Mechanical Engineering CV Sample and Guide
Engineering is a hot field today, as one of the four STEM pillars. With many different disciplines, it is also a complex and varied one. In Hong Kong, one of the more ‘popular’ specialisations I’ve seen more frequently is that of mechanical engineering. Even within this specialisation, a lot of sub-specialties exist too – one could be an AutoCAD specialist/designer/drafter, project manager, structural analyst, cross over into mechatronics, etc. This makes it particularly important to position your profile properly, and give the correct insights into your skillsets and abilities.
Some key points to note – as engineering is a very project-based profession, it’s more difficult to quantify one’s achievements and contributions and put those on your CV. If you’ve read my other CV breakdowns or my Ultimate Guide to CV Writing, you’d notice that I put a lot of emphasis on including achievements, statistics, and metrics. These are crucial to any good CV. They show how you’ve contributed and thus why you should be hired.
In the case of engineering, rather than talking about the project’s dollar value (although that’s a great metric to have!), one alternative approach I adopt is the Significant Projects method. This highlights the most significant projects (hence the name) that you’ve worked on, and is a good alternative if you don’t have any numbers or stats to hand. This strategy allows you to demonstrate that you’ve contributed actively, and if your project is particularly well known or high-key within the industry, so much the better! This approach is a slightly trimmed down version of the one I use with project managers’ CVs. The amount of detail we include varies on a case by case basis, depending on the overarching writing strategy you want to adopt.
Today, I’ll be taking you through a mechanical engineer’s CV I recently worked on, where my client graciously allowed me to use his profile as a demo. I’ve changed a few details here and there for illustration purposes, but the logic and reasoning are mostly intact. You can adapt the thinking and tips/tricks to writing your own resume.
Let’s jump right into it! Here’s the fully annotated mechanical engineer’s CV sample:
JOHN MICHAEL LIM
Senior Mechanical Engineer
Tel.: +852 XXXX XXXX | Email: email@example.com | Nationality: Chinese
- IES-registered professional engineer specialising in overseeing construction projects, quantity surveying, engineering site management, and creating innovative, cost-efficient designs. [Engineering is a varied field with many different disciplines. It’s important to establish that your professional background matches what the company is looking for. After all, an electrical engineer probably can’t do a civil engineer’s job very well!]
- Innovative and creative professional possessing extensive technical background with wide-ranging experience in driving continuous production improvement projects, shaping system architecture design, and managing a diverse range of mechanical engineering related operations for major projects in the high-volume consumer electronics field. [This client also specialised in process reengineering on top of his professional experience. I felt that this was a particularly good selling point as many firms will won’t to find ways to improve on what they’re doing and thus become more efficient. If you hove ‘general’ skills like this, include them, even if they’re unrelated to your profession. Afterwards, I again highlighted his engineering-related expertise and project management knowledge.]
- Solid expertise in applied research, prototype development, new content design, simulation, testing, and validation, Extensive theoretical experience in engineering mechanics, principles, and materials, as well as hands-on experience on actual machining, brazing, soldering, adhesive bonding, and welding. [This client was preparing a general CV and he mentioned that he was considering returning too more research-focused role as opposed to a practicing role. As such, I included a bit of detail on his past research-based knowledge and R&D domain experience. Including such info is a case-by-case sort of thing. Domain knowledge is almost always good to include, but be sure to review the relevancy of the points you include and ensure good relation to your target role (if you have one in mind.)]
