Resume Template: Civil Engineer

by | Resume Templates, Resume Templates: Engineering

So you need a civil engineer resume to take your career to the next level.

What inspired you to be a Civil Engineer?

Was it crossing over an impressive bridge, driving down a city street, or a love of architecture?

Perhaps you were fascinated by the way buildings and structures are aligned and laid out.

Whatever the reason, there is no doubt that civil engineers are responsible for the structures people use every day.

Your career has the potential to be a very rewarding one, with room for expansion and lots of variation.

But first you have to land a job at an engineering firm.

So how do you go about it?

Well, you’ll need an impressive civil engineer resume that demonstrates your value and expertise.

We’re here to help you create that resume!

We’ll outline everything you need to know about good resume writing, including:

Summary

  1. Resume Template
  2. Formatting
  3. Writing Your Resume Summary
  4. Areas of Expertise
  5. Writing Your Work Experience
  6. Writing Your Education Section
  7. Additional Sections
  8. Resume Points to Remember
  9. Resume “Don’ts” to Remember
  10. Some Helpful Tools

Let’s begin with a sample civil engineer resume to demonstrate how all the resume pieces fit together. Then we will break each section down to really drill into how to write the best civil engineer resume you possibly can.

Find Resume Advice in Your Industry

Browse our categories of resume samples to get industry-specific advice on writing your next resume.

Civil Engineer Resume (Text Version)

Contact Info:

Cora Cooley
CCooley@email.com
1 (215) 555-5500
Philadelphia, PA 19019

Summary Statement:

Civil Engineer: Energetic, self-motivated civil engineer with extensive city planning experience, including bridge and roadway repair & reconstruction, land development projects, intelligent traffic systems, and construction inspection and documentation. Proven ability to completely research and survey locations in order to draft detailed engineering plans and fully communicate the needs of the location to all involved.

Key Accomplishments/Areas of Expertise

  • EIT
  • AutoCAD
  • MicroStation
  • ArcGIS
  • Civil 3D
  • Collaboration
  • Technical Details
  • Observation
  • Critical Thinking
  • Teamwork

Professional Experience:

Churchill Consulting Engineers, Berlin, NJ
Environmental/Civil Engineer | March 2016–Present

  • Prepare technical reports, including stormwater management and environmental impact
  • Develop engineering plans and details
  • Procure environmental permits for design projects
  • Research applicable local, state, and county regulations

Poulson & Associates LLC, Philadelphia, PA
Project Civil Engineer | October 2014–February 2016

  • Engineered ROW improvement projects and ADA compliant corner ramps
  • Surveyed sites, drafted durites, submission package preparation, and responded to RFIs
  • Evaluated utility plans for sewer, fire service, and potable water line installation
  • Worked with geotechnical engineers for preparation of site plans associated with foundation, retaining wall, and shoring design projects

City of Burlington, Mount Laurel, NJ
Civil Engineer Trainee | June 2011–September 2014

  • Designed plans, proposals, estimates, and engineering computations
  • Performed site visits and inspections for various types of projects
  • Met and corresponded with architects, contractors, and municipal entities
  • Assisted project engineers with preparation of green roof plans and submittals

Education/Certifications

Bachelor’s Degree | Civil Engineering

Rutgers University | New Brunswick, NJ
Class of 2011

Formatting

Just as you will lay out streets and buildings as a civil engineer, you must start with laying out your civil engineer resume.

But as with any structural project, you’ll need to follow guidelines and set goals.

One goal of resume writing today is to make your resume scannable.

Due to the high volume of applications, more and more companies are using scanning bots to ascertain the relevance of each resume submitted. They’ll scan for certain keywords and monitor for correct language.

Your next goal is to make your resume highly readable.

Studies show that your average hiring manager will spend a brief six seconds looking over your resume.

So you want those seconds to be as productive as possible!

To this end, we suggest laying out your civil engineer resume in reverse chronological order.

Your most recent job position will come first.

Before you begin writing, pay attention to font selection. You want a nice clean font with a professional look. Nothing fancy.

Make good use of white space, so that the eye of the reader will be drawn to the right sections of the page.

You want your resume looking organized, so alignment of your text is important to keep in mind as you go along.

Writing Your Resume Summary

So what do you write first?

Your summary comes first, right at the top of the page.

In 2–3 sentences, sum up your best skills and qualities. Your summary should be a brief, impactful statement of your value as a potential employee.

Although your summary will be a few sentences in length, don’t make it too general. The trick is to encapsulate your most impressive aspects in a limited space.

Power words will help you in this regard. They convey competence and action. We’ll talk about power words more as we progress through this article.

