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20 Useful Engineering Resume Vocabulary Words in English

August 15, 2017

Useful Engineering Resume Vocabulary Words in English

Writing a resume is difficult: how can you describe yourself, your education, and your accomplishments without sounding cliche, boring, or arrogant? Verbs that concisely explain your job responsibilities will help you when writing a resume. These 20 useful engineering resume vocabulary words will help you when applying for your engineering job or internship.

Note: these terms have been selected for several engineering fields, including biochemical engineering, mechanical, structural, operational, and civic engineering. The form of the word given is the past tense of each verb, and the example is written in the style you might see on a resume. To better understand the format of a U.S. style resume, see our articles “Resume vs. CV: What Is the Difference?.”

20 Useful Engineering Resume Vocabulary Words


Definition: Increase in rate, amount, or extent.

Example: Invented a machine that accelerated production speeds.


Definition: Have an effect on; make a difference.

Example: Affected change in production by designing a more efficient machine.


Definition: Examine (something) methodically and in detail, typically in order to explain and interpret it.

Example: Analyzed data from surveyors to make informed suggestions regarding city planning.


Definition: Make something be applicable or relevant.

Example: Applied various structural engineering theories to work in the field and in the office.


Definition: Assess the value or quality of.

Example: Appraised local structures to determine their durability.


Definition: Instruct or inform (someone) thoroughly, especially in preparation for a task.

Example: Briefed city officials on the status of local bridges and other structures.

Useful Engineering Resume Vocabulary Words in English


Definition: Make a systematic list of (items of the same type).

Example: Cataloged laboratory data for analysis.


Definition: Represent (something) in graphic form.

Example: Diagrammed electrical circuits of residential and office buildings.


Definition: Identify the nature of (an illness or other problem) by examination of the symptoms.

Example: Diagnosed weak areas of older buildings in order to suggest repairs.


Definition: Make (a device or system) operational; activate.

Example: Enabled a new form of solar-powered energy.


Definition: Skilfully arrange for (something) to occur; design and build (a machine or structure).

Example: Engineered a new form of solar energy collection.

Useful Engineering Resume Vocabulary Words in English


Definition: Make (an action or process) easy or easier.

Example: Facilitated meetings between business owners and local residents regarding structural damage to local buildings.



Definition: Place or fix (equipment or machinery) in position ready for use.

Example: Installed new circuits for energy-efficient electricity throughout the building.


Definition: Record in detail the spatial distribution of (something).

Example: Mapped data regarding energy consumption throughout the city.


Definition: Ascertain the size, amount, or degree of (something) by using an instrument or device marked in standard units.

Example: Measured the levels of pollution in local waters.


Definition: Use (a system, procedure, etc.) as an example to follow or imitate.

Example: Modeled new software on components of previous versions.


Definition: Altered or changed.

Example: Modified older machines to increase production.


Definition: Manage; (of a person) control the functioning of (a machine, process, or system).

Example: Operated and examined machinery for maintenance and review.


Definition: Make the best or most effective use of (a situation or resource).

Example: Optimized production of machinery.


Definition: Reconsider and alter (something) in light of further evidence.

Example: Revised reports from biologists; included data and suggestions regarding actions to be taken.

Useful Engineering Resume Vocabulary Words in English

CISL San Diego provides an intensive English for Engineering course for students who are working in (or interested in working in) the field of engineering. This course provides the vocabulary and language skills necessary for the student’s particular field: lessons can be catered to the student’s interests and professional needs. CISL’s English for Engineering course can be taken alongside the Career English program, which places students in an American company in order to use their English skills in the workplace. Contact CISL for more information.


California Life Featured San Diego Vocabulary

Bodyboarding vs. Surfing (+ Surfing Vocabulary and Slang)

August 6, 2017

Bodyboarding vs. Surfing (+ Surfing Vocabulary and Slang)

Surfing is a way of life in California, so it is no surprise that surfing vocabulary and slang are parts of the language on the West Coast! We are providing an infographic from Finbin (a website about water sports) about the bodyboarding vs. surfing debate. Do you know the difference? Have you tried both, and if so, which do you prefer? The language in the infographic is for advanced students, but students of every level can learn the surfer slang it includes!

