< Back to articles
Andrew Arkley|December 22, 2023

How To Write A Strong Engineering CV

Article Image

Need to write an engineering CV? Whether you’re a civil, electrical, mechanical, software or another type of engineer, getting your CV right is a crucial first step towards landing a great job.

Employment in engineering occupations has grown steadily over time in the UK – by 8.5% between 2010 and 2021, according to EngineeringUK. But as always, the competition is strong for the best roles.

So it’s worth taking the time to make your CV stand out, doing justice to your achievements so far.

Here is our guide on writing a CV for engineering roles and towards the end of this article, to help you get started, we provide a sample CV.

The basics

To find out how to start a new CV from scratch, here is our full comprehensive guide to writing a CV.

It goes without saying that there are a wide range of disciplines in engineering. But in many ways, an engineering CV is no different to any other – it’s vital to get the basics right.

For example, choose a simple font, use a clear layout and avoid complicated formatting. We also recommend creating a master CV, then making copies that are tailored to each single job description or advert you answer.

At the end, check it several times for any mistakes – make sure you fix these, so you have an error-free CV emphasising attention to detail, an important quality for all engineers. Here are 10 mistakes that make your CV look unprofessional.

Also check that your CV is optimised for applicant tracking system (ATS) software by mentioning skills you have from the job description. According to research by Jobscan, the use of ATS by Fortune 500 companies is at 97% in 2023.

Engineering CV skills

Each engineering job description you see will likely mention hard and soft skills necessary for the role.

Consider including a key skills section as a quick and simple way to show employers you have what they’re looking for.

For example, if you’re applying for a software engineering role, you could include a bullet point list highlighting skills such as:

  • Project management
  • Troubleshooting
  • Prototyping
  • AutoCAD modelling
  • JavaScript
  • Python

If you’re a mechanical engineer then your skills section may look more like this:

  • Technical report writing
  • Risk management
  • Site inspections
  • Safety management
  • Budgeting
  • Problem solving

Alternatively you could work skills into your career history section and also your personal statement. Here’s how to really sell yourself when writing a personal statement.

Facts and figures

For a strong CV, you need to include evidence to support key claims. The achievements can sound too generalised otherwise.

Use statistics where possible to back up your achievements. For example:

  • How many projects have you completed?
  • What was the biggest budget you managed?
  • How much money have you saved a company?
  • How many employees have you managed?

Think about your career experiences so far and describe your successes in as much specific detail as possible, but also concisely given how short a CV is. Here are our thoughts on how many pages a CV should be.

The evidence you use to substantiate claims will have more impact in the right context. To explain your best achievements, try using the STAR method.

If you need to give a long or complex example using the STAR method, but find there isn’t enough space on your CV, include it in your cover letter or supporting statement instead.

For anyone considering switching to an engineering role as part of a career change, focus attention on your transferable skills by:

  • Highlighting your best skills
  • Emphasising relevant strengths
  • Including a persuasive cover letter

Here’s an engineering CV example to help you make a start:

Engineering CV example

[Name]

[Address] – [Phone number] – [Email address]

Personal Statement

Use several lines to promote who you are and what your career aims are. Show how you stand out and what makes you unique – here’s an example first sentence:

Commercially savvy industrial engineer with 6 years’ experience in improving production processes, increasing productivity and reducing costs…

Key Skills

If your skill section looks strong, include it here – otherwise, put it after your work history section. Relate your skillset to the job description and use bullet points, for example:

  • Automation systems
  • Cost reduction strategies
  • Lean manufacturing
  • Quality control
  • Data analysis
  • Inventory control

Work History

List your previous roles or companies worked at, in reverse chronological order, starting with your current or most recent position – also include the dates. 

Then add bullet points to describe your most relevant achievements and responsibilities, for example:

[Role, company] [Dates]

  • Rolled out a process improvement plan to increase overall productivity by 16% and  decrease production costs by 11%
  • Identified cost savings resulting in a £200,000 decrease for our annual expenses
  • Implemented a new production scheduling system leading to a 10% rise in on-time delivery

Qualifications and Education

Start by listing any relevant engineering qualifications, then your education details: 

  • [Engineering certification(s) obtained] [Dates]
  • [University name, degree subject, grade] [Dates]
  • [School name, A-Levels, grades] [Dates]
  • [School name, GCSEs, grades] [Dates]

Interests

Any interests you include here should ideally be relevant and support your overall application in some way. This section is optional if you’re short of space.

References available on request

Unless asked when you apply, there’s no need to provide reference details on the CV. When employers want them, they’ll ask – for now, simply write: References available on request.

Final thoughts: How to write an engineering CV

For more advice on applying for work and moving up the career ladder, take a look at the rest of our blog which is full of handy tips.

For example, if you speak another language, here’s how to include languages on a CV with the right terminology.

And check out our recent article on adding a CV to LinkedIn – for example, during an ‘Easy Apply’ process on a job advert.

If you need any help, we are experts at writing CVs – including for engineering roles – so please don’t hesitate to contact us for more information.

PurpleCV YouTube Channel Subscription Banner

Related articles

    Share:
    We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. If you continue to use this site we will assume that you are happy with it.