Creating an effective summary is the first step in producing a great resume.

PRO TIP: What type of civil engineer are you? Answering this question is a good way to begin your summary. Are you experienced, competent, or highly skilled? Think about qualifiers like these when you’re beginning your summary.

Now let’s have a look at some examples:

Yes!

Energetic, self-motivated civil engineer with extensive city planning experience, including bridge and roadway repair & reconstruction, land development projects, intelligent traffic systems, and construction inspection and documentation. Proven ability to completely research and survey locations in order to draft detailed engineering plans and fully communicate the needs of the location to all involved.

No!

Civil engineer with city planning experience, including bridge and roadway repair. Can research and survey. Good at communication. Looking for an opportunity to innovate and develop concepts.

So what makes the first example work? And what makes the second example not work?

The first is a curated collection of the candidate’s defining skills, complete with plenty of detail and qualifying language.

We understand why this candidate is a great engineer.

The second example, while passable in some ways, is weak overall. The details are too general with little definition.

The applicant has also added an objective to the end of the summary. This is not correct in the competitive job market of today.

Remember, your summary needs to pack a punch and leave a big impression. It is what will propel the reader into the next section.

Areas of Expertise/Key Accomplishments

A section highlighting your Key Accomplishments, or Areas of Expertise, can provide an important emphasis to your opening summary.

You want to pinpoint your best skills and attributes in a bulleted list format.

Example:

  • EIT
  • AutoCAD
  • MicroStation
  • ArcGIS
  • Civil 3D
  • Collaboration
  • Technical Details
  • Observation
  • Critical Thinking
  • Teamwork

Your list should be a breakdown of your hard and soft skills.

What’s the difference?

Hard skills are related to your field of expertise, your technical knowledge of the tools and skills needed for your specific industry.

Soft skills are personal attributes, defining characteristics that you bring to the job every day.

  • Critical Thinking
  • Problem Solving
  • Leadership

The above attributes are considered soft skills.

Make sure your list strikes a balance between both skill types. This will give the reader an overall summary of both your personal and professional achievements.

PRO TIP: Your skills are what set you apart. So your Areas of Expertise should really get to the bare essentials of what you’re best at. Think of things you have been praised for on the job, or ways you have stood out from your peers in the past.

(See below for a helpful table of some suggested hard and soft skill ideas to inspire you in writing your skills section.)

Writing Your Work Experience

So you’ve talked about your skills.

Now it’s time to show how you’ve been using those skills over time.

Typically, this section will take up the most space on your resume.

Let’s begin with layout.

Using a reverse chronological layout, start writing out the relevant positions you’ve held, starting with your most recent job.

If the hiring manager likes how you’ve been implementing your skills lately, your chances of landing the job will increase.

They want to see that you’ve been going places.

Keep in mind that you don’t want to write down every job you’ve ever held down.

Keep this section as relevant as possible to the position you’re seeking.

As you layout your work history, be sure to include:

Details to include:

  • The company name
  • Where the company is located
  • What job you performed there

If you can, include dates of employment as well. If you leave them off because of work history gaps or short work tenures, be prepared with reasons when it comes time to interview.

You will be asked about gaps and dates in an interview situation.

Next, list the day-to-day functions in your positions with 3–5 bullet points.

We’ve mentioned power words.

Using them in your work experience section is important.

Power words emanate action and confidence, two attributes you’ll want to convey to the reader.

Example time!

Yes!

Churchill Consulting Engineers | Berlin, NJ | Environmental/Civil Engineer | March 2016–Present

• Prepare technical reports, including stormwater management and environmental impact
• Develop engineering plans and details
• Procure environmental permits for design projects
• Research applicable local, state, and county regulations

No!

Churchill Engineers | Environmental/Civil Engineer
• Wrote reports
• Made engineering plans
• Do research

What impression does the first example leave the reader with?

Competency, right?

The four bullet points provide just enough detail with supporting power words like “prepare” and “develop.”

The second example is lacking.

It keeps information for the position at a bare minimum, which is not what you want.

You have nothing to hide, so include supporting details!

PRO TIP: When writing your day-to-day roles in a job, make sure to focus on relevant tasks. Also emphasize the areas you excelled in. Perhaps there is something you did rarely — but also did very well. Include it!

More About Bots

Ever heard of an Applicant Tracking System (ATS)? Some employers use them to scan resumes.

Satisfying an ATS can be tricky, so some candidates opt for an alternative formatting in their work experience section.

