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Machine Operator Resume Sample & Job Description 2021

Machine Operator Resume Sample & Job Description 2021

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You just found the best machine operator resume example this side of Toyota.


That’s good, because—


You’re a machine operator. World class.


You can do a tool offset so fast it sizzles. Run a CNC machine like a top.


But none of that shows on most resumes for machine operator jobs.


All the hiring manager sees is “responsible for” and “handled.” It’s like the assembly-line zombie apocalypse.


You need to stand out like Daryl Dixon—getting things done and solving problems.


You can show that on a machine operator resume. Here comes the work instruction.


This guide will show you:


  • A machine operator resume example better than 9 out of 10 others.
  • How to write a machine operator resume that gets more interviews.
  • Tips and examples of how to put skills and achievements on a resume for machine operator jobs.
  • How to describe your experience on a resume for a machine operator to get any job you want.


Here's a CNC machine operator resume template made with our online resume builder tool.


Want to save time and have your resume ready in 5 minutes? Try our resume builder. It’s fast and easy to use. Plus, you’ll get ready-made content to add with one click. See 20+ resume templates and create your resume here.


machine operator resume templates

Sample Machine Operator Resume—See more templates and create your resume here.


Wondering how to put machine operator on a resume for other jobs? Making a machinist resume? Try these guides:


Writing a specific type of machine operator resume? Try these guides:


And if you’re writing a forklift operator resume targeting a warehouse job, follow up with: 


Still need more examples? Check Sample Resumes to Land Any Job.



What's the Best Format for a Machine Operator Resume?


Imagine you’re the hiring manager, Bob.


You get a sloppy machine operator resume. Do you—


  1. Assume the candidate will do a good job?
  2. Suspect he’ll drop Cheetos in the lathe bed?


Don’t be sloppy.


Start with the reverse-chronological resume format. It shows your best wins first.


Build it with the best resume fonts, white space, and big headings so you don’t burn out Bob’s eyes.


Save it as a PDF. Machine operator resume PDFs keep their tooling in transit. MS Word resumes can turn to scrap.


Worried about sending a PDF? Check the job offer. If you shouldn’t send one, it’ll say so.


Pro Tip: Moving to machine operator jobs from another field? Use the combination resume format. It installs transferable experience into your resume for machine operator jobs.


Is your heavy machine operator resume format still a work in progress? See our guide: 3 Resume Formats: How to Choose the Best One [Examples]



Machine Operator Resume Summary or Resume Objective


Here’s why you don’t get hired.


The manager is bored. Why?


Have you ever read 150 machine operator duties resumes? The dentist is more fun.


You’ve got to stand up and say—




I’m your knight in shining coveralls.


Do that with a machine operator resume objective or a resume summary.


Use a resume summary if you’ve got so much experience you practically worked for Henry Ford. It shows your vast work history.


Write a resume objective if your experience would fit within a =/- .0002 micron gap. An objective promises you’re excited for the job.


The real secret?


Assemble either with measurable achievements.


These two senior machine operator resume examples show the standard work.


Machine Operator Resume Examples [Resume Summaries]


Where’s the defect in the first of our senior machine operator resume samples?


Hard-working machine operator with 5 years of experience. Responsible for all machine operator duties at Cal Penna Rounds, Inc., including performing tool offsets, handling setups, and operating a CNC lathe.


That's not exactly sabotage, but it won’t overstock you with interviews.


Instead, do like the next of our resume for CNC machine operator examples:


Dependable machine operator with 5+ years of experience. Seeking to support Stanley Black & Decker with proven skills in CNC operation and Kaizen. At HGT, assisted in pilot to slash setups from 8 seconds to 5 seconds, saving 25 machine hours per week and $300,000/yr factory-wide. Handled setups and offsets with 3 commendations from management for efficiency.


Perfect. The hiring manager just stopped breathing. Those metrics made him drop his copy of The Toyota Way.


Does your work history have less horsepower? See the junior machine operator resume examples below.


Two Entry-Level Machine Operator Resume Objectives


Is your machine operator experience is still in the design phase? Write a machine operator duties resume objective.


Back in the “any color you like” days, that meant showing you’d work hard. That’s what the next of our lathe machine operator resume objectives does:


Energetic machine operator, skilled in Kaizen, setup reduction, troubleshooting, and equipment maintenance. Expert at following work instructions and sticking to the manufacturer’s schedule. Willing to learn on the job.


