Engineer reading the resume on an office for the page How To Perfect Your Civil Engineering Resume

What Does This Article Focus On?

Civil engineering encompasses a wide range of specialized fields, each requiring a unique set of skills. These distinctive competencies are exactly what employers in the civil engineering domain look for, and your Engineering Resume needs to mirror these skills accurately to secure an interview opportunity.

In this guide, we will walk you through the key elements that your Engineering Resume should encapsulate, including compelling introductions, relevant skills, your work history, and vital keywords. We will concentrate on three particular areas of civil engineering:

  • Structural Engineering
  • Municipal Engineering
  • Geotechnical Engineering

f your area of expertise isn’t among those listed, don’t close the tab just yet. Each segment provides an understanding of the information you need to include in your Engineering Resume and the reasons behind their significance. You can then extrapolate this understanding and apply it to your own area within engineering.

Following the detailed guidelines on engineering disciplines, we’ll switch gears to offer some essential resume-building tips to make your Engineering Resume truly outstanding. By the end of this article, you’ll gain more than just the knowledge of drafting an Engineering Resume; you’ll acquire the skills to create one that distinguishes you from the competition on the hiring manager’s desk.

The Different Schools of Civil Engineering:

Structural Engineering

two Engineers reading a blue print in a construction floor for the page How To Perfect Your Civil Engineering ResumeEmployers searching for structural engineers are interested in candidates with:

  • Strong attention to detail
  • Soft skills
  • Detailed understanding of local building regulations and engineering software

Knowledge of software like AutoCAD will go a long way, as will a work experience that lends proof of an understanding of building regulations, especially in differing regions.

Remember that no matter your engineering specialization, you’ll always want to tailor the information on your resume to what the employer is looking for, but the following information is a strong basis for you to augment later.


What to Place on Your Engineering Resume

In your short introduction, mention the kinds of structural projects you have experience with, be they high rises, bridges, homes, etc.; only list those most relevant to the project the employer is hiring for.

For your skills section, include desirable traits, like Experienced problem-solving, a collaborative nature, and a strong capacity to design. It would also behoove you to include all the software you’re proficient with.

For your work experience, you’ll want to emphasize duties or achievements that reflect the kind of professional the employer is seeking to hire. For structural engineering, examples would be:

  • Occasions you discovered flaws in a design early on, fixed them, and prevented expensive fixes later on.
  • Evidence of efficient communication with a variety of people, coworkers, architects, or construction crews.
  • Successful projects you designed from the ground up.
  • Any additional tasks relevant to the job opening, like collecting geological data or environment variations.

Keywords to include:

  • Problem-solving
  • Design
  • Critical thinking
  • Project management
  • Collaboration
  • Analysis
  • Communication
  • Software


Municipal Engineering

Municipal engineers share some of the same skills as structural engineers; however, playing a part in the design of a city, town, or borough’s infrastructure requires a greater deal of planning and extended periods of coordination with other engineers and bureaucratic entities. Employers searching for Municipal Engineers are looking for:

  • A professional level of coordination and cooperation with different people
  • A capacity to design plans that might take years to unfold
  • Proficiency in cost management and accurate price predictions

In addition to planning and cooperation, Municipal Engineers are far more geared toward financial reporting and providing estimates for infrastructure costs than other civil engineering jobs.

Because engineers in this field work with local government bodies rather than corporations, there’s a greater emphasis on ensuring proposed projects fall within annual budgets and regulations. As such, you’ll want to emphasize your financial skills alongside your engineering.

What to Place on Your Engineering Resume

In your short introduction, list the kinds of projects you were involved with, be it utilities, traffic logistics, or sewer lines, that are relevant to the employer’s current project.

For your skills section, emphasize your ability to coordinate and cooperate with fellow engineers over a long period of time, your ability to make accurate cost predictions for projects, and make a list of any software you’re comfortable with or certifications you’ve earned. Examples include:

  • PMP
  • CEM
  • EIT
  • PE
  • MMCD
  • AutoCAD

Keywords to include:

  • AutoCAD
  • Site development
  • Plan review
  • Cost estimates
  • Cost-effective
  • Reviewing
  • Collaborate


Geotechnical Engineering

A geotechnical engineer is part geologist, part engineer. They’re essential to the initial phase of a construction project, and their failures will result in incredibly expensive fixes to maintain structural safety.

