The ultimate guide to writing a mechanic resume

With an assortment of mechanic shops around, it can be difficult to find a decent job. A lot of the big companies pay flat rates for basic work—with some even making you purchase your own tools through them at grossly inflated prices. A good mechanic job will pay well, working hard to make you want to stay there for years to come.

Most likely, you already know which mechanic shops are in the latter category, and so does every other mechanic in your town who wants to work for the same company.

You’re a mechanic who wants a good job, and now you need to write a resume that will stand out to get you working in the shop you want to be in. Luckily, we’re here to help.

Keep reading to learn what you need to put in your resume and get to work at your dream job sooner rather than later.

1. How do you write an effective resume summary as a mechanic?

Look, the hiring manager for the shop you want to get in with has to go through numerous resumes while completing what needs to be done daily. He or she will sift through resumes, looking for something that stands out within a few seconds of glancing over the document.

Those that pass this cursory step will get a more thorough examination of their skills, education, experience and certifications; however, you need to focus on grabbing your future manager’s attention within those first few seconds. This is where your resume summary comes in.

Your resume summary (also called a resume objective or profile) is your introduction to whoever is scanning potential hires, allowing you to stand out from the pack by listing your accomplishments. The best way to plan on writing one is to think about how you would tell someone why you’re great at being a mechanic and what you’ve accomplished through the years. What is something your instructors or co-workers say about you? Are you especially great with bodywork?

Graduate from your area’s most prestigious mechanical program? Certified by a certain group or organization? Include your most important personality traits, skill sets and education here (see example).

2. How should a mechanic describe work experience on a resume?

We’ll make this simple. There are two kinds of mechanics, experienced and entry-level. Both types need to include their work experience.

For experienced mechanics, focus on your results in past shops. Finding out that you were the lead mechanic or responsible for training new employees is great, but potential employers want to know exactly how you helped your past places of employment. Did you decrease customer wait time by 15%? Helped train over 20 employees in the past five years? Get specific and use metrical data when you can to show exactly why you’re the right employee for the job.

For those with little to no experience, think about what’s relevant to the position. How many cars have you worked on over the years? Rebuilt engines? Regularly complete your friends’ oil changes? Reduce these numbers into metrics (i.e. regularly complete 40 oil changes per year) and put them on your resume to show why you’re the perfect fit.

3. How much educational history should a mechanic put on a resume?

Education isn’t as important as experience when looking to work as a mechanic; however, that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t put in your educational background. This is also where you can get creative by pulling directly from the job listing to show why you’re the right fit for the mechanic shop you want to work at.

For example, say a shop is looking for someone with clear communication skills with an ability to service multiple makes and models.

Luckily for you, you took two communications courses in high school and gained experience working on a variety of cars when becoming a certified mechanic. Include both of these experiences to show you meet the requirements set forth by the shop in the job posting.

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4. What skills should a mechanic include on a resume?

Working as a mechanic requires a variety of skills, ranging from soft skills like a strong work ethic and communication to hard skills like oil changes and brake repairs. You most likely have a large assortment of both soft and hard skills, but you can’t list them all. This is where you’ll take a look at the job listing you’re responding to, looking for skills they want and matching them with your relevant experience.

For example, a shop that requests a strong work ethic will likely respond well to a candidate who hasn’t taken a sick day in the past year while a shop specializing in oil changes will love to know you did over 90 in the last month alone. Try to relate as many of your experiences to their needed skill set to stand out.

5. What certifications ought to be on a mechanic's resume?

Certifications aren’t limited to the certifications sections, which is probably on the bottom of your resume and one of the last things a hiring manager will see. It’s a wonderful and brag-worthy accomplishment to become an ASE Certified Mechanic, and you’ll want to put it in multiple places on your resume, including next to your name and in your summary.

Finally, you’ll create your certifications section which is best as a simple list that a shop manager can easily read and remember. While you are welcome to place the date of your certification next to each entry, most shops are fine with you simply placing the title.

Don’t think that everything needs to be a national certification program; instead, look to list any relevant certification programs that will appeal to what potential employers need.

In conclusion...

Writing a mechanic resume can feel like a strenuous task, but once you know exactly what to include, you’ll find that the job offers start rolling in. One of the most important things to remember when looking for a mechanic job is to tailor your resume to the job posting, showing why you’re the candidate they’re looking for.

Published on Dec. 23, 2021

A documentary photographer and writer. Noel has worked for International publications like Deutsche Welle in Germany to News Deeply in New York. He also co-founded the global multimedia project Women Who Stay and collaborated as a journalist fellow with the University of Southern California. He went from traveling around the world to sitting on a couch thanks to the pandemic, but he gets to help other people actually do things (like find jobs) thanks to Kickresume, so he won't complain.

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