That’s not terrible, but some other applicants have passion and experience.


Deep breath.


You just need to show a few achievements. Learn from the next of our entry-level machine operator resume examples:


Energetic machine operator, skilled in setup reduction and troubleshooting. As material handler at Petretich Poly, filled in as machine operator 3x per month. Worked as a big rig mechanic for 2 years at Kruger-Pyle. Commended 5x by management for ability to follow work instructions and stick to a tight schedule.


The hiring manager is nodding. A resume for CNC machine operators like that will pass QC.


Pro Tip: More is better, right? Not with a resume for CNC machine operators. In general, your resume should fit a single page.


When making a resume in our builder, drag & drop bullet points, skills, and auto-fill the boring stuff. Spell check? Check. Start building your resume here.

When you’re done, Zety’s resume builder will score your resume and tell you exactly how to make it better.


Writing a resume objective for a beginner machine operator? It’s not a letter to Santa. It’s a letter from Santa, to the employer. See our guides:


+20 Resume Objective Examples - Use Them on Your Resume (Tips)

How To Write A Resume Summary: 21 Best Examples You Will See



How to Describe Your Machine Operator Experience


Let’s get back to Bob, our hiring manager.


Does he care about your cool machine operator certification? Your high school GPA?




He cares about experience.


But here’s the problem—


If you’ve operated a machine for years, which bits do you show on a resume for machine operator jobs?


And if you’re a newbie, how do you keep from writing a blank resume?


We’ll rework both problems in a bit.


First, list your most recent job. Add 3-5 resume bullets.


Write them like the next of our professional machine operator resume examples.


Machine Operator Resume Examples [Experience]


These sample machine operator resume experience sections should help:



Hamilton-Gallardo Tech Industries, Inc.

Machine Operator


  • Ran CNC machine every shift for 3 years.
  • Assisted in reducing setups from 8 seconds to 5 seconds, saving 25 machine hours per week across all 70 machines. Total savings of $300,000/year.
  • Suggested adding clear chain guards with lubrication points and air filters to my lathe. Reduced maintenance visits by 70% and was adopted by entire plant.
  • Frequently worked on 3+ projects at once to meet deadlines 100% of the time.


Click. The hiring manager would have to have a loose chuck in his head to pass up that resume for CNC and lathe machine operators.


But pull out those accomplishments, and:



Hamilton-Gallardo Tech Industries, Inc.

Machine Operator


  • Responsible for operating lathes and CNC machines, plus doing tool offsets, setups, and following work instructions.
  • Tasked with meeting deadlines for all jobs on time.
  • Filled out all shift paperwork in a timely fashion.


That resume for machine operators won’t pass inspection.




What if you have no experience at machine operator jobs?


See these entry-level machine operator resume examples.


How to Write a Resume for Machine Operator with no Experience


Don’t have experience for your resume for CNC machine operators?


I’m not gonna lie.


It’s tough to get machine operator jobs with no experience. Some companies won’t even look at you.




Some factory hiring managers couldn’t care less if you’re not trained. They’re happy to train the right employee on the job.


So, be the right employee. How?


Show your machine operator experience from non-machine operator jobs.


Did you work as a mechanic? Play up your troubleshooting achievements. Did you handle inventory? Show your time management accomplishments.


Do that, and your entry-level resume for machine operators will take off like Boeing made it.


The next entry-level machine operator resume samples show how.


Two Entry-Level Machine Operator Resume Samples [No Experience]


The first of these resume for CNC machine operator examples jams the mill.



Machine Operator Experience: None yet because I’m still trying to get my first real job on the shop floor.


Other Experience:

  • Mechanic
  • Material handler


What’s that burning smell?


You need details to get a machine operator duties resume like this:



Machine Operator Experience


  • As material handler at Petretich Poly, filled in as machine operator 3x/mo.
  • In shipping dept at Jansen-Adkins Precision, trained to operate CNC machine.
  • Worked as big rig mechanic for 2 years at Kruger-Pyle Trucking. Completed all jobs 100% on time.
  • Worked as HVAC tech. Commended by manager for troubleshooting skills.


Ship it.


Pro Tip: Should you talk about the kind of CNC machine or lathe you ran, like a Haas or Okuma? If the machine operator job description talks about the same brand, yes.


Don’t lockout the hiring manager with boring words in a molding machine operator resume. Deburr your resume with action words. See our guide: 240 Resume Action Words & Power Words to Make Your Resume Shine



Is Your Education Section Offline? It Might Be


Can you have too much education on a machine operator resume?