To put it simply, employers are looking for geotechnical engineers that have a thorough understanding of earth compositions and circumstances that can lead to construction setbacks. Employers want to see:

  • Experience with geological circumstances similar to their current projects
  • Effective communication skills
  • Comfort with geotechnical engineering software


What to Place on Your Engineering Resume

When writing your short introduction, place emphasis on the differing kinds of projects you’ve worked on, namely the kinds of geological materials you have experience with. If your list of experience is long, choose the three most likely to be involved in the employer’s project they’re hiring for.

For your skills section, like the previous branches of engineering, you’ll want to emphasize your strong collaboration and communication skills with other engineers and with lay people like stakeholders and even customers. List your expertise with software that focuses on topics like stress-strain, slope stability, or flow. Examples are software like FLAC, GeoStudio, and Plaxis. Additionally, mention your fastidiousness in studying geological samples to ensure site safety.

When going over your duties and achievements in your employment history, highlight any times you were able to find problems with a site, thereby saving your employer massive expenses later in the building project. You’ll also want to name the kinds of people you’ve collaborated with, be they other engineers, managers, or customers to prove your ability to communicate effectively. Finally, be sure to mention the basics, so there’s no question of your holistic experience, including:

  • Desk studies
  • Map assessment
  • Cooperation with local authorities
  • Personally investigating worksites
  • Sampling soils and silts

Keywords to include:

  • Scientific method
  • Cooperation/collaboration
  • Environmental investigation
  • Slope stability analysis
  • Reports
  • Technical reviews


Basic Tips for Resume Crafting

Keep it Brief

William Shakespeare said it best, “Brevity is the soul of wit.” What that means is you need to get to the point quickly. You might not be writing stories, but like Shakespeare, you’re trying to retain someone’s attention.

Remember that the hiring manager will be reading through several applications, so you’ll be contending with glazed eyes. Never go over a single page for your resume, and try to keep bullet points to one line if your chosen template allows it.

 Utilize Action Verbs

In addition to short sentences, you’ll want to implement action verbs to cut to the core of the ideas you’re trying to convey. What are action verbs? They’re simply verbs used at the beginning of a sentence. Action verbs help to keep the reader invested by driving to the point of a sentence quickly.

Let’s use a few examples.

No action verbs:

  • I worked closely with my team of engineers to ensure building codes were followed throughout the duration of the project.
  • I have experience working with many engineering software programs to assist with planning and design. AutoCAD, FLAC, and Plaxis.
  • My study of the worksite’s soil revealed geological problems before construction took place, saving the business tens of thousands in fixes.

Action verbs:

  • Collaborated with engineering team to ensure building code adherence.
  • Proficient in AutoCAD, FLAC, and Plaxis software.
  • Revealed foundational complication via sample study before construction took place.

Action verbs keep the reader’s attention more efficiently than not. Just be sure to avoid simple verbs as much as you can.

The Order of Your Resume

Every resume, no matter your industry, must have the following information:

  • Name
  • Home address
  • Phone number
  • Email address
  • Relevant work history over the last 10 years
  • Education level and school

Your personal information should always be placed right at the top of your resume so it’s easy to reference. You’ll then want to list your relevant skills and work experience over a maximum of 10 years. It’s important to tailor this information to the job opening as much as possible. Never put something irrelevant into your resume unless you need to fill space, or it’s a legitimately interesting achievement.

Contrary to what you might have been taught in university, you’ll want to include your schooling last. Most employers don’t care where you went to school; they want to know you can do the job. Of course, many will want to see evidence of a degree, but you can leave that at the bottom for them to glance over.


 Choose an Interesting Template

It pays to be unique, as long as your resume is legible and places important information in the right places. What you want to avoid is sending a simple, boring resume that’s little different than a basic Word document. Recruiters read dozens or hundreds of resumes, and if yours looks exactly like the others, you could be the most qualified person in the world, and their eyes might just glaze over it.

At the same time, you also don’t want to choose something that prioritizes a look over readability. You need your font to be legible, a minimum amount of colors to contrast, and text placement to make sense. To make it simple, if you’re looking at the template and anything about it looks confusing or unprofessional in the engineering industry, don’t choose it.


Sign up With a Recruitment Firm to Maximize Your Chances of Success

Tailoring your resume is one of the best ways to lock in an interview, but there are some high-tier civil engineering jobs that aren’t available without the assistance of a recruitment firm. Many businesses rely on recruitment firms to run candidates through a figurative sieve, offering them the best choices.

If you want to really get ahead of the competition, contact us.