leadership), and awards/honors.
  • Add your GPA to the education section if it is a 3.0 or higher on a 4.0 scale.
  • Make sure to list your employment and project work experience in order of most recent to oldest.
  • Use bullet points under each section to make your resume easy to read.
  • Start each bullet point with an action verb, such as developed, designed, led, and organized.

2. Customize Your Resume To The Job Description

The first thing you should do when you want to apply for a job is to start with the job description. Review it and note the requirements that align with your skills and experiences. Make sure that these are included in your resume.

Remember, your job is to show the employer how you can help them. The contents of your resume should be relevant to the company. An easy way to do this is by using what they are looking for and including it in your resume.  Careerbuilder says 60% of HR managers pay attention to whether their resume has been customized to their open position.  Therefore, by doing this you will stand out!

However, make sure you do not copy the job description. Make sure it is in your own words and that it fits naturally. In addition, do not over stuff your resume with the job description, otherwise it will seem like you are just copying the job description.

If you are applying to multiple jobs, then it is okay and a best practice to have multiple versions of your resume. This way you will ensure you are tailoring each resume to the specific job you are applying.

3. Highlight Your Work Experience And Technical Accomplishments​

Many students sell themselves short when it comes to their accomplishments and experience. For example, I have seen an entry-level engineering resume that has internship experience listed, but one of the bullets is-  Performed testing.  Testing is valuable experience, but this person is selling themselves short. You see, they did not include the equipment they used, what they tested, why they did the testing, and the result.

Including the equipment used will show your knowledge of test equipment. Also, noting what you tested and why demonstrates the importance of the testing to the project. Above all, including the result shows the value you brought the company, which again, is what all employers care about.

Therefore, a simple equation for writing a description that is sure to stand out is  action verb + task accomplished + result=great bullet .  Following this equation the above example could be improved to-  Performed  tensile testing using an Instron  to  determine which material to choose for the design .

Whenever possible, it is great to include numbers, such as dollars made or percent of time saved, for your result. This quantifies your impact, which will impress employers.Using this formula will ensure you stand out by thoroughly explaining your experience!

This section is particularly important if you have not had an internship yet. Your project work will be the most relevant representation of your work. This is a section many students leave off and it is a big mistake. You will stand out if you have this. Also, you can include anything from personal research projects to group projects. When describing the project on your resume, identify your role in the project, your contribution or responsibilities, and the outcome.

This is also a great place to emphasize your soft skills. Soft skills are also referred to as interpersonal skills. Some of these skills include communication, organization, and critical thinking. These are extremely important in engineer because engineers work with so many different people. Don’t just take my word for it. According to LinkedIn, 92% of talent professionals say soft skills matter as much or more than hard skills when they hire.  Why is that? Soft skills are often challenging to teach. Most employers feel they can teach new hires technical skills, which is part of the on the job training. However, it is much more difficult to teach someone soft skills. Therefore, make sure to include these in your resume if you want to stand out!

Need some inspiration for the technical and soft skills employers are looking for? The good news is that we’ve built a  quick summary list  that covers all the skills so you can quickly identify your strengths to highlight on your resume and next interview, this will definitely pay off! For a limited time, get  your free list now !

5. Include Categories In Your Skills Section

Having a skills section is critical for engineers. Some categories you could include are lab techniques and equipment, computer software, and languages. Make sure to include your experience or skill level for each (such as novice, intermediate, and expert).

For computer software, don’t forget to include the Microsoft Office Suite. This might seem obvious, like everyone knows this so why put it on your resume. However, it usually is in the job description, which you are trying to have your resume align with. Also, Word, PowerPoint, and Excel are critical in engineering. In addition if you are proficient in one of these areas, such as Excel, you should highlight that in the skills section.

6. Save As A PDF

Make sure you save your resume as a PDF and not a word document. Saving it as a PDF will ensure your formatting you worked so hard on is not impacted by the device the hiring manager views it on.

For example, if you write your resume on a Mac using Pages, the manager could open the document on a PC using Word. This could impact your formatting. Saving it as a PDF will ensure this does not happen.

If you already have a resume or you are just starting to draft yours, making sure you follow the suggestions above will make you stand out. To sum it up, be sure you avoid these five mistakes:

  • Don’t list course work
  • Don’t include an interests section
  • Don’t list the wrong degree
  • Don’t have an unprofessional email address
  • Don’t list something you cannot speak to

On the other hand, make sure you follow the guidelines below:

  • Start with the basics
  • Customize your resume to the job description
  • Highlight your work experience and technical accomplishments
  • Detail your project experience
  • Include categories in your skills section
  • Save as a PDF

By avoiding these 5 mistakes and following these 6 best practices will make your entry-level engineering resume stand out amongst your peers.

Need some inspiration for the technical and soft skills employers are looking for? The good news is that we’ve built a  quick summary list   that covers all the skills so you can quickly identify your strengths to highlight on your resume and next interview, this will definitely pay off! For a limited time, get  your free list now !

If you enjoyed this article on how to make your entry-level engineering resume stand out or have any questions, please feel free to leave a comment below!

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What should a self-taught/no experience programmer's resume look like? [closed]

I asked a question a while back about knowing when you're ready to look for a job and got positive replies. Now I'm working on writing up a resume to begin my job search.

The title pretty much sums up the question, what should a self-taught programmer who has nothing but personal project experience put in a resume?

PS. What I really want to ask is for someone to take a quick look at my resume(draft) but I know that's too specific here. Is there a place where I can ask this type of question?

EDIT: Thanks to everyone for the feedback. I've finished a RC version and will hopefully be entering the job market soon.

Ella's user avatar

  • 3 Commenters: comments are meant for seeking clarification, not for extended discussion. If you have a solution, leave an answer. If your solution is already posted, please upvote it. If you'd like to discuss this question with others, please use chat . See the FAQ for more information. –  user8 Commented May 27, 2011 at 22:39

8 Answers 8

Your resume is your resume. You can search the internet for styles/templates or you can even use Microsoft Word's resume templates.

Frankly, I hate seeing the same resume template over and over again and enjoy resume's where the applicant took the time to create their own resume.

More or less though you want to include the following:

  • Make sure this is current, name/email/phone, address if you want but I do not think address is needed.
  • If you are self taught you probably do not have job experience. Personal projects or open source project contributions could be listed here if any.
  • This for a self taught might overlap, be the same as experience section.
  • Any education relevant cannot hurt.

Cover letter - Cover letter explanation cannot hurt to explain your situation and lack of formal work experience.

