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CNC Machinist Resume Example & Writing Guide

You’ve fine-tuned your CNC machinist skills, but placing them on your resume is a different story. Let Resume.io help you impress hiring managers with this writing guide and resume example geared specifically for CNC machinists.
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CNC Machinist Resume Example & Writing Guide
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With precision and perfection being synonymous in their highly specialized line of work, the bar is set high for CNC machinists pursuing a new job opportunity. Pinpointing every hiring expectation and demonstrating how well you measure up is the key to a CNC machinist that’s carefully calibrated for success.

Trade secrets for job seekers are easy to find at resume.io. Our resources include more than 350 occupation-specific writing guides paired with matching resume examples. Here’s what we’ll cover in this step-by-step guide and resume example designed specifically for CNC machinists:

  • What CNC machinists do and the job market outlook
  • General resume writing advice, including the best format to organize your work experience details
  • Hitting the mark in each segment of your CNC machinist resume: header, summary, work history, education and skills
  • Layout and design hints for a resume document that looks impressive and inviting to read.
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What does a CNC machinist do?

The highly specialized role of CNC machinists has evolved with manufacturing technology that is “smarter” than ever, but still relies on human intelligence to some extent. According to integrativestaffing.com, “they are builders, fabricators, mechanics, craftsmen and quality assurance all rolled into one package.” 

Often as part of an industrial engineering team, CNC machinists may be responsible for setting up, operating, monitoring and adjusting the control settings on the state-of-the-art tools of their trade. Calibrated to operate with mind-boggling precision, these CNC machines are designed to cut, shape, drill and finish metal, plastic and wood into material components for manufacturers, suppliers and end-use consumers across all industries.

Statistical insight

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, employment of machinists is projected to grow by 8% from 2020 to 2030, about as fast as the average for all occupations. (There is no separate BLS job market outlook for CNC machinists.)

How to write a CNC machinist resume

Regardless of occupation, structural consistency is what virtually all resumes have in common. CNC machinists can likely appreciate the uniformity of content that hiring managers expect and require to assess the qualifications of job applicants. To ensure all the information computes for that comparative purpose, these are the resume components you’ll be assembling:

  • Header
  • Summary (sometimes called profile or personal statement)
  • Employment history
  • Education
  • Skills

The concise sum total of parts should not exceed a single page. Precise wording is the key. Scrutinize the posted job application to best determine the expectations for measuring up. Additional research can provide clues about other possible checkboxes your resume should cover.

Choosing the best resume format for a CNC machinist

If your job experience has been attained in employee positions, the chronological resume format is ideal for structuring your CNC machinist resume. It’s the most common resume format, preferred by recruiters for being straightforward to review. Work history highlights are listed under employer / workplace headings in reverse order from most recent to earliest dates. 

Other resume formats are sometimes suitable for job seekers who are new to the workforce, changing careers, or have a diverse occupational background. Self-employed contract work might lend itself to a functional resume structure, centered on your specialized trade skills and/or training. Or it might focus on specific projects, processes or products that showcase your skills and experience. A functional or hybrid (combination) resume format offers the most flexibility, with both chronological and functional elements.

Resume summary example

Conveying that you are the best qualified CNC machinist for this position is asking a lot from the terse background synopsis that recruiters will read up front. But that’s precisely and concisely what your resume summary — sometimes called the profile or personal statement —  is designed to do. 

Not only must the scope of your proficiency and track record come across in just a few skillfully crafted statements, but also your potential to meet this employer’s specific needs and wants. From the recruiter’s perspective, how does your expertise calibrate with the job requirements and where does your experience fit with the hiring organization’s future? 

Use clear, descriptive, and energetic language, while adopting a straightforward, authentic, self-assured tone. Readers should have a sense that you’re a solid and consistently reliable employee.

Below is a CNC machinist resume example summary you can customize.

Adaptable resume summary example

Highly skilled and reliable CNC machinist, adept in operating various machines to maximize production and efficiency. Committed to implementing continuous improvement activities to eliminate waste and streamline processes to enhance quality.

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Employment history sample

This is where the moving parts of your employment history intersect. Reverse chronological order is not the only guidepost for your bullet point descriptions of work experience under dated employer headings. The more extensive your experience, the more selectivity it takes for your most relevant jobs to take precedence. The same goes for dealing with gaps or deviations from machinist or trades work.

Emphasize accomplishments and outcomes, rather than just outline job description duties. Convince the employer of your potential to help solve problems requiring CNC machinist expertise.

