With so many conflicting pieces of advice on resume writing, we decided to use a data-driven approach to find definitive answers to job seekers’ most pressing questions.
Abstract: Systems engineers (or system engineers) design, upgrade, and maintain systems in a variety of fields, from software development to manufacturing. The purpose of your system engineer resume is to show you have the engineering and interpersonal skills you need to succeed.
It takes a particular kind of person to be a systems engineer—
Big-picture thinking coupled with an eye for detail—
Not to mention a whole lot of technical know-how.
These are also the qualities that’ll get you your best system engineer resume ever.
You just need a proven system to make that happen.
In this guide:
- A systems engineer resume sample better than most.
- How to create the perfect system engineer job description for resumes.
- How to write a resume for systems engineer jobs that stands out.
- Expert tips and examples to boost your chances of landing a system engineer job.
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Systems Engineer Resume Sample
Jenny A. Jaramillo
Efficient systems engineer with 5+ years’ experience, skilled with control systems. Seeking opportunity to help ABC Company meet its goals through effective system design. At Miguel Hartman, analyzed 250+ Factory Acceptance Test (FAT) logs to streamline the process by up to 10% and co-designed 17 new control systems, two of which are now worth $1M+.
Control System Engineer
Miguel Hartman, San Diego, CA
- Analyzed 250+ Factory Acceptance Test (FAT) logs to streamline the process by up to 10%.
- Trained 47 members of staff on MHC control systems with 95%+ knowledge retention after two months.
- Co-designed and developed 17 new control systems, two of which are now worth $1M+.
- Implemented Failure Analysis (FA) and Incident Review (IR) processes and process improvements to reduce incident rates by 23% over two years.
Junior Systems Engineer
Maggitt, San Diego, CA
Jun 2016–Sept 2018
- Performed 11 new client installations and 27 existing client product upgrades.
- Assisted Internal Release Management to ensure 98.7% on-time delivery of client enhancements.
- Monitored performance of infrastructure against KPIs and took preemptive measures to reduce disruptions and outages by 10–15%.
- Managed and supported hosted product environments worth over $200,000.
BS in Electrical Engineering
University of San Diego, San Diego, CA
- Pursued a passion for sustainable energy coursework.
- Maintained a 3.91 GPA.
- English – Native
- Italian – Fluent
- Project management
- Active Directory
- Windows server
- Power systems
- Control systems
- Communication skill
Now here’s how to write a system engineer resume they’ll love:
1. Go With the Right Systems Engineer Resume Format
If your system engineer resume doesn’t look the part—
And 37 others do—
Would you expect it to make the shortlist?
Make sure your resume format does its job, even at arm’s length. Here’s how to format your resume correctly:
Resume Format for a System Engineer
- Use the reverse-chronological resume format to show your most recent wins first.
- Go with a good resume font like a Noto or Helvetica in 11–12 pt.
- Leave your resume margins at one inch and don’t bunch up your text.
- Stick to the right resume length. How many pages should a resume be, anyway? Aim for a single page. It’s okay to submit a two-page resume, but only if you have tons of relevant experience (we’re talking 15+ years and loads of achievements).
- Include at least these resume sections: Resume header, Summary, Experience, Education, and Skills.
Saving your resume in PDF is much better for preserving the layout than *.docx files are—
But some companies use ATSs (Applicant Tracking Systems) that can’t parse PDF files.
Always check and double-check the job ad for a preferred file format. If none is mentioned, assume PDF is fine and submit your ATS resume in that format.
2. Start With a Hook of a System Engineer Resume Objective or Summary
You don’t usually want a system to draw attention to itself—
Done right, most are invisible.
Not so when it comes system engineer resumes:
Make yours stand out with an attention-grabbing professional profile.
Got a year or more of systems engineering experience?
Start with a resume summary. It’s your ticket to capitalizing on that experience.
- One adjective (efficient, creative, dedicated)
- Job title (System Engineer, Control System Engineer, Power System Engineer)
- Years of experience (3+, 8+)
- How you’ll help (reduce inefficiencies while increasing throughput)
- Two or three of your most relevant achievements (managed and supported hosted product environments worth over $200,000, performed 11 new client installations and 27 existing client product upgrades)
These system engineer resume summary examples show how:
System Engineering Resume Examples—Resume Summary
There’s no question, the first example makes the better impression by far—
It’s focused on what the candidate can do for the company—
And it quantifies everything possible for maximum impact.
