No matter what engineering job you are looking for, writing a captivating CV is an essential part of the job finding journey. A well-written civil engineering CV, which details all your most notable qualities, can increase your chances of getting an interview for the role.
Learning how to write a good civil engineering CV may improve your chances of being offered the job. In this post, we discuss what a civil engineering CV is, why it’s important to have one and examine how to write one.
What are civil engineers?
Civil engineers are individuals that are dedicated to the planning, design, creation, and construction of the world around us. They help make the villages, towns, and cities work for the people that live there. There are many sub-disciplines of civil engineering, including:
- Water & Waste Water
What is a civil engineering resume?
A civil engineering resume is a document that illustrates your qualities to a potential employer about a civil engineering job. It should list all your relevant skills, qualities, capabilities, certifications and work history.
How should I write my civil engineer resume?
Before writing your civil engineering resume, you should first determine what your goals are. If you are just starting your career as a civil engineer, you may want to write a couple of resumes for each speciality that you’re interested in. If you are already a well-established civil engineer looking to make your next career move, you should decide whether you want to stay in the same speciality or move into a new one. These steps will help you create the base for your civil engineer resume.
Once you’ve decided, it’s time to start writing your CV. Follow the below steps to guide your civil engineer CV.
Write a compelling personal statement
Civil engineering is a highly competitive field, with hiring managers often reviewing hundreds of applications for a single job opening. Writing a civil engineer CV that stands out from the crowd can be difficult, but writing a gripping introduction that summarises your key responsibilities, skills and achievements at the top of your resume better your chances of catching the attention of any hiring manager as they skim through your resume.
Writing a compelling introduction can be difficult, and can depend on your experience level which is why we recommend the below:
Entry-level civil engineers
If you’re a recent graduate or engineer in training, begin your CV with your career goals. This should be a 3-sentence paragraph about your industry-specific skills as well as future aspirations and any achievements to date.
Experienced civil engineers
If you’ve been working as a civil engineer for some time, use a resume summary at the top of your CV. A resume summary is a 3-5 sentence paragraph which allows you to highlight your key achievements, skills, as well as any future career goals.
List your relevant skills
As a civil engineer, you have an important set of skills that you have either learnt through education or through your time in the field. It’s important to list our abilities on your resume and tailor these to the job description to ensure that you’re listing the relevant ones.
Your skills section can be broken up into two sections: hard skills and soft skills.
Hard skills are a specific set of essential skills that are easy to quantify. Typically, you learn hard skills on the job or through training courses and are often things like software, tools, and technical knowledge that help you to design and construct infrastructure.
Some examples of hard skills that you may want to include on your CV are:
- Engineering Software: AutoCAD, Revit and MATLAB
- Industry-specific qualifications: Professional Engineer license, Chartered Institute of Building membership
- Mathematics skills
- Analysis & Design
Soft skills are a specific set of key skills that you need to interact with others and to be able to function well within the workplace. They’re just as important as hard skills for employers as they show what you may be like as a potential employee and highlight any leadership qualities.
Skills you may want to include on your CV are:
- Management and leadership skills
- Organisation skills
- Time management
- Communication skills (both verbal and written)
You want to ensure that you can easily quantify any skills on your civil engineer resume – by putting your experience into context with specific examples, project experience and numbers will help the recruiters understand your abilities.
Your career history
One of the first things a recruiter will look for is your current employment information. Employers like to see patterns of key achievements and successes as they want to know what you will bring to their company and whether you will grow and learn with them as you take on your new job role in the world of civil engineering.
For your civil engineer experience section, don’t just list your job responsibilities. Quantify what you have done, include projects worked on and show you have the extensive knowledge needed to take on this as your next job role. Be as detailed as possible and use bullet points to make it easy to read.
This part of your civil engineer CV should be full of strong action verbs. To write the best resume, career experts suggest asking yourself a few key questions before detailing your experience. Consider what achievements you are most proud of and whether you can back this up through data.
You’ll have already listed your professional qualifications in your skills section, but the education section allows you to expand on your qualifications and impress potential employers. It’s a particularly good section of a CV if you’re a recent graduate as it can highlight what you have learnt during your time in education.
If you have built up a strong career as a civil engineer, you only need to include a brief summary of your engineering qualifications and memberships. There’s no need to go back to high school and list your GCSE’s – by this point in your career, your experience is much more valuable.
If you’re a graduate, you should look to use this section to your full advantage. Discuss any relevant degree modules and projects in more detail and ensure you highlight any technical skills you picked up here – especially if they are listed in the job description. If you achieved any awards or high marks, note this in this section too.
Hobbies and interests
Adding a hobbies and interests section to your civil engineer CV is entirely optional, but can be a great way to show your personality to potential employers.
This section can be particularly useful for graduates with little to no experience in civil engineering. For example, if your hobbies include model making, DIY, or other practical hobbies listing them could demonstrate your focus and technical abilities.
Additionally, hobbies that show attention to detail and commitment such as playing an instrument or sports may also help to show your suitability for the role.
As tempting as it can be to list generic hobbies on your CV such as socialising, listening to music or cooking they won’t make you stand out as a person, so use this section wisely if you decide to go ahead and include it as part of your CV.
Choosing the best CV format for a civil engineer
As someone that works in civil engineering, you are well-versed in creating streamlined projects, so when it comes to civil engineering resumes you should think of this in a similar way.
Recruiters want to be able to quickly scan your CV for all the key information, so you want to ensure your civil engineer CV is easy to read and professional. Your CV should be easy to read and focus on your abilities as a civil engineer, rather than an all-singing, all-dancing CV.
Below are some examples of how to get the most out of your CV:
- Use traditional, easy-to-read fonts
- Ensure your contact information is prominent, up-to-date and easy to find
- Split up sections of your CV by creating headers to make it easy for recruiters to find
- Use a consistent line length to maintain white space
- Save your resume as a Word and PDF file
Ireland is a great place to live and work, and with GDP projected to grow Ireland’s economy is set to be the fastest-growing in the Eurozone until 2024 meaning there are plenty of opportunities for civil engineers in the coming years, which is why it’s incredibly important to stand out from the crowd with an amazing civil engineer CV.
By following the steps outlined above, you could be well on your way to securing your next job with a fantastic company very soon!