Chris's user avatar

  • Would you recommend leaving off non-relevant experience? I have a lot of business experience, but I want to code. –  Ella Commented May 27, 2011 at 16:29
  • 3 @Jack: you might want to leave off the tree trimming experience. Unless you did the tree trimming in Python, in which case ... never mind. :-) –  Peter Rowell Commented May 27, 2011 at 17:08
  • @Peter Rowell: I would think tree trimming would be easier in Scheme, but that's just my opinion. I included it for business experience as I am an owner of one company and a consultant for the other. My real question is should I leave out the business stuff entirely? I don't want to get thrown into management/marketing/customer service. –  Ella Commented May 27, 2011 at 17:16
  • 2 @Jack: No, I would leave it in because (quite frankly) there's too many programmers that don't understand that the fundamental reason for most businesses to exist is not programming. That said, you might want to see if there's a programming spin you can put on any of it. Together with the fact that you are applying for a programming position might give them a small hint you don't want to do the business thing anymore. –  Peter Rowell Commented May 27, 2011 at 17:28
  • +1 for listing contributions to open source projects. People looking for programmers essentially want to know: 1) Can you do the work we need you to do, without us holding your hand? 2) Can you code in a team? 3) Will you fit into the team at a social level? - The first two are being sold by your CV, the third one is sold in an interview. Showing that you've worked on open source projects covers the first two, even moreso if the project work covered similar languages and technologies that your job involves. –  Polynomial Commented Feb 9, 2012 at 12:37

The most sensible approach in this situation would be to cite project you have finished . That will communicate an image of you being doer . Therefore put focus on things you've accomplished as opposed to what you have started, tried then abandoned. You can extract skills you obtained through "tried" projects and put in a separate "skills" section without mentioning those projects themselves.

If you have no accomplished projects then, well, it is a problem then.

  • What constitutes an accomplished project? The projects I have listed are "accomplished" in the sense that they are usable. However they are not in any way close to commercial quality. I'm not sure how long it would take me to create a commercial quality interpreter/charting program/genetic programming system, but I would think the time would be measured in years. –  Ella Commented May 27, 2011 at 16:10
  • @Jack Trades: What you have is fine. They are working and therefore accomplished. What I meant is avoid mentioning things like you got interest in, started but then stopped because of whatever reason there might be (little time, study, family life etc.). –  user8685 Commented May 27, 2011 at 16:33

this question is likely to be closed as too localized soon, so here's a quick impression -

get rid of the blog headers and menus and footers - "pointless programming" is a cute blog name, but a terrible title for a resume. Don't give the reader anywhere else to go to but your resume (aka make it a "landing page")

for each project, personal or otherwise, state the benefit that it created - with specific numbers whenever possible. saved $X. 27.3% faster. decreased processing time by 50%. half the code of the leading brand. whatever. This makes it more real and shows that you know how to add value to a business.

if you mention your blog in the same breath as your programming projects, include traffic stats. a blog with 200 pages that no one reads is less impressive than one with 10,000 unique visitors per month [and if you have that, sell your visitors something they need!]. If your blog has no readers and no traffic, move it to a Technical Writing skill section instead. it's valuable - good communication is extremely valuable - but it's not programming per se

instead of self-employed, put "Owner". Sounds more serious

Steven A. Lowe's user avatar

  • Thanks for taking a look. I won't put my final resume on my blog (at least not like it appears now), that is just a rough to get some criticism. The tips on projects sound really good. I get about 1,000 page views/month on my blog. Is that notable? –  Ella Commented May 27, 2011 at 16:35
  • @Jack - I would guess most of those are not actual users just web crawlers. –  Ramhound Commented May 27, 2011 at 16:38
  • @Jack look at where your visits are coming from and what keywords people are using to find your page, this will tell you whether it's bots or not. 1K views/month is not much - see alexa.com/siteinfo/pointlessprogramming.wordpress.com# on the other hand having a regularly updated blog is a sign of commitment and follow-through and passion so it's a plus. Just keep in mind that a resume is a sales brochure and the product is you –  Steven A. Lowe Commented May 27, 2011 at 19:33
  • I really have no idea what percentage are bots. I get most of my views from answers I've posted in newsgroups/QA sites, but that's based only on info from Wordpress stats and Clicky. Though I do look at my stats, I'm not really writing with the intention of having a popular blog. Mostly I use writing articles as a way to help me learn about new concepts. I find that I learn best when I teach others, even if the 'others' are fictional. –  Ella Commented May 27, 2011 at 20:01
  • I gave this a +1 because metrics and accomplishments are important. It makes you appear far more valuable than "I was responsible for ..." which shows the tasks you did, but not how great you were at them. –  Nic Commented May 28, 2011 at 3:06

I suggest writing a 'Profile' paragraph at the top of your resumé that explains who you are and what you're about, in actual sentences. The rest of the document is evidence to back that up, keywords for recruiters, and talking points for the interview. To make space for the profile you can collapse all the business skills bullet points into a comma separated list. I also suggest moving the tech SKILLS more to the forefront, list your projects after. I think you're resumé's actually pretty impressive, just slightly confusing initially.

Incidentally, from reading your blog I notice you have a section called 'What in the hell...' series... funny, I was planning to put exactly the same thing on my personal homepage, even called the same thing. Hope you get some good feedback for that section.

Andrew M's user avatar

  • Thanks for the tips and sorry for the confusing format. This is a very rough draft of my resume and I'm sure it will end up looking completely different by the time I've finished. This is actually the first resume I've ever written. The inspiration for the "What In The Hell" series came from the "What the heck is" series on Squawks of the Parrot. Most were written to firm up my understanding of the concepts. Unfortunately I haven't gotten much feedback at all on my blog (good or bad), even though that was a major incentive for writing it. –  Ella Commented May 27, 2011 at 18:13

It's obvious from your comments here and from a brief perusal of your blog and code that your value proposition isn't being fully delivered by your resume. You should include a brief synopsis that describes your experience and interests. You should describe challenges overcome and goals delivered wherever possible: previous work experience, open source, personal projects.

If it's acceptable for me to link it here (mods or others, please edit this paragraph out if not), you may want to look at my resume as an example: http://reinh.github.com . Quirky formatting aside, I think it does a reasonable job of presenting my value proposition and may suggest ways you could improve yours. (Please note that I'm not looking for a job. :)

Also keep in mind that for a junior software developer with a short resume, the best thing you can do IMO is build your personal brand in your relevant communities (local and online) by giving talks, contributing to open source, and offering assistance in forums, irc and sites like SE.

Last but not least: at this point in your career, networking is very important. Your best chance of getting a good job is to do so through word of mouth, where the resume itself becomes something of a formality.

Rein Henrichs's user avatar

  • I did a search for value proposition and I'm not sure I understand what that means in a deep sense. I looked at your resume and did get some ideas, that was helpful. As for networking I've been trying to put some stuff out there but haven't had much success. I'm pretty hard-headed when it comes to asking for help and I'm not quite expert enough to answer many questions without researching first. Unfortunately where I live has a small tech community and I've looked for meet-ups in the area also without success. –  Ella Commented May 27, 2011 at 18:34
  • By value proposition, I mean why should I hire you? –  Rein Henrichs Commented May 27, 2011 at 18:37
  • I think I understand a bit better. I have a tendency to be somewhat wordy and I find it very hard to keep everything I want to tell a potential employer to one page. If I don't at least start with a bullet-point rough draft I end up with a 50 page document that describes everything in excruciating detail. Somehow I'm going to have to find a balance for the final draft. Thanks for looking it over. –  Ella Commented May 27, 2011 at 18:54

Maybe this isn't the most honest answer (as far as the employer would be concerned) but if you can construe a project that you've worked on as having been for someone else, even if it was just a family friend (business owner, professional such as doctor, lawyer, etc) then that may look better and you can list it as a contract. Maybe you have someone like this you know who you could do a small project for, even if you don't want to charge, just write up a contract outlining what you will do and its technically a contract then. I think giving the impression that you've worked for someone, no matter how small, still helps more than not having that on there.

programmx10's user avatar

  • Well the pyTrade paper-trading project was written for a friend to help him learn how to swing trade. Though I want to be very careful about being honest on my resume. I already feel like I'm pushing the boundaries on some things as I'm not really a specialist in anything I've listed (hence the alias Jack Trades). I've written code for the businesses I own/consult over the years, but much of it is dirty hacks that simply get the job done. For instance I have a todo list that text messages me for bids, but I wouldn't want to show that code to anyone. –  Ella Commented May 27, 2011 at 18:23

I know I keep repeating this, but if your project is out there in the wild, there is no better reference than that. Say you claim to be a mongodb developer and you can provide a link to your checkins, this will get you jobs faster than any fancy formatting you can add to your resume.

