14 Tips To Write A Perfect Civil Engineer Resume + Template

Civil Engineer Resume

There are a few secrets to writing a good resume.

As a civil engineer, you need to nail a few things in your resume to be eye-catching. It also needs to be easy to read.

Did you know that recruiters and hiring managers spend approximately 8 seconds reviewing your resume? If it is not skim-proof and has something of value. Then it will be tossed away.

Luckily you are in the right place.

I have applied for many civil engineering jobs before. And I have also been on the hiring end. So I know exactly what dictates a good resume for a civil engineer.

The following are 14 tips from a civil engineer to follow to write a successful resume:

14 Tips To Write A Perfect Civil Engineer Resume – Tips By A Civil Engineer

Before we can go into detail. First thing first, you need a template.

Yes, you want some inspiration before you make your resume.

So here is a free temple you can download:

Civil Engineer Resume

1- Page Lenght should be 2 pages max

Before writing a resume.

You need to ask yourself: How long should it be?

Answer: Keep the resume at a two-page max—no need for a long resume with many pages that will just bore the reader.

Unless you are applying for a very complicated and senior engineering position, a 2-page resume is all you need.

It usually takes recruiters 5-10 seconds to skim through a resume.

If the resume is not formatted and optimised well, the recruiters will drop your resume and move to the next one. Therefore, you need to optimise the resume to only include the necessary and eye-catching things.

2- Resume Design

The internet is full of misconceptions about the perfect engineering resume.

They give the worst advice with some tips that may work for other professions but not specifically for the job you want to apply for.

You need to understand the minds of the people who will read your resume.

And I can tell you now that they do not get impressed easily.

In fact, some practices, such as absurd resume design with weird colours and fonts, are usually considered unprofessional.

Yes, unprofessional.

You do not need to go crazy with the resume design.

You do not have to use colour or wild templates full of overboard designs confusing the reader. For example, below is a template you can use on Canva. However, most employers will be looking for something simpler than that.

Employers want detailed and short bullet points, not long, endless paragraphs. These types of resumes are usually thrown away for good reasons – too long to read. Recruiters are lazy people. They like short meaningful sentences that cut straight to the point.

Below is another template you should avoid, as it is full of weird colours, designs and fonts that engineering firms usually do not take seriously.

It is much safer to go with a typical, plain back and white resume that is well-optimised. It usually works better than a resume with weird colours and an overkill design. Why? Black and white formatted resume without any design look more professional, approachable and easy on the eyes.

3- Formatting

Without boring you, this is the most optimal formatting settings:

  • The resume title (Your Name) font size: Should have the largest font size; usually, a size 20 is good.
  • Heading font size: Heading size should be about 14 to 16.
  • Contents font size: Consider sizes 10 to 12.
  • Font style: Consider Time New Roman, Arial or Calibri. Do not go too crazy with the font style; pick something common.

3- Should you attach your transcript?

This tip is good if you are a graduate civil engineer.

You should consider attaching your transcript and any recognised awards you had during your study because it shows that you have done the required engineering course.

Also, you can attach any awards you have won during your study which can support your application.

Maybe you now think you do not want to include your transcript because you think you have bad results.

As a general rule, if you have some bad but overall average results, you should still include them if you apply for a graduate civil engineering position.

But if most of your results are very bad, maybe you should not include them. But most graduate positions will ask about your transcript sometime during the hiring process. If that happens, do not freak out. I encourage you to read: When Marks In Engineering Degree Matter And When It Doesn’t.

Where to attach the transcript to your resume?

If you are applying for a graduate position, you should always attach the resume at the end after the reference section. However, if you are not applying for a graduate position, you can either put the transcript at the end of the resume or attach it to your e-portfolio if you have one.

Moreover, even if you have not completed your course, you can still attach the unofficial transcript issued by your university that shows what you have completed so far.

4- Should you have a photo of yourself?

You do not realy have to put a photo of yourself at the beginning of the resume.

Your LinkedIn profile should have a formal photo of you. You should attach your LinkedIn account under your name at the top of your resume.

BTW if you do not have LinkedIn, you need to create an account right now. Employers will most likely search for you on LinkedIn, so make a profile, put a photo and connect with people you know. It is simpler than you think.

5- What Goes Into Personal Details Section?

In this section, you give some information about yourself to make it easy for recruiters and employers to find you.

This section is very short, and it can be something like this:

First Name + Last Name

Email: Emailname@Gmail.com

Mobile: 000 000 000

LinkedIn: LinkedIn Link

The above is the minimum information you must provide.

You do not have to provide your address as it is kinda personal and not necessary at this stage.

You must include a link to your LinkedIn. DO NOT INCLUDE OTHER SOCIAL ACCOUNTS, SUCH AS FACEBOOK. LinkedIn is the civil engineering industry’s standard social account.