Surfing Vocabulary and Slang

Blackball (black ball)

Definition: The black flag (with a large black circle) that lifeguards use during “no surfing” times. The word is now also used to talk about prohibited areas or actions.

Example: Who is most likely to get insanely barreled in that black ball beach break?


Definition: Hit by a wave

Example: Who is most likely to get insanely barreled in that black ball beach break?

Beach break

Definition: When waves break over a sandy area.

Example: Who is most likely to get insanely barreled in that black ball beach break?

Home break

Definition: Your preferred surf location.

Example: If your home break is a spot shared by surfers and bodyboarders alike, you’ve probably heard side comments about the unspoken rivalry.


Definition: The line of surfers waiting (in the water) for a wave.

Example: It became easier for all types of individuals–young, old, and older–to paddle to the lineup and catch a wave to get their fill of stoke.

Bodyboarding vs. Surfing (+ Surfing Vocabulary and Slang)


Definition: To place your arms in the water and use them to move your surfboard.

Example: It became easier for all types of individuals–young, old, and older–to paddle to the lineup and catch a wave to get their fill of stoke.

Prone position

Definition: The position a bodyboarder is in: holding on to the board, stomach on the board.

Example: The prone position offers more stability and balance.


Definition: An expression meaning “cool.”

Example: You’ll get to ride waves in more radical ways and you sure will have the biggest smile on your face.


Definition: “excitement.”

Example: It became easier for all types of individuals–young, old, and older–to paddle to the lineup and catch a wave to get their fill of stoke.

Wipe out

Definition: To fall off the surfboard.

Example: You also won’t have to worry about falling off and wiping out.

Bodyboarding vs. Surfing

Thank you to Finbin for this infographic about the differences between bodyboarding and surfing! CISL often arranges beach activities such as surf lessons: ask the Front Desk for information or check out the month’s Activities Calendar.

Additional Vocabulary

Attest to

Definition: To affirm something is true.

Example: Global surfing competitions, giant surf brands, million-dollar surf movies, and all the images circulating on print and digital media can all attest to the overgrown bubble that has enveloped much of surfing.


Definition: Enthusiastic.

Example: Morey himself was an avid surfer.

To burst (a/one’s) bubble

Definition: To destroy a feeling of happiness or a commonly accepted idea.

Example: Tom Morey burst that bubble when he invented the bodyboard in 1971.

Catch on

Definition: To become more popular.

Example: The trend has caught on.

Charge (something)

Definition: To run to something with great speed (or, in this case, swim to something).

Example: You can charge bigger waves like it was a walk in the park with a bodyboard . . .

Bodyboarding vs. Surfing (+ Surfing Vocabulary and Slang)


Definition: Disadvantages.

Example: It’s hard to think of a downside to bodyboarding.


Definition: People who live somewhere.

Example: History has it that the first surfers among the Pacific dwellers were those who had royal blood.


Definition: A higher level.

Example: Surfing has always enjoyed an elevated status as the sport of kings.


Definition: Not available to most people.

Example: This status gave surfing its sublime appeal, make it aspirational and somewhat exclusive.

Game for

Definition: Prepared; ready for.

Example: What are you game for?

Bodyboarding vs. Surfing (+ Surfing Vocabulary and Slang)


Definition: Physical forms (bodies).

Example: Bodyboarding can be enjoyed by riders of all ages and physiques.


Definition: Enlarged; too large.

Example: Global surfing competitions, giant surf brands, million-dollar surf movies, and all the images circulating on print and digital media can all attest to the overgrown bubble that has enveloped much of surfing.


Definition: A game in which two teams pull on a rope and try to pull the team towards them.