- Skilled analyst with highly effective problem-solving skills, adept at preventive problem identification and resolution. Capable of facilitating all aspects of the problem resolution process, from design of experiments to solution validation and implementation. [Engineers must be prepared to solve problems of all sorts. Projects rarely go smoothly — plans are only guidelines! I would have liked to further substantiate this point with some concrete examples, but unfortunately his projects were all confidential. If you hove examples which you can share, be sure to include them. It helps a lot]
- Highly regarded and well-respected leader, noted for hands-on leadership philosophy and for readily supporting and guiding team members on the ground. Team-oriented and deeply invested in team members’ professional development and personal growth alike. [This client was gunning for a more senior leadership position. As you climb the ladder, leadership skill gets increasingly important. As such, I chose to dedicate a point to this here. If you are looking at on entry-level or middle-management role, it may not be necessary to dedicate a full point. You can implicitly demonstrate your leadership experience through your job experiences (later on in the CV)]
[This section gives a good helicopter view of the candidate. Mentioning that you are both knowledgeable at engineering principles and hove hands-on experience will make you a more competitive applicant. So make sure to include important details of your technical skills and knowledge under the executive summary.]
|Mechanical Engineering||Quantity Surveying||Site Management|
|Project Management||Quality Control||Workplace Safety & Health|
Global Engineering Pte Ltd, Hong Kong
- Lead engineer responsible in overseeing design of electronic power supply products for well-known brands including Cisco Systems, HP, and Microsoft, with full managerial oversight over interdisciplinary engineering team of 20. [Here, I’ve summarised his role as far as possible at a top-down level. In addition, I’ve also highlighted his team size, to demonstrate the level of responsibility (and hence seniority) he has. Nowadays, we are seeing a lot more horizontal organizational structures (i.e. no ‘direct in charge’), so it’s not a must to have. Include it if possible though – it’s a nice bonus to have.]
- Manage design of products from conceptual design to end product and safety approval and production [This is related to the first point; I’m going into more detail on his general duties and responsibilities. I could have included this in the first point as well, but l didn’t want to make it too long. Keep your points to 3 lines or less as for as possible. If it’s too long, it becomes intimidating to read. We want to keep the render engaged!]
- Oversee Imaginative, 30 modelling and assembly of entire product in Pro/E, and Thermal Analysis in CF Design. Produce BOM and drawings after design is finalised. [Toss in some mechanical engineering-related jargon here, to reinforce the idea that he has the theoretical knowledge to handle his potential future role.]
- Supervise design of sheet metal chassis parts/assembly/plastic parts and packaging design [Mention tools and products you’re familiar with to give hiring managers an idea what you’re capable of working with. This is similar to what I did in the executive summary, except at o more day-to-day level. The executive summary is a more ‘general’ or macro level.]
- Liaised with suppliers, visiting potential partners to assess and analyze partners’ capabilities and providing input on supplier selection. Acted as SPOC between internal teams and suppliers, managing and resolving all issues arising. [I’ve talked a lot about his ‘internal’ roles, so I also bring in some external duties here. This gives a more complete picture of his abilities, given that stakeholder management/engagement is a key part of almost every role.]
- Regularly communicate with customers to solve technical problems for products and understand customer needs and requirements [Customer service and communication skills are reflected here. Both are soft skills which ore highly transferable. Recall that I’m writing a general CV which needs to work for multiple industries; a Jack of All Trades of sorts. I’ve therefore chosen to add several points which would be valuable in as many industries as possible, to help John cover more possible bases.]
- Successfully designed complex electro-mechanical subsystems and transmission subsystems, directing design projects valued at a combined total of over USD 5M.
- Singlehandedly troubleshot various products such as 4000W product for Microsoft and 900W for HP; identified problems and suggested solutions for fan failure, insulation damage, shock and vibration failure and thermal failure.
[Always try to find ways to include actual numbers in your resume. It’s very important to quantify achievements so that hiring managers can see the impact of your work, the scope of your responsibilities and can relate your past work to their business. It shows how you have added value and contributed to the company, and thus how you might contribute to your potential employer. This is much more effective than general statements about job duties.]
Venture Corporation Ltd, Hong Kong
- Collaborated with Project Planning Engineers in managing construction works according to engineering drawings and specifications. [This is o brief but concise description of o previous role. Notice also how the remaining bullet points are written briefly. Because the role is old, we don’t need to spend as much time discussing them.]