Many plant hiring managers look for a high school degree.


Some are happy to hire future engineers as machine operators and work them up through the ranks.


Whichever type of company you target, start with:


  • School Name and Location
  • Years in School
  • Degree


But here’s the sweet spot:


Add things you’ve done that’ll make employers put their coffee down.


The next CNC machine operator resume examples show the plan.


Machine Operator Resume Examples [Education]


Both these factory machine operator resume samples are for the same job. It needs someone who can run a plasma cutter and knows their way around a shop.



Romulus High School


  • Learned to run a CNC plasma cutter in Voc Tech class. Programmed and cut 3-letter steel logo for local fitness center, 2 feet high.
  • Excelled in metalwork classes.
  • Member, school mechanics team.


That’s not some hopeful lawyer, slumming in manufacturing for a little while.


That machine operator resume example comes from the heart.


Now scrap those details:



Romulus High School


  • Graduated
  • GPA 2.6


Ugh. That applicant probably thinks bar stock is a type of whiskey.


Pro Tip: Does the job offer say “3 years of experience” but you only have one? Apply. The worst they can do is toss your resume for lathe machine operators. You can make more.


What if you didn’t graduate high school? Is your heavy equipment operator resume a goner? Nope. See our guide: How to Put Your Education on a Resume [Tips & Examples]



How to Put Skills on a Resume for a Machine Operator


I’ll be blunt.


There are two ways to show skills on resumes for machine operators.


The first gets you interviewed.


The second gets you tossed.


To get ignored, copy-paste a list of machine operator resume skills from the internet.


To get the job, do this:


  1. Look in the machine operator job offer.
  2. Highlight the machining skills you see.
  3. Put the most important on your manufacturing resume.
  4. Add a couple more so you’re not just making replicas.
  5. Prove your machinist skills in your resume bullet points.


The professional machine operator resume examples below show the best practice.


Machine Operator Resume Examples [Skills]


Let’s say Bob put these skills in the machine operator job description:


Required Machine Operator Skills: 1) Fast Setups, 2) Work Instruction Creation, 3) Paperwork, 4) Perceptiveness


Of course put them in your factory or warehouse machine operator resume skills list.


Then do this:


  • (1) Performed setups 20% faster than plant average.
  • (2) Created standard work instruction that increased efficiency 30%.
  • (3) Filled out paperwork 5x per shift with 99% accuracy.
  • (4) Noticed wrong part install that would have wrecked a $2 million machine.


Do that, and you’ll fill a pallet rack with interview requests.


The machine operator skills for resumes below will set you up.


List of Skills to Put on a Machine Operator Resume


The machine operator resume skills list below is pre-loaded with great resume keywords.


Pick and pack from it, but rely on the skills listed in the job offer.


Machine Operator Resume Skills

Soft Skills

Hard Skills


CNC Operation



Problem Solving


Critical Thinking

Setup Reduction

Time Management

Standardized Work

Physically Fit

Equipment Maintenance

Interpersonal Skills

Quality Control








Pro Tip: What if the hiring manager doesn’t believe your production worker resume bullets? He will—at least enough to get the interview.


What’s the difference between key skills and job-related skills on an SMT machine operator resume? See our guide: +30 Best Examples of What Skills to Put on a Resume (Proven Tips)



How to Show Certifications on a Resume


Do you need a Six Sigma certification or a CNC programmer certificate on a heavy equipment operator resume?


Absolutely not.




They can help in different ways.


  1. A Six Sigma certification (White Belt, Yellow, Green, Brown, Black) shows your eye for improvement. It’s a big plus.
  2. A CNC Programmer Certification looks good on an entry-level factory worker resume, but not much else.
  3. Other certifications like fire safety and CPR can help a weak CNC operator resume.


As with anything you put on a resume for machine operator jobs, read the job offer carefully to make sure it fits.


Put your certification section below your education.



  • Six Sigma Yellow Belt Certification
  • CNC Programmer Certification, NTMA
  • Certified Fire Protection Specialist, NFPA


Pro Tip: Not certified? No sweat. An entry-level resume for machine operator jobs looks good with a cert. But if you’re smart and attentive, you can still get in without one.


Can you put online classes in a packing machine operator resume? See our guide: How to List Certifications on a Resume: Guide



Add These Things and Get Your Resume Ready to Ship 


Your resume is still WIP until you—


Go beyond experience and education.


