This entry level mechanical resume guide is for you if…
You think applying to jobs is an unpredictable process where you don’t control much.
Or, if you wish to see a transition in your career early on from that internship you just had but didn’t like.
While most entry level mechies are too scared of being in this place, the lack of experience is often a self-perceived barrier.
But, we’ll tell you that - this is one of the finest moments of your life.
You can literally go from becoming a dead-end draftsman to a skilled R&D engineer.
Right now, you are shapeless, you are fluid, you’ve the opportunity to win the world.
We are not kidding! Check out the journey of Akshay who actually scored an internship with Tesla by putting the right things in the right way on his resume.
Month after month, we have received increasingly more mails and messages from 100s of Akshays.
Now, let’s help you make one such story!
Here’s what you are going to learn:
- How to differentiate your entry-level resume from a freshman’s resume
- What can add weight to your short work experience making you look like a master
- Right and wrong examples of resume header, summary and experience
- Some essential skills and certifications to include in your resume
- Eliminating common resume mistakes that cry rejection
How to write an entry level mechanical engineering resume?
Mechanical engineering is all about testing, assurance and then implementation. Building a resume takes similar efforts.
When you think about it.
Your resume skills are like tensile strength.
Your resume experience is like your elastic limit…
A resume layout is just like your CAD drawings. If not with the right proportion or design, your resume fails to communicate information to a recruiter as does your CAD drawing when tested at production.
While there are no standards like ASME for building a resume, there sure are certain design constraints that dictate how your resume design/layout should be.
A few top entry level resume design considerations are:
- Font size and shape : 12 px minimum size
- Number of columns : maximum of 2 across the page
- Resume layout
- Number of sections : maximum 7 on a page
- Length and height of these sections : Width should be less than 980px
We’ve pretty much covered everything that makes your resume look like the winning ones - except for the resume layout.
Which resume layout is best for an entry level mechanical engineer resume?
You aren’t exactly a freshman now.
So, there are certain expectations from your resume. It should be nothing less than a professional looking mechanical engineering resume.
It has to look clean, display your engineering strength, experience and should quickly provide hiring managers with the information they need.
The entry level mechanical engineering resume sample you saw before was built using something called a Hybrid resume format.
While reverse chronological resumes have been the preferred choice, Hybrid resume layout combines the power of modern design with powerful storytelling.
And, when you add professional looking fonts that are legible - you make a perfect design.
As a caution, make sure that your resume:
- Doesn’t have creative fonts - they get instant rejection
- Is in the right file format - we know of a hiring manager who got a .ini resume file. We still have no clue of how to view that resume
- Doesn’t have too small margins
Once you’ve taken a note of these, swear to never make someone cringe by looking at a resume with Comic Sans font - now you’re ready to start filling up your resume layout with relevant sections.
This is just the foundation that will help you support writing a high quality resume. We will now leverage this foundation and go through examples and best practices of writing these resume sections.
For more information on the best resume formats, read our guide: The Best Resume Formats You Need to Consider (5+ Examples Included).
Entry level mechanical resume header: how to make it impactful
Resume headers are just like a business card.
They tell your hiring manager who you are and how to get in touch with you.
But tiny modifications can go a long way when it comes to your resume header.
Notice the two resume header examples below.
Do you know how many irrelevant resumes hiring managers receive? And, they often discover that after going through 40% of a resume.
The good example above reveals your relevance for that mechanical design role in a bat of an eye. This instantly throws the recruiter in a receptive mode and they want to learn more of what you have on your resume for the job.
Give your resume header plenty of whitespace and make sure you keep everything highly glanceable.
Try avoiding these two mistakes too:
- Capitalized titles
- Adding funny/unprofessional emails like firstname.lastname@example.org
If you want more ideas for stand-out resume headers, read through our guide Perfecting Your Resume Header so You Get Noticed.
Next thing to look at is your resume summary.
Entry level Mechanical engineer resume summary (with examples)
The first mistake most entry level mechanical engineers make is to add a resume objective instead of summary. That is naive, don’t do that.
A resume objective only comes into picture if you are trying to make a drastic career transition and don’t have any relevant work experience.
Let’s say you are working as a draftsman and you seek transition to designing or project engineer - you should write an objective because it states why you are applying for this role.
But if that’s not the case, write a resume summary.
Now, describing who you really are in just a few lines is a really difficult thing to do. What makes writing a resume summary easy though is keeping in your mind that it should have the following:
- State the industry and the amount of experience you have in it
- Reflect your passion of engineering and craftsmanship involved in the job
- Give a hint of what you do in it. Just the hint
Focus on these three points when you write a resume summary. The samples below reflect what happens when you write a resume summary with and without keeping those three things in mind.
Note: Some applicants tend to share a lot of personal details(a cat person, ice-cream enthusiast) within a resume summary. While that may work well for other professions, hiring managers that are looking for entry level positions are least likely to find that appealing. And, it rather delivers a negative impact.
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).
Once you are done writing a perfect resume summary, it’s time to fill your experience.