- Drove effective resolution of technical issues and performed quality checks with suppliers, subcontractors, statutory authorities and client representatives. [Again, a bit of variety with the roles. I included both internal and external duties in this one point. Since it’s old, I don’t want to ‘spam’ the CV with too many different points. Try to keep the older roles as short as possible. The older the role, the less points you should be using. Keep the space for the more recent roles.]
- Oversaw and enforced compliance with prevailing workplace safety requirements and regulations on all engineering sites. [These roles might seem more mundane or ‘junior. That’s okay — this is an old role which is more junior in level. The skills gained from these duties are transferable though —in every engineering discipline, safety and OSHA regulations are very important.]
- Supervised and mentored junior and trainee Site Engineers, equipping them with knowledge of industry best practices and ensuring delivery of quality work. [Because he’s looking to move up the ranks, demonstrating that he’s supervised and trained junior team members is a good way of showing he knows how to develop his subordinates. It’s a desirable trait in senior management.]
- Headed team of 3 in developing new GSM mobile phone variant, driving design and analysis with full responsibility and oversight of rear housing and acoustic chamber component design.
- Designed color LCD module capable of being adapted for use in future products, surpassing reliability standards and becoming a de-facto standard across multiple key products.
- Conceptualized, developed, and implemented a revolutionary new metal-to-plastic bonding process in order to achieve client’s aesthetic and cosmetic requirements while simultaneously attaining established reliability standards.
[For roles without quantifiable metrics, speak about notable contributions you have made. Note the title of this section is different — I’ve used Significant Projects instead of Significant Achievements. This is because I’m choosing to focus on the major projects he’s headed up. They don’t necessarily have numbers or stats tied to them, but ore valuable nonetheless. This is an alternate approach you can take if your role does not have many quantifiable metrics.]
EDUCATION & PROFESSIONAL QUALIFICATIONS
- P.Eng • Professional Engineers Board • Hong Kong • 2006 [lf you have membership in any industry-based organisations or accreditation bodies, be sure to include them here. In Hong Kong, engineers come under the purview of the Institute of Engineers Hong Kong, and/or the Professional Engineers Board. Even if you are still registering, you can include the title followed by ‘In Progress’ or similar.]
- Member • Institute of Engineers • Hong Kong • 2006
- Bachelor of Science (Hons) • Mechanical Engineer • Hong Kong University • Hong Kong • 2005
- Languages: SQL (Oracle, Teradata)
- Software: MS Office Suite • MS Project • Autodesk • AutoCAD • Mathcad • LabVIEW • MATLAB • Mathematica • Solid Works
- Research & Design: Project / Quantification Planning • Finite Element Analysis (FEA) • ISO & Safety Compliance • On- and Off-line Test Development • Statistical / Process Analysis • Design & Validation • Manufacturing Specifications
- Others: Teradata FSLDM (Financial Services Logical Data Model)
[A couple of these software suites ore well known and frequently used in the industry (e.g. Autodesk and AutoCAD). It’s good to include your knowledge of such areas if you have it — it sets you apart from a candidate unfamiliar with them, as it means the company won’t have to invest as much in your training and that you can immediately start contributing. I included R&D knowledge because he may wish to transit back to on R&D role. Choose the technical skills you include carefully. Be sure they are related to your field – e.g. I wouldn’t include knowledge of a financial or accounting software suite here.)]
- Nationality: Chinese
- Languages: Fluent in English, Cantonese and Chinese
- Availability: 1 month’s notice
[If you are fluent in multiple languages, include that. If you’ve taken formal certification courses like the APT, you can odd that in as well. While on engineer isn’t as ‘frontline’ or client facing, fluency in multiple languages is always a nice plus in today’s world.]
References available upon request
[There’s no need to list your references; if HR is interested in you they will ask you for them.]
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About the Mechanical Engineer Role
Mechanical Engineering covers very diverse technical areas. This field of engineering involves the design, manufacturing and operations of practically all structures with moving parts, from minute microelectromechanical sensors to heavy equipment and aircrafts.
