12 Key Engineer Skills for Your Resume

By Indeed Editorial Team

Updated 6 December 2022

Published 12 June 2021

The Indeed Editorial Team comprises a diverse and talented team of writers, researchers and subject matter experts equipped with Indeed's data and insights to deliver useful tips to help guide your career journey.

Engineering is a broad term that includes professionals in just about every industry. The necessary skills in an engineering job application can be specific to the particular role. However, there are some common skills that engineers need to succeed. Including these in your resume can show employers that you can do well in most engineering roles. As your resume is the first point of contact with hiring managers, it can be helpful to know these so you can make a good impression. In this article, we discuss the top engineer skills and how to include them on your resume.

What do engineers do?

Engineer skills include both hard and soft skills relevant to the success of an engineering role. Engineers work in many different settings and perform various tasks. Some can have management roles, and others have more technical jobs. However, working on projects and solving problems is common for most engineers. This means that most engineers need to work well with other people to be successful. They can also be responsible for ensuring that budget and schedule constraints are met.

12 key engineering skills to include on your resume

Below we discuss 12 key engineer skills that are important to most engineering roles and projects:

1. Problem-solving

If one term could best describe all engineers, it would be 'problem solvers'. The roles and tasks they perform are prone to problems. Engineers need to be good with decisions and determine ways to solve the problems that arise. Employers may want to see that you have experience with problem-solving before they hire you as it's one of the key engineer skills.

You can try to include an example in your past where you have encountered a serious problem and how you solved it. If you don't have any professional examples to include, you can mention examples from your personal life.

2. Communication skills

Working as an engineer usually involves working on projects with other people. This can mean that a large part of the role is discussing plans and issues with other professionals. The ability to clearly communicate can be one of the best engineer skills to work collaboratively with others. Engineers can often work with non-technical staff, so they may need to convey technical information clearly to those with a different level of knowledge.

If you have experience in a previous role where communication was necessary, explaining this on our resume is a great idea. You use communication skills every day to talk to people in your life, so there can be many other examples to convey your communication skills.

3. Interpersonal skills

A significant part of engineering is working collaboratively, so interpersonal skills can be helpful for engineers. While similar to communication skills, interpersonal skills are more about your cooperation and attitude when working with people. These skills can make it easy for people to work with you and contribute to your work's success.

You may have used your interpersonal skills when cooperating with your boss and coworkers in the past. If you have service industry experience, you can use examples of when you helped customers to convey your interpersonal skills.

4. Industry skills

Industry skills are the specific hard skills relevant to your engineering field. Hiring managers need to determine if you can perform in their particular industry, so your resume could also highlight the relevant technical engineering skills. For example, if you're applying for a design engineer role, you may need to showcase that you have skills using specific software, such as CAD.

Previous work experience with these skills can be an excellent way to highlight them on your resume. You can also use university work or your personal experiences if they can showcase your ability.

Related: What Does a Process Engineer Do? (Plus How to Become One)

5. Project management

It's common for engineers to land in a position where they're managing a project. They may have to integrate different works, tasks and team members to deliver work on time and within budget. Project management skills can come down to being organised, structured and hard-working within a technical context.

Managing any projects in your previous professional experience can provide you with great experience to include on your resume. If you don't have this experience, you may have demonstrated similar skills in other processes or projects you have managed in your personal life.

6. Pressure management

Engineers often work to a strict schedule and budget. They may have to deal with high-pressure situations when working to deliver these projects. Being reliable under pressure is an excellent engineer skill for candidates.

Pressure management examples to include in your resume can come from any area of your life. You may have dealt with a stressful or high-pressure situation in your previous jobs, studies or personal life. These can make great examples to convey your pressure management skills.

7. Teamwork

Engineering projects are generally large-scale and complex, meaning a whole team can work on them together. Teamwork skills are essential for engineers to succeed in their role and deliver their projects successfully. Teamwork skills involve your ability to take on advice, share responsibilities, and help your team members.

You would have developed your teamwork skills from previously working or playing in a team. Anecdotes of working within a successful team is a perfect way to describe this skill in your resume.

8. Attention to detail

Projects in engineering can be complicated and complex. Precision and accuracy are essential to achieving success on these projects. Any errors in the early phases can compound and become significant issues that cause financial loss or dangerous situations. Hiring managers can look for candidates that showcase their attention to detail and aren't complacent.

While providing examples as proof of your attention to detail, you can also showcase this through your resume itself. Providing consistent formatting and accurate information can be all the evidence needed to highlight this skill.

9. Computer modelling

Computer modelling is creating models of structures and systems to plan and test designs. The task of computer modelling may not fall in the remit of all engineering fields. However, it can be important for engineers to understand computer modelling because it's used on many projects. Engineers may have to interpret and communicate the computer model designs to their team.

If you have computer modelling skills, include them in your application. When projects don't use computer modelling, they're likely to use computers in some way. If you don't have this engineer skill, showcasing any computer literacy can be advantageous. Candidates that studied engineering at university probably used computer software to perform a task, which can be a great example of your computer literacy skills.

10. Leadership

Engineers can have varying responsibilities depending on their role and the project. However, either formally or informally, engineers are often placed in a position of leadership. They can be responsible for executing a significant part of a project. This can involve delegating responsibility, helping team members and managing all the elements efficiently. An engineer with the ability to lead a team and motivate others can be valuable to many employers. It can also put them in a position to be promoted in the future and advance your career.

Leadership skills are often considered to be inherent in people. While this can be true, you can also develop these skills throughout your career and personal life. If you've managed a team at work before, that can be an excellent anecdote to communicate your leadership skills. Additionally, you may have been the captain of a sports team, lead a university assignment or managed a more informal team. These situations all imply leadership skills and are valuable experiences for an engineering candidate.

11. Data and analytically minded

While engineering projects need to be of a high standard, they also need to be within budget and schedule. This is where analytical minded skills can be necessary. Engineers may need to analyse data to help them make important decisions as a part of their job. With good analytical skills, they can make the right decisions that benefit the project. For example, if a critical task is taking longer than expected, an engineer can decide to place more resources on that task to prioritise it. By doing this, the whole project can remain on track.

You can show analytical skills through important decisions you've made at work or in your personal life. Making an informed decision after learning new information shows that you've considered the data and responded efficiently. For example, you may have wanted to apply for an academic course but reconsidered after learning about its poor career prospects.

12. Educational commitment

Educational commitment skills mean that you're committed to improving your education in the relevant industry. The technical world of engineering involves lots of evolving best practices and technology. To stay informed, engineers may need to focus on continued learning throughout their career. This also allows you to stay at the top of your field and a valuable asset to your employer.

To convey your educational commitment, you can provide examples of when you've gone the extra mile in your studies or work. Extracurricular activities and non-essential courses show that you take a genuine interest in your career and stay informed. This is a trait that employers can look for when hiring engineers and promoting them to senior roles.

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