Join a OSS project and do it the hard way! This will improve your communication/coding/testing/cr skills as well as a bonus.

Subu Sankara Subramanian's user avatar

  • All my projects, save for some quick hacks to get stuff done, are hosted on github/my blog. It's good to hear that this will be helpful when looking for employment. While I release all my code with open-source licenses, I have yet to join an ongoing project. I'll have to consider that in the near future. Thanks for the tips. –  Ella Commented May 28, 2011 at 20:20

Above the project work, put a short list of skills. Put the strongest skills first. Do not list skills you'd hate using for a job.

Unless you're applying for a management job, absolutely do not put "business skills" above "technical skills", and absolutely do list things like "Python" in technical skills.

Your skills section isn't so hot. It doesn't have focus, and includes things that aren't quite novel; remove those. What's currently there should go at the bottom of a resume, if at all; the missing things (Python, Scheme, Tk) should go in a list at the very top.

And just got to the bottom; move the technologies section to the very top. Move the skills section to the bottom, so it reads:

"Technologies" "Projects", to justify those technologies and show I know 'em. "Work Experience", to show I can hold a job. "Skills", to fill things out and let me tell them things my experience doesn't necessary should. Consider integrating this into the other sections, and simply let the projects and work experience have bullet points for what skills I used on that job.

Dean J's user avatar

  • I didn't get to read your suggestions until after I finished the first release candidate of my resume. However I still managed to incorporate many of them. I've cleaned up my skills section a bit, but I'm still not fully satisfied with it. I think moving the skills into bullet points under projects/experience would be a good idea. Thanks for the tips. –  Ella Commented May 28, 2011 at 20:13

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engineering resume with no experience reddit

  • • Worked on innovative projects, contributing to a 10% increase in company innovation
  • • Used experience to provide strategic value adds to the organization, leading to a 20% increase in efficiency
  • • Demonstrated skills, responsibility, and entrepreneurial spirit, leading to a 15% increase in project completion speed

5 Entry Level Engineering Resume Examples & Guide for 2024

Your entry level engineering resume must highlight relevant education credentials. Emphasize any engineering coursework, projects, or programs you've completed. Additionally, showcase your problem-solving abilities and relevant technical skills. Employers look for practical experience, so include internships, lab work, or any hands-on projects.

All resume examples in this guide

engineering resume with no experience reddit


engineering resume with no experience reddit

Resume Guide

How to write an entry-level engineering resume: getting started, entry-level engineering resume header: how to make it short and sweet, how to make your student or entry-level engineering objective memorable, entry-level engineering resume experience section: things to know, what skills to feature on an entry-level engineer resume, entry-level engineering resume education: how to position it, what certificates to add in my entry-level engineer resume, other sections to include on your resume, summary and action points for your next entry-level engineering resume.

Entry Level Engineering resume example

There was a story about this graduate who was looking for his first job in the engineering world.

Over a few years he applied to 400 job listings with his entry level Engineering resume.

Do you know how many interviews he got? Three.

Do you know what the problem is? These days that’s considered a success.

Mechanical Engineers, for example, send out an average of 100 resumes before landing an interview and then wait up to 90 days before getting a job offer. That’s if they even get one.

Are you ready to send your first 100 resumes? That’s what we thought.

How about we help you to create a highly effective entry level Engineer resume and possibly cut this number in half. Or more.

How? You gotta know the game. Read on.

This Entry-Level Engineer resume will teach you:

  • How to make use of our 10+ resume examples from real candidates.
  • What are the biggest myths in entry-level resume applications?
  • Which resume layout works best for entry-level Engineer resumes.
  • How to show your soft skills without coming off too vague.
  • How to emphasize your education and certification sections for greater impact.

Looking for related resume guides? We got you covered.

  • Engineering resume examples
  • Entry-level Mechanical Engineer resume examples
  • Electrical Engineering resume examples
  • Industrial Engineer resume examples
  • Manufacturing Engineer resume examples
  • Mechanical Engineer resume examples
  • Quality Engineer resume examples

Finding engineering work is tough, we already know that much. What you don’t know, however, is that most advice you hear on how to write an entry level engineering resume simply won’t work.

Myth #1: “Play the numbers game. Send as many applications every day as possible and eventually you’ll land an interview.”

You can’t play the numbers game, because the game is rigged.

Recruiters look for very specific things (we’ll talk about those very soon) in your entry level Engineering resume.

If you get those wrong, you’ll be rejected again and again no matter how many resumes you send out.

Myth #2: “I have a GPA above a 3.0, I’ll have no problems getting this job”

GPA alone doesn’t matter much. In fact, there are at least two things that mean more to recruiters on any given day: internships and relevant experience.

Our HR won't even pass the resume to me without the keywords ‘internship’ or ‘co-op’ (cooperative education), but then again we get over 150 applicants for our entry level positions.

Engineer lead on Reddit.com

We’ll talk about what to do about that in your junior engineering resume in the “Summary” and “Experience” sections.

Myth #3: “All that matters are my technical skills”

[In your Summary:] “I know AutoCAD, MATLAB, Excel…” just stop. The recruiter is already reading the next resume.

Yes, technical skills are the bread and butter of your profession. Yes, you diligently learned them. Yes, you have them. So do all of your 20+ classmates actively looking for a job.

How do you stand out?

In the eyes of employers, tech skills are something you can learn while working. You can learn all the missing technical skills you need during the first two months of your job anyway.

On the other hand, who will teach you soft skills? Leadership, communication, collaboration - these you can’t teach in two months. And yet, successful engineers need them.

The ability to work on big projects, to build relationships with clients, to help people - those are the qualities that will make your resume stand out.

Even if you demonstrated those doing volunteer summer work.

We’ll talk more about soft skills and how to effectively present them in your entry level Engineer resume’s “Skills” section.

Let’s talk about how you structure all those sections in your resume.

What’s the proper layout for entry-level Engineer resumes

Even though you’re applying for an entry-level Engineering position, your resume should be nothing short of a professional looking document.

It should present your strengths and experiences in a clean and structured manner.

The sample entry-level Engineering resume example we’ve included above is built on the theory behind Hybrid resumes.

In hybrid resumes, both skills and work experience are key sections that bring a cohesive narrative of your work history.

Have a look at our article to learn more about how to create the best hybrid resume .

Afterwards, you’d only have to make sure you’ve picked up a legible and professional font to finish off a great design.

You’re now ready for the next step and fill the layout with the relevant resume sections.

Let’s have a closer look at each of them separately.

For more information on the best resume formats, read our guide: The Best Resume Formats You Need to Consider (5+ Examples Included) .

