“How to Write an Engineering Cover Letter” was written by Aimee Laurence.
When you are trying to land a good job, it can be quite hard to understand what you need to do to get your foot in the door. Especially so in engineering. So, you have your resume ready—and that’s a great first step. But you will also typically need a cover letter to support your resume and tell potential employers more about who you are and why you’re the best fit for the job.
Use this guide as a starting point in crafting your perfect cover letter. For more in-depth guidance, check out our SWE Advance Webinar on Cover Letter Writing.
Cover Letter Structure
Here is a basic structure of your cover letter that you should follow:
- Heading – This is where you will place your name, contact details as well as the name and contact of the hiring manager for your engineering position.
- Salutations – This is where you will greet the person that will read your cover letter.
- First Paragraph – This area should be reserved for the specific job title, how you came across the job and why you are interested. It’s important to catch the reader’s attention and get them ‘hooked’ in this first paragraph so they’ll continue on to the more detail-laden sections.
- Middle Paragraph(s) – This is where you should tell them why you are the best engineer they can hire. Make a clear connection between the listed job requirements and your personal qualifications—drawing on your previous engineering roles, experience and achievements. (Note: do not go in-depth into all of your work experience in your cover letter. That is what your resume is for. Think of this section as a way to highlight your most impressive or important qualifications as they relate to this specific role.)
- Final Paragraph – This is where you will close the letter politely, thanking the employer for considering your application and stating your hope to meet for an interview.
Things a Cover Letter Should Include
An engineering cover letter should contain some specific elements:
- Greetings and name of the hiring manager, if available
- Important achievements you had in your previous positions
- Explanation of why you are a good candidate and what you can do for the company
- Explanation of why you want that specific job with that specific company
- Where you found this job offer and why it seemed interesting to you
- Closing statements and thanking the recruiter
Format and General Tips
Of course, there is no one single format that works for everyone.
“This is a personal choice you should make and it will depend on the job you want to get as well as the specifics of the job and your experience with it,” says Emily Flenderson, cover letter writer at State Of Writing.
Creating a well-formatted cover letter can, however, help you stand out and show that you have the attention for details. Here’s some advice:
- Choose one simple, professional font (Arial, Courier New, and Calibri are solid choices)
- Make sure your text flows in a way that makes sense
- Support your statements with hard numbers whenever possible
- Be concise and clear in your statements
- Avoid unnecessary details (get rid of anything that creates confusion and adds no real value)
- Choose an appropriate ‘closing’ for your signature (‘Sincerely,’ ‘Best regards,’ ‘Respectfully,’ and ‘Thank you’ are always safe)
- Proofread and check for grammar and spelling
- Keep to a maximum of one page
Tools That Can Help You
Writing a cover letter can be a bit difficult so having some help can be useful. Checking the spelling, grammar and other elements can be a nightmare and you can miss some mistakes as well. So, if you want to avoid this, you can use these tools to help you avoid these mistakes.
- Resumention is a cover letter service that can help you create your complete cover letter based on the information you provide. This is the easiest way to go as you can get full support with no work on your part.
- Academized & OXessays are editing tools recommended by HuffingtonPost in Write My Paper that can help you remove all excess fluff.
- Writing Populist & Research Papers are helpful grammar guides that will allow you to fix all of your grammar issues simply and effectively while no mistakes will sneak unnoticed.
- Essayroo & Australianhelp are online writing communities suggested by Revieweal that can help you with various elements of your cover letter, especially on the specific details you should include.
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