Incorporate facts and figures to frame your past contributions as measurable benefits you could replicate in the new role. Perhaps you played a part in saving time or reducing costs, for instance, or improving process efficiency or end product quality.

Below is a CNC machinist employment history resume sample you can modify.

Adaptable resume employment history example 

Lead CNC Machinist at Cladmore Tech Staffing Group Hartford, CT 
Jan 2018 - Mar 2022

  • Successfully operated machines in one of the largest wire and cable preparation tool companies in the Northeast.
  • Helped to decrease average project completion time by 40% over the span of 4 years.
  • Setup, operated, and programmed CNC machining centers.
  • Operated multiple axis CNC machines
  • Maintained clean and orderly work areas.
  • Performed part inspections and preventative maintenance activities.
  • Resolved complex machine problems and trained new machine operators.
  • Implemented continuous improvements to eliminate waste and increase quality.

 

CNC Machinist at Molloy Partners Waterbury, CT 
Sep 2012 - Sep 2018

  • Carefully read and understood engineering drawings to properly manufacture parts.
  • Reduced set up time and machining time through process improvements.
  • Programmed, set up, and operated machines in a safe and orderly manner.
  • Studied work orders, blueprints, and materials.
  • Inspected completed work for conformance to specifications.
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CV skills example

Once again, you’ll need to be selective and specific about what to include and exclude in this section of your CV.  Top priority goes to the hard skills — hands-on competencies for specific CNC machinist tasks — that are directly relevant and important in this hiring circumstance. Keeping it concise and laser-focused can be challenging if your skills list is lengthy. 

While technical abilities will certainly be a key deciding factor for hiring managers, be sure those on your list are offset by a few soft skills. Employers are also interested in the innate traits, habits and attitudes that shape your performance and work ethic, and the interpersonal strengths you bring to bear. Below you’ll find the skills section from our resume sample.

Adaptable resume skills section example
  • CAD/CAM
  • CNC Programming
  • CNC Machining
  • CNC Milling and CNC Turning
  • Metalworking
  • Job Planning
  • Advanced Communication Skills
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Expert tip

This Tri-State Fabricators blog post identifies five essential skills that every CNC machinist should have. Notice that only #2 and #3 are hard skills.

  1. Attention to detail
  2. IT and math skills
  3. Practical skills
  4. Problem solving
  5. Desire to become an expert

CNC machinist resume education example

Apply the same relevance criteria in your resume’s education section, where any post-secondary programs you’ve graduated from should be listed in reverse chronological order, from highest to lowest level. 

Be sure not to overlook any on-the-job training you’ve had from current or previous employers that’s enhanced your CNC machinist qualifications. Perhaps you’ve also completed courses, workshops or certification programs focusing on specialized competencies. Mention scholarships or special achievements, internships and apprenticeships, along with association or society memberships. In some jurisdictions a license might be required for certain types of work.

Below is the education section from a CNC machinist resume example.

Adaptable resume education example 

Lincoln Tech East Windsor, CT 
Sep 2011 - May 2012

  • Machining and Manufacturing Training

 

Waterbury High School Waterbury, CT 
Sep 2007 - May 2011 

  • High School Diploma
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Resume layout and design

A resume can have eye appeal and reflect your technical sensibility as a CNC machinist at the same time. These are not mutually exclusive goals.

The same regard you have on the job for a flawless end product applies to the visual elements of your resume document. The layout and design convey at a glance that each section flows logically into the next to function smoothly. They are proportionally balanced — in relation to each other and to the white margin borders and line spacing.

Your choices of fonts, text formatting and graphic accents should always be in the interest of reader-friendliness. Strive for an overall look that’s simple, clean, streamlined and orderly.

Expert tip

The most failsafe way to achieve high-quality results on all layout and design counts is to use an expertly-designed resume template. The builder tool keeps you focused on the content, with no need to fuss over design detail decisions.

Key takeaways for a CNC machinist resume

  1. Smart technology in the manufacturing sector has not replaced the need for humans to ensure that ever-more-sophisticated fabrication machinery operates properly. Therefore, new job opportunities for CNC machinists will remain available across all industries in the decade ahead.
  2. To effectively showcase their highly specialized skills and experience, CNC machinists must be selective in adapting each version of their resume to the target position and employer, emphasizing their most relevant and relatable qualifications.
  3. Be sure your resume’s education section includes all relevant instances of specialized technical training, certifications and other continued learning and professional development. Any of these could give you an edge over other qualified applicants.
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