How to build a successful mechanical engineer cover letter
Mechanical engineers play an essential role in many different industries, from automotive and manufacturing to biotechnology and aerospace. A mechanical engineer will have many key responsibilities including the design, development, and testing of mechanical parts. To earn a position as a mechanical engineer, you need a cover letter that captures your skills, dedication, and qualifications.
In this guide, we will teach you 5 key steps for writing a mechanical engineer cover letter. Keep reading to learn all about:
- How to format a mechanical engineer cover letter header & headline
- Why to tailor your mechanical engineer cover letter for the job
- What to say in your mechanical engineer cover letter introduction
- Ways to showcase your accomplishments & skills on a cover letter
- How to conclude your cover letter with a strong closing statement
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1. How to properly format a mechanical engineer cover letter header & headline
Any cover letter you write should begin with a header and headline.
A cover letter header refers to the block of text at the top of the document that includes:
- 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 well-formatted mechanical engineer header
George Williams, Mechanical Engineer
(123) 456-7890 | email@example.com | linkedin.com/in/george-williams
To: Miller Manufacturing, Engineering Department
1234 Street Address
Richmond, VA, 23173
Following your header is the cover letter headline. A headline is an optional element but can be extremely effective at attracting employers’ attention when well-written.
When writing your headline, aim to include 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 mechanical engineer headline
Looking for a Talented Mechanical Engineer? 3 Reasons Why I am the Ideal Addition to Your Company
Trigger Word/Number: Looking for, 3 Reasons
Keyword: Mechanical Engineer
Adjective/Verb: Talented, Ideal
Promise: Your Company – this detail indicates that you have tailored your cover letter to be highly relevant to the specific position available at the employer’s company.
2. How to tailor your mechanical engineer cover letter for the job
Tailoring a cover letter is an important process that makes the document relevant to the job you are applying for. To create a tailored cover letter, you will need to thoroughly research the company before applying, searching for the following information:
- Which staff member at the company will review your application – you will later use this information to create a personalized greeting.
- What core values and goals the company has
- Any projects – both ongoing and future – that the company is involved in
Using this information, you can describe your skills, accomplishments, and qualifications in a way that directly shows how you can benefit the company.
To begin the tailoring process when writing your cover letter, start by creating a personalized greeting – a type of greeting that addresses a specific person by name. Ideally, this person should be a hiring manager or department head.
Here are 3 examples of personalized greetings
- Dear Mrs. Jane Doe,
- Dear Hiring Manager Jane Doe,
- Dear Department Head Jack Smith,
3. How to craft an impressive mechanical engineer cover letter introduction
In the introduction of your cover letter, you must introduce yourself in a way that is compelling to employers and keeps them interested in reading further. A strong introduction will often 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) – mutual acquaintances help to build rapport and credibility immediately, while also providing the employer with a trusted professional reference.
Pro Tip: If you do not have any mutual acquaintances, try building your professional network with platforms like LinkedIn. By doing so, you can connect with employees and associates of the companies you are most interested in.
Here is an example of an effective mechanical engineer introduction
Dear Hiring Manager Jane Doe,
I am a Mechanical Engineer with 6+ years of experience in industrial manufacturing. As a member of the American Society of Mechanical Engineers, I have had the pleasure of meeting and collaborating with your Head Engineer, John Simmons. Mr. Simmons recently contacted me about this opening and recommended I apply, as my professional goals and values are aligned with your company’s.
4. How to showcase your mechanical engineer accomplishments & skills
The next step is to write the biggest section of your cover letter – the body paragraphs. Most mechanical engineer cover letters will contain between 2 to 4 body paragraphs that answer the following key questions:
- What excites you about working at this company?
- What skills do you possess and how can you apply them at this company?
- What accomplishments or qualifications make you stand out as an applicant?
- How can you contribute to ongoing or future projects the company is involved in?
Focusing on your relevant skills and accomplishments is particularly important. Unlike a resume, a cover letter gives you ample space to provide specificity and context around these qualifications, so use this space wisely.
Here are 6 examples of key mechanical engineer skills to describe in a cover letter
- Manufacturing processes
- Product development & testing
- Mechanical mathematics
- Computer design programs
- Creative problem-solving
- Clear communication
Here is an example of how to describe an accomplishment in a mechanical engineer cover letter
As a Mechanical Engineer at [Former Employer], I directly helped to raise production efficiency by 55% by designing a new mechanical device for automating production processes. Additionally, I developed more than 20 unique mechanical components for the company, resulting in 3 new patents.
5. How to conclude your cover letter with a strong closing statement
Always finish a cover letter off strong with an effective closing statement that includes:
- 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 a closing statement from a mechanical engineer cover letter
I am beyond excited to be considered for this opportunity and greatly look forward to further discussing my skills and qualifications as a Mechanical Engineer. I am eager to speak with you and am available to meet any weekday from 7 a.m. to 4 p.m., and I plan to reach back out if I have not heard back by next Monday. The best way to reach me is at (123) 456-7890.
Follow this cover letter outline for maximum success.