You’re the great catalyst.
But before you make an impact in your industry, you need to unleash a chain reaction in the HR department with your Chemical Engineering resume.
That can be deceptively hard and can easily get out of control if you don’t know what you’re doing.
There are 4 times more graduates in chemical and biomedical engineering fighting for the same position compared to other engineering fields.
If the pressure is rising on you finding a job in chemical engineering, just remember that it turns charcoal to diamond.
In this guide, we’ll help you write your chemical engineering resume and shine through the competition.
Our Chemical Engineering resume guide is designed to help you
- Analyze 10+ chemical engineering resume samples from our database
- Learn how to read and reverse-engineer the job description
- Construct your chemical engineering resume using the right layout
- Open with a clear and easy to read header section
- Write your chemical engineering summary with passion and impact
- Backup your claims with a solid chemical engineering experience section
- Round up your resume with a skills section, education and certification section
Take an inspiration from this Chemical Engineer resume sample
Let’s help you out with related Engineering resumes
How to write a Chemical Engineering resume
You’re shooting out applications like hot potatoes, but your phone is cooler than liquid nitrogen.
Don’t tear up your degree! Most likely your chemical engineering resume is letting you down.
Start with a blank page. A good resume is exactly one page long.
Any longer and recruiters can become annoyed with unnecessary details. They can even lose pages of your resume or get them mixed up with other applications.
Going shorter however, doesn’t mean sacrificing critical details.
Recruiters and automated HR software can discard your application if they don’t find the commonly expected sections listed below.
Here are 5 sections for a job-winning Chemical Engineering resume
- Header section listing your name, professional title and full contact details
- Summary experience section delivering your value proposition
- A work experience section with facts and results from your previous projects
- Skills sections
- Education & industry-accepted certifications
How to choose Chemical Engineering resume templates that work
The only way to fit so much information one single page is by using an appropriate format. Here are the most common resume layouts for chemical engineers:
- Single-column - Students and recent graduates who don’t have a lot of experience will find this layout fills their page better. It’s best to focus on the few strong sections and make them relevant to the job description.
- Double-column - Professional chemical engineers with a few years of experience need to use the available space more efficiently. Two-column resumes can fit more content.
- Condensed resume - Senior chemical engineers need a resume layout that’s even more tightly packed. The condensed resume can fit decades worth of experience and skills.
- Creative resume - In the marketing industry, you’d commonly see resumes rich on graphical elements, charts and visualizations. Chemical engineers find limited use, but keep it in mind.
PRO TIPA good layout will make your chemical engineering resume easy to read and scan.
What to say in a chemical engineering resume?
A hiring manager going through your resume will be interested in how you improved the process at the former plant you worked in.
- Did you increase the reaction time? Volume?
- Did you reduce the needed operator maintenance?
- Did you cut down on waste? Devised a recycling program offseting the cost of byproduct storage?
Showcase your results and stand proud of your achievements.
Need ideas? Here are some of the skills and experience which will move the needle in your favor.
Recruiters agree upon the following items in Chemical Engineer resumes
- In depth understanding of science - chemistry, physics, microbiology
- Expertise in fluid mechanics and thermodynamic
- Mechanical engineering fundamentals - design of pressure vessels, plumbing and industrial control systems
- Design and operation of chemical plants, units, reactors and other equipment
- Industry experience - petrochemical, pharmaceutical, food production
- Process safety management, HAZOP, PHE, LOPA, FMEA
- Experience with regulators - CSB, OSHA, FDA and others
- Industrial management techniques - Sigma Six, Lean Manufacturing
- Project management software - Oracle ERP, SAP ERP and others
- Engineering software - Matlab, Simulink, Aspen Hysys, CFD, CAD and 3D modelling software
- Host of interpersonal and soft skills
It all starts with a functional Chemical Engineer resume header
Your recruiter needs to easily find your name, phone number, email and address. The header section needs to convey this information effortlessly. The design of your resume and especially your typographic settings play a critical role here.
A professional title is important to indicate you have relevant experience. If possible, pick a title that matches your new job title perfectly. Make sure it’s not significantly different from your actual title. Providing false or misleading information is a sure way to get rejected.