6- How To Write Your Career Objective

Civil Engineer Resume

In this section which follows your details, you give a short summary of your current position (Highest education), what you are good at and what you are looking for.

How to write a career objective:

  • Start with your engineering background, such as structural engineer, geotechnical engineer or project manager.
  • Followed by your years of experience. If you are new to the industry, just, say, graduate civil engineer.
  • Followed by your achievements.
  • The reason you want to join this company. (If you want to include it)
  • It should only be 2-3 sentences.
  • You do not have to go into detail. Keep it simple

The career objective should look something like this:

Example 1

Career Objective

Civil Engineering graduate from the University of Toronto, possess extensive knowledge in structural Design. I interned at CompanyX, where I learned how to analyse structures using STAAD and SpaceGass. Looking for a graduate position in (Name of the company you are applying for) where I can grow my skills to become a structural engineer.

Example 2

Career Objective

Experienced Project Engineer with 4 years of experience in bridge construction and delivery. I was the lead project engineer in the Oscar Bridge construction in 2020 and a site engineer in the construction of the Thomas Bridge in 2017. My areas of specialty are Cable-stayed bridges and continuous RC beam bridges.

7- Must Include Education History

This is a must-have on your resume.

It highlights what you have accomplished academically.

You should include your academic score if it is very good.

This section should look like this:


B.E. (Hons.) in Civil Engineering (Jan 2019 – November 2022)

Stanford University

  • University GPA 5.8

8- Your Technical Skills Are Very Important

In this section, you highlight your skills and everything the hiring company is looking for.

The skills include:

  • The engineering software you use.
  • Programming languages if you have any.
  • Licenses and certifications.

This section should look like this:

Technical Skills

  • Software: AutoCAD 2D, Autodesk Revit, Benchmark Estimating, Bluebeam Revu, EstimateOne, BIM 360, ArcGIS, PLAXIS 2D, PFC 2D and 3D, FLAC3D, SolidWorks, Ansys, HEC-RAS, HEC-HMS, MS Office (Word, Excel, Power-Point, Project, Publisher).
  • Licenses and Certificates: First Aid, CPR, Driver’s License (Car-P2), and White Card.

This section does not have to be long. It just lists all the technical skills you have and are very confident in using.

Even if you have intermediate experience at something, you should include it because you already have exposure to it.

Depending on the civil engineering position you are applying for, you should include some design software relevant to the job you are applying for.

In general, there are 25 leading design programs in the civil engineering world; you can check them here: Top 25 Civil Engineering Software – Full Guide.

9- Your Employment Summary & Experience

Civil Engineer Resume

This is the most important section in your resume that shows your work experience.

You start with the most recent role to the oldest role you have.

This is your chance to show how competent you are and why you are the best fit for the job.


To tailor your resume for the job you are applying for, you need to read through the job ad and find out the skills the employer is looking for. The job ad might say something like looking for someone with a can-do attitude or who is able to use Microsoft excel. Your job is to take those skills the employer is looking for and turn them into actionable sentences.

This is what you need to do to showcase your experience:

Step 1:

Check The Top 15 Civil Engineer Skills For Successful Resume to understand what most employers are looking for.

Step 2:

To tailor your resume for the job you are applying for, you need to read through the job ad and find out the skills the employer is looking for. The job ad might say something like looking for someone with a can-do attitude or who can use Microsoft excel. Your job is to take those skills the employer is looking for and turn them into actionable sentences.

Step 3:

The actionable sentences should start with an action word (Past tense); the following are examples of a few action words you can use:

  • Identified
  • Achieved
  • Supervised
  • Prepared
  • Ensured
  • Complied
  • Finalised
  • Assessed
  • Trained
  • Maintained
  • Programmed
  • Solved
  • Supplied

Step 4:

Use only bullet points.

Those bullet points contain the action you did and what were the results of doing this action.

Each job position should contain a minimum of 4 bullet points.

This section should look like this:

Employment Summary

Position – Junior Civil Engineer


Jul 2018 – Nov 2022

  • Supervised 10 subcontractors for ProjectX to complete the project on time; the total project value was $1.2 Million.
  • Increased team productivity to 100% by making new company procedures to help new employees quickly adapt to new positions.
  • Ensured all company projects had a minimum of 30% profit by preparing project budget and program.
  • Utilised AutoCAD to produce structural design drawings and maintained high company standards according to design code 4321.

This is how this section should be: It shows exactly what you did and what was the outcome or the tool you used to achieve it. Start with the action words always.

10- Use keywords In Your Application

Imagine that your dream job is being advertised right now.

The company you always dreamed of working in is finally advertising for the position you believe suits you very well.

In my experience, a dream job is always a well-known company. That does it all, from structural design to construction. It might even be a public company with 1000+ employees.

If that is your dream job, your chances are 0.001% of getting a job interview.