Example: Nobody knows who declared this psychological war between wave riders and their differing weapons of choice, but it looks like the silent tug-o-war is here to stay.

Tune out

Definition: Stop listening to someone or something.

Example: If you can tune out the haters, you’ll have no reason to regret picking up a bodyboard.


Definition: A level of spiritual happiness and divinity.

Example: This status gave surfing its sublime appeal.

Would you like to learn more surfer slang? Check out our articles The Word Gnarly, and California Surfer Slang for English Students

California Life Featured Los Angeles Vocabulary

The Most Beautiful Places in LA + 5 Beautiful English Words

July 18, 2017

In a city of nearly 4 million people, is it possible to find beautiful escapes? In Los Angeles, there certainly is. The area’s parks and beaches provide plenty of natural escapes for its residents and visitors, and there are many man-made gardens to provide relaxation and beauty. During your next trip, be sure to see the most beautiful places in LA.

The Most Beautiful Places in LA

Huntington Library and Botanical Gardens

Most Beautiful Places in LA

Over 100 acres of desert gardens, Japanese gardens, and manicured lands surround this library, which has a beautiful collection of 18th and 19th century art. Tickets are available online; the library also offers a Free Day each month.

The Getty Villa

Most Beautiful Places in LA Most Beautiful Places in LA

This Pacific Palisades home is a window into the art world of Ancient Greece and Rome. The house itself is even art: it was designed to look like an ancient Roman country home. Guests can tour the gardens, eat Mediterranean food at the restaurant, and of course view the impressive art collection. The Getty Villa is home to 44,000 Greek, Roman, and Etruscan items and has 23 permanent galleries (plus five galleries for exhibitions that change).

Malibu Creek State Park

Most Beautiful Places in LA Most Beautiful Places in LA

This beautiful nature preserve is an escape from the craziness of the city (and is also famous: Hollywood producers love to use the location for movies!) You can find Malibu Creek State Park in movies such as Planet of the Apes. Visitors can hike, bike, kayak, horseback ride, and even camp.

Sandstone Peak

Most Beautiful Places in LA Most Beautiful Places in LA

One of the most beautiful views in Los Angeles is from Sandstone Peak. It is the tallest place in the Santa Monica Mountains and a popular spot for mountain climbers.

5 Beautiful English Words

Now that you’ve learned of a few beautiful places, why not learn some words related to beauty? These 5 beautiful English words will make your vocabulary a little more alluring.


Definition: fluent or persuasive speaking or writing.

Example: The eloquence of the speech really impressed me.


Definition: extremely delicate and light in a way that seems too perfect for this world.

Example: Look at this ethereal photo of my friend’s children. They are so beautiful.


Definition: showing luminous colors that seem to change when seen from different angles.

Example: The iridescent colors of the sunset are hard to capture in a photo.


Definition: an object, typically an inscribed ring or stone, that is thought to have magic powers and to bring good luck.

Example: He gave her this ring as a talisman for her travels.


Definition: pass or cause to pass easily or gently through or as if through the air.

Example: The smell of the pie wafted through the house and made me hungry.

CISL San Diego students often take quick trips to Los Angeles while they are studying English in SD. Have you been? Post your photos on the CISL Facebook Page!

California Life Featured San Francisco San Francisco Travel Tips Social Media Suggested student activities Vocabulary

The 5 Best Sunset Views in SF + Sunset Color Vocab

June 21, 2017

California sunsets are one of the best things about living in this beautiful state. When you’re studying English in San Francisco, be sure to enjoy the sunset each evening! These locations offer the 5 best sunset views in SF.

How amazing are the sunsets in California? Take a look on Instagram and you’ll see! Each of these photos were posted within the last day, which shows how amazing the California sunsets are.

The 5 Best Sunset Views in SF

Twin Peaks

Wear comfortable shoes and grab a jacket: the wind at Twin Peaks can be strong, and the hike up is a bit of work! Once you’re at the top, you have stunning views of San Francisco. Stay after sunset and watch the lights of the city come on: this view is beautiful any time of the day.