Lets see a couple of chemical engineering resume examples. Which header sounds more complete?
2 Chemical Engineer resume header samples
Thirty years ago this resume header would have been just fine. In today’s digital age, it’s odd both the email and website slots are empty.
Like many engineering positions, chemical engineering involves significant time spent on the computer, writing reports, emails, using CAD or PM software.
Even if you don’t use it, add an email address. Add also your Linkedin profile or personal website. If your application is promising, recruiters would love to browse and learn more about you.
The next chemical engineering header sample is better.
This looks much better. The header is complete with all necessary information recruiters might need to contact you.
Furthermore, this chemical engineer has taken the opportunity to make their title more specific to match the exact title listed in the job description.
Last but not least, there’s the Linkedin profile. It’s probably not a factor for your job, but definitely a factor in the process of getting hired.
PRO TIPIf your profile is fully developed, Linkedin can be a tool for connecting with companies looking to hire. Recruiters use it all the time to hunt for professionals. Make their job easier by adding your profile in your chemical engineering resume and they will reward you.
Do I need to have a Chemical Engineer resume summary
Imagine this is a job interview at Bayer. What questions will they ask in regards to a process engineering position?
- Do you have a Bachelor’s degree in Chemical Engineering?
- Have you worked in an industrial plant before? Anything related to drugs and pharmaceuticals?
- What experience do you have with HAZOP and compliance?
- Have you used SAP ERP before?
A good chemical engineering resume summary will interweave the answers in a couple of lines, while adding unique selling points and personality.
Let’s get practical.
I’m an engineer with 12 months of experience. My team performed quality control and supervision to the tablet production line. Supported the machine operators and helped optimize the production. Collected performance and production data and made reports for the production managers.
This candidate could well be a mechanical engineer, or an industrial engineer. By not specified their field, the applicant leaves recruiters wondering.
The rest of the summary sounds more like a basic job description. It provides only a vague direction of the applicant’s daily responsibilities. There is nothing specific or interesting to make this summary stand out from the rest.
BS Chemical Engineer with experience in pharmaceutical manufacturing. Duties included supervision and optimization of powder processing machines - feeders, blenders, mills, tablet presses. Product quality control and testing using Six Sigma principles. Data collection and analysis using SAP ERP, reporting to managers and stakeholders.
This chemical engineer has an impactful summary which recruiters will remember. They’ve made sure to include their diploma, specific experience in the industry and software knowledge.
It’s just slightly longer than the first resume example, but it provides a lot more information.
Even if only a two or three items match the job description, recruiters will definitely read the whole resume and consider this applicant for an interview.
2 Chemical Engineering resume objective samples for Entry-Level Chemical Engineers
If you’re still in school, you’re more likely applying to chemical engineering internships or entry-level positions.
Since you don’t have professional experience, replace the summary section with a resume objective.
It will define your key abilities and set forward your expectations.
I’m a third year Chemical Engineering student. I’m looking for an internship to develop my skills further and gain entry into the petroleum industry and oil derivatives. I don’t have a lot of experience, but I’m motivated to learn and work hard on my assigned tasks.
The problem with this resume objective is the student hardly demonstrates what skills they can contribute to their organization.
They show resolve and motivation to learn and develop, but companies want something more.
If you want to land an internship in your dream company, you must show you’re already working on relevant projects. You should pull your own weight and get up to speed in half the time other interns can.
The next Chemical Engineering student has an impressive resume objective which focuses on a cool extracurricular project they did on top of their mandatory courses.
Chemical Engineering student with an interest in the petrochemical industry. Designed a table top plastic press producing recycled table coasters out of shredded PET bottles. Looking for an internship at a plastic manufacturing and recycling company.
Where one student blatantly admits they can’t do anything, the other demonstrates a working machine to study and experiment with manufacturing technologies.
They can’t be any more relevant to the plastic manufacturing industry. Any company would dream to get such a proactive intern.
PRO TIPYou’re not going to get hired simply because of a good summary or objective. However, your recruiter can bump you up in front of similarly experienced candidates who didn’t demonstrate such passion and drive.
How to frame your Chemical Engineer resume experience
Did you nudge the numbers in the right direction?
Hiring managers want to see what impact you made at your previous job.
