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Engineering Cover Letter Example

The undersupply of engineers in the UK might lead some to believe it’s a cinch to get hired, with so many jobs to go around. But in this job market, like any other, it’s never a good time to cut corners with your job application, including a stand-out engineering cover letter. Think of this writing guide, as your blueprint, supported by an engineering cover letter example.
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Engineering Cover Letter Example
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It is widely recognised that engineers are in short supply in the UK, but your engineering cover letter should still be given careful consideration.

This writing guide is intended to provide useful information on the best way to approach your engineering cover letter so you stand out from the other job applicants. Feel free to adapt any wording you like from the engineering cover letter example, or just use it for reference. We also encourage you to check out any of the other cover letter examples in our library.

Step-by-step, we'll take you through the process of creating an engineering cover letter that measures up to your advantage. This is what you can expect to learn:

  • The appropriate cover letter format to use, with the essential components built in.
  • The psychology behind an effective cover letter
  • How to avoid the usual mistakes in your engineering cover letter.

Getting started

Engineers are always on the shortage occupation list, meaning if you are coming from abroad and looking to live in the UK, you have a better chance of receiving sponsorship from an employer. There are many different types of engineers, including civil engineers, mechanical and electrical. Within these, there are further subspecialty options. For instance, a civil engineer can choose to work on rails, roads, bridges, and many others. 

Most employers expect candidates to have a clear vision of where they want to work, and why. That's why it's important to take care with your cover letter when applying for engineering jobs.

Cover letters generally allow you a degree of freedom to write as you see fit. But they also must be relatively short, so you need to get your message across concisely. Think of your engineering cover letter as the first stage of the engineering design process - identifying the need. What does the hiring manager want, and how can you convey your ability to meet these needs through your cover letter?

Best format for an engineering cover letter

Understanding the correct format for your engineering cover letter is the place to start. These are the elements it should include:

  • The header of your engineering cover letter
  • Addressing the recipient with the right greeting/salutation
  • The introduction — how you intend to start the cover letter
  • The bones of the cover letter — i.e., the body/middle section
  • Your conclusion and call to action.

As mentioned earlier, it is important to be clear about the type of engineer you are, your relevant expertise, and your qualifications. Engineers need to be qualified, so you should state your relevant qualifications on your cover letter. You may also want to mention your experience with any specific software packages mentioned on the job spec. For instance, experience with CAD (computer-aided design) is often essential for an engineer.

How to write a cover letter
Related article
How to write a cover letter

An effective cover letter acts as a complement to your CV by adding some much-needed personality, highlighting your fit within the specific role, and setting the tone for your interview.

Next, we’ll take a closer look at each cover letter section, along with wording you can modify for each engineering position being sought. It comes from this adaptable engineering letter example.

Adaptable cover letter sample

Dear Mr. Kristianson,

 

Having contributed to the design and manufacture of more than 35 devices, used by millions of patients over the past decade, I was recently recognised by Engineering News as one of the top five mechanical engineers in the medical devices field.

 

My experience in bringing together clinically cutting-edge system architectures, materials, and components stems from a deep passion for research and development. My own design and verification process formed the blueprint for my consultancy work. Now I believe I may be in a position to tweak certain aspects of Engineero’s already stellar operation.

 

As a proficient user of Boldworks, I invite you to look at a portfolio of solutions incorporated in my previous designs. There are a number of patents to my name, with one particular solution for ingress protection in a Class III medical device winning an “innovation of the year” award from NaaTech.

 

I take pride in the quality of my design review process, with top-quality 3D renderings, models and animations bringing the reality and practicality of the design to life. An intragastric balloon inflation system became the market leader within 18 months. I also have a deep knowledge of drug delivery systems and insulin pump solutions — particularly the specialisations for which Engineero is rightfully well-known.

 

My consultancy work during the past three years has yielded 12 product designs driving over $15m in sales. I now look forward to joining a company that prides itself on broader employee development. When you work alongside talented colleagues, your designs take on a new dimension.

 

I am excited at the prospect of an interview to find out what projects you have in the pipeline and how I might play a part in your future success.

 

Yours sincerely,

 

Leslie Philoberto

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Cover letter header

Your cover letter header is located at the top of the cover letter, or possibly along one side. Although it may not seem like the most exciting part of your cover letter, it does contain critical information. That includes details of how the hiring manager can get in touch with you: your telephone number, email address, and if appropriate, your postal address. If you have a LinkedIn profile, website, or online portfolio of work samples, it's a great idea to include the corresponding URLs in your cover letter header.

Although this information also appears in your CV, it should still appear prominently on your cover letter. In fact, both application documents will look more impressive, and unmistakably yours, if the headers are identical.

Expert tip

Make sure you recheck your personal details before submitting your application and use a professional email address.

If you’re updating a cover letter you already have, make sure the personal details are correct and active. Always use a professional email address; don’t use anything that is designed to be amusing or that you set up when you were 12 years old and haven’t changed yet. 

