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What to Include in a Mechanic Resume

Deciding what to include in your resume depends on what the prospective employer is looking for and the type of work you prefer to do as well as your training and work experience. For example, if you enjoy working with your hands, have just graduated from high school and are looking for work as a mechanic's helper, the contents of your resume will differ greatly from the resume of someone who has achieved master mechanic status and is applying for a job as a millwright.

As you look at various mechanic resume samples, you will discover that although no two are alike, they all include a few basics. Here are standard resume sections that are in almost all resumes:

  • Summary Statement
  • Education
  • Work Experience
  • Skills

When you review the mechanic resume samples, you probably will notice that not all follow the same format. A resume that follows a chronological format lists information under the education and work experience sections according to dates, the most recent being mentioned first. Employers find this format easy to read, and it works well for job seekers who do not have gaps in employment.

Functional formats emphasize skills instead of dates and the number of jobs held. In a functional resume, you would insert a section entitled "Accomplishments" right after your resume summary. You also could lump similar work experiences together instead of listing them one by one with individual dates. If you look closely at mechanic resume samples, you will notice that some resumes combine formats in order to present information in a way that best tells what the job seeker has to offer.

How to Write the Mechanic Resume Summary Statement

An attention-getting summary statement is crucial to the success of your resume. Think of this resume section as your opening sales pitch or "elevator speech." Meaning, it needs to be powerfully worded yet capable of being spoken in the time it takes an elevator to go from one building level to the next.

Examine mechanic resume samples to find wording that can be adapted. Use words that briefly yet vividly describe you as someone the reader would want to hire. Determine what to write by looking at it from the reader's viewpoint. Read each job announcement carefully. Then, write the resume summary so that readers quickly see that your strengths, experience and abilities fit their needs.

Tweak the wording of your resume summary slightly each time you apply for a job in order to have the best impact, even if the jobs are in the same sector. Changes will need to be more drastic if you apply across sectors.

Here are examples of two resume summary statements by the same job applicant. The first statement is tailored to fit a job opening as a diesel mechanic on a large farm. The second is written for work as a small engine mechanic in a store that sells chainsaws and residential lawn mowers.

Diesel mechanic familiar with maintenance and repair of a variety of farm machinery, both new and old. Excellent troubleshooting skills. Can read schematics, trace and fix electrical shorts on all types of equipment. Enjoy making repairs in the field as well as in the shop. Conscientious, believe in doing things right the first time.

Mechanic with training and informal experience servicing and repairing small engines. Worked alongside family members in logging business. Learned chainsaw safety, chain sharpening and tensioning, engine carburetor and choke adjustment, saw servicing and maintenance. Completed training in reading blueprints and schematics, tracing and fixing electrical shorts. Know the importance of doing a good job and keeping customers happy.

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How to Write the Mechanic Education Section

List your most recent education first. Give the name of the school or training facility as well as the beginning and ending dates of attendance. Mention the course of study and the degree or certificate that you earned. Include correspondence courses if they are relevant to the work you seek. On-the-job training and internships can be included either in this section or under the work experience section.

If you have a commercial driver's license or "CDL," or if you hold current certification that is related to any aspect of your work, be sure to include it. Examples are certifications in First Aid, CPR and MSHA Mine Safety.

If you have several years of work experience related to the job you are seeking, you may want to list your work experience and skills ahead of the section on education. Reading a variety of mechanic resume samples will help you decide which order is best for you.

How to Write the Mechanic Work Experience Section

For most persons looking for work as a mechanic, the chronological format is the best choice.

If you choose this approach, list your most recent work experience first. Then go backward in order by dates. Include the employer's name and the location where you worked. Add the duties and responsibilities of your job beneath each employer's basic information. Use bullet points and action verbs to highlight important achievements. Describe your accomplishments in numbers whenever possible. For example, you could say, "Consistently exceeded employee performance expectations by completing five additional diesel engine overhauls every month."

If, however, you have no prior work experience as a mechanic or your work history is spotty, the functional format may make a better impression.

The functional resume format emphasizes core competencies, special skills and outstanding achievements. Jobs held are moved farther down the page and may consist simply of a listing of company names and locations, positions held and dates of employment.

A variation of this format is to group your work history according to skills and accomplishments. Include volunteer and informal work that made use of skills needed by the prospective employer.

