Engineering CV: Examples & How to Write (+Template)

A hallmark of a good engineer is the way they find their bearings when dropped into the deep end. That’s because so much of what you do as an engineer comes down to know-how rather than just knowledge. You mightn’t always have all the answers, but you usually know how to find them.

 

Writing an effective engineering CV is like many engineering problems: there’s more than one right way to do it. There are more and less effective solutions and solutions that are more or less efficient. This article will help you approach the asymptote that defines maximum effectiveness while optimising for minimal effort.

 

In this guide you will find an engineering CV template and plenty of engineering CV examples (UK-specific) for reference. You will also get step-by-step instructions on how to write the best engineering CV possible.

 

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Engineering CV template 

 

Aidan Hyde

077 2222 2222

aidan.hyde@lcmail.co.uk

linkedin.com/in/aidanhyde

 

Rigorous and creative mechanical engineer with 5+ years of experience working in refrigeration and power distribution with a specialisation in heat transfer. Leveraged specialist knowledge of heat and control systems and thermostatistical fundamentals to bring a total of £250,000+ in savings and additional revenue to GTC Elsthom over 3 years. Eager to utilize my skills as a project engineer working for KGP Global.

 

Work experience

 

Mechanical Engineer

GTC Elsthom, London

July 2017—present

  • Created a semi-automated workflow for re-speccing power transformers to clients’ needs, saving up to 20 work hours a month.
  • Identified the root cause of a catastrophic extraction pump failure, preventing future such failures from taking place, where each one could cause £60,000+ worth of damages.
  • Designed new crane harnesses, boosting maximum load ratings by 10-15% (depending on the crane) without affecting factors of safety.
  • Revamped kerosene-based cooling system to provide 3-5% more heat transfer at only 85% of the previous power draw.

 

Industrial Engineer

Carnot-Cool LLC, London

November 2015—June 2017

  • Oversaw the safe retrofit of R-34-containing cooling systems with new, BS ISO 17584-compliant refrigerants.
  • Designed a full reverse-cycle climate-control system for factory installation that will save the owner up to £20,000 p.a.
  • Actively participated in in-house start-up programme bringing 2 projects to fruition that are projected to net the company a combined £130,000.

 

Education

 

BEng (Hons) Mechanical Engineering (2:1), 2011–2015

The University of East London, London

 

Skills

 

  • Problem-solving: demonstrated ability to solve novel conceptual, numerical and computational problems.
  • Technical drawing: able to produce quick mock-ups and virtual prototypes using a range of CAD packages.
  • Budgeting: accustomed to having considerable autonomy when it comes to budgetary constraints, kept 95% of project phases a minimum of 10% under budget.
  • Teamwork: frequently work in teams of 3–12 people.
  • Project management: proven track record of on-time delivery when in charge of a project or stage.

 

Specialist software

 

  • MATLAB
  • Python
  • Mathematica
  • Mathcad
  • OpenFOAM
  • SolidWorks
  • Autodesk

 

Professional memberships

 

  • IMechE
  • IOP

 

Now you know what a perfect CV looks like. Here’s how to write your own engineering CV.

 

1. Start your engineering CV with a robust personal statement

 

There are as many different kinds of engineers as there are ways to fail to solve a third-order PDE. ‘Kind’ refers to your specialisation and experience but also your temperament and passions. It’s not easy to get all that across.

 

This is, though, exactly what your engineering CV personal statement is there to do. It:

  • Introduces you as an engineer, an employee, and even as a colleague
  • Shows what you have to offer the company by quantifying past achievements
  • Makes it clear that your goals mesh with the company’s goals.

 

Your CV personal statement should be 3–4 sentences long, about 50–150 words. That’s not very long at all, and this is a good thing because you’ll be writing a new one for every new job application. To make that process easier you can use the following questions to generate content.

  • What are your specialisations, how experienced are you, what are your main character traits (that are relevant to the job)?
  • What industries or fields have you been working in?
  • What’s your most impressive and/or relevant on-the-job achievement?
  • (Optional) What’s your most unique achievement?
  • What are you hoping to be able to achieve for your employer in this job?

 

It’s probably not news (or at least not a surprise) to you that the job-application sorting process has been automated to various degrees. Many companies now routinely use some form of Applicant Tracking System (ATS) to triage and filter job applications before a recruiter even lays eyes on them.

 

Make sure your engineering CV makes the cut by:

  • Mentioning the name of the company to which you’re applying
  • Mentioning the position for which you’re applying by name
  • Mirroring the keywords used in the advert in your personal statement.

 

It’s going to be better and easier if you leave writing your personal statement until last. You’ll be able to do a much better job once you’ve prepared your job descriptions for the work experience section at least (and that's why it's often called a CV summary). So you can safely leave it at the back of your mind for now and come back to it later.

