Whether you have a lot of experience and can’t decide what to keep on your resume or you have no experience and can’t think of anything to put on your resume, the following blog post will outline five good categories to consider for mechanical engineering. These categories are chosen based off of my personal experience and opinion as a graduating mechanical engineering major.
Every mechanical engineering major should be familiar with some sort of design software before graduation. Some examples of this kind of software are SolidWorks, AutoCAD, Pro/ENGINEER, and Rhinoceros 3D. There are other common non-design software that engineering students use such as MathCAD, MatLab/Simulink, Mathematica, PSpice, and even Microsoft Excel. This software is typically found on the resume under the education section or in its own section as “Software” or “Computer Skills”.
Projects are a good way to effectively show the employer that you have many skills such as teamwork, communication, time management, leadership, and hands on experience related to the field. A lot of schools have you participate in a senior design project before graduation. Next to internships and other engineering employment, having this senior design project is one of your most essential tools for building your resume. Smaller projects from your coursework can be useful, too. Even if it’s a project that you work on by yourself outside of school, it may be worth including it on your resume. These projects are typically found towards the top of the resume in their own section.
Clubs are very similar to projects in the sense that they give you skills such as teamwork, communication, leadership, and hands-on experience. Some of the projects you list may even come from a club or organization. Some common engineering clubs that you could consider joining and listing would be American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME), Formula SAE (Building a go-kart/racecar), Rocketry Club, and the Clean Snowmobile Club. If you have only been a member of a club for a short time, then I would suggest listing it at the bottom of your resume in a section titled “Activities.” If you have been very involved in the club, then you might want to consider describing it more in your “Related Experience” section.
Certifications are a quick and easy way to prove that you are adept at a certain area of study. A common certification would be the CSWA (Certified SolidWorks Associate) or CSWP (Certified SolidWorks Professional). Certifications may also be important exams you have passed, such as the Fundamentals of Engineering (FE) exam. The FE exam is something that most graduating mechanical engineering students take their senior year. Other certifications may include any practical work you’ve done, such as being a certified welder. The certification section is typically seen directly below the education section on your resume.
There are many methods or processes out there that can make a huge contribution to your resume if you are familiar with them. For example, knowing Lean Six Sigma is very important for improving manufacturing processes and quality assurance. Other methods and processes include finite element analysis, non-destructive examination (NDE), and cost benefit analysis. All of these methods involve saving money. Saving and making money is the name of the game in engineering. The examples I’ve given are usually offered as upper division electives at schools with a four-year engineering program. Some good ways to show that you are familiar with some of these methods is by listing some of your coursework or listing them as bullet points within your experiences.
Hopefully these tips and suggestions have given you some good ideas about what to highlight on your resume. Always continue to get involved and improve your resume. Good luck!