As one of the fastest growing and most exciting industries, engineering is a popular career choice if you want to make significant earnings, have stability in your job and ensure a prosperous future.
Your cover letter is an integral part of launching your future career in engineering and should be handled with care. Reading our advice will help you focus on your relevant skills and stand out amongst hundreds of applications.
Support your CV
Perfecting your cover letter is a great way of supporting the information included in your CV. It gives you the opportunity to exhibit why you’re the perfect candidate for the job. This should never just be a regurgitation of your CV, but instead an opportunity to highlight a few key skills that the employer will value the most and set you apart from other candidates. Don’t use the same cover letter for every job application. It’s better to tailor each letter to suit the job you’re applying for.
Do your research
Before submitting anything, you should consider whether you have researched the company thoroughly. For example, do you know who will be receiving your application? If possible, always try to find the right person to contact. Think of the job description as a blueprint to help build the foundation of your cover letter. It is there to be used to your advantage.
Focus on the required skills and experience needed and tailor your cover letter based on the information provided. Try to reflect some of the phrases used in the job description. However try not to go overboard, writing a letter filled with buzzwords just looks disingenuous so always aim to be authentic.
Researching the company culture, their competitors and company goals for the year will help to build more of an informative cover letter and shows that you’ve clearly done your research.
Try to demonstrate some key skills with examples to inform the reader why you’re the ideal candidate. For example, does the job description require leadership or teamwork? Try to accommodate this with an example so that you don’t appear to have any empty claims. You’ll find that you will use different examples based on each job description.
Stick to a good length
Your cover letter should be no longer than a single A4 page. This is often difficult when you want to elaborate on any key skills and experience. However, the employer won’t have the time nor the patience to read through an essay, so keep it concise. You should always aim to engage the reader and encourage them to read on, so always stick to the relevant information.
Creativity isn’t just for writers or designers. Engineering requires problem solving which means finding new and innovative ways to apply knowledge. In order to succeed, you often need to think outside of the box and thus be creative.
Writing a cover letter can equally be just as creative – within reason! Fonts such as Calibri can help it to look modernised and formatting can be tweaked and tailored. You have room to manoeuvre as long as what you include is relevant and doesn’t distract the employer from any crucial aspects.
Pay attention to detail
Projects in engineering can be extraordinarily complex and require serious attention to detail. Any mistakes can be costly. It is therefore crucial for your cover letter to reflect this and can be done by looking out for any spelling or grammatical errors.
There is no excuse why your cover letter shouldn’t be anything less than immaculate so proofread and proofread again before asking a friend or family member to read it as well.
Saving and sending your cover letter
For online purposes, your cover letter should ideally be within the body of your email along with your CV attached. However, some cases do require you to attach your cover letter as a document. How frustrating would it be if you’ve just spent the last hour meticulously crafting your cover letter only for the employer to be unable to open it. By saving your cover letter as a PDF file, you ensure that the employer will be able to open it on any device.
A cover letter should always be an accurate representation of your professionalism. It should always be adjustable but never tedious. By including the relevant skills and experience supported by examples, it will convince employers that you have what it takes to succeed in their distinctive workplace and meet the recruiter’s needs.
Engineering Jobs is a leading job board in the sector and is part of the CV-Library network. For more expert advice on engineering jobs, careers and the workplace, visit CV-Library’s Career Advice pages.