Look at mechanic resume samples to view how various formats present the work experience section. No matter what format you use, be sure that all sections of your resume tie in well with your summary statement.

Action Verbs to Include in Your Mechanic Work Experience Section

Verbs that show action help the reader visualize you actually doing the work. Use present tense when writing about work you currently do and past tense to tell about work you performed in previous jobs. Here are a few action verbs related to work as a mechanic. More can be found by researching mechanic resume samples.

  • Analyze
  • Assemble
  • Diagnose
  • Explain
  • Fix
  • Identify
  • Inspect
  • Install
  • Lift
  • Maintain
  • Maneuver
  • Read
  • Record
  • Repair
  • Replace
  • Research
  • Service
  • Test
  • Troubleshoot
  • Weld

How to Write the Mechanic Skills Section

Carefully read the job announcement. Note every skill that is mentioned. Then, review mechanic resume samples for ideas on organizing this section. List skills you have that are mentioned in the job announcement materials before bringing attention to other skills.

Most hiring managers like bullet points arranged in columns. They tend to read the left column from the top down before turning to a column on the right. This means that if you present your skills in two columns, the most important information should be in the left column.

Be sure to also include skills that make you a good employee wherever you work. These are called transferable or "soft" skills. You will find such skills listed on mechanic resume samples.

TIP: Need a cover letter? Click here to view our Mechanic cover letters.

If You Don't Have an Online Work Portfolio, Consider Creating One

The sole purpose of your resume is to provide a brief glimpse of your skills and abilities in a manner that causes the prospective employer to want to learn more. This often opens the door for a job interview. Creating an online portfolio and mentioning its availability somewhere on your resume provides you with another way to prove to the employer that you actually are the person that your resume represents you to be.

Include in your portfolio scanned-in copies of certificates and awards related to your skills as a mechanic or as an exceptional worker. If you completed training programs or courses in mechanics after you graduated from high school, put copies of transcripts and other documentation of what you learned in the online portfolio. Letters of commendation or recommendation also could be included.

Include proof of informal work or volunteer activities that add to your skills as a mechanic or your worth as an employee. Such tidbits of information allow the employer to see the bigger picture of who you are so that you are viewed not only as a capable worker but also as a potential asset to the company and the community in general.

Should I Include References in my Mechanic Resume

Do not include references in your resume. List them on a separate sheet, and have them ready to furnish when the employer asks. Select as possible references anyone who worked with you who is personally aware of your strengths, skills and abilities. Managers or supervisors are best. Get in touch with anyone you might like to list to ask permission and to make sure that the contact information you have is current.

Mechanic Resume Fails: Mistakes to Avoid

    • Do not give your resume to anyone until you have checked it thoroughly for errors. Careless work on a resume leads to job search failure.
    • Do not lie. The discovery of false information gives the employer reason to eliminate you from hiring consideration or to fire you immediately.
    • Don't exaggerate your skills, strengths and abilities. If you have made exaggerated statements, employer expectations will be too high. This sets you up for failure.
    • Don't write a book. Your resume is your sales flyer, not your autobiography. One or two pages is enough.
    • Don't assume that a good resume is not important because the prospective employer already knows you. Without your resume, the employer may not have your contact information readily available. Also, your resume provides the best means for drawing attention to why you would be the best person for the job.

Job Prospects in the Mechanic Industry

The Occupational Outlook Handbook or "OOH," published by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, reports that job opportunities for general maintenance and repair workers, diesel truck mechanics, heavy equipment mechanics and auto mechanics are expected to increase at a rate similar to the average rate for all jobs. The predicted increase in the number of jobs available in 2022 over the number of openings in 2012 is 9 percent.

Slower growth is predicted for small engine mechanics. In 2012, 68,200 workers were employed in this field. The forecast indicates that there will be 72,000 small engine mechanics in 2022, an increase of roughly 6 percent. The slowest growth rate of all, however, appears to be in the field of aircraft and avionics equipment. Only a 2 percent growth rate is foretold.

Job prospects for industrial mechanics and millwrights, both now and in the future, are excellent. Indications are for a 17 percent increase over 10 years, raising the number of jobs in this segment to 525,000 in 2022. This rate of increase is almost double the nation's average for all jobs.
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