20 Oil and Gas Resume Writing Tips with Sample Keywords by Job

One of the biggest challenges in writing an oil and gas resume is getting a recruiter or hiring manager’s attention immediately. As a resume writer, I know how important it is to convey relevant information hiring managers are looking for quickly. You need to communicate your related skills in the energy sector for the position available before moving on to the next job applicant.

Accomplish this through effective use of keywords, clean and simple formatting, and sections highlighting the exact qualifications the company is looking for. Learning how to write an oilfield resume will save you time on your job search.

Read and implement the top oil and gas resume writing tips below. These strategies include keywords by job title to ace your resume’s creation and land you that dream job in the oil and gas industry. If you are looking to transition out of the oil and gas field, you will need to take a different approach when writing your career change resume.

Resume Writing Tips for the Oil and Gas Sector

1. Header with Contact Information

To ensure you get contacted for the position you are applying for, triple-check that you have included your full name, correct phone numbers (home and/or cellular), and correct email address. The accuracy of this vital information is critical. If you have a LinkedIn Profile, add that link as well. This is a great way for potential employers to see just how qualified you are for the position and how you present yourself in the professional online community.

 2. Professional Oil and Gas Resume Profile

A professional resume profile is the first opportunity to showcase your prominent skills and expertise for the oil and gas position you apply for. Take the time to create a paragraph or several bullet points that briefly describe your accomplishments and what you can bring to the position and company. Begin your profile with a sentence that outlines your experience, for example:

“A safety-oriented and results-focused oil and gas professional with over ten years of extensive leadership experience in complex drilling operations.”

Next, outline some details and characteristics that will show the recruiter your valuable skills and how you have developed them throughout your career. Remember to write this in the third person. There should be no “I”’s in your resume summary.

 3. No Objective Statement

Objective resume statements are no longer “in.” Instead, include a title at the beginning of your resume reflecting the position you are applying for. Examples: ( Power Engineer, Plant Operator, Plant Foreman, Operations Manager, Oilfield Operator, Site Supervisor, etc.). The position you are applying for is your objective. Let your professional profile do the talking for you.

 4. Areas of Expertise/Core Competencies

A lot of positions in the oil and gas industry will receive many applicants. These companies may rely on applicant tracking systems to weed out applicants before sending them to an actual person to review. An excellent way to increase the chance that your resume will surpass this system is to include keywords.

The area of strength section directly after your professional summary should list your core competencies. These are your areas of expertise and will include 10-12 bulleted points that indicate your skills as they apply to the position.

Scrutinize Job Postings

Read and analyze the oil and gas job posting to identify some of the keywords the company is interested in and ensure they are relevant to the skills and expertise you possess and enjoy using.

Some examples are Contract Negotiation, Project Engineering, Regulatory Compliance, Health and Safety, Technical Writing, and Reporting.

5. Include Relevant Keywords

Depending on what position you are applying for, a key oil and gas resume writing tip includes incorporating relevant keywords in your job search documents.

If you are having difficulty finding what characteristics and experiences the company is looking for, look at the posting itself. Most likely, you will uncover several keywords that are repeated and apply to your own experience.

If you wish to uncover more keywords, look at the company website, similar job postings, or a person’s LinkedIn profile working in that position.

Sample Keywords to Include by Profession:

Engineer: Distributed Control Systems, Specifications Development, Plant Shutdown, and Turnaround, Process Methodologies, Quantitative Analysis, Operations Management

 Field Operator: Procedural Compliance, Adaptable, Client Relationship Management, Business Development, Safety Excellence, Professional Leadership, Mentorship and Training

 Oilfield Operator: Quality Control Management, Preventative Maintenance, Regulation Compliance, Equipment Monitoring, Safety Compliance

 Project Coordinator: Construction Management, Logistics, Quality Control, Equipment Maintenance, Recruitment, Budgeting, Expense Control, Project Management, Start-Ups/Turnarounds

Driller: Drilling Procedures, Rig Down & Rig Up Operations, Drilling Reports, Drilling Equipment, Safe Work Conditions, Safe Job Analysis, Risk Assessments, Top Drive

Wellsite Supervisor: Workover & Completions Supervision, Vertical & Horizontal Wells Oversight, Coil Tubing/Snubbing/Stick Pipe Drillouts, Safe Operating Practices, Crew Oversight

Roughneck: Rigging Equipment Operation, Equipment Repair & Maintenance, Pipe & Drill Stem Manipulation, Truck Driving, Safety Procedures

HSE Coordinator: Health Safety & Environmental Operations Management, HSE Programs, Risk Management, Report Writing, HSE Training, Compliance Auditing, Incident Investigations