Even though most entry level jobs have the word “Entry” in their title, you don’t necessarily need to insert this word in your resume header.

This title gives off a rookie vibe. The thing is, most companies, even when looking to fill entry-level positions, prefer candidates with at least some experience.

That is why you often see “0-3 years of experience” in their requirements.

If you apply with “entry” in your header, your resume will automatically have a lower priority because it gives off this “inexperienced” vibe.

To raise your chances, use a title that is close or relevant to the position you’re applying for, e.g. Civil Engineer, Mechanical Engineer and so on.

Also notice that you missed an opportunity to demonstrate your social skills.

What about your LinkedIn profile? It provides evidence that you have connections and can network. Talk about soft skills.

Also, in your LinkedIn profile you can demonstrate memberships in major engineering organizations, such as ASME or EYE (European Young Engineers).

If you want more ideas for stand-out resume headers, read through our guide Perfecting Your Resume Header so You Get Noticed .

Your header signals experience and even slightly hints at your developed soft skills. Let’s grab the recruiter’s attention with a catchy summary.

The summary is, perhaps, the most critical section of your entry level Engineering resume. If you got it wrong, recruiters won’t even bother reading further.

So how do you write it? To answer this question, we should first talk about how you don’t write it.

Anything below a GPA of 3.0 automatically urges recruiters to stop reading your resume. The national average is 3.0 and most engineering jobs aim for that number.

If you have a lower GPA, it's not the end of the world. Just don’t mention it. Especially don’t start your resume with it.

If anything, the first things you need to mention in your resume summary are internships and co-ops . If you have them, by all means monetize on that.

It sets you apart from all the candidates that don’t have those.

If you don’t have internships, you have to focus on work-related experience. Don’t just list your technical skills.

You’ll have a “Skills” section for that.

Instead, bring up your biggest achievements relevant to the position you’re applying for.

These may be: volunteer work, outside the classroom activities, college special projects and your role in them. Just keep it short.

If you have a lot to talk about, consider writing a cover letter.

For more tips on crafting an attention-grabbing resume summary, check out our guide Resume Summary: How-To Guide (30+ Examples You Need To See) .

If you’re looking to craft a compelling resume objective instead, read our writing tips at 10 Resume Objective Examples You Need to Steal (How-to-Guide) .

After writing a convincing summary section, what is the next step? Your experience section.

How do you write your experience section, when you have no experience? Change your perspective.

Look at it this way: you do have some experience. Just not in the sense that it is commonly meant.

Student projects, volunteer work, internships, and personal projects - you can write about anything that is relevant to the position you’re applying for, or that is relevant to engineering as a whole.

Tip #1 : if you graduated in engineering several years ago and have had only irregular work history since then, remove the dates.

Also, if you had an engineer internship several years ago and are looking for an engineering job just now, consider removing those dates from your resume as well.

The fact that you had an internship should not be offset by how long ago you did it.

Tip #2 : put the most relevant skills and work-related experience at the top.

If a position requires experience with CAD tools, emphasize it. Same with handling reports to Senior Engineers and developing project documents.

But don’t just blindly copy requirements from the job description, they are usually very vague and generic. Be specific in what you did.

  • • Performed routine tasks assigned by engineers
  • • Participated in electrical engineering for buildings
  • • Developed plan drawings

There are three things that are wrong here:

  • The experience is generic with no specific tasks mentioned. “Performed routine tasks” could mean mopping floors.
  • No collaboration experience — recruiters can’t tell if you work well with others.
  • No technical skills mentioned, which is a missed opportunity.

Here is how it’s done.

  • • Worked in a team environment with other engineers and designers to design power (critical, life safety, emergency), lighting, data communications, and integrated process control systems.
  • • Performed power, lighting and grounding calculations at the direction of mid and senior level engineers
  • • Utilized AutoCAD and Revit to develop schematics and plan drawings

There are over 40 engineering degrees and your experience section for each one of them will look differently.

However, the key takeaways are the same: show your soft skills, collaborative experience, and technical skills while being specific about what you did.

Here’s a final example of the experience section for an entry level Mechanical Engineering resume. Observe mentioning of technologies and job-specific responsibilities.

  • • Worked closely with equipment suppliers and plant staff to ensure successful operation of the plant.
  • • Participated in the creation of preventative maintenance routines and bills of materials for new equipment.
  • • Worked with modeling CAD tools to create mechanical models and accompanying drawings

For more ideas on how to create an actionable resume experience section, check out our guide How to Describe Your Resume Work Experience .

Most employers prefer T-shaped applicants. These individuals demonstrate a technical depth in their area of study as well as soft skills and different interests.

What that means is that it’s equally important to reflect both technical expertise and soft skills in your entry level Engineer resume.

Let’s start with technical skills.

Technical skills are the bread and butter of any engineering job and it’s critical to list them on your resume.

However, it’s even more critical for entry-level Engineer resumes, because those are most likely to be scanned by ATS robots for certain keywords.

While engineering responsibilities vary greatly from job to job, there are some technical skills you’ll see in most of the job descriptions.

Entry-level Engineers do a lot of project documenting and calculating while learning the ropes with senior Engineers, so make sure you mention tools like CAD , MATLAB , Microsoft Office.

Although not required, coding skills look great on an entry level Mechanical Engineering resume and most others.

Skills in Python and C++ allow you to automate many engineering tasks.

Also, the number of embedded robotics and automation jobs that need Mechanical Engineers with coding skills is growing every day.

Same with BigData — it’s not necessary, but can give you an edge for certain positions.

Top 7 technical skills for engineering student resumes

  • Microsoft Office

Now to the soft skills.

Soft skills are extremely valuable for entry level Engineers, because usually no one is deliberately teaching or studying them.

Yet, it’s important for Engineers to work well in a team, to effectively communicate their ideas and to successfully lead projects on their own.

So far we’ve tried, given the importance of soft skills during the resume screening process, to emphasize or hint at them in every previous section.

However, there is a devoted section for Soft skills and you’re reading it right now.

Don’t be generic.

There’s a huge temptation to simply start listing skills like “communication”, “leadership”, and “time management”.

There is a problem, though. Everyone is doing it. Recruiters don’t like generic resumes. They look as if they were written by someone else.

Or worse, they were written by someone who is not enthusiastic about a new job.

In any way, here’s how you write about your soft skills.

Don’t : Organization skills. Do : Organized student and local ASME conferences.

Don’t: Communication skills. Do : Was a key speaker at 2018 Boston ME Student Fair

Don’t : Leadership. Do : Led a student engineering project that won 2nd place at U.S.A Young Robotics competition

If any of your engineering student projects were covered by news or authoritative engineering publications, mention that too.

Are you still not sure what skills will win recruiters over? Check out our guide on How to Create A Resume Skills Section To Impress Recruiters (+10 Examples You Need to See) .

Now let’s talk about your education.

Almost every junior engineering position requires relevant education.

The only possible exception would be if a candidate has a relevant field experience.

There are over 40 engineering degrees. Some of those might be highly relevant to the job (e.g. Aerospace Engineering graduate going for NASA).

Others not so much (think Chemical Engineering graduate applying to Civil Engineering job).

If your education features a prestigious university (think USA top 10) and a relevant degree, by all means put the education section as close to the top as possible.

