Think of your professional career as a skyscraper. Year by year, you’re adding one floor after another until you hit the clouds. But if you were to reach that point, you’d need a strong foundation, and that’s exactly what your civil engineer cover letter and resume are supposed to be.
Whether you’re a recent graduate just starting your professional journey or an esteemed professional looking for new challenges, you need to lay the groundwork before getting a new job.
Fortunately, writing a civil engineer cover letter is much like drafting a new project. It requires precision while juggling various bits of information to craft a cohesive document. Since you already have these skills, this article is here to point you in the right direction with all the tips and guidelines that you need. Without further ado, let’s dive in!
Your civil engineer cover letter should follow the business letter format with a clean and professional layout.
A cover letter should be one page long and have between 250 and 400 words.
The first paragraph should mention the position that you’re applying for and include some of your greatest advantages.
Adding a call to action toward the end can significantly improve your odds with the hiring managers.
What Is the Ideal Format to Use for a Civil Engineer Cover Letter?
The ideal format for your cover letter is the one that makes it look clean and professional. The focus should be on the writing, without invasive graphics or lots of colors. Simply put, you should use a business letter format while structuring the sections of your cover letter in a specific order.
Here’s what that order should be:
Cover Letter Mandatory Sections
Contact information. These details should go in the header of your civil engineer cover letter.
Salutation. This formal opening is meant to greet the reader and introduce them to the letter.
Body of text. This is the central section of your cover letter, and it should feature three parts:
An attention-grabbing opening paragraph with your key strengths.
Between 1 and 3 middle paragraphs with the bulk of your skills and accomplishments.
A closing paragraph with a call to action.
Formal closing. Similar to a salutation, this part should also be brief, mannerly, and professional.
Now that you know how to organize the contents of your civil engineer cover letter, let’s find out how you can make it stand out visually.
Here are the guidelines to follow to end up with an appealing cover letter layout:
Cover Letter Guidelines
A cover letter should be one page long.
The writing should be between 250 and 400 words.
A suitable font for a cover letter is a professional one, like Arial or Times New Roman.
Font size should be between 10 and 12 pt.
Appropriate line spacing is 1.0 or 1.15, with an additional line between paragraphs.
Margins should be at least 1 inch on all sides.
Both format and layout are standard and uniform. They should be the same whether you’re writing an entry-level civil engineer cover letter or a cover letter for a civil engineer with years of experience.
Civil Engineer Cover Letter Outline
Now that we’ve covered the basics, let’s explore what each of the sections of your civil engineer cover letter should look like.
Before that, here’s a concise visual writing guide to help you follow along better:
The heading of your cover letter has a utilitarian purpose, and it should feature contact information along with the date and location of the writing.
You should start with your contact details and include the following:
Cover Letter Heading Information
You can also add optional bits, like a personal website, a link to a portfolio, relevant social media profiles, etc. After that, type in the location and date before including the recipient’s details, along with their company’s location.
Let’s see all that in an example:
Cover Letter Heading Example
Dan Klein Civil Engineer 4329 Mount Tabor New York, NY 10013 914-513-4196 firstname.lastname@example.org linkedin.com/ln/danklein New York, 06/11/2023 David Barhorst Hiring Manager Skyscraper Constructions 3768 Settlers Lane New York, NY 10016
A cordial salutation is a standard way of starting a cover letter. It is as simple as writing “Dear” followed by the recipient’s name. Getting the name correct is crucial; it’s personal and builds rapport right off the bat. Moreover, it shows that you went the extra mile to research the company and write a tailored letter.
Here’s an example:
Cover Letter Salutation Example
Dear Mr. Barhorst,
If you can’t find the addressee’s name, you can use their title to address them. The only thing to avoid is generic salutations like “To Whom It May Concern” or “Dear Sir or Madam.”
#3. Opening Paragraph
The opening paragraph is your elevator pitch. Your goal is to mention what position you’re applying for and to point out one or two of your most prominent civil engineering skills and accomplishments.
Let’s see that in an example:
Cover Letter Opening Paragraph Example
I am excited to apply for the position of civil engineer at Skyscraper Constructions, as advertised on your website. With a Bachelor’s Degree in Civil Engineering and more than 7 years of experience, I have a list of successful projects under my belt. Notably, I led a bridge construction project from inception to completion 3 months ahead of schedule and 11% under budget.
#4. Professional Background and Competencies
The middle part of your cover letter is its main selling point, and it should be all about your job-related achievements and abilities. This is the part where you want to prove that you’re the right person for the job.
To do that, you want to highlight notable skills and past results as proof of your competence for hiring managers and potential employers. However, don’t just mention results haphazardly; use numbers and percentages to add measurable value to them and make them substantial.
Here’s an example:
Cover Letter Professional Background and Competencies Example
My expertise includes green-oriented engineering and sustainable infrastructure design. Knowledge of eco-friendly materials and cutting-edge engineering practices allowed me to reduce the carbon footprint of the 3 biggest projects between 2021 and 2023 by 23%. The same materials are projected to have a 27% increased lifespan.
#5. Motivation for Applying
Emphasizing your motivation for applying is one of the best ways to get ahead of the competition and single out your cover letter among countless others. When you point out specific reasons for your interest in a company, you show drive and passion. It signals that you’re already invested in their work and organization.
Here’s an example:
Cover Letter Motivation for Applying Example
I am particularly drawn to Skyscraper Constructions due to your focus on innovative technologies and commitment to incorporating sustainable practices. Your recent project, “Eco-Friendly Urban Forest Redesign,” is a testament to your team’s competence. I share the same vision and believe my skills and experience can contribute to your goals.
#6. Call to Action
Even the simplest call to action toward the end of your civil engineer cover letter vastly improves your chances of getting a response from the hiring manager. You can use it to suggest they call you for an interview, check out your civil engineer resume, examine your portfolio, and more.
Let’s check out an example:
Cover Letter Call to Action Example
Thank you for taking the time to consider my application. I look forward to discussing over an interview how my experiences and expertise can help you build a sustainable future.
#7. Conclusion & Sign-Off
The conclusion with a sign-off should be as simple as a salutation. You just add one of the polite closings and follow it up with your name.
Here's an example:
Cover Letter Conclusion & Sign-Off Example
Civil Engineer Cover Letter Example
Let’s combine everything that we’ve learned so far into a complete civil engineer cover letter example:
3 Brilliant Strategies for Crafting a Civil Engineer Cover Letter
Before we finish this comprehensive guide, let’s check out a couple of expert strategies that will elevate your cover letter:
Civil Engineer Cover Letter Tips
If you lack professional experience and are writing a civil engineering cover letter for an internship, you can accentuate your prominent technical skills to display potential. On the other hand, experienced candidates are better off highlighting tangible results and emphasizing their soft skills.
You should tailor your cover letter to the specific role that you’re applying for. Do your research to find out what qualities hiring managers are looking for, and make sure to put those front and center. That also means you’ll have the best chances if you write a new cover letter for every new job that you apply for.
Your cover letter should expand on your civil engineer resume, not replace it. Instead of restating the information that’s already in your resume, use a cover letter to include additional achievements and results that you didn’t get the chance to write about.
As you can see, writing a civil engineering cover letter is not much different from doing an infrastructure project. Both require planning, precision, solid construction, and a touch of creativity.
Whether you’re writing a civil engineer cover letter as a fresh graduate or a seasoned veteran, your goal is the same: demonstrate competence and emphasize passion. Be professional, but let a glimpse of your personality shine through. That way, you’ll get that interview in no time!