Field Service Technician: Equipment Malfunction Diagnosis, Safety Policies & Regulations, Operations Improvements, Customer Service

Frac Operator: Fracturing Units Operation, Fracturing Fluid, Fracturing Truck, Hydraulic Fracking, High-Pressure Wells, Safety Standards, Environmental Policies

Field Sales Representative: Completion Equipment Installation, Equipment Assembly & Testing, Customer Service, Rig Floor Supervision, Pump Rates & Pressure Monitoring, Stab-Up Drawings

Coiled Tubing Operator: Coiled Tubing Equipment, Well Services Equipment Driving, Troubleshooting & Repairs, Preventative Maintenance, Well Control Parameters, Equipment Inspections, Safe Rigging Operations

Field Services Specialist: Wireline Operation, Quality Control, Onsite Supervision, Tool Preparation, Data Acquisition, Log Generation, Report Writing, Equipment Inventory

Environmental Reclamation Specialist: Mine Reclamation, Site Restoration Plans, Permits, Cost Estimates, Report Writing, Environmental Regulations & Compliance, Environmental Impact Assessments

 6. Education/Training

The education section should include any degrees you achieved and extra training courses and certifications you completed. Take a look at the example below to see how an Oilfield Operator completed this section:

Fourth Class Power Engineer, College, City, Province/State, Year

Red Seal Journeyman Steamfitter-Pipefitter, College, City, Province/State, Year

Interprovincial Red Seal Journeyman Heavy Equipment Technician, College, City, Province/State, Year


Ground Disturbance Supervisor • OSSA Elevated Work Platform • OSSA Fall Protection

H2S Alive • Fire Extinguisher Level 1 • Standard First Aid CPR/AED Level C

Professional Development

WHMIS • AECOM Safety Excellence Training • Hazard Assessment Training

CSTS 09 (Construction Safety Training Systems) • Spill Response Training

 7. Certifications/Licenses

Double-check the job posting to ensure you have the same certifications listed for the position you are applying for. This is the perfect opportunity to relay to potential employers you have the required certifications, trade licenses, and the ability to operate particular equipment.

 8. Professional Experience

This section of your resume shows potential employers what kind of employment history you have and if you have been promoted within your positions. Often, recruiters compare this section with other candidates, so make sure to keep your descriptions accurate and do not exaggerate.

In paragraph form, describe your general job description. Next, you will want to include a list of about 3 accomplishments you achieved in each position.

For example:

  • Increased productivity by reformatting the preventative maintenance schedules.
  • Promoted from Driller to Rig Manager by exercising several years of dedication and demonstrating hard work and dependability, mentoring and leadership, and a high degree of professional development.

If you are a recent graduate, you may want to focus on your internships, summer jobs, and work experience. The most effective way to complete this section is to focus on your transferable skills and leverage your experience within the industry.

If you are well seasoned in the oil and gas industry, it is common only to include the three most recent positions held or only go back about ten years unless the posting specifically asks for a particular number of experienced years.

If you have more experience than required, you may list them without descriptions after your most recent jobs.

9. Experience or Education First?

If you are a recent graduate or do not have at least one year of relevant work experience, consider putting education before work experience; otherwise, it may be more relevant to list your professional experience first and have education and training towards the end of your resume.

10. Community Involvement

This is a part of the resume that may or may not be included. Volunteer experience is a great way to gain necessary experience if you aren’t able to land an official job, or it may be a way to hone in on developing valuable industry skills. Include a section on volunteering only if it is relevant to the position you are vying for.

It may be necessary to describe your positions using transferable skills relating to your desired job, glean words from the job posting and company website to ensure this section does not get overlooked.

11. Contract Experience

Since many oil and gas employees work under contract, you may consider adding this section to your resume. This is where you would list between 5 and 10 contract positions. Do not go into great detail in this section, but rather state some of your most important accomplishments in those roles.

12. Length of Resume

A typical oil and gas resume should be no more than 2 pages in length. If you are looking for an entry-level position and have recently completed your education, a one-page resume may be more suitable.

If you need extra length, you can always change from a paragraph format to bullet points. For example, in your professional profile, instead of describing your expertise with 5-6 sentences, divide them into bullet points and highlight important words within each point.

Another oil and gas resume writing tip to increase length would be to include sections where you can showcase your experience that much more.

Adding in contract work or relevant volunteer experience will help you get to the desired length. Make sure any information you add remains relevant to the position you are vying for.

 13. Resume Formatting

A simple, accomplishments-based resume is the way to go when designing an oil and gas resume. Keep your qualifications and experience as the focal point. It isn’t necessary to add too much color or font types and sizes. Keep font consistent throughout the resume and bold or italicize your name and section headers. Those looking for the best candidate for the job will surely appreciate this clean and well-presented resume style.