If, however, your education is not that relevant or you have a low GPA, de-prioritize this section and put it after your skills.

If you have a GPA above 3.0, emphasize it (e.g. make bold). IF, however, your GPA is lower than 3.0, consider not mentioning it altogether.

Browse more essential tips on how to feature education on your resume, in our guide Perfecting the Education Section on Your Resume .

Certifications are a valuable asset for any engineering graduate.

There are three types of certificates that might be helpful to you:

  • Engineering certificates (FE)
  • Technical tools certificates (AutoCAD certification, MATLAB)
  • Engineering-related certificates (project-management & statistics Sigma6, ANSYS)

It’s a common job requirement for entry-level Engineers to pass the FE exam (The Fundamental of Engineering).

If you passed the FE and the job explicitly states it as a requirement, consider mentioning it not only in the Certification section, but also in your Summary or Experience sections.

Top 8 entry-level engineering certificates

  • AutoCAD certification
  • Mathworks (MATLAB)
  • Sigma 6 (PM & QC)

Keep in mind that for every engineering branch (mechanical, civil, GM, electrical) there are specialized certifications. If you have those, prioritize them over technical ones.

For more information on how to properly list resume certifications, we recommend reading our guide How To List Certifications On A Resume (Examples Included) .

Depending on the company, job seniority level and your location, you may want to include more sections to your Entry-Level Engineering resume:

  • Language skills
  • Hobbies and interests
  • Volunteer work
  • LinkedIn on Resume

It’s better to spend some time writing a good resume than to spend time sending out a bad one.

Follow the advice in this guide and position yourself above the competition, because it’s quite fierce.

Here are the key takeaways from this guide:

  • Focus on building a T-shape perception of your resume: combine deep technical knowledge with developed soft skills
  • Emphasize your GPA only if it’s above 3.0
  • Most likely you have engineering experience even when you think you don’t - focus your attention on what you did relevant to the position
  • If you have an internship or co-op experience, prioritize it above anything else in your entry level Engineering resume

entry level engineering resume example

Looking to build your own Entry Level Engineering resume?

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6 ATS Engineering Resume Examples (Including Writing Tips)

6 engineering resume examples to help your job search

engineering resume with no experience reddit

You’ve spent years studying for a career in engineering and you’re now looking to secure your next job position. 

With engineering resumes, you’ll need to indicate that you’re a skilled problem solver who can take a creative approach. But, it’s also important to align with the company’s job description.

In this guide, we’ve gathered 8 engineering resume examples and noted underneath each sample why it works. 

We’ve helped 150,000+ job seekers build a resume and secure a new career opportunity. 

Some of our users like Khurram have secured positions as a managing director using Rezi’s resume builder. Some have also landed jobs in big-name companies such as Amazon, Microsoft, and Spotify!

“Actually, I had the perfect experience for the position I was applying for but I didn't know how to translate it into a hirable resume... Rezi was so intuitive and answered all my questions about my resume" - Khurram Qazi, Managing Director
Explore Rezi 🔥 Comes with 5,000 AI Credits, and is free forever, no credit card required.

What Should Be On An Engineering Resume?

All engineers should have good technical knowledge and problem-solving skills. This is developed from your years as a student in education as well as your professional experiences. It’s key to communicate these values to your recruiter or employer. 

In regards to what to put on a resume , take note that some of the same aspects still apply, e.g. a contact details section. 

However, as an engineer it’s ideal to show some of the following qualities:

  • Innovative thinking
  • Communication
  • Workflow management

It’s also important to list down your credentials. Employers will want to see you’re a qualified and motivated engineer with a strong background who can take the lead in the future. Here are a few examples:

  • Bachelor’s degree
  • Extracurricular activities 
  • Achievements
  • Certifications

What you should also do is check the company’s job description to match the requirements and beat the applicant tracking system .

6 ATS Engineering Resume Examples

All of our ats resume stick to a one-page application. It’s the most ideal length for your job document. 

You’ll find from our engineering samples that being the best applicant doesn’t only mean having dozens of work experiences. Your educational background and qualifications play a significant role too. 

Civil Engineer Resume

Civil engineer with high amount of experience and skills in related fields from various companies.

Similar to the below example, the civil engineer resume above also includes an additional credential, i.e. an engineering license. 

Remember that your university degree and other academic certifications aren’t the only available options to highlight your industry knowledge. 

In the what to write in a resume for work experience , they’ve listed out their job positions in reverse chronological order. This is how the layout should be when listing things in your resume. However, don’t forget to go in depth on the duties you’ve performed and the tasks you’re familiar with.

Electrical Engineer Resume

Electrical engineer with high amount of experience and skills in related fields from various companies.

Notice the summary section in this electrical engineer resume sample. It’s optional but can be used effectively to create a strong first impression. 

In this case, they’ve outlined their strengths and corporate objectives. As one of their goals is to take the next step in their career as a director, it implies the candidate has a strong drive and work ethic. 

Immediately though, the candidate mentions having demonstrated leadership. This is a good statement to get the reader engaged and curious. 

Industrial Engineer Resume

Industrial engineer with high amount of experience and skills in related fields from various companies.

With this industrial engineer resume template, the candidate has a strong employment history tailored to the specific position in the industrial engineering sector. 

This applicant does a great job of presenting themselves as a capable professional who can make a real impact. The use of active voice and non-generic weak action verbs resume to describe their duties makes the content more engaging to read. 

Mechanical Engineer Resume

Mechanical engineer with high amount of experience and skills in related fields from various companies.

The mechanical engineer resume sample outlines their corporate objective clearly in the summary section. It catches the reader’s attention at the start because it’s only one-line long, which makes it easily digestible. 

Despite the work experience and the fact they graduated from a reputable university, we can tell they’re adept in mechanics as that’s what their resume is centred on.

To further highlight that they specialize in this role, they’ve phrased the header of one section as “engineering specializations”. Rephrasing resume section headers like this where it’s appropriate works well in personalizing your resume and making it more targeted towards a specific position.

Quality Engineer Resume

Quality engineer with high amount of experience and skills in related fields from various companies.

The quality engineer resume also puts emphasis on their strengths and areas of expertise.

If you can, when describing your duties try to include hard numbers and data. 

Not only does it make you come across as a valuable asset since you’re someone who can deliver. But, it shows the hiring manager that your contribution at work has made an impact. 

In their skills section, they show their industry knowledge by listing out relevant abilities that enable them to do their job better. Some of these also contain resume keywords to overcome the resume scanners. 

Keep in mind that you don’t need to limit yourself to hard skills only. Soft skills can also be good to mention. The competent candidates have more to offer and are equipped with more relevant abilities for the job. 

Senior Test Engineer Resume

Senior test Engineer with high amount of experience and skills in related fields from various companies.

In this particular example, the senior test engineer resume has a good proportion of spacing for each resume section. 

As expected, the employment history is the most content-heavy part of their resume. However, they’ve also saved space for other resume sections. 

While the ats resume format has a minimal design, it doesn’t necessarily mean to limit your application. It’s good to include other extracurricular activities, accomplishments, and qualifications as long as it’s relevant. Even if it’s just one extra certification, it can be worth mentioning if it’s directly related to the job.

Both your corporate experience and academic background come hand in hand to prove you’re a certified candidate. 