Don’t have the work history to pull this off?
Write a resume objective instead. Use it to draw on junior- and non-system engineering experience.
Take a look at these resume objective examples:
System Engineer Resume Objective—Examples
The basics are the same:
Quantify whatever you can—
Focus on the benefits you brought your previous employer and what you can do for this potential employer.
Expert hint: Not sure what to say? Write your profile last. Complete the rest of your resume, then read through it and highlight the most impressive and relevant bits. Then, compile them into a job-winning summary or objective.
3. Create Perfectly Targeted System Engineer Job Description and Skills Sections
You need them to trust that you can handle it.
Don’t try to convince them—
Show them what you’ve done in the past.
Make your resume work experience section wall-to-wall achievements.
How to write a job description for system engineers:
- Go back over the job ad.
- Home in on the system engineering skills and duties in it.
- Think back to times you used those skills to maximum effect.
- Write resume bullet points that describe and quantify those times.
These system engineer resume work experience examples show how:
System Engineer Job Description for a Resume
Who would you hire?
Concrete accomplishments and hard numbers always trump generic duties.
Just getting started in systems engineering? Use relevant accomplishments from any placement work, internships or non-engineering jobs you’ve had.
One more thing—
You need a skills section for your resume.
But more is not always better—
Spamming hiring managers with long lists of random skills will work against you.
Aim to cover what the job ad mentions to target your resume to the specific offer. Around ten skills, including a mix of soft and hard ones, will suffice.
Here are some popular systems engineer resume skills to look out for and consider using:
System Engineer Skills for a Resume
- Project management
- Active Directory
- Windows server
- Power systems
- Control systems
- Computer systems
- UX/UI design
- Technical writing
- Linux administration
- Communication skills
- Interpersonal skills
- Attention to detail
- Analytical thinking
- Critical thinking skills
- Time management skills
The ResumeLab builder is more than looks. Get specific content to boost your chances of getting the job. Add job descriptions, bullet points, and skills. Easy. Improve your resume in our resume builder now.
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4. Turn Dime-a-Dozen Education Into a Reason to Hire You
Feel like 99 out of 100 candidates have exactly the same degree as you?
Even if you’re right—
Your education is still a huge asset, so do it justice.
List degrees (with majors), schools, and graduation years.
Add bullet points that’ll give you an edge.
This system engineer resume example shows how:
System Engineer Resume Example—Education Section
Short on system engineering experience?
Extend your resume education section by including projects, classes, and accomplishments that demonstrate system engineering skills at any level.
5. Saturate Your Systems Engineer Resume With Added Sections
Here’s a tip and a half:
Don’t let your resume sections end with just experience, education, and skills.
Add one or two extra sections to paint a fuller portrait of yourself as a system engineer:
- Additional Activities
- Foreign Languages
- Classes Taken
- Hobbies and Interests
- Professional References
These two system engineer resume examples show yes vs no:
System Engineering Resume Examples—Extra Sections
“Nailed it”, meet “I’m so sorry”.
There’s nothing wrong with mentioning your hobbies—
They, like everything you add to your resume, have to be directly relevant to the job ad.
One last hurdle:
Your systems engineer resume alone may not be enough to win you the job, no matter how smoothly it’s running. A cover letter is often necessary to max out your chances of an interview invite—
So before you send off your resume, write a cover letter to accompany it.
You’re off the hook if—and only if—the job ad explicitly told you not to include a letter.
Double your impact with a matching resume and cover letter combo. Use our cover letter builder and make your application documents pop out.
Want to try a different look? There’s 18 more. A single click will give your document a total makeover. Pick a cover letter template here.
For a system engineer resume that gets interviews:
- Use the system engineer resume template up top. It’s exactly what most hiring managers are looking for.
- Put system engineer achievementsin your summary, work history, and education sections to show them what you’re capable of.
- Add the right system engineer skills. The job ad should make it very clear what the right skills are.
- Write a system engineer cover letter. It’s your opportunity to put your passion on display as you lay out your arguments for landing a job interview.
Still not sure how to write a winning system engineering resume? Drop us a line down below. We’ll be sure to reply and maybe your fellow readers will be able to help, too.