14. Skip “References Upon Request.”

Another section that should be omitted is the line stating that you do have references if they require them. Most likely, the recruiter will specifically ask you for references. However, if the job posting states that references are required, create a separate page with contact information and current positions to attach to your application.

15. Tailor Your Documents to Each Job Posting

The most effective way to get the hiring manager’s interest is to formulate your resume to fit each posting you apply for. Use specific keywords per postings and ensure that you mirror the wording, not copy it word for word.

If the company is looking for someone who exhibits “attention to detail,” that you don’t overuse the word “diligent,” for example, when your resume is scanned, “diligent” may not be a word the applicant tracking system recognizes.

16. Use the CAR Formula to Find Accomplishments

Employers want to know what you have done in your previous jobs and how you have benefited your employers.

One of the most effective ways to uncover and showcase your accomplishments is to build your resume using the CAR method: Challenge, Action, and Result. When describing your accomplishments in your resume’s previous experience section, think of a challenge or task, the strategy you employed to handle it, and your quantifiable results.

Some examples include:

  • Decreased roadside breakdowns by 20% by performing more frequent detailed inspections to ensure top performance capabilities.
  • Provided support by performing and leading daily operational tasks to enhance production, keeping in line with company standards and policies to finish the projects on time and under budget.
  • Maintained compliance with all safety, quality, and environmental procedures and controls in the division to guarantee employee safety, legislative compliance, and delivery of high customer experience.

17. Quantify Relevant Accomplishments

When describing your relevant accomplishments, ensure you do so by using numbers as much as possible.

Examples include:

  • Modified the rig to boost performance, resulting in a decrease in move time from 1.5 days to 1 day.
  • Reduced lost time accidents by 25% by implementing extensive job and safety training that facilitated the team’s ability to identify, isolate and eliminate workplace hazards effectively.
  • Increased production by more than 15%, eliciting positive feedback from oil companies.
  • Ensured integrity of $10.5M oilfield equipment to avert downtime and maintained visual aspects of the oilfield site to promote cleanliness and enhance the crew’s safety.
  • Successfully maintained zero-incident record by completing extensive training regarding safety standards.

Take the time to review this oilfield consultant resume sample.

18. Proofread

It is of utmost importance that you proofread it once you have completed writing your oil and gas resume. Proofreading does not simply mean spellcheck. Thoroughly read through your finished product and have a friend do the same to double-check grammar, punctuation, and general formatting. Your efforts will not go unnoticed by your potential employers, so make sure that this is not a step you skip!

19. Research Oil and Gas Companies

Whether you are applying for a position at one or many companies, it is important to research what the company is about. Look on their website to better understand their mission statement, what possible keywords they use, and gain a general insight into their corporate culture.

With the information you uncover, you will tailor your resume to the company’s style. Once you land that interview, you can get a leg up on the competition by relaying your knowledge of their company specifically.

Some of the top oil and gas companies include:

  • ConocoPhillips
  • Schlumberger
  • Suncor Energy
  • Enterprise Products
  • Marathon Petroleum
  • Centrica
  • Chevron
  • Valero Energy
  • BP
  • Exxon Mobil
  • Sinopec Group
  • Cenovus Energy
  • Encana
  • Imperial Oil
  • Penn West Exploration
  • Syncrude
  • Shell Oil Company

Learn all you can about finding and applying to oil and gas companies to save time on your job search.

20. How to Start Your Resume?

After reading these best oil and gas resume writing tips, do not become overwhelmed. Take it one step and one resume section at a time.

First, get the basic format down by inputting your headers and basic information. Include contact information, education, licenses, and certifications.

Next, work on the professional experience section and, finally, the professional summary and areas of expertise.

Complete your work experience section first because you will be able to integrate specific keywords from your experiences into your resume’s first two sections. Your previous jobs will hold more specific information, while your summary will be more general.

Wrapping it Up

When writing your oil and gas resume with our professional resume writing tips, the most important thing to remember is to include keywords appropriate to the industry. These keywords could include (Quality Control, Horizontal and Directional Drilling, Field and Rig Operations, Troubleshooting, Project Scheduling, etc.).

While each job within oil and gas can have the same keywords, ensure that you also include those specific to the position you are vying for and reflect your skills—no need to exaggerate. Simple, clean formatting will go a long way to creating a professional-looking resume that will catch the recruiter’s eye. This style or format will scan easily through applicant tracking systems.

Once you have proofread your resume, make sure you are attaching a cover letter that aligns with the position you are applying for by including the company name and contact information.

Would you like to hire Candace to write your oil and gas resume and cover letter to apply to oil and gas companies confidently? Please call toll-free at 1 877 738-8052 or send an email.