Twin Peaks: 501 Twin Peaks Blvd, San Francisco, CA 94114, USA

Lands End

A post shared by Robert L. Gee (@_no.27_) on

Lands End is a park in San Francisco that has many hiking trails, including the famous oceanside California Coastal Trail. San Franciscans use this trail to run and hike, but they also take a moment to stop and enjoy the sunset from the beautiful view of the Golden Gate Bridge from Mile Rock Point and Mile Rock Beach.

Lands End: 680 Point Lobos Ave, San Francisco, CA 94121, USA

Bernal Heights Park (and Summit)

A post shared by Karen (@moxykk) on

Bernal Heights Park is built on a hillside, and its park and trails provide stunning 360 degree views of San Francisco. Enjoy the trails and the view past San Francisco: on a clear day, you can see surrounding cities in the Bay Area such as Daly City.

Bernal Heights Park: 3400-3416 Folsom St, San Francisco, CA 94110, USA

Corona Heights Park

A post shared by David Olem (@davidolem) on

Corona Heights Park is next to the Castro and Corona Heights neighborhoods in SF. The views, which are unobstructed, allow visitors to see Twin Peaks, Downtown San Francisco, and beyond. Be careful: the steps leading up to the top do not have handrails, so it can be a little scary!

Corona Heights Park: Roosevelt Way & Museum Way, San Francisco, CA 94114, USA

Alamo Square

A post shared by Steven Lemeshow (@slemeshow) on

This park has views of the most famous houses in San Francisco: the Painted Lady Victorian houses! Alamo Square Park was just renovated and re-opened in May, 2017. In addition to enjoying the architecture of the mansions surrounding the park, visitors can see San Francisco City Hall, Golden Gate Bridge, the Bay Bridge . . . and beautiful California sunsets! 

Alamo Square: surrounded by Webster Street (east), Golden Gate Avenue (north), Divisadero Street (west), and Fell Street (south)

Best Sunset Views in SF

Sunset Color Vocab

How do you describe the beautiful clouds, the amazing colors, and the effects of the ever-changing sunset over the Pacific Ocean waters? These colors will help you


Definition: the intensity of a color (whether it has more light or dark to it).

Example: Look at the many shades of pink in tonight’s sunset!


Definition: a color or shade (similar to the word “shade” . . . although an artist could explain that they are different! For learning English, think of “hue” as a synonym for “shade” or “color”).

Example: Last night’s sunset had so many beautiful hues.

Color + ish (blueish, pinkish, etc.)

Definition: a color similar to the one used in the word, but not exactly the color. (Use this word when you don’t know the exact color you’re describing.)

Example: The sky was a blueish, purplish color: it was so lovely.


Definition: very beautiful.

Example: What a stunning view . . . and sunset.


Definition: on fire.

Example: The sky was ablaze during the red and orange sunset.

Cast (verb)

Definition: to cause light or shadow to appear on a surface.

Example: The sun cast its light on the clouds and created a stunning sunset.


Definition: the streaks/lines of light (from the sun).

Example: The sun’s rays were shining through the clouds as it set.

Best Sunset Views in SF


Definition: bright.

Example: The radiant sunset was impossible to capture in a photo. You had to be there to really see  it.


Definition: a shade of red (often used to describe the sky).

Example: The crimson sky turned into a deep blue.


Definition: to shine brightly.

Example: It looked like the sky was glowing.


Definition: a hint of something; a touch of something.

Example: I could still see traces of orange in the sky an hour after the sun set.

Share your California sunset photos to Facebook and be sure to tag CISL and add #CISL to your photos!

Photos from Pixabay. 

Academic English Celebrities EAP Featured University Pathway Vocabulary

Meet our CISL Pathway Partner, New York Film Academy! (+10 Movie-related Vocabulary Words)

March 24, 2017

Do you dream of a life making movies . . . in English? CISL’s Pathway Program + New York Film Academy might be for you!