Be specific and include details about the tools, software and equipment you’ve worked with.
- Have you identified a flaw in mixer design leading to premature wear and frequent breakdowns?
- Did you streamline process optimization by building simulations using ChemCAD?
- What other CAD software did you use on the job?
- What safety studies were you responsible for - FMEA, HAZOP, LOPA?
- Did you do any lab testing? How much and what kind?
Of course, the more relevant your work experience is, the better your chances of getting hired. So, read the job description again and try to match the requirements. If possible use the same words and phrases.
Check out the chemical engineering resume examples below.
2 Chemical Engineering resume experience samples
Responsible for designing tests and hydraulic studies of plant equipment and plumbing before commissioning
Communicated with all interested parties and other engineering departments to ensure all test criteria are met
Handling documentation and RFIs from 3rd party suppliers to support integration of externally designed systems
Collaborated with quality control to establish a procedure for testing raw materials and ingredients before they enter the production processes
Participated in meetings with major stakeholders and reporting on testing results and trial progress.
This chemical engineering work experience isn’t particularly impactful.
The candidate is vague about what their work actually was. Such generic descriptions hardly provide any information and leave reviewers with more questions than answers.
The exact chemical formulas and processes are usually company secrets. But you can talk more freely about standard industry equipment, plant design, unit processes and safety technologies.
Be more specific and provide examples of how you improved the organization with your hard work.
Let’s see another work experience example.
Water treatment engineerPublic Water Systems
Took responsibility for unit operations in a water treatment facility
Used Aspen HYSYS and Aspen Plus to simulate settling and filtration processes and optimize the working parameters
Designed replacement sedimentation tanks and associated plumbing and valves
Lead the HAZOP studies and PFMEA analysis, organizing a team of chemical engineers
Worked with the quality engineers to update SOPs for operators
Routinely performed inspections of the clarifiers and filtration machines and issued recommendations to operators and maintenance crew
Performed lab tests of water samples to confirm nominal process operation
This chemical engineering resume is way more impressive. The candidate provides plenty of examples of what technology, equipment and software they used on the job.
Phrases like “took responsibility” can help you frame yourself as a proactive engineer who drives their organization forward.
PRO TIPCheck the job description for inspiration. Look for similarities between your employer’s values and your experience.
Entry-level Chemical Engineer resume experience - inside tips and tricks
Chemical engineering students and recent graduates may struggle writing their resumes.
What to put on the page when you don’t have any work experience?
Well, what does it say in the company description. Find the tangent line between their corporate values and your own views and motivation. This is the same for any chemical engineering resume - student or senior.
- What university projects have given you exposure to similar engineering problems?
- Have you experimented with chemistry and engineering on your own time?
- Do you have volunteering experience?
Avoid talking extensively about your university courses. Thousands of other chemical engineers take them. Hiring managers already expect you to have sufficient theoretical information.
They are looking for something beyond the curriculum.
How to position your Chemical Engineer resume skills section
The skills section will help you clearly display your chemical engineering skills and abilities.
This is especially important since major manufacturing plants frequently use automated recruitment systems. They will scan your resume looking for skills matching the employer’s desired profile.
How to list tech skills on your resume
Depending on the specific position, reorganize your skills to feature the most relevant ones at the top.
Here are some more ideas about technical skills for chemical engineers.
Top 15 technical skills for Chemical Engineer resume
- Visual Basic
- Data processing and visualization
- Chemistry and lab skills
- Common plant equipment and processes
- Pressure vessels
- Mixing tanks
- Heat exchangers
- Centrifugal separators
- Tanks, plumbing and valves
- Control equipment
- Measurement instruments
- Matlab and Simulink
- Aspen HYSYS and Aspen Plus
- SAP ERP
- Intergraph Smart 3D
- Health and safety analysis and compliance
How to describe soft skills on your resume
Entry-level chemical engineers often think they’ll spend they days designing and testing various pieces of equipment and creating new efficient processes.
Senior chemical engineers know the job demands a well defined suite of soft skills.
Chemical engineers communicate with operators, other engineers, managers and even major stakeholders.
You’ll also need to work with tons of technical documentation, reports, data and manage them effectively, ensuring every person in the plant has access to the information they need.