More ATS Resume Examples From Rezi 

You can browse through more applications in our list of over 264 online cover letters and resume templates . Each of our layouts is designed and built to bypass the resume scanners. We provide you with a format that helps you keep everything organized into a single page. 

The only thing you need to focus on when building your resume is the content itself. 

If you don't meet all desired requirements or expectations, it’s good to send a cover letter . This makes your application more personal and reinforces the idea that you’re a pro in your field of work.

Final Piece of Advice

Most engineering professionals will have gone to college or university, and some may have spent time doing an internship before working at an entry-level position. That being said, there’s a good chance you have a lot of qualifications and experiences to talk about.

However, our final piece of advice is to stick to a one-page resume. 

Being intentional with your choices says a lot more about you to your employers. Not only does it demonstrate efficiency. It also helps you stand out since it’s different from the typical two-page resumes hiring managers are used to receiving.

And because your application is concise, it will save the reader time and leave a stronger first impression.

Rezi is an ai resume builder to help you to create a resume that os sure to check the boxes when it comes to applicant tracking systems : Rezi Review by Ashley

Astley Cervania

Astley Cervania is a career writer and editor who has helped hundreds of thousands of job seekers build resumes and cover letters that land interviews. He is a Rezi-acknowledged expert in the field of career advice and has been delivering job success insights for 4+ years, helping readers translate their work background into a compelling job application.

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No Experience

Hi, I am currently a Jr. in a EE degree and I am trying to find some internships for the summer. However, I have no work experience and I don't know how fill this section in or do I have to? Can someone give me advice/example on how to do a resume with no work experience?

engineering resume with no experience reddit

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7 Engineering Resume Examples for 2024

Stephen Greet



Best for senior and mid-level candidates

There’s plenty of room in our elegant resume template to add your professional experience while impressing recruiters with a sleek design.

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Like this template? Customize this resume and make it your own with the help of our Al-powered suggestions, accent colors, and modern fonts.

  • Engineering Resume
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  • Write Your Engineering Resume
  • Entry-Level
  • Senior-Level

Engineering student resume example with 7+ years experience

No matter what type of engineer you are, you’re rigorously logical with a penchant for numbers.

You shouldn’t also have to be an expert cover letter writer or  resume maker to spotlight your abilities and land your next (or first) engineering job.

Getting started is the hardest part of building an engineering resume. Our seven engineering resume examples are helping engineers get interviews in 2024, so they’re an excellent starting place for inspiration and valuable  resume tips .

Engineering Resume Example

or download as PDF

Software engineer resume example with 10+ years of experience

Why this resume works

  • Tailor it to each job by mentioning relevant keywords in the  job description  (which genuinely apply to you!) and list the target company by name.
  • We recommend limiting the  web developer skills  section to no more than 10 since a long laundry list can be a red flag to employers.

Data Engineering Resume Example

Data engineer resume example with 6+ years of experience

  • As a data engineer, quantify the size and scale of the data systems and pipelines you’ve tackled. For example, if you built a data pipeline for streaming data for a consumer app with 500,000 concurrent users, specifically state that.
  • Did you help increase revenue, site speed, or reduce manual reporting time?
  • By highlighting your business impact, you make it clear to the hiring manager that you’re focused on what really matters to the business.
  • Feel like you need a bit more help? See several more  data engineer resume examples  for 2024.

DevOps Engineering Resume Example

DevOps engineer resume example with 1.5 years of experience

  • Keep your DevOps engineer resume to one page because real estate is gold.
  • Sprinkle your work experience sections with numbers and metrics that quickly make a case for your qualifications.
  • Use action verbs like “built,” “created,” and “owned” to show your leadership experience and prove you’ve had a meaningful impact in your previous roles.
  • If you’d like additional ideas, we’ve got several more  DevOps engineer resume examples  for 2024.

Engineering Manager Resume Example

Engineering Manager with 9 years of experience

  • And those are attributes that hiring managers will be quick to notice and appreciate.

Engineering Student Resume Example

Engineering student resume example with cashier experience

  • Also, don’t overlook your proficiency in tools like AutoCAD, Python, ANSYS, and so on because they prove your ability to leverage smart tools to improve performance.

Network Engineering Resume Example

Network engineer with 10+ years of experience

  • If you’ve worked hard to earn certifications (CCNA, MCITP, etc.), list them in a dedicated “Certifications” section on your network engineer resume. Doing so makes it clear to the hiring manager that you have the required technical skillset.
  • This kind of leadership experience can set you apart from the competition.
  • Our  network engineer resume examples  for 2024 can also help get you where you’re going with some added insight.

Software Engineering Resume Example

Software engineer resume example with 9 years of experience

  • As a rule of thumb, only include a programming language on your resume if you can whiteboard coding solutions in that language.
  • If you’re worried you might miss something and want to see if your resume contains enough metrics, stack it up against our AI-powered  resume checker  for fast fixes.
  • Need a little more detail? We’ve got you covered with our  software engineer resume examples  for 2024.

Related resume guides

  • Civil Engineer
  • Electrical Engineer
  • Mechanical Engineer
  • Network Engineer
  • Full-Stack Developer

How to Format an Engineering Resume

Four colleagues with yellow laptops discuss how to format their engineering resumes

How you format your engineering resume can determine whether you get an interview. Your resume needs to be in a logical format that can be quickly reviewed and should include all necessary information. If you leave important details out of your resume, you won’t have the opportunity to prove yourself.

Let’s briefly explore our three best tips for resume formatting for engineers:

  • Reverse-chonological, functional, and combination/hybrid formats
  • Contact info and header
  • ATS & readability

engineering resume with no experience reddit

Reverse-chronological, functional, and combination/hybrid formats

Engineering Resume Formats

  • It sounds more complicated than it is.  Reverse chronology  means the information listed on your resume begins with the most recent experience. For example, your current job, which you began five years ago, is listed at the top. The job you had before is listed right below it.
  • The  functional resume  format focuses on your skill set over your experience. The functional resume is also known as a  skills-based  resume because it focuses on how your skills and abilities qualify you for a job. For example, you could focus on a skill set you’ve used for several jobs. Even if the job were 20 years ago, your experience would still help you today. Using MySQL in your very first job will still be relevant if the job for which you’re applying also requires MySQL.
  • The  combination/hybrid  resume format is exactly what it sounds like. You combine the best parts of a functional resume with a reverse-chronology resume. This is done by including a skills section first, followed by your experience. It immediately shows employers your skill set and experience.

Engineering is definitely a field that has plenty of opportunities for career progression. in 2024, reverse-chronology formatted resumes are best for engineers because they show your most recent experience first, as well as an increase in responsibilities over time. Also, this format lets you include more details for more recent positions and less information for older jobs.

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Formatting your engineering resume’s header and contact information

You’ll want your header to stand out professionally. Many of the  resume examples  we have show your name in large letters at the top of your resume. We recommend the following:

  • Use a font size of at least 16 points.
  • Use a Serif font like Times New Roman, Helvetica, or Bookman Old Style.
  • Avoid cursive or curly fonts.
  • Write your name in bold colors like black or dark blue.
  • Avoid overly bright colors like purple or orange.

Also,  include the title of the position you’re applying for  directly under your name. Are you applying to be a DevOps Engineer? A Network Engineer? A Data Engineer? Your future employer should know the position you’re applying for right away.