New York Film Academy 10 movie-related vocabulary words

Meet our CISL Pathway Partner, New York Film Academy!

How Pathways Works

With CISL Pathway, students attend CISL (including the afternoon English for Academic Purposes course) to improve their English skills. Students then choose a CISL Pathway Partner school to attend: at this college or university, students receive an associate’s, bachelor’s, or master’s degree. With CISL Pathway Partners, international students do not need to take the TOEFL exam: students who pass CISL’s EAP course automatically meet the requirements for admission!

New York Film Academy 10 movie-related vocabulary words

Happy graduates!

New York Film Academy

Students at the New York Film Academy have many location options for studies: the school has campuses in New York, Los Angeles, and Miami. New York Film Academy uses the educational philosophy of “learning by doing,” which allows students hands-on experience with their field. Students graduate ready to enter the world of cinema and use their degree: in the first year alone, each student writes, shoots, directs and edits eight films!

NYFA Programs of Study

The list of degrees is long for potential NYFA students. The school offers many programs, including accelerated three-year Bachelor of Fine Arts (BFA) degree programs in:

  • Filmmaking
  • Acting for Film
  • Producing
  • Screenwriting
  • 3D Animation
  • Graphic Design
  • Game Design

Students also have the option of a Bachelor of Arts (BA) in Media Studies and a two-year Master of Fine Arts (MFA) degree in:

  • Filmmaking
  • Acting for Film
  • Screenwriting
  • Producing
  • Cinematography
  • Documentary
  • Game Design and Photography

The academy also offers two-year Associate of Fine Arts (AFA) degrees in:

  • Filmmaking
  • Acting for Film
  • Producing
  • Screenwriting
  • Game Design

Additionally, the Los Angeles campus offers a Master of Arts (MA) in Film and Media Production.

New York Film Academy 10 movie-related vocabulary words

The beautiful New York campus on a snowy winter day.


While receiving their degree, students have access to NYFA’s incredible events, which often include informal talks by industry professionals. Kevin Spacey, Glenn Close, Bryan Cranston, Jamie Lee Curtis, and many more have visited NYFA to speak to its students!

New York Film Academy 10 movie-related vocabulary words
For more information on attending NYFA through CISL, contact Converse International School of Languages.

Movie Industry Vocabulary

Before starting your academic career with NYFA, make sure you know these industry-related words! These terms all come from the International Movie Database. Check out the entire (lengthy) list of terms online!

New York Film Academy 10 movie-related vocabulary words


A low-budget movie. B-films were cheaper for studios because they did not involve the most highly paid actors or costly sets, and were popular with theater owners because they were less expensive to bring into their theaters.

Back lot/Backlot

A large, undeveloped area on studio property used for building large sets or for filming wilderness scenes.

Director’s Cut

Contracts through the Hollywood Director’s Guild usually allow 6 weeks for a director to create a “cut” of the movie–without studio interference. This “cut” shows the movie exactly how the director would like it to be seen. This director’s cut is fully edited and has a soundtrack.

These days, the term Director’s Cut now often refers to a final version of the movie that the director has complete artistic control over.

Layout Artist

A person responsible for staging every shot and planning how the action will happen in each scene.

Magic hour

The minutes just around sunset and sunrise when light levels change and there is a warm orange glow to the shots.

Scenic Artist

A member of the crew responsible for painting and preparing the scenes, including the walls, signs, and models or miniatures (if used).

Screen Actors Guild

An association that the actors belong to. This association was originally a labor union that began in 1933. In 2012, it merged with another group and is now the Screen Actors Guild-American Federation of Radio and Television Artists.


Background conversation in a scene.

Working Title

The name used for a movie while it is being made. This is sometimes different from the title when the movie is released.


To finish shooting, either for the day or the entire production.

All NYFA photos from NYFA’s Facebook page. Director’s cut photo is from Pixabay.