So instead of looking like this:

Churchill Consulting Engineers | Berlin, NJ | Environmental/Civil Engineer | March 2016–Present

  • Prepare technical reports, including stormwater management and environmental impact
  • Develop engineering plans and details
  • Procure environmental permits for design projects
  • Research applicable local, state, and county regulations

Paragraph format would look like this:

Prepare technical reports, including details and analysis of stormwater management and environmental impact. Develop engineering plans and details for future implementation. Research and apply local, state, and county regulations.

You could also use a combined formatting, with bullet points to highlight exceptional skills and achievements.

Prepare technical reports, including details and analysis of stormwater management and environmental impact. Develop engineering plans and details for future implementation. Research and apply local, state, and county regulations.

  • Procured environmental permits for design projects
  • Received special award for innovative designs

A paragraph allows you to fit more keywords into your descriptions, which an ATS will appreciate.

However, a paragraph is more difficult for a busy hiring manager to read through.

So, unless you are particularly concerned about dealing with an ATS, we advise you stick with bullet points only.

The Education Section

How did your education prepare you for your career?

Did you receive a specialized degree or certification?

Your education credentials need their own section. So start by listing the highest level of education you’ve received.

Example: Highschool Diploma, Bachelor’s Degree, Master’s Degree, etc.

Put down the name of the school/institution you attended and your area(s) of study.

Include minor degrees and certifications as well.

If you’re a new grad, consider adding your GPA.

If you’ve kept your grades up, this will be an attractive value point for a hiring manager.

Example:

Bachelor’s Degree | Civil Engineering
Rutgers University | New Brunswick, NJ
GPA: 3.6
Class of 2011

You can also add information about industry workshops you’ve attended or special certifications you’ve received.

Example:

  • “Engineering the Future,” Professional Workshop, Newark, NJPA
  • “3D Mechanics in Engineering,” Certification, Online Training

Additional Sections

Have a special skill or achievement you want to include?

Example:

  • Awards and honors
  • Publications
  • Noteworthy Projects
  • Social Media Influence
  • Speaking Engagements
  • Hobbies/Interests
  • Volunteer Work

No Experience

We’ve all been there.

Perhaps you’re fresh out of school, changing careers, or have taken some time off.

Whatever your situation, lack of experience can create potential problems with getting your resume looked at.

However, you can try a few alterations and still produce a solid civil engineer resume.

Consider moving your education section under your summary.

If you lack much relevant work experience, your education is going to help get your foot in the door. So you want that information seen first.

When drafting your work experience, tailor your bullet points to the position you’re seeking.

Ask yourself if you already have skills that could prove useful in the position of civil engineer.

Have you ever held a job that required extensive planning and attention to details?

How about drafting and math?

These types of skills will qualify as potentially useful work experience.

Civil Engineer Resume Points to Remember

It’s inevitable.

Some details will fall through the cracks.

So here are a few reminders:

Always put down a way to be contacted.

Include your email address, LinkedIn profile, or any other relevant info. Just make it easy for employers to get back with you.

Use space wisely.

A good civil engineer resume makes careful use of limited space. Order your summary, work experience, and education sections accordingly. Include enough relevant detail to demonstrate your value as a candidate.

Use varied power words.

Language is important in any written document. Your resume needs to leave an impression with its language. Power words will help you leave that great impression you’re aiming for.

Use a trusted proofreader.

A second opinion could prove invaluable. Have someone look over your resume to check for spelling and grammar mistakes and ensure good readability.

Civil Engineer Resume “Don’ts” to Remember

Some things you definitely do not want in your resume:

Don’t use first person language.

Keep personal language out of your resume. This means no use of “I” or “me.” Keep your content focused on the skills.

Don’t exceed one page.

Your skills, accomplishments, experience, and education should fit nicely onto a single page. No need for multiple pages or excessive detail.

Don’t repeat yourself.

Repeating yourself will not leave a good impression. It’s an easy trap to fall into, so make sure to be vigilant. Use power words and keywords to help keep things fresh.

(We’ve put together a handy table of power words below to use for inspiration.)

Don’t use fancy fonts or formatting.

Since readability is key, you want to select a clean font with no frills. Your formatting should be well-structured and easy to follow with the eye. Crazy fonts and formatting will not make you look unique to hiring managers — only exceptional skills will do that!

Some Helpful Tools:

Civil Engineer Resume Power Words

  • Prepare
  • Develop
  • Procure
  • Research
  • Engineered
  • Surveyed
  • Evaluated
  • Worked
  • Designed
  • Performed
  • Met
  • Assisted

Civil Engineer Resume Skills List

Hard SkillsSoft Skills
EITCollaboration
AutoCADTechnical Details
ArcGISObservation
Civil 3DCritical Thinking
MicroStationTeamwork