Additionally, you’ll want your contact information close to your name. Some resume writers put this information directly under their names, but you can also place this at the top of the sidebar. Include the following information:

  • Your phone number
  • Your email address
  • Your city and state
  • Links to professional networking sites like LinkedIn or GitHub

When it’s all said and done, your engineering resume header may look something like this: 

Engineer resume contact header in gray box

Will your engineering resume make it through ATS?

Most employers use an Applicant Tracking System (ATS) to filter through resumes. If your resume is hard to read, the ATS could nix it from the system before employers ever have a chance to look at it. For this reason, you’ll want to take the following steps to ensure your resume is ATS-compatible:

  • Don’t use charts or images in your resume.
  • Use simple, round bullet points; complex graphics don’t make sense to ATS.
  • Include keywords from the job listing in your skill set.
  • Save your document in .pdf and .docx. 

To save you a headache, we think you’ll love using our  AI resume builder , automatically ensuring your resume is ATS-friendly.

How to Write an Engineering Resume

Engineer searching for job writes resume on blue desktop computer with coffee mug on desk

Writing your engineering resume may feel daunting. It feels like a lot to take on because a lot rides on it . It can be anxiety-inducing, to say the least. We understand this well, so we’re devoting this section to breaking down  how to write your resume .

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Do you need an objective or summary for your engineering resume?

Your objective for your resume is to get a job. If you  write an objective , you’ll want to clearly discuss what type of job you’re seeking. A summary is different. Its focus is to give a brief synopsis of your whole resume. 

Poor resume summary example

Skilled DevOps engineer with 10 years of experience in nodes, infrastructure, and server management. Excellent at time management and saving companies money.

This summary is ineffective because the information can be gathered from other resume sections. It’s a waste of space that could be used for other things. Here are a couple of examples of strong objectives.

Good resume summary examples

Experienced developer with 8 years of experience in full-stack, consumer-facing applications. Wanting to transition to B2B applications to improve interactions between small and medium-sized businesses at a company like OpenEd.

Veteran data engineer with 5 years of experience in B2B applications. Looking to switch to DevOps engineering to focus on improving overall company efficiency by improving applications through user interface.

Both of these examples work because the objective is:

  • Cleary written; we know what the applicant wants
  • Experience is stated
  • Desire for growth and change is appropriate
  • A clear motive is evident; the applicant isn’t floundering

engineering resume with no experience reddit

Work experience for an engineer

Your most relevant experience should be listed first. We recommend listing two to four jobs that best show your qualifications for the position to which you’re applying. You don’t need to list more than four jobs, nor do you need to list every job you’ve ever worked. The employers who review have limited time, and they want to quickly see what you have to offer.

Writing your engineer bullet points

It’s easy to sink or swim regarding job description bullet points. Check your resume for the following:

  • Use action verbs and active language. This includes writing in the present tense and using verbs that show action. “Being” verbs (are, is, was, were) are not your friend here. “Action” verbs (collected, sampled, organized) show strength and a strong skill set.
  • Avoid using personal pronouns. Saying “I” is superfluous since the recruiter already knows you’re talking about yourself. Instead, allow the action verb to drive your actions forward (Example: Collected samples of different websites…).
  • Punctuation is optional. Either include punctuation  everywhere  or completely omit it.

Not every bullet point is created (or, rather, written) equally. Here are some poor bullet points:

  • Designed the EmptyNest app
  • Fixed bugs and looked at reviews for future app updates
  • Updated the app coding once a month

These bullet points are weak because they don’t provide any information. What is the EmptyNest app? Who’s it for? What functions does the app perform? What kind of bugs did he fix? Why were user reviews important? What kind of coding updates did he make?

While you can’t include every single detail about your work, asking these kinds of questions will get you headed in the right direction. Here are the same bullet points, written strongly:

  • Designed an app called “EmptyNest” to help parents transition to children moving out of the home
  • Updated app to omit long loading periods for chat features to encourage 32% higher user engagement in the “Chat” feature
  • Analyzed user feedback to implement monthly changes to the app, which increased users by 82% over a six-month period 

These bullet points work because they provide details that help recruiters understand the project, demonstrate accomplishment and success, and prove ability through numbers. Metrics are vitally important, so let’s dive into that next.

Quantify your impact as an engineer

For engineers, quantifying your impact is a crucial part of showing your success. The numbers tell the  whole story . While this is daunting, it works in your favor if you successfully implement quantities and qualifications. Try to include metrics in about 60 percent of your bullet points. 

We recommend the following steps to quantify your impact:

  • Detected mechanical problems in wind turbines and developed repair methods to prevent loss of more than $7M
  • Designed robotic arm to aid in gastrointestinal surgical operations, which cut surgery hours by 80%

Quantifying your impact will show employers how valuable your work is and why they should consider you for their position.

engineering resume with no experience reddit

Top engineering skills to include

Including your skillset is essential for any resume. How you present  skills on your resume  is important. You want both your hard and soft skills to show.

Your  soft skills  are the ones you can’t easily show on paper. For example, managing conflict and communicating with others are imperative soft skills. Your  hard skills  include software you’ve mastered and programs you use. It’s easy to show proof of your work.

  • Look for keywords from the job ad description. Implement them throughout your resume to pass ATS software.
  • Include four to five hard skills relevant to the job.
  • Include soft skills  if  they’re highly relevant to the position; you should list fewer of these than your hard skills.
  • Limit the skills you share so that your best shines through. Extraneous info is not needed.
  • List your skills based on your experience level.

There are countless types of engineers, so you’re an aerospace engineer, civil engineer, chemical engineer, etc., these skills are a broad overview of what will serve you well:

  • Math and physics 
  • Project management 
  • Analytically minded 
  • Interpreting blueprints
  • Design  
  • Data analysis 
  • Research 

For instance, if you’re a civil engineer, the skills section on your engineering resume may look like this:

Engineer resume skills section example

Additionally, software engineering is a rapidly growing, evolving field, and if this is you, here are some of the most sought-after skills:

  • Python (Django)
  • Java (Spring)
  • Ruby (Ruby on Rails)
  • PHP (Laravel)
  • Javascript (Node, React, Vue, jQuery)
  • SQL (MySQL, PostgreSQL, NoSQL)
  • AWS, GCS, Azure

engineering resume with no experience reddit

An engineer’s education and certifications

If you’re an engineer, you’ll have your bachelor’s degree at a minimum. You may even need a master’s degree, and some jobs even require a doctorate.

Education is important to being an engineer. Without it, you couldn’t perform many of the functions of your job. And in a constantly evolving world and workforce, high pressure is placed on engineers to stay at the top of their game. This includes continuing education and becoming certified in new programs as they come out.

Many states have strict requirements regarding continuing education. For example, a certain number of hours of continuing education may be required to keep certifications and licenses. There isn’t a one-size-fits-all requirement. In fact, these requirements can vary by state  and  by the job.