Also, try to refrain from using an email address you share with a partner, such as [email protected]. It is quick and easy to set up your own email address, so there is no excuse.

Although this may not seem important, it definitely is. Hiring managers have been known to reject a job candidate based on an inappropriate email address.

What to achieve with your cover letter header: Prominently display your contact details and appear professional.

Cover letter greeting

Engineers are professionals, and they understand the importance of making a good impression. They deal with clients on important projects, and they need to be respectful. Think of your cover letter greeting as the handshake when you first meet a client. It needs to be respectful, personable, and well-suited to the recipient.

Although it is perfectly acceptable to write ‘hi’ or ‘hello’ in an email, you should refrain from doing this on your relatively formal engineering cover letter. If you know the recipient’s name, you can write “Dear Mr/Mrs/Ms. Surname”. A first-name name salutation is generally not recommended, as it's a little too informal. But it might be fine if you and the recipient know each other. 

If you don’t know the name of the recipient, and you've exhausted all avenues trying to find out, then you can write “Dear Recruitment Team”, “Dear Hiring Manager” or something similar that seems to fit the hiring circumstance.

What to achieve with your cover letter greeting: As with a client meeting, you want to be businesslike, but personable. Address the recipient by name where possible, but not on a first-name basis. 

Cover letter introduction

Next comes the introduction to your engineering cover letter. It only needs to be a couple of sentences, but it should instantly give the reader a feel for who you are and what you can accomplish.

Within the engineering field, the hiring manager wants to understand more about your desire to work in a specific area, and why you are a candidate not to be missed.

Make sure you home in on the specifics. For instance, if you have a desire to work in civil engineering — specifically in transportation and rail — make sure this is prevalent in the introduction. Employers want to be sure that you are as passionate about this area as they are. This is how the engineering sector operates.

Set the scene with your introduction. Why are you applying and what can you offer? This can be achieved in just a couple of concise sentences.

What to achieve in your cover letter introduction: Provide assurance that you have a desire for the field you are applying to. Make sure you instantly show that you have the right experience for the job. 

The cover letter greeting and introduction sample below illustrates a strong opening statement.

Adaptable cover letter greeting and introduction example

Dear Mr. Kristianson,

 

Having contributed to the design and manufacture of more than 35 devices, used by millions of patients over the past decade, I was recently recognised by Engineering News as one of the top five mechanical engineers in the medical devices field.

Copied!

Cover letter middle part (body)

The middle part, or body, of the cover letter presents the main highlights of your career. For an engineering cover letter, you should mention your qualifications and any professional affiliations. 

Quantifying elements of your employment experience strengthens the impact your cover letter. this will also be extremely useful. — for instance, the number and size of teams you have worked with and the value of projects. The main objective is to encourage the hiring manager to read your CV and take your application through to the next recruitment stage.

You may want to use some bullet points to show your key experience and achievements so that the reader can quickly see that you have the right qualities for the role. Be sure to tailor this aspect to suit the job you are applying for, and the key requirements stated in the posted ad. Remember that readers may only skim through your engineering cover letter, so you need to find every way possible to make it stand out from the rest.

Engineers are typically well paid, but this is not the aspect you want to focus on. Engineering usually involves career progression and is best suited to individuals who can work autonomously or with a team, as required. They should also be able to deal with clients and communicate well. Engineers are analytical, creative, problem solvers, and this should be reflected in your cover letter. You will have a better chance of getting it right by looking at some of our cover letter examples.

What to achieve with the body of your cover letter:Convey to the reader what qualities you can bring to the role and to the hiring organisation, by highlighting your main abilities and achievements. 

Use the sample cover letter body below for some inspiration.

Adaptable cover letter body example

My experience in bringing together clinically cutting-edge system architectures, materials, and components stems from a deep passion for research and development. My own design and verification process formed the blueprint for my consultancy work. Now I believe I may be in a position to tweak certain aspects of Engineero’s already stellar operation.

 

As a proficient user of Boldworks, I invite you to look at a portfolio of solutions incorporated in my previous designs. There are a number of patents to my name, with one particular solution for ingress protection in a Class III medical device winning an “innovation of the year” award from NaaTech.

 

I take pride in the quality of my design review process, with top-quality 3D renderings, models and animations bringing the reality and practicality of the design to life. An intragastric balloon inflation system became the market leader within 18 months. I also have a deep knowledge of drug delivery systems and insulin pump solutions — particularly the specialisations for which Engineero is rightfully well-known.

 

My consultancy work during the past three years has yielded 12 product designs driving over $15m in sales. I now look forward to joining a company that prides itself on broader employee development. When you work alongside talented colleagues, your designs take on a new dimension.

Copied!

How to close an engineering cover letter (conclusion and sign-off)

Your cover letter conclusion should sound confident and self-assured, without coming across as arrogant. The best way to finish off your engineering cover letter is to reaffirm why you feel you are right for the job.