Some of the major areas where the services of mechanical engineers are vital are in power systems, energy, air conditioning, automation, automotive, facilities maintenance and many others. Mechanical engineers are sought after in almost all manufacturing industries, in the energy and transportation sectors, and even in buildings where facilities are installed.
Prospective employers will most naturally prefer multi-faceted candidates who can handle most mechanical engineering activities. But in reality, it is difficult to find one who has the complete mechanical engineering disciplines and experience. It is important, therefore, for an applicant to differentiate himself from the rest of the competition and specify his areas of strength and his potentials to be able to take on more roles than he has previously experienced.
What Hiring Managers Look For in Mechanical Engineer Resumes
- Problem Solving Skills: Engineers are expected to be able to find creative technical solutions to problems they are presented with, in the course of their work. Cite your effective application of your analytical skills in projects or assignments you led or were involved in. You’d have noticed this in the sample – note how I talked about his problem solving abilities and skills in the executive summary. Whenever possible, substantiate these with concrete examples and projects you have worked on. In this case, I wasn’t able to include any, as John wanted to keep them confidential. Be sure to note your company’s confidentiality clauses too, when talking about your projects.
- Quick Thinking Ability: Aside from good analytical skills, potential employers also look for candidates who can think on their feet. Engineers are expected to provide immediate action to avoid disruption of operations such as in production lines or services such as in air conditioning or elevators. It will be to your advantage to show employers you have this skill, in your resume.
- Leadership: Many of the activities you will undertake as a mechanical engineer in the company will need to be accomplished with and through other people. Show through your resume how you demonstrated your coordinating skills and leadership skills.
- Being Innovative: A dynamic mechanical engineer challenges the status quo and initiates innovations to the existing process. List the engineering projects you managed, if any, and the innovations you introduced with the improvements to the company’s operations they resulted in.
Additional Mechanical Engineer Resume Writing Tips
- Proofread and double or triple-check your CV. Engineers are expected to have a good eye for detail, and to be accurate and precise. You cannot afford to make any mistakes – no formatting errors, no careless spelling/grammar slip-ups, etc. Those reflect poorly on the CV and hence the candidate – from the employer’s point of view, if a candidate makes basic errors on his/her CV, what’s to prevent them from making similar errors in their actual work? Your CV is the first impression you make. Don’t waste it!
- List down and describe all the skills relevant to the position you apply for, including the certifications related to your technical skills, such as, CAD, machine shop fabrication, welding, refrigeration, and materials processing.
- Also indicate in your resume the equipment you have worked with, such as, generators, motors, boilers, air handling units, chillers, elevators, heavy equipment, kilns, presses, etc.
- Do not assume that all the readers of your resume are engineers. They are not. Avoid the use of too many technical jargons.
Mechanical Engineer Job Opportunities
- Join LinkedIn groups or follow companies you wish to work for to keep abreast with new job openings.
- Alternatively, you can reach out to these headhunters in Hong Kong to learn about any vacancies they may be trying to fill out.
Job Hunting Tips from our Resident Headhunter
- Create a winning cover letter and send it along your resume. The cover letter will serve as an introduction about yourself and is a great venue to answer the question “Why should we hire you?”
- Be active on social media, particularly on LinkedIn. Make sure to create a strong online profile that represents you and you professional experiences. Here’s our comprehensive guide on writing a great LinkedIn profile.
- Before you start sending out applications, get a free CV Feedback Session with our team.
More Useful Links
If you found this article useful, you might also like:
- How to Write a Winning Resume: Your Ultimate CV Guide
- How to Write a Cover Letter: Your Ultimate Cover Letter Guide
- How to Use LinkedIn to Find a Job: Your Ultimate LinkedIn Guide
- List of Headhunters in Hong Kong
- Cover Letter Samples, Templates & Tips
- Downloadable Free Resume Templates
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