Congratulations, you’ve graduated with a shiny new engineering degree. Now it’s time to get your foot on the career ladder with your first civil engineering role.
But in order to do that, you need an impressive application that’s going to make your new qualifications stand out.
In the guide below, we will teach you how to build a strong CV using our step-by-step advice, complete with a graduate civil engineer CV example.
Graduate Civil Engineer CV example
This example CV demonstrates how to structure and format your own Graduate Civil Engineer CV, so that it can be easily digested by busy hiring managers, and quickly prove why you are suitable for the jobs you are applying to.
It also gives you a good idea of the type of skills, experience and qualifications that you need to be highlighting in your CV.
Graduate Civil Engineer CV format and structure
Think your CV is just about the content within it? Think again.
Facilitate ease of reading by using a simple structure which allows anybody to easily navigate your experience.
Tips for formatting your Graduate Civil Engineer CV
- Length: If you want to hold the reader’s attention and ensure your CV isn’t yawn-worthy, it’s best to stick to two sides of A4 or less. This is more than enough room to highlight why you’re a good match for the role – anything more can quickly become tedious!
- Readability: To help busy recruiters scan through your CV, make sure your section headings stand out – bold or coloured text works well. Additionally, try to use bullet points wherever you can, as they’re far easier to skim through than huge paragraphs. Lastly, don’t be afraid of white space on your CV – a little breathing space is great for readability.
- Design & format: While it’s important that your CV design looks good, it also needs to be functional (which means easy for recruiters to read) Keep the design simple to achieve a good balance between looking good and reading well.
- Photos: You can add a profile photo to your CV, if you want to add some personality to it, but they are not a requirement the UK, so you don’t have to.
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When writing your own CV, break up your CV content into the following key sections:
- Name and contact details – Place them at the top of your CV, so that employers can easily get in touch.
- CV profile – A punchy sales pitch of your key experience, skills and achievements to reel readers in.
- Core skills section – A bullet-pointed snapshot of your abilities.
- Work experience – A well-structured list of your relevant work experience.
- Education – An overview of any relevant qualifications or professional training you have.
- Hobbies and interests – A short description of any relevant hobbies or interests (optional).
Now you understand the basic layout of a CV, here’s what you should include in each section of yours.
Write your contact details in the top corner of your CV, so that they’re easy to find but don’t take up too much space.
You only need to list your basic details, such as:
- Mobile number
- Email address
- Location – Don’t list your full address. Your town or city, such as ‘Norwich’ or ‘Coventry’ is perfect.
- LinkedIn profile or portfolio URL – Remember to update these before listing them on an application.
Graduate Civil Engineer CV Profile
Recruiters and hiring managers are busy, so it’s essential to catch their attention from the get-go.
It should be a short but punchy summary of your key skills, relevant experience and accomplishments.
Ultimately, it should explain why you’re a great fit for the role you’re applying for and inspire recruiters to read the rest of your CV.
How to write a good CV profile:
- Make it short and sharp: Recruiters have piles of CVs to read through and limited time to dedicate to each, so it pays to showcase your abilities in as few words as possible. 3-4 lines is ideal.
- Tailor it: Before writing your CV, make sure to do some research. Figure out exactly what your desired employers are looking for and make sure that you are making those requirements prominent in your CV profile, and throughout.
- Don’t add an objective: Want to talk about your career goals and objectives? While the profile may seem like a good space to do so, they’re actually much better suited to your cover letter.
- Avoid generic phrases: Cheesy clichès and generic phrases won’t impress recruiters, who read the same statements several times per day. Impress them with your skill-set, experience and accomplishments instead!
Example CV profile for Graduate Civil Engineer
What to include in your Graduate Civil Engineer CV profile?
- Experience overview: Showcase your aptitude for the job you are aiming for by giving a brief summary of your past work history, including the industries you have worked in, the kinds of employers you have served, and the roles you have held.
- Targeted skills: Employers need to know what skills you can bring to their organisation, and ideally they want to see skills that match their job vacancy. So, research your target roles thoroughly and add the most important Graduate Civil Engineer skills to your profile.
- Important qualifications: If you have any qualifications which are highly relevant to Graduate Civil Engineer jobs, then highlight them in your profile so that employers do not miss them.