If you’re an Engineer-in-Training, list the following:

  • Relevant class projects that will help in an entry-level position
  • Internship experience
  • EIT Certification
  • Your degree and GPA (if it’s at least 3.2)

If you’ve been in the field for less than 10 years, list the following:

  • All the relevant experience that should be included for ATS
  • List your most recent jobs in reverse-chronology 
  • Certifications should be job relevant, like for inspection, design, or reliability 
  • Include your degree

If you’ve been in the field for 10 to 20 years, list the following:

  • Detailed bullet points with job description keywords to satisfy ATS
  • List the jobs that gave you specific experience for this job
  • Advanced certifications, such as board certified 
  • List your degree

engineering resume with no experience reddit

When should you add projects, interests, or hobbies to your engineering resume?

Most engineering jobs don’t provide room for your  interests or hobbies on your resume . The exception to this is for entry-level positions. If you’re a brand-new college grad, you’ll need to list advanced projects from your collegiate experience. Discussing your interests and hobbies through your projects will show passion for your career field and encourage employers to give you a chance.

Listing interests and hobbies can help you nail a job if it’s a close call between you and another candidate. If you’re equally qualified, being a “better fit” for the company could work in your favor. You don’t have to include interests or hobbies, but doing so might benefit you when you’re starting out, especially if you’re looking for a trendy startup that’s likely to care more about cultural fit.

engineering resume with no experience reddit

Tailor your engineering resume to each position

We know it would be easier to make one resume that you submit to dozens of different jobs. But this won’t result in success. In fact, you aren’t likely to score any interviews using this method. ATS will weed your resume out for missing job keywords.

You’ll need to tailor each resume to each job you apply for . Some drafts of your resume will be very similar to each other. Others may look quite different. Adjust your bullet points, skills, and objective/summary for each job. While it takes time, your efforts will be worth it!

engineering resume with no experience reddit

Edit and proofread your engineering resume

Engineers are perfectionists by definition. Because of this, it’s important to have a flawless resume. This is where editing and proofreading come in. It’s often overlooked because most resume writers just want to be  done . After all, drafting a resume can take  hours , but using our  free resume maker can save you lots of frustration and time. 

We recommend taking the following steps when editing and proofreading your resume:

  • Take advantage of our  resume checker  to make sure your resume is complete and is using the best techniques. 
  • Look for mistakes at least twice, preferably thrice!
  • Get a second pair of eyes to look over your resume.

Land an Interview & Win Your Dream Engineering Job

Hiring team panel of 3 interviews 1 engineer at blue table with yellow desktop computer

Keep the following in mind:

  • Format your engineering resume in reverse chronology.
  • Include accurate, clear contact information.
  • Consider whether you need an objective or a summary. 
  • Use action verbs, and quantify your impact. 
  • Include your top skills that are  most relevant  to the position.
  • List additional info, like education, certs, projects, interests, and hobbies.
  • Tailor your resume to the job with keywords from the job ad to pass ATS.
  • Edit your resume to catch careless mistakes.
  • Use our  AI resume maker to start and finish in as little as 12 minutes.

Congratulations on  writing your resume . It’s the first and most important step to getting a job. Without a resume, you can’t submit any applications. But with the right resume and your engineering cover letter complementing it, you can score the perfect job.

Create my free resume now


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  4. How to Make a Resume With No Experience (With Examples)

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  5. 7 Ways to Get an Engineering Job with No Experience

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  6. How To Make Your Entry-Level Engineering Resume Stand Out

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  7. How To Write an Entry-Level Engineer Resume (With Example)

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    Here's how to make a resume with no experience: Use the no-experience resume template that you saw up top. It can help to stop the "can't get a job without experience" cycle. Focus on relevant life experiences and accomplishments. Put them in your objective, education, and additional resume sections.

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    Here are two examples of good resume summaries from candidates with little to no experience: 4. Include Your Education. Your education could go as the first section of your resume instead of your work experience. This outlines your academic background via your qualifications like a Bachelor's degree.

  10. What should a self-taught/no experience programmer's resume look like

    experience. If you are self taught you probably do not have job experience. Personal projects or open source project contributions could be listed here if any. qualifications/skills. This for a self taught might overlap, be the same as experience section. education/certifications. Any education relevant cannot hurt.

  11. 5 Entry Level Engineering Resume Examples & Guide for 2024

    Myth #1: "Play the numbers game. Send as many applications every day as possible and eventually you'll land an interview.". You can't play the numbers game, because the game is rigged. Recruiters look for very specific things (we'll talk about those very soon) in your entry level Engineering resume.

  12. What should I put on my resume if I have no experience? : r ...

    Just for some added backstory. I just graduated with my masters in chemical engineering in December 2021, with a 3.55 GPA, but I have no relevant job experience. The only job experience would be coursework from undergrad and grad. The only jobs I have had are a retail sales associate job (2021) and a busser at a restaurant (2015).

  13. 3 Engineering Student Resume Examples Proven to Work in 2024

    Top 5 Tips for Your Engineering Student Resume. Show off your technical skills You may not have much professional experience, but your technical skills are nothing to turn your nose up at. Highlight them to impress recruiters, including platforms like Matlab and GitHub, engineering principles such as electrical grids or robotics, and relevant software like Simulink.

  14. Engineering Internship Resume—Examples and 25+ Tips

    Here's how: Engineering Internship Resume Format. Use the reverse-chronological resume format— it's a resume style they'll expect to see. Go with a professional-looking resume font, like a Noto or Arial in 10-12 pt. Leave the resume margins at one inch and leave enough white space to prevent crowding.

  15. Best Things to Put on a Resume When You Have No Experience

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  16. 6 ATS Engineering Resume Examples (Including Writing Tips)

    The mechanical engineer resume sample outlines their corporate objective clearly in the summary section. It catches the reader's attention at the start because it's only one-line long, which makes it easily digestible. Despite the work experience and the fact they graduated from a reputable university, we can tell they're adept in mechanics as that's what their resume is centred on.

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    4. How to Write an Engineering Internship Resume With No Work Experience. As we mentioned before, your engineering student resume won't shine because of its experience section. But that doesn't mean it shouldn't have one. Including odd jobs and seasonal work is perfectly acceptable when writing an engineering internship resume.

  18. How to write an resume with no experience. : r/EngineeringStudents

    Im a second year biomedical engineering student and i want to get an internship during the Christmas holidays. Like the title says im looking for tips onto how to write an resume with absolutely no engineering related experience. I haven't really done any projects yet, apart from building a truss bridge out of Popsicle sticks.

  19. 16 Engineering Resume Examples & Writing Guide for 2024

    How to write an engineering resume. To guide you through the engineering resume writing process, we've put together this list of tips: 1. List your engineering certifications. Although soft skills like adaptability and teamwork will help you excel in an engineering role, it's your technical skills that will get you hired.

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    Engineering Resume Template. Highly skilled Mechanical Engineer with 7+ years of experience in designing and testing mechanical components. Eager to support Vasco, Inc. in developing advanced engineering solutions and drive sustainable growth. Skilled in AutoCAD, MATLAB, 3D printing, and material selection.

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    Collaboration. In addition to your hard and soft engineering skills, it's also common to list certifications in your skills section. Here are some certifications that may be relevant for your engineering resume: Engineer in Training (EIT) Certification. Professional Engineer (PE) Privilege. Project Management Professional (PMP) Certification.

  23. 7 Engineering Resume Examples for 2024

    Engineering Resume Formats. It sounds more complicated than it is. Reverse chronology means the information listed on your resume begins with the most recent experience. For example, your current job, which you began five years ago, is listed at the top. The job you had before is listed right below it.