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A Comprehensive Guide to a Job-Winning Civil Engineer Resume (Examples Included)

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Volen Vulkov Avatar
Volen Vulkov
8 minute read
Updated on 2021-04-21

Civil Engineers may one day build bases on the Moon or Mars.

But you won’t even get to build a bike rack here on Earth if you can’t land a job interview.

And, to get your foot through the door, your Civil Engineer resume must show you see things in perspective, find problems and solve them before they even exist.

Civil Engineers must be accurate, trustworthy, organized and efficient. But above all, they need to demonstrate commanding engineering expertise and technical prowess.

Sounds intense? If you want your recruiter to notice, your Civil Engineering resume needs to be dominating.

How to make the perfect Civil Engineer resume? That’s what we’ll talk about in this article.

Here’s what you are going to learn today

  • Reverse-engineer 8+ Civil Engineering resumes and assess their strengths and weaknesses
  • How to get past ATS and non-technical recruiters
  • What managers are looking for when they hire new Civil Engineers
  • Learn how to write impactful messages and intertwine them with your skills and experiences
  • How to keep your resume compact, avoiding text which doesn’t hold value
  • How to extract more from your resume header section
  • What are the best practices for writing professional summaries, and work experience sections
  • Whether you need a Civil Engineer resume objective
  • Where to position your skills, achievements, personal projects and certificates

All of this and more in the following sections.

Civil Engineer resume example

Here’s a list of related Engineering resumes

How to write a Civil Engineer resume

Okay, so by now you should be aware that there’s plenty of competition in civil engineering.

If you’re not getting a lot of interviews, perhaps it’s because your Civil Engineering resume is not up to the task.

If you’re applying to a big company, there may be applicant tracking software that scans and validates resumes before they go to somebody’s desk.

Incorrectly formatted or unreadable resumes will usually get stuck here and be lost forever.

Pick a proper format for your civil engineering resume and include the following sections.

Here are the top resume sections you should consider

  • Header section with your full name, title and contact details
  • Career summary with your experience, top skills, and competencies
  • Work experience section with real examples of the work you did
  • Hard and soft skills section
  • Education and civil engineering certificates displayed prominently

The exact proportion is unique for every engineer, depending on your experience, education, and qualifications.

There is no magic resume to fit all jobs. You need to fine-tune it for every application if you want to maximize your chances.

For example:

  1. Customize your title to reflect on your new responsibilities.
  2. Focus your summary on the technologies mentioned most frequently in the job description.
  3. Reorganize your software section to highlight the applications required for the job - put Revit first if that’s what the company uses.

Wondering what recruiters look for in Civil Engg resumes? Let’s help you out!

  • Vast technical knowledge and unchallenged engineering expertise
  • Great command of technical drawing and BIM software - Civil 3D, AutoCAD, HEC-HMS, Bluebeam, Revit
  • Systematic problem-solving mindset - show your ability to identify and evaluate problems and solutions
  • Project management skills - organization, optimization, efficiency
  • Responsible attitude and trustworthiness - always finish the job and deliver results
  • Data-driven decision-making process - trust numbers not your gut
  • Attention to details - make 100% sure your Civil Engineering resume is free of spelling and grammatical errors

We’ll talk about how to integrate each of these qualities into the different sections of your resume.

But before that, you need to start with a solid foundation - a well-organized layout for your civil engineering resume.

What’s the best Civil Engineering resume template

civil engineer resume templates
  • Single-column resumes - suitable for students and freshly graduated civil engineers. It gives you extra space to talk about defining sections such as your education and personal projects.
  • Double-column resumes - If you’re already working for a couple of years, maybe have a few internships behind your back, this layout will give you space for all sections you need to fit.
  • Condensed double-layout resumes - appreciated by Senior Civil Engineers. This layout provides enough room to cram decades of work experience, skills, projects, awards and more.
  • Creative resumes - It’s best to avoid them as they are filled with graphics, sliders, bars that won’t help you here. Civil engineering is a serious field and overdressed resumes may be considered inappropriate by your to-be managers.

What’s the secret behind a functional Civil Engineering resume header

The resume header section is not a place to be creative. Choose an easy to read font and list only the essential information about yourself:

  • Name
  • Professional title
  • Phone
  • Location - City, State
  • Email
  • Personal website / portfolio

Try to organize the items in a compact space, but leave enough white room so the text remains readable.

Don’t make recruiters work hard to read your resume or find basic information, like your phone number! They won’t.

Let’s see two Civil Engineer resume samples.

2 Civil Engineer resume header examples

Eugene B. Pridgen
Civil Engineer

help@enhancv.com

MA
WRONG

Let’s hope this candidate checks their email regularly. There’s no other way of contacting them - no phone, or address.

Eugene is not even using half of the header’s potential and is jeopardizing his application severely.

Automated systems may discard this resume for not including complete contact details.

Even if manually reviewed, applicants who can’t bother to fill in their phone number hardly make a good impression.

The next civil engineering resume sample has a much better header section. Check it out.

Robert L. Walsh
Tunnel Structure Lead Engineer

+359 88 888 8888

help@enhancv.com

dribbble.com/robertwalshcivil

Sacramento, CA
RIGHT

Looks much better and it didn’t take a lot of effort to make it right.

The title is very specific. Assuming they don’t switch industries, the recruiter will immediately notice and draw the appropriate conclusions.

Arguably, civil engineering is not typically associated with digital portfolios, but this is an opportunity to shine.

Especially, if you’re still a student or don’t have a lot of experience to back your case.

Alternatively, add your LinkedIn profile.

Recruiters won’t focus too much on your header on the first pass. They will “scan” for any obvious errors, but will mostly skip to the summary.

Inside tips for crafting a great Civil Engineer resume summary

Seasoned recruiters can make a hiring decision by simply reading your summary.

The summary needs to position you as appropriately qualified for the job offer. At the same time, you need to demonstrate passion and make an impact.

Focus on the job requirements which you fulfill best and emphasize on your skills that match them.

Read through the civil engineering resume samples below.

2 Civil Engineer resume summary examples

Summary
Civil Engineer with 3 years of experience in public works. Assisted in the design of accessibility features for city infrastructure and public spaces, including car parking, public parks, walkways, and playgrounds. Analyzed safety regulations for public areas and checked if projects meet criteria during implementation. Was in charge of documents related to the projects.
WRONG

This candidate makes the typical mistake of confusing the summary and work experience sections.

They veered off into excessive details about their last (and probably first) job, completely omitting other important information.

At the same time, they wrote a generic description of their job responsibilities. Nothing to really grab our attention.

This summary can be made much better.

Summary
Civil engineer for 3 years with FE certification. Designed ADA compliant accessibility solutions for parks and parking areas. Strong skills in AutoCAD and Civil 3D. Working knowledge of the building code. Project management - RFI; maintaining technical documentation, time sheets and cost estimates. Experience as a construction supervisor and quality control.
RIGHT

This summary is the same length, but offers a complete description of the applicant’s abilities.

The candidate talks about their work experience and highlights specific skills and knowledge relevant to the job offer.

Having a FE certificate is a huge benefit, especially for Civil Engineers with single digit years of experience.

Where the first summary can be seen as amateurish, the second one uses a professional tone and well rounded language.

The next step is to back up that claim with relev