What To Include On A Heavy Equipment Operator Resume + Heavy Equipment Operating Skills

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Table Of Contents

You want to advance your career in the construction industry and need to write a winning heavy equipment operator resume. But, you’re not sure how to showcase your experience in the best light. Don’t worry. We’ll share everything you need to know so that your new resume unlocks the door to your next big opportunity.

You can also take the guesswork out of writing a resume that stands out by using a professional resume writing service.

If you’re ready to land your heavy equipment operator job, start your search on ZipRecruiter! ZipRecruiter is free for job seekers and you can upload your resume to their resume database so that it’s searchable for recruiters and employers who use ZipRecruiter.

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What Is Unique About A Heavy Equipment Operator Resume?

A heavy equipment operator resume shares many similarities with any other type of resume. However, this document focuses heavily on the machinery you know how to inspect, maintain, and operate safely.

What Should Be Included On A Heavy Equipment Operator Resume?

Your heavy equipment operator resume should include all of the standard resume sections. So let’s dive into each of them in the order they typically appear.

Contact Information

Potential employers need to know how to reach you to schedule an interview, so list your cell phone number and email address underneath your name. Be sure your email address looks professional (your name at your email provider dot com is generally best). Otherwise, the recruiter or hiring manager may not take you seriously.

Career Summary or Objective

If you’ve been operating heavy machinery for years, you should write a career summary that captures your most notable accomplishments. But, if you’re a little more green, you should include a career objective statement that explains your current professional goal and why you’d succeed in this position. In either case, this section should be no longer than three or four concise lines.

Work Experience

This section should list the roles you’ve held in reverse chronological order, starting with your most recent job first. Each entry should include your title, the company you worked for, your dates of employment, and your most impressive achievements.

Achievements should be listed as three to five bullet points containing action words (to convey abilities) and numbers (to demonstrate results). Here are a few examples:

  • Implemented a preventative maintenance program that reduced equipment downtime by 25%.
  • Operated a forklift for 15 years without a single safety incident.
  • Trained 100 junior operators on compliance and safety rules over three years.

Remember: The hiring manager wants to know what you can do for the company. The best way to show them that is to share what you’ve successfully done for other organizations.

Education, Certifications, and Licenses

If you’re a seasoned heavy equipment operator, you can keep this area brief. Just list your degree or diploma, school name, and graduation year. If you didn’t graduate, you can indicate that your studies are in progress or that you completed some coursework.

But, if you don’t have much experience, it’s a good idea to beef this section up a little bit. Add in the relevant classes you took, any special achievements you made, and your GPA (if it exceeds 3.5).

You should also use this section to list any industry-related certifications or licenses you’ve earned. For example, if you have your CDL, that information should go here.


Join The Break Community

Have you been recognized for your commitment to safety, high level of productivity, or positive attitude? Now’s the time to brag about your career and briefly share your accolades.

For example, you could include items like 2021 Forklift Operator of the Year or Five Years Accident-Free Certificate.


Most of your skills should be obvious after reading the other sections of your resume. However, this area allows you to reiterate your abilities and reference additional competencies that didn’t seem to fit elsewhere.

What Should Be Left Off A Heavy Equipment Operator Resume?

In general, your heavy equipment operator resume should leave off anything irrelevant to operating the machinery or working in the construction industry. However, if you’re brand new to the field, it makes sense to include any previous work experience, focusing on how it helped prepare you for success in this line of work.

Important Job Skills For Heavy Equipment Operator Resumes

Your heavy equipment operator resume should include a mix of hard skills and soft skills. Hard skills are directly tied to the industry, and soft skills are more universally applicable regardless of occupation. Let’s look at some examples of each.

Heavy Equipment Operator Hard Skills

  • Forklift operation
  • Tractor-trailer operation
  • Front loader operation
  • Compactor operation
  • Cherry picker operation
  • Backhoe operation
  • Equipment inspection
  • Equipment maintenance

Heavy Equipment Operator Soft Skills

  • Communication
  • Leadership
  • Teamwork
  • Delegation
  • Attention to detail
  • Organization
  • Time management
  • Decision making

Pro Tip: Avoid the temptation to list every skill you have because that long list will clutter your resume. Instead, include the capabilities mentioned in the job advertisement (if you have them).

Related: Forklift Operator Job Description

Frequently Asked Questions 

What should a heavy equipment operator put on a resume?

A heavy equipment operator should list the equipment they can operate. They should also include their knowledge of compliance and safety and their equipment maintenance skills.

What are some heavy equipment skills?

Heavy equipment skills include operation, safety, compliance, inspection, and maintenance. Specific equipment includes but isn’t limited to forklift, cherry picker, front-end loader, compactor, tractor-trailer, dump truck, and backhoe.

What are two duties or responsibilities of a heavy equipment operator?

The two duties or responsibilities of a heavy equipment operator are to inspect and maintain their machines and to operate their equipment safely.

What is another name for heavy equipment operator?

Another name for a heavy equipment operator is an operating engineer.

The Bottom Line

You should be ready to sit down and write a compelling heavy equipment operator resume. But, if you need a little more help, check out our article on the best resume writing service. Then, when you’re ready to apply for jobs, be sure to visit ZipRecruiter.