How To Write an Engineering Cover Letter (With Example)
By Indeed Editorial Team
Updated December 3, 2022
Published August 17, 2021
The Indeed Editorial Team comprises a diverse and talented team of writers, researchers and subject matter experts equipped with Indeed's data and insights to deliver useful tips to help guide your career journey.
When you begin the application process for engineering roles, it's important that you provide an engaging cover letter to help differentiate yourself from other candidates. A cover letter is useful because it illustrates to the employer why you are the most qualified candidate for the position based on your experience, expertise, skills, capabilities, and qualities. Knowing how to write and format a cover letter can help you connect with an employer and gain an invitation to interview. In this article, we explain what an engineering cover letter is, review how to write one in six steps, and provide a template and example to help you write your own.
What is an engineering cover letter?
A cover letter is a one-page document you send to potential employers to express your interest in a job vacancy and explain why you're qualified. You typically submit this document with other documents, like a resume or application form. If you're pursuing engineering jobs in various fields or specialities, you can use this document to highlight your relevant skills, experiences, and qualifications.
Your engineering cover letter is an opportunity to elaborate on the points in your resume, and to convince the employer to invite you for an interview. A meaningful, well-written cover letter can help differentiate you from other candidates with similar skills and career goals.
How to write an engineering cover letter in 6 steps
You can use the following six steps as a guide to format and write an engineering cover letter:
1. Begin with your contact information
At the top of your cover letter, include a header containing your contact information. When submitting a cover letter via email or through an online portal, you may include your full name, phone number, and email address. While a mailing address is not explicitly necessary, consider providing the city and province/territory in which you live. Providing contact information ensures the hiring manager knows how to reach you for interviews or follow-up conversations regarding the position.
2. Use a professional greeting
Start your cover letter off strong by addressing it to the hiring manager or another designated recipient. Use a professional salutation, such as "Dear" or "Hello," followed by their first and last name. Including the hiring manager's full name demonstrates that you have done your research and adds a personal element. If the job posting does not include their name, you may research the company's website or contact their office to identify the person who fulfils that role. If you can't find their name, you can address the recipient as "hiring manager" or their job title.
3. Introduce yourself in the first paragraph
In your first sentence, mention the job title to which you are applying. You can also mention where you found the job posting. Be sure to highlight who referred you if you learned about the role through a mutual connection. This connection can differentiate you from other candidates and may help build a rapport with the hiring manager. Emphasize your enthusiasm or excitement for the role by featuring particular aspects of the team or company that interest you. These details can express your genuine interest and show you have done some research.
Once you have expressed your interest, you can briefly describe the experience or qualifications you have that make you a good fit for the job. When possible, you can include an impressive engineering achievement that shows the value you could bring to the employer's team or organization. This first paragraph serves as your first impression, so include information that gets the reader's attention and makes them want to learn more about you.
4. Demonstrate your qualifications in the body of the letter
Use this section as an opportunity to sell yourself and prove that you have the skills, experiences, or qualifications needed to perform this job successfully. You can review the job description to understand the role and its responsibilities or requirements. Use these details to highlight one or two recent and relevant professional experiences or achievements from your engineering career. When discussing prior achievements, describe the measurable impacts of your work, and quantify them with percentages and other statistics where applicable.
Your cover letter enables you to provide more information than your resume, so you can tell a specific story that shows your value as an employee. For example, you may discuss a successful engineering project you worked on, or you can include positive feedback that you have received from former employers. Incorporating these unique details and stories helps to differentiate you from other candidates, and is typically more memorable than generic skills and achievements.
5. Emphasize your relevant skills
Make certain to include relevant skills related to engineering organically. These skills illustrate your capabilities as an engineer. To make your cover letter more dynamic, consider adding both soft and hard skills. You might also refer to the job description to identify which skills they value the most in potential candidates. The hard or technical skills that you include within your cover letter could differ depending on which company you're applying to or the type of engineering work you do. Make sure any technical skills you include are accurate and honest.
Soft skills are universal and can apply to nearly any engineering profession. Here are some common soft skills that successful engineers share which you can emphasize on your cover letter:
written and verbal communication skills
attention to detail
critical and analytical thinking
creativity and innovation
6. Conclude your cover letter with a closing paragraph
When you write your closing paragraph, ensure it's brief, personalized, and explains everything the recipient needs to know. You can leave a good impression by thanking them for their time and consideration. This is a strategy that illustrates your respect. It's important that you reiterate your genuine interest in the role and the qualifications that make you an appropriate candidate. Also consider adding a call-to-action, which requests a call-back with the recruiter to set up an interview.
Engineering cover letter template
Use the following template to help you write an engineering cover letter:
[Your city and province/territory]
Dear [Recipient's name],
[For the introduction paragraph, use this section to introduce who you are and the specific position you are pursuing. Illustrate why you're interested in the job and briefly explain your qualifications.]
[For the body paragraph or paragraphs, detail some of your professional background and experiences that showcase how they relate to the new opportunity. You can use this section to explain your most relevant skills and capabilities to fulfil the role well. Also, explain how your abilities can benefit the company's goals.]
[For the closing paragraph, thank the recipient for taking the time to read your cover letter and resume. Briefly reiterate why you are interested in the opportunity and why you are qualified for the position. Let the recipient know you look forward to continuing the conversation, and suggest that they can contact you to further discuss the role.]
[Your typed or printed name]
Related: How To Format a Cover Letter
Cover letter example for an engineering role
Here is an example of a cover letter for an engineering position following the template above:
July 12, 2021
Dear Sybil Thompson,
I'm thrilled to be writing to you about the open engineering position at First Engineers Company. I believe my three years as a mechanical engineer and the extensive scope of work I've done in the field would be a great asset to your organization. I am very familiar with the services your company offers, and I would love the opportunity to join such an innovative company.
In my role as a mechanical engineer, I demonstrated my understanding of complex engineering concepts and technologies to design and develop a wide variety of devices. My attention to detail, creativity, and problem-solving skills helped me achieve the lead mechanical engineering award at the annual Engineering and Automation Conference in 2019. I have developed automated devices for leading engineer companies, helping to boost their productivity and profit margins. I believe I can apply these same capabilities to this role as well.
Thank you very much for your time and consideration. Please find my resume attached, which further illustrates my skills, capabilities, work history, and qualifications. I would greatly appreciate it if we could discuss this opportunity further. Please contact me at any time if you have any questions. You can reach me at email@example.com or 222-303-4567.
The model shown is for illustration purposes only, and may require additional formatting to meet accepted standards.
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