If there’s anything particularly exceptional about yourself or your experience, you may want to mention it here. If the hiring manager has read your cover letter and is still unsure, the conclusion could alleviate any concerns about taking your application further. Leave recruiters with something they won’t be able to resist.

Expert tip

Always be aware of your audience when composing a cover letter. If you are applying for an engineering role in a small company, it would not be appropriate to mention that you are excited at the prospect of potential career progression. This is unlikely to be possible soon, and therefore, it will instantly make them apprehensive about hiring you.

There is nothing wrong with making it clear that you are excited about possibly meeting the hiring manager to discuss your experience in more detail and to visit their offices. This is an appropriate call to action, which can bolster your cover letter conclusion.

What to achieve with your cover letter conclusion: Let the employer know why you are the right person for this job, and why they should take you forward to the next stage. Reaffirm your interest and include a call to action.

Take a look at the cover letter conclusion sample below for an idea of how to close your own letter.

Adaptable cover letter conclusion and sign-off example

I am excited at the prospect of an interview to find out what projects you have in the pipeline and how I might play a part in your future success.

 

Yours sincerely,

 

Leslie Philoberto

Copied!

Writing psychology: how to show your work ethic in your cover letter

Your engineering cover letter should be structured well and be easy to read. It can be personable but professional and give the reader an insight into your personality. You should be able to show your interest in the industry and any relevant experience you have, such as important projects you have worked on, as this will instantly give you more credibility. If you can quantify your achievements, this will also be beneficial.

These are the main goals of your engineering cover letter to help you get through to the next hiring stage:

  • Make sure you have described your main area of engineering, and why you are interested in this.
  • Mention your relevant qualifications, and any professional credentials you have — this is vital in engineering.
  • Describe your areas of experience and quantify your expertise with any projects you have worked on, particularly if they are widely recognised.

Engineering is an autonomous occupation, so employers do not anticipate having to hold your hand after being hired. They expect you to get to work on your own quickly. However, there is a lot of communication and discussion involved in engineering. You would be expected to be someone who can get the job done without much instruction, but also work well with others.

We've emphasized the importance of being clear about the area of engineering you want to work, in and why. Our engineering cover letter example illustrates how to state any significant piece of work that has enticed you into this branch of engineering. 

Above all, it's imperative that you are someone with strong qualifications and committed to personal and professional development. Engineers should always be looking to improve on their technical skills and abilities.

Expert tip

Share a specific project you worked on and what you enjoyed about it

It can be difficult sometimes to get a real feel for job candidates just going by what they say. That’s the difficulty hiring managers often have. However, if you can support your claims with examples, this will give them a much clearer idea of your capabilities. This doesn’t mean you need to rhyme off everything you’ve worked on, but just the most memorable projects, especially those with a high value.

Engineering cover letter with no experience

It is more difficult to get a job in engineering with no experience. Many companies offer graduate schemes, or they may start you as an assistant engineer. If you don’t have any experience yet, you can do the following to increase your prospect of securing work:

  • Show your passion for the specific part of engineering you would be specialising in.
  • Give examples of why you want to specialise in this area. You can refer to university projects to illustrate.
  • Discuss transferable skills, such as innovation and creativity.
  • Focus on your qualifications and other professional attributes when discussing what you learned that would be appropriate for the role.

Basic mistakes in an engineering application letter, and how to avoid them

As an engineer, you need to be precise and pay attention to detail. Therefore, it is vital that you are attentive when writing your engineering cover letter to avoid making any mistakes. 

These are some of the most basic cover letter pitfalls.

  • Spelling and grammar. This is where some of the most common mistakes occur in cover letters, and can be extremely off-putting for the hiring manager. When you’re in a job that requires writing technical documents, emails, etc, you must show your professionalism by checking the spelling and grammar thoroughly. Most programs have a spell-check included, and there is also Grammarly for a more in-depth assessment.
  • Too long. A cover letter should not be too long. It should get to the point quickly and lead the reader on to your CV. The format should be concise too, with bullet points, where applicable. Make it as easy as possible for the reader to digest the key information.
  • Too casual or formal. There is a fine line between being too casual or overly formal in your cover letter. The language you use should sit somewhere in the middle. It should be respectful. Treat it like a discussion, not like a piece of academic work.
  • Poor formatting. The layout, design, and formatting of your cover letter says a lot about what type of candidate you are. Make sure you keep a good balance of white space to text and create a professional, yet eye-catching header. You can save yourself time and uncertainty by using one of our free, expert-designed cover letter templates.

Key takeaways

  1. Explain why you are interested in the engineering specialism you are applying for. Be specific, not general.
  2. Provide examples of relevant projects you have worked on, specifically those of high value. You can use university examples if you have no work experience.
  3. Discuss your qualifications and key learnings.
  4. Check your spelling and grammar thoroughly.
  5. Use our  cover letter examples for reference throughout.

For more inspiration and ideas, check out these other cover letter examples and writing guides:

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