Beat the competition by understanding how to create a high quality Civil Engineer CV

You want your CV to stand out. You want your civil engineering skills at the forefront. You want hiring managers to sit up and take notice of your application. You need a compelling and well written Civil Engineer CV.

The UK construction sector was hit hard by the pandemic, with an overall output decline of 46% year-on-year in April 2020, according to Statista. Since then, with the world returning to near-normal, this industry is on the up, with construction output reaching positive growth every month since March 2021. 

The jobs are out there, but it's competitive. You need an edge to get your Civil Engineer CV to the top of the pile.

What are the skills of a Civil Engineer?

First, let's consider the types of skills that are required to be an outstanding Civil Engineer. These will then need to be weaved in throughout your CV.

A Civil Engineer plans, designs, constructs, and maintains infrastructure, while remaining mindful of health and safety processes, and improves existing infrastructure when required. So project management and effective communication are high on the skills list, as are technical skills, critical thinking, problem solving, and a proficiency for maths. Civil Engineers need to be able to pull together in a team environment, so you'll really want to showcase your team working skills as well.

Structuring a Civil Engineer CV

A Civil Engineer CV follows many of the same rules as other professional CVs. Use a format that's clear, professional, and easy to decipher, and avoid unnecessary boxes, tables, and logos, as these don't go down well with ATS (Applicant Tracking Systems).

Contact details need to be at the top of your Civil Engineer CV, to be easily accessible for the hiring manager. Include your name, location, email address, mobile number, and a link to your LinkedIn profile, if you have one.

How to write a professional profile for a Civil Engineer CV

The paragraph underneath your contact details, often called the professional summary or professional profile, consists of three or four lines, giving an overview of your strengths. This section needs to have an immediate impact, to make the reader want to read the rest of your CV, so choose your words carefully.

Here's an example of a professional profile suitable for a civil engineering CV. Note how a lot of the key skills mentioned have been included in this section.

A positive, methodical, and tenacious Construction Director with extensive expertise in rail, highway, and civil infrastructure projects on a global scale. Fosters beneficial relationships using highly developed communication skills. At ease leading teams of over 100, building an inclusive culture where there is a determination to excel and succeed. Leads on major projects from the front in both urban and remote, challenging locations.

Drafting the career summary on a Civil Engineer CV

If you're a seasoned Civil Engineer, chances are you'll have a lot to say in the career summary section, including details of high profile projects. But don't be tempted to dump everything that you've ever done on there, as you need to keep the CV to two pages. Focus on the last 10 years of your career, starting with your current or most recent role, and including the name of the company, your job title, and dates of employment. Underneath this, detail out your responsibilities, projects and clients you've completed projects for - especially if you've worked for reputable, national, and even international companies.

The pertinent use of facts and figures can add value to any key achievements, so make sure you include the values of the projects, the number of staff you managed, any savings or budget figures you've controlled, and how many staff hours were worked without incident.

For a graduate Civil Engineer CV, or for those of you at the very beginning of your civil engineering career, one page will suffice if you don't have much work experience to impart. It's best to concentrate on your recent academic achievements.

The education and professional development sections

If you have a civil engineering degree - normally required for a job in the industry nowadays - include this with the university you went to. If you were awarded the degree over 10 years ago, there's no need to put the year.

CPD is increasingly important in this profession, so list all of the courses you've been on plus any certificates you've achieved, such as COSHH, NEBOSH, and the CSCS card. These can be set out in a bulleted list with the qualification, awarding body, and year obtained on one line.

Civil engineering CV example

To illustrate all the above points, check out the civil engineering CV example below, which highlights key strengths and in-depth Civil Engineer capabilities.Civil Engineer CV example

Onwards and upwards

You're now armed with the tools you need to draft your own Civil Engineer CV and, once completed, you can have your own little “topping out” ceremony! But before applying for a job, double check all the spelling and grammar, as well as making sure that it's tailored to each job advert.

If you're still unsure that you've highlighted your skills in the best possible way on your Civil Engineer CV, consider a free CV review, as this could help to land you your next civil engineering role much faster.

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