 

Engineering CV personal statement example

 

Rigorous and creative mechanical engineer with 5+ years of experience working in refrigeration and power distribution with a specialisation in heat transfer. Leveraged specialist knowledge of heat and control systems and thermostatistical fundamentals to bring a total of £250,000+ in savings and additional revenue to GTC Elsthom over 3 years. Eager to utilize my skills as a project engineer working for KGP Global.

 

A strong CV summary will convince the recruiter you’re the perfect candidate. Save time and choose a ready-made personal statement written by career experts and adjust it to your needs in the LiveCareer CV builder.

 

Create your CV nowcv builder

 

2. Set your engineering CV up for success with the right job descriptions

 

Before going any further, you’ll need to decide on which CV format you want to use. The odds are overwhelming that the best engineering CV format for you is going to be the chronological format. This means that you’ll order your job descriptions in reverse-chronological order.

 

There are other options such as a skills-based (or functional) CV format or a hybrid (or combination) CV format, but they only apply if you’re changing careers or transitioning to civilian employment after a stint in the military. A chronological format is what recruiters expect and ATSs can parse most easily.

 

Prepare an outline for your work experience section by using the following template to make a subheading for each previous position. Again, start from your most recent position and work your way back from there.

 

[Job Title]

[Company Name, Location]

[Dates of Employment]

 

Populate each job description with up to six bullet points. These bullet points should not be descriptions of your duties and responsibilities. Instead, they should be accounts of your on-the-job achievements. An achievement is a description of the benefits you’ve brought to an employer through your actions.

 

Achievements are above all else measurable. Use something like a PAR (Problem Action Result) formula to structure your achievements and quantify everything you can—the benefits you brought to your employer first and foremost. You may have to estimate some of these figures, that’s absolutely fine.

 

If you’ve just graduated and you’re writing an engineering CV with no experience, then focus on any summer jobs, placement, and volunteer work you’ve done.

 

Engineering CV sample job descriptions

 

Mechanical Engineer

GTC Elsthom, London

July 2017—present

  • Created a semi-automated workflow for re-speccing power transformers to clients’ needs, saving up to 20 work hours a month.
  • Identified the root cause of a catastrophic extraction pump failure, preventing future such failures from taking place, where each one could cause £60,000+ worth of damages.
  • Designed new crane harnesses, boosting maximum load ratings by 10-15% (depending on the crane) without affecting factors of safety.
  • Revamped kerosene-based cooling system to provide 3-5% more heat transfer at only 85% of the previous power draw.

 

Industrial Engineer

Carnot-Cool LLC, London

November 2015—June 2017

  • Oversaw the safe retrofit of R-34-containing cooling systems with new, BS ISO 17584-compliant refrigerants.
  • Designed a full reverse-cycle climate-control system for factory installation that will save the owner up to £20,000 p.a.
  • Actively participated in in-house start-up programme bringing 2 projects to fruition that are projected to net the company a combined £130,000.

 

3. Don’t over-design your education section

 

Realistically speaking, there aren’t many ways into a career in engineering that don’t involve a relevant degree. Some form of tertiary award in engineering will be something that recruiters will expect to see on your engineering CV. So keep your education section easy to find, clear, and concise.

 

Use this structure for both university degrees and other tertiary qualifications:

 

[Degree Type] [Degree Name](Degree Class), [Years Attended]

[Institution Name], [Institution Location]

 

Include an expected graduation date if you’re still studying. If you lack work experience, then add academic achievements and areas of excellence here and put this CV section above your work experience section. There’s no need to mention your high school education unless you’re writing a student CV

 

Engineering CV example education section

 

BEng (Hons) Mechanical Engineering (2:1), 2011–2015

The University of East London, London

 

You don’t have to be a CV writing expert. In the LiveCareer CV builder you’ll find ready-made content for every industry and position, which you can then add with a single click.

 

Create your CV nowcv builder

 

4. Showcase your skills in your engineering CV

 

Your work experience and work achievements will certainly hint at many of your engineering skills. You’ll still need to explicitly list your key skills, though. ‘Key skills’ are defined here with respect to what the given company has set out as its requirements and what it might find attractive besides.

 

Like with many engineering problems, the most efficient route to getting a suitable list of skills involves a bit of a detour and some thinking ahead. Start by making a general master list of engineering skills. Open a new document and begin listing as many of your skills as you possibly can (hard and communication skills).

 

Now for some destructive testing. Work through your skills list adding a sentence onto each one that describes how you’ve demonstrated that skill in your work. Any skills for which you can’t do this get eliminated from the list. What you’re left with is your skills master list, keep it for future applications.