Those companies will ideally receive 10,000 applicants; no recruiter will go through that many job applications. Many of those companies have utilised the power of AI to rank those resumes using keywords. Those 10,000+ applications get filtered to the top 100 resumes based on several metrics, but the main two are job ad keywords and formatting.

If you have never considered putting the keywords in the job ad to your resume, there is a high chance your resume has never passed that screening process.

How to use keywords in your resume? 

  • Read the job ad.
  • Find the keywords: all the skills and attributes the employer is looking for.
  • Incorporate them in your resume, but make sure you use the same keyword in the job ad without changing the work or using synonyms.

If your skills suit the positions, this will help your resume rank well either by software or by a human.

However, do not overuse keywords; most programs are programmed to look for consistency in writing. Even if your resume passes the filtering software, it will never pass the recruiter screening.

For more help, read the biggest 4 mistakes when applying for an engineering job: 4 Reasons Why It Is So Hard To Get An Engineering Job?

11- Projects You Have Worked On

This is a bonus section you can include to showcase important projects you worked on.


In this section, you will list some important projects you did at your previous job, internship or even in your university that are relevant to the job you are applying for. This section lists the name of the projects you did, followed by 2-3 sentences about the project scope and the outcome. Essentially you are trying to show how this project made you better at something and how it benefits the job you are applying for.

This section should look like this:

Example 3

Geotechnical Analysis Project Jul 2021

Undertaken geotechnical analysis on new development by assessing soil consistency from SPT test, Design of retaining walls, strip footing, and soil settlement.

12- References Are Always Available on Request

Unless the job ad demands 2 references, you are not obligated to give any information about previous employers.

References are usually requested at the final stages and after the interview.

However, it would be best if you had a reference section in your resume that states “available on request” to hint that you have references available.

How many references should you have?

You should have at least 2 references of past work experiences.

These are people you worked with before or people who know you on a professional level.

Essentially your references are people who know how competent you are and can put a good word for you. Do not ask people to be your reference if you think they will not say good things about you.

Your references should be people with management positions in the company.

Usually, employers will only ask you for two references, so you most likely do not have to provide all of them, just your best two.

13- Take advantage of LinkedIn & your engineering network

If you are not taking advantage of LinkedIn and your network of engineers, you are missing out on an important aspect of building a credible application which is your online presence.

Any recruiter who has taken an interest in your resume will most likely look you up on LinkedIn. They want to see what type of posts you share and what skills you have.

You can also use LinkedIn to your advantage by applying for jobs through LinkedIn and networking with people to find unadvertised engineering jobs.

How to grow your online presence on LinkedIn

If you are a civil engineer, you should know that LinkedIn has grown into a professional platform where civil engineers network with each other and share thoughts and accomplishments.

This is what you need to do:

  • Upload a Professional profile photo of you: Use a headshot that makes you look professional and credible.
  • Grow your connections: Start with the people you know in your industry.
  • Fill the about me section: Talk about your skills and goals and what makes you the best in your career.
  • Add your experience: Add all the experience and previous engineering positions you had before.
  • Add your education: Mention where you studied and what did you study.

14- What About Your Cover Letter?

Now that you have learned how to make a good resume let’s make the cover letter.

But why do we need a cover letter?

Because it is something, everyone does?

Or is it your chance to express your interest in the company and show your skills?

It is obviously the latter.

In fact, you should consider rewriting your cover letter or making some changes every time you apply for a job. Do not use the same cover letter for every job; it is a bad practice.

How to write a cover letter?

1- Lenght and Formatting

Your cover letter should not be long and should be kept to one page only.

There is no right or wrong way of how much you should fill out this page. If your cover letter is half a page, it should be enough.

As for formatting, you should stick to known font styles such as Arial or Times New Roman. Use font size 10, except for your name at the top of the page should be size 20 or 18. Finally, I would avoid using colour as the cover letter should look like a typical letter you get in the mail, easy to read.

2- What should you include in your cover letter?

This is what your cover letter should look like. Something very simple that can be read and not too long. It only has the information you want the employer to read.

Your cover letter contains three main paragraphs:

1- The Introduction: you introduce yourself, what you studied, and give a brief overview of your experience and how you believe that you are the perfect candidate for this role (which is the last sentence)

2- The Body: explains why you think you are the best candidate for this position. In the above example, the job ad was about project management, so the body shows how the candidate has strong project management skills by showing the number of jobs and the value of the jobs worked on.

3- The Conclusion: The conclusion emphasises again your main point of how you believe that you are the best pick for this position. Finally, you tell the employer that you are okay to be contracted for any question and that you are looking forward to chat, which shows assertiveness.

Joseph Maloyan

Hi, this is Joseph, and I love writing about engineering and technology. Here I share my knowledge and experience on what it means to be an engineer. My goal is to make engineering relatable, understandable and fun!

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