Your machine operator resume must show you’re a great employee too.


So—prove you’re not just an assembly robot.


Do that with dedicated "other" resume sections that stand out like reflective safety tape.


See that work in two sample machine operator resume sections.


Machine Operator Resume Examples [Other Sections]


The first of our packing machine operator resume examples has a bent shaft:


  • Riding my Harley.
  • Bowling.
  • Spending time with my kids.


You seem all right. But are you a good machine operator?


Instead, write other sections to your resume for machine operator jobs like this:




  • NTMA Conference 2017, Spoke on panel about SMED.
  • GBMP Shingo Prize Conference 2016.


Additional Activities

  • Member, NTMA.
  • Avid viewer, GBMP lean manufacturing videos.
  • Do regular charity walks for fun and fitness.


Like cold-rolled steel. That process operator resume could get you hired anywhere.


Pro Tip: Why doesn’t “riding my Harley” look good on machinist resumes? It can—if you can use it to show leadership, maintenance skills, or other machine operator job requirements.


How can hobbies on a lathe machine operator resume get you interviewed? See our guide: +20 Best Examples of Hobbies & Interests To Put on a Resume (5 Tips)



What About a Machine Operator Cover Letter?


Why would you need to submit a cover letter with a machine operator resume?


Aren’t they being phased out?


Yes—60% of the time.


But 40% of employers won’t read your manufacturing resume without one.


The bad news?


You can’t just say, “Here’s my resume” in your machine operator cover letter.


You have to tailor it to the job offer.


To impress the hiring manager—


  1. Use his or her name.
  2. Show you understand the facility’s needs for the position.
  3. Tell why you’ll fit them like a laser-measured jig.


This short example machine operator cover letter shows the finished goods:


Since I became a machine operator over five years ago, I’ve wanted to work at Stanley Black & Decker. I was at the 2016 Shingo Prize Conference when your company received the Silver Medallion. It’s been my dream to work in a shop that values its employees’ ideas like yours.


I believe I’d make a great addition. At HGT, I was on the team that slashed setups from 8 to 5 seconds, saving over $300,000 per year. My commitment to sharing my ideas with management...


Always end a cover letter with an offer. Try, “I’d be excited to talk about how I got a TPM idea that cut maintenance visits by 70%."


Pro Tip: Writing a cover letter for machine operator jobs? Mention things like why you were promoted or why you excelled on a certain machine.


Plus, a great cover letter that matches your resume will give you an advantage over other candidates. You can write it in our cover letter builder here. Here's what it may look like:


matching set of resume and cover letter

See more cover letter templates and start writing.


What’s the best way to start a machine operator cover letter? See our guide: How To Write A Cover Letter in 8 Simple Steps (+12 Examples)



Do This Before You Add Contact Info to a Resume


Is it possible to mess up contact info on a resume?




Start with:


  • Full Name
  • Updated Phone Number
  • Professional Email Address


Like this:


Curt Barrocal, Machine Operator,, 313-318-3174


A "professional email address," means, not


Most important? Check your social media presence for any digital skeletons in your virtual closet. One off-color comment can ruin a great machine operator resume.


Pro Tip: Should you list G-Code achievements? If the job needs G-Code skills, yes. Do you need them but don’t have them? You can even put Lynda tutorials you’ve watched on your resume for machine operator jobs.


What’s the ideal amount of work experience on an embroidery machine operator resume? See our guide: How to Make a Resume: A Step-by-Step Guide (+30 Examples)


Key Takeaway


Here’s a recap of how to write a machine operator resume:


  • Make a machine operator resume objective or resume summary. Galvanize the hiring manager’s attention with measurable achievements.
  • Don’t make generic resume bullets in a resume for machine operator jobs. Link yours to the job description like you line-bored them.
  • Add other sections that prove you fit the job to +/- .0001. List conferences, certifications, hobbies, and professional associations.
  • Write a machine operator cover letter. Use it to show you understand the job specs and you’ll fill them without deviation.


Do you have questions on how to write a great heavy equipment operator/machinist resumes? Not sure how to describe your skills or achievements? Give us a shout in the comments! We’d be happy to reply.

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Tom Gerencer
Tom Gerencer is a career expert who has published over 200 in-depth articles on Zety. Since 2016, he has been sharing advice on all things recruitment from writing winning resumes and cover letters to getting a promotion.
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