 

Go back to the job advert and double check what skills are required there. Copy 5–10 skills from your master list being sure to at least cover what’s required in the advert. Once again, try to mirror the keywords used in the advert by substituting synonyms and/or rephrasing as necessary.

 

Engineering CV skills

 

  • Problem-solving: demonstrated ability to solve novel conceptual, numerical and computational problems.
  • Technical drawing: able to produce quick mock-ups and virtual prototypes using a range of CAD packages.
  • Budgeting: accustomed to having considerable autonomy when it comes to budgetary constraints, kept 95% of project phases a minimum of 10% under budget.
  • Teamwork: frequently work in teams of 3–12 people.
  • Project management: proven track record of on-time delivery when in charge of a project or stage.

 

5. Buttress your engineering CV with additional sections

 

Your education and work experiences can only ever go so far in painting a full picture of you as an engineer. Your life beyond these two spheres so often has a positive impact on your ability to conceptualise, troubleshoot, and design things. Fill in those missing elements by including extra sections in your CV.

 

You could include sections that elaborate on what specialist software you’re adept at using, or what other awards or accolades you’ve picked up along the way. You could list your professional memberships or any publications to which you can lay claim. Even hobbies can be unbelievably useful on a CV.

 

The golden rule is that whatever you add must be relevant to the job at hand. Otherwise, it’s at best clutter and a waste of precious space (and that's why it's recommended not to add references to a CV). Some things are always worth mentioning, though, like the ability to speak a foreign language. This is associated with many benefits and could really set you apart.

 

Engineering CV sample extra sections

 

Specialist software

 

  • MATLAB
  • Python
  • Mathamatica
  • Mathcad
  • OpenFOAM
  • SolidWorks
  • Autodesk

 

Professional memberships

 

  • IMechE
  • IOP

 

6. Pair your CV with an engineering cover letter for maximum effect

 

There are things in this world that are inextricably linked, like orthogonal E and B waves or senior engineers and moustaches. It’s the same with your engineering CV and cover letter. The two form a single job application. Submitting only a CV is leaving the job half done, unless asked to do so, of course.

 

If a cover letter is explicitly required or not mentioned at all, then you have to include one to stand a chance. A good engineering cover letter will comprise:

  • A header that’s set out in line with the right conventions
  • A salutation that’s friendly while being appropriately formal
  • An opening paragraph that makes recruiters sit up and take notice
  • A showcase of your engineering achievements, compellingly quantified
  • A neat wrap-up that doesn’t leave any loose ends and a bold CTA
  • A sign-off that’s on spec with the salutation you’ve chosen.

 

7. Final checks before sending off your engineering CV

 

We all know how important a general sense of neatness or clear setting out are when it comes to engineering calculations, presentations, and reports. Attention to detail ranks highly as well. Put all this on display in your engineering CV by keeping the following CV layout rules in mind before hitting ‘send’ on your CV.

 

Engineering CV format

 

 

Spelling and grammar

 

Both your engineering CV and cover letter have to be absolutely word-perfect. Engineers aren’t renowned for their written communication skills (fairly or not). It’s not your writing skills that are going to be judged by your spelling and grammar mistakes, though, but your attention to detail and conscientiousness.

 

Read over your work and then read over it again. Use a spellchecker or app to handle the spelling mistakes and the most egregious grammatical errors. Most importantly of all, get someone else to read over your work. They’re virtually guaranteed to find things you missed, that’s just how it goes.

 

And some advice for after you hit ‘send’

 

Follow up with a quick call or email if you haven’t heard back after a week or two. It’s a simple little thing that could make a big difference. If nothing else, you might find out how your application is going.

 

And... that's it! Now you know what a good CV should look like. Good luck!

 

A cover letter alone simply won’t be enough—you need an impactful CV, too. Create your CV in minutes. Just follow our wizard and fill in every CV section with ready-made content. Get started by choosing a professional CV template.

 

cv builder

 

The LiveCareer online CV maker lets you build a professional CV fast and download it as a PDF or DOC.

 

Create your CV now



That’s all there is to it! I hope this article has answered any questions you might have had about getting your engineering CV together and making it as effective as possible. Let us know in the comments section below if there’s anything you’d like more information on. And tell us: did you get the job?

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LiveCareer Editorial Team
LiveCareer Editorial Team

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Since 2005, the LiveCareer Team has been helping job seekers advance their careers. In our in-depth guides, we share insider tips and the most effective CV and cover letter writing techniques so that you can beat recruiters in the hiring game and land your next job fast. Also, make sure to check out our state-of-the-art CV and cover letter builder—professional, intuitive, and fully in line with modern HR standards. Trusted by 10 million users worldwide.

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