Entry Level Mechanical Engineering experience on resume: how to describe it
How would you pick a material to manufacture a window frame?
First step for you would be to look at material specifications to see if the material has the right strength, is good enough to withstand temperature fluctuations and won’t rust.
A hiring manager works the same way.
To them, you’re raw, you’re passionate.
They want to see if you really make the cut when it comes to being the raw talent they’ve been looking for.
While your resume experience is in fact similar to the material specification table, it doesn’t have to be that boring.
An entry level mechanical engineering resume should instead give out important details without the need for your hiring manager to scout for them.
The samples below will show you the difference better.
For more ideas on how to create an actionable resume experience section, check out our guide How to Describe Your Resume Work Experience.
Entry level mechanical engineering resume skills: importance & tips
Let’s say you’ve two alloys: Metal A, Metal B, both pass the safety standards.
Both are above the standards, but Metal B lasts 35 years more than Metal A. Imagine if you just got 10 more other such metals that pass the standard. That’s competition!
Just like those metals, you’ve to pass the standards for experience, and you still have to beat 100s of other applicants. Some of these applicants may be like you and some may even be better than you.
And this is exactly where your resume skills would shine the most.
But what are the skills that do that?
If you are applying for an entry level mechanical design engineer:
- Design skills: Ethnographic research methods, Design thinking skills
- Software skills: SolidWorks, LabView, etc.
- Prototyping skills: Raspberry Pi, Arduino,
- Fabrication skills: Lathe, Milling, CNC, Casting, additive manufacturing
- Analysis skills: Thermal analysis, fluid flow, etc.
If you are applying for an Entry Level Maintenance Engineer engineer, consider the following skills in addition to your general Engineering skills:
- Potential Failure Mode and Effects Analysis (PFMEA)
- Practical Problem Solving Report Preparation (PPSR)
- Corrective/Preventive action
The top skills that as an entry level mechanical engineer you should add to your resume can make all the difference.
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).
Importance of projects and research work on your resume
So far, your resume has proved that you have the skills and experience required for that entry-level mechanical engineer profile.
But you’re not going to stop here.
You’ll add your project experience and research work to your resume. Relevant projects and research add weight to your short experience. So, make it count. It implicates that you aren’t just relevant, but have been focused since the start.
This exhibits your passion as well as seriousness towards what you do.
Projects and research is one of the biggest factors in landing a design engineering role for entry level engineers.
Let’s say that you’re currently working in maintenance, but you want that manufacturing design role.
But so does everyone else - that’s not going to help you stand out.
You’ve got some skills, but so do 30+ other applicants.
It helps you stand out in the crowd of relevant applications if you can actually demonstrate that you’ve utilized those skills and done something with it.
Projects and research work naturally do that in your resume and are exceptionally helpful when you are planning a career transition.
How to list your education on your resume
Educational credentials attain some saturation when you reach a certain level of professional working experience.
But when you are an entry level mechanical engineer, the education section and the details you add there matter a lot.
Typically, your resume section should mention:
- College name, location
- Your degree with specialization
- The year in which you graduated or the duration of your college study
Following this advice, here’s what would be the right and wrong way to list your education.
Here’s a typical example of how not to write your education section.
Here’s what you should do instead.
This should be followed when you don’t have a lot to display on your resume.
But, let’s say you have 40% whitespace left on your resume, and you also have a couple of proud accomplishments from those college days- projects, publications, research papers, etc.
So, here’s what good resume education section would look like now
Carnegie Mellon University, Pittsburg, PA Master of Integrated Innovation for Products and Services, June 2018, GPA:3.6/4.0
- Published 3 research papers on Rapid prototyping for the Internet of Things
- Worked on design, analysis and optimization of heat exchangers, resulted into 8% material cost savings
Being contextually aware of your strengths and weaknesses in your resume is the key to landing an interview.
Browse more essential tips on how to feature education on your resume, in our guide Perfecting the Education Section on Your Resume.
Add certifications to your resume
You’ve put so much hard work and effort behind these certifications.
They not only tell you that you’re qualified, but also reflect that you stay updated with manufacturing standards and processes.
Make a small section on your resume, and add your certifications of SolidWorks Professional, ASME certifications, etc.
For more information on how to properly list resume certifications, we recommend reading our guide How To List Certifications On A Resume (Examples Included).
Other sections to include on your resume
Depending on the company, job seniority level and your location, you may want to include more sections to your Entry-Level Mechanical Engineer resume:
- Language skills
- Hobbies and interests
- Volunteer work
- LinkedIn on Resume
Key Takeaways from this guide:
- Keep your resume header clean so it gives away important information in a quick scan
- Write a summary not an objective if you have some relevant experience
- Resume summary should reflect what craftsmanship your job employs and what work you do with it
- If you’re making a career change, your college projects and research work will prove to be helpful
- College projects and research, if relevant, adds weight to your short span of experience
- Add your skills and certification on your resume and mention any projects utilizing those skills.
Now, you’re ready to create your Tesla-internship like story!