Expert Advice: How To Say You’re a Subject Matter Expert on a Resume

Applying for a job as a subject matter expert? Need a way to say you were the go-to person on your team? Here’s how to expertly craft an SME resume.

a month ago   •   5 min read

By Resume Worded Editorial Team
Table of contents

It takes a lot of time and effort to become a subject matter expert (SME) — so if you are one, you want to make that clear on your resume.

It’s important to emphasize subject matter expertise on your resume if:

  • You’re applying for a job as a Subject Matter Expert
  • You work in a technical field or position and need to demonstrate domain expertise
  • You’re looking to move up to a more senior role
  • You’re applying for a position where subject matter expertise is important — for example, if involves things like training others, leading a team, making industry connections, or public outreach

Now that you know why you should say you’re a subject matter expert on your resume, the question remains — how?

How to write a resume as a subject matter expert

  1. Figure out what skills are the most essential for the job you’re applying for. Scour the job description for “must haves” and browse our database of hard skills and keywords for your industry or job title.
  2. Make a list of all the matching skills you have. You don’t need to meet all of the job requirements, but you should meet the majority of them if you aim to position yourself as a subject matter expert.
  3. Now it’s time to prove it. Come up with at least one example of how you’ve put each of those skills into practice. Ideally, this should be from your work experience, but you can also include things like qualifications, projects, or publications.
  4. Keep these examples focused on your accomplishments with strong action verbs and concrete metrics. You want recruiters to be impressed by your demonstrated expertise, not by a list of your job duties.
  5. Upload your resume to a free ATS resume checker to score your resume based on the key criteria hiring managers are looking for, including subject matter expertise.

Before we dive a little deeper into how to craft your resume, let’s take a look at a sample resume for a subject matter expert.

Subject matter expert resume example

Here’s an example of a resume that highlights subject matter expertise through a progression of job titles, strong accomplishments, relevant qualifications, and technical skills.

Sample resume template for a subject matter expert (SME)
Sample resume template for a subject matter expert (SME)

You can download this resume (and 20+ others) for free at our ATS resume templates page.

Ways to emphasize that you’re a go-to person on your resume

You can’t just label yourself as a go-to person. Or rather, you can, but don’t expect a recruiter to simply take your word for it. Here’s what to do instead.

Include impressive accomplishments in your work experience section

Your work experience section is the star of your resume, and for good reason — it’s where hiring managers will look first for key takeaways about your background, skills, and experience.

When: Always! Your work experience section is the best place for accomplishments that position you as a subject matter expert.

How: Choose accomplishments that highlight your deep knowledge and background in your field of expertise, or include examples of times that people came to you for advice in a particular project or role.

Example:

Example of a subject matter expert resume work experience section
Example of a subject matter expert resume work experience section

Highlight supporting information in an additional section

Not everything will fit in your work experience section, and that’s okay. You can supplement your professional accomplishments with personal projects, presentations, publications, certifications, awards, and technical skills.

When: If you have any of the above that are relevant to your area of expertise.

How: You can opt to have one or two dedicated resume sections for things like skills, projects, or awards. Alternatively, you can create a section titled “Additional Information” to fit in a wider range of accomplishments without cluttering up your resume.

Example:

Example of an additional information resume section including relevant technical skills, projects, certifications, and awards
Example of an additional information resume section including relevant technical skills, projects, certifications, and awards

Toot your own horn in a resume summary or career highlights section

If you have any outstanding accomplishments that add to your credibility as a subject matter expert, you can spotlight these by adding a resume summary or highlights section above your work experience.

When: If you can point to a few concrete accomplishments that establish you as a subject matter expert in your field.

How: Use it to highlight key aspects of your expertise, like your number of years’ experience, essential technical skills, awards, promotions, and other outstanding accomplishments.

Example:

Example of a subject matter expert resume summary
Example of a subject matter expert resume summary

Find out if your resume highlights subject matter expertise

A good way to check if the accomplishments in your work experience section highlight your deep knowledge and background in your field of expertise, is to upload your resume to the tool below — it’ll scan your resume and let you know if you’ve shown enough relevant and impressive accomplishments.

Resume synonyms for being a go-to person

Looking for another way to say you were the go-to person on your resume — ideally without overusing that exact phrase? Here are some resume synonyms for being a go-to person that you can use when you’re aiming for a little more subtlety.

Start your bullet point accomplishments with action verbs like:

You’re aiming to highlight that a) you’re great at what you do, b) you’re adept at sharing your expertise, and c) people often seek you out for help or advice.

Now, let’s go over some examples of how to follow that up with effective resume accomplishments.

“Subject matter expert” resume bullet point samples

Ready to write your own subject matter expert resume? Take a look at these real resume examples for inspiration.

Advised senior executives and was lead SME (subject matter expert) on Robotic Process Automation and produced 10-page report; findings incorporated into bank-wide robotics strategy which is projected to save £2MM+ in the next 3 years.

It’s okay to come right out and call yourself a subject matter on your resume, as long as you have the facts to back it up. If you held an official job title like “Lead SME,” absolutely include it.

Acted as key contact for issue resolution and customer advocacy, reducing issues and complaints by over 45%.

If you were the go-to person on your team, you can use phrases like “key contact” to highlight that you built up a reputation as a subject matter expert.

Assisted senior management in refining outsourcing strategy, resulting in increased offshore headcount from 12 to 95 employees.

Being called on by those above you (especially C-suite or upper management) to help solve problems is always a good accomplishment to include, especially if it led to concrete results or taking on higher level responsibilities.

Conceptualized, redesigned, and presented enhancements to the data warehouse and stored SQL procedures, leading to 100x increased query performance (double digit minutes to milliseconds).

If you’re applying for a highly technical role, don’t just rely on your skills section to prove that you have the right technical skills. Choose examples of accomplishments that show those skills in action — bonus points if you can include the impressive results.

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