How to write a job-winning civil engineer cover letter

Citizens and corporate entities alike rely on the infrastructure expertise of talented civil engineers. To win your ideal position as a civil engineer, you need to write an effective cover letter that offers a compelling look into your professional motivations, skills, and qualifications.

In this guide, we will teach you 5 simple steps for writing a civil engineer cover letter. Keep reading to learn how to:

  • Format your civil engineer cover letter header & headline
  • Tailor the greeting & content in your civil engineer cover letter
  • Craft an eye-catching civil engineer cover letter introduction
  • Highlight your best civil engineering skills and accomplishments
  • Finish your civil engineer cover letter with an effective closing statement

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1. Format your civil engineer cover letter header & headline correctly

When writing a civil engineer cover letter, the first step to take is to create your header and headline.

The cover letter header is the first block of text an employer will see, so it is essential for it to be well-organized. Your header should include:

  • Your name and professional title
  • Your professional contact information
  • The name, department, and address of the company you are applying to

Here is an example of a header from a civil engineer’s cover letter

Mary Jackson, Civil Engineer
(123) 456-7890 | maryjackson@email.com | linkedin.com/in/mary-jackson

To: Wilmington Engineering Group, Civil Engineering Department
1234 Street Address
Wilmington, NC, 28401

With your header in place, the next step is to create a cover letter headline. Headlines are an optional element to include on a cover letter but can greatly assist you in attracting the attention of employers

When writing your headline, you should always use a keyword related to the position, an eye-catching number or trigger word, a powerful adjective or verb, and a promise.

Here is an example of a civil engineer headline

Looking for a Motivated Civil Engineer? Here are 3 Reasons Why I am Perfect for Your Company

Trigger Word/Number: Looking for, 3 Reasons
Keyword: Civil Engineer
Adjective/Verb: Motivated, Perfect
Promise: Your Company – the addition of this detail informs the employer that you intend to make your cover letter highly relevant to their company’s needs.

2. Tailor the greeting & content in your civil engineer cover letter

Anytime you write a cover letter, it is crucial to tailor both the greeting and content for the specific job and company you are applying to.

Tailoring a cover letter in this way requires you to research the company beforehand, looking for information such as:

  • Who at the company will review your application – you will use this information to create a personalized greeting
  • What the company’s core values and goals are
  • Any ongoing or future projects the company is involved in

Using this information, you can relate your skills, qualifications, and accomplishments directly to the needs of the company and its current objectives or projects.

For your personalized greeting, you will address a specific person by name – ideally the company’s CEO, primary manager, hiring manager, or department head.

Here are 3 examples of personalized greetings

  • Dear Mr. John Doe,
  • Dear Hiring Manager John Doe,
  • To Civil Engineering Department Head Jane Smith,

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3. Craft an eye-catching civil engineer cover letter introduction

Having a well-written introduction is one of the most crucial elements of any cover letter, as this introduction can make the difference between whether an employer continues reading or moves on to the next application.

To write a strong civil engineer introduction, you should include:

  • A brief overview of your professional history
  • A statement on why you are enthusiastic about applying to this company
  • A mutual acquaintance (when possible)

Pro Tip: Including mutual acquaintances can be a major power move, as it helps to establish a professional reference and credibility. If you do not have any mutual acquaintances, use professional platforms like LinkedIn to connect with current employees and professional associates of the company you are interested in.

Here is an example of a well-written civil engineer introduction:

Dear Mr. John Doe,

I am a Civil Engineer with over 7 years of experience designing major roadways and urban bridges. My colleague and ongoing collaborator Jack Smith is a professional associate of your company and recommended I apply for this position. Upon reviewing your impressive goals and ongoing projects, I decided my skills could be a major asset to your company.

4. Highlight your best civil engineering skills and accomplishments

Following your introduction are the body paragraphs of your cover letter. A good cover letter should contain between 2 to 4 body paragraphs that answer key questions an interviewer might ask, such as:

  • What excites you about working at this company?
  • What relevant skills do you possess and how will you apply them at this company?
  • What accomplishments or qualifications make you stand out as an applicant?
  • How can you contribute to company projects, both current and future?

Focusing on describing your skills and accomplishments is especially important. Unlike a resume, your cover letter gives you exceptional space and freedom to full explain your best qualifications, so use this space wisely and offer specific and quantifiable details.

Here are 6 examples of key civil engineering skills to describe in a cover letter

  • Construction design
  • 2D & 3D modeling software
  • Creative problem-solving
  • Project management
  • Cost management & consultations
  • Site development

Here is an example of how to describe an accomplishment in a civil engineering cover letter

As a Civil Engineer at [Former Employer], I was responsible for material cost management and designing constructions. In this role, I was able to source a new supplier of durable materials that met federal government standards, resulting in a 45% decrease in material expenditures for the company and its clients.

5. Finish your civil engineer cover letter with an effective closing statement

Your cover letter conclusion deserves just as much time and effort as the introduction and body paragraphs. To write an effective and strong closing statement, aim to include:

  • An enthusiastic sentence saying you are looking forward to hearing from them
  • An additional sentence stating you will follow up, including how you will contact them or how they can contact you
  • A formal sign-off

Here is an example of an effective closing statement from a civil engineer cover letter

My years of experience in Civil Engineering combined with your company’s commitment to quality will result in a professional partnership that is both profitable and highly productive. I am excited to learn more about this opportunity and hope to hear from you in the next week.

To schedule an interview with me, contact me any weekday between 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. at (123) 456-7890. I will plan on reaching out next Wednesday if I have not heard back by then.

Sincerely,

[Applicant Name]

 Follow this cover letter outline for maximum success. 

Martin is a resume expert and career advice writer at Kickresume. In his five years at Kickresume, he has written nearly 100 in-depth, painstakingly researched resume advice articles and, as chief editor, he has also edited and revised every single article on this website. Tens of thousands of job seekers read Martin’s resume advice every month. He holds a degree in English from the University of St Andrews and a degree in Comparative Literature from the University of Amsterdam.

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