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Core skills section
Underneath your profile, write a core skills section to make your most relevant skills jump off the page at readers.
It should be made up of 2-3 columns of bullet points of your relevant skills.
Before you do this, look over the job description and make a list of any specific skills, specialisms or knowledge required.
Then, make sure to use your findings in your list. This will paint you as the perfect match for the role.
Important skills for your Graduate Civil Engineer CV
Engineering Software – Using engineering software such as AutoCAD, Civil 3D, or Revit for drafting, designing, and analysing civil engineering projects.
Structural Analysis – Performing structural analysis and calculations to ensure the safety and stability of buildings and infrastructure.
Geotechnical Engineering – Utilising knowledge of geotechnical principles and soil mechanics to assess soil properties and their impact on construction projects.
Construction Management – Utilising knowledge of construction project management, including cost estimation, budgeting, and project scheduling.
Environmental Engineering – Understanding environmental regulations and practices, including water quality management, environmental impact assessments, and sustainability principles.
Surveying – Using land surveying techniques and equipment to collect accurate data for site analysis and design.
Materials Testing and Quality Control – Conducting materials testing and quality control to ensure construction materials meet specified standards.
AutoCAD and Civil 3D – Using AutoCAD and Civil 3D for drafting and designing civil engineering plans, layouts, and models.
Hydraulics and Hydrology – Using knowledge of hydraulics and hydrology principles to design drainage systems, stormwater management, and flood control measures.
Risk Assessment – Identifying and assessing project risks, including safety hazards, environmental impacts, and regulatory compliance.
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Recruiters will be itching to know more about your relevant experience by now.
Kick-start this section with your most recent (or current) position, and work your way backwards through your history.
You can include voluntary and freelance work, too – as long as you’re honest about the nature of the work.
Structuring each job
Whilst writing your CV, it’s essential to look at it from the eyes of a recruiter.
If they’re met with giant blocks of text which are impossible to navigate, they might get frustrated and skip onto the next CV.
Instead, make use of the 3-step structure shown below, to give them a pleasant reading experience.
Firstly, give the reader some context by creating a punchy summary of the job as a whole.
You should mention what the purpose or goal of your role was, what team you were part of and who you reported to.
Next, write up a punchy list of your daily duties and responsibilities, using bullet points.
Wherever you can, point out how you put your hard skills and knowledge to use – especially skills which are applicable to your target role.
Lastly, add impact by highlight 1-3 key achievements that you made within the role.
Struggling to think of an achievement? If it had a positive impact on your company, it counts.
For example, you might increased company profits, improved processes, or something simpler, such as going above and beyond to solve a customer’s problem.
Sample job description for Graduate Civil Engineer CV
Selected for the 12-month graduate scheme at the leading European renewable energy provider, assisting the installations team with commercial and council wind and solar projects.
- Conduct detailed structural analyses and assess machinery for various loading scenarios
- Perform intricate calculations and finite element analysis (FEA) for project optimisation
- Adhere to and implement industry standards, including API, AISC, and DNV regulations
- Communicate technical principles and equipment operations to project stakeholders
Quick tip: Create impressive job descriptions easily in our quick-and-easy CV Builder by adding pre-written job phrases for every industry and career stage.
After your work experience, your education section should provide a detailed view of your academic background.
Begin with those most relevant to Graduate Civil Engineer jobs, such as vocational training or degrees. If you have space, you can also mention your academic qualifications, such as A-Levels and GCSEs.
Focus on the qualifications that are most relevant to the jobs you are applying for.
Hobbies and interests
This section is entirely optional, so you’ll have to use your own judgement to figure out if it’s worth including.
If your hobbies and interests could make you appear more suitable for your dream job, then they are definitely worth adding.
Interests which are related to the industry, or hobbies like sports teams or volunteering, which display valuable transferable skills might be worth including.
Once you’ve written your Graduate Civil Engineer CV, you should proofread it several times to ensure that there are no typos or grammatical errors.
With a tailored punchy profile that showcases your relevant experience and skills, paired with well-structured role descriptions, you’ll be able to impress employers and land interviews.
Good luck with your next job application!