Writing a resume objective was once the most important part of the job application process, but the summary statement has now replaced this step for civil engineers and other professionals with diverse work experiences. A resume objective tells employers what job you are looking for and briefly describes the qualities you bring to the table as an engineer. A summary statement offers a more practical summary of your qualifications, including a blend of soft skills and concrete technical abilities.
How You Used to Write a Civil Engineer Resume Objective
Writing a resume objective begins by focusing on the exact position you hope to obtain, such as an entry-level civil engineering job working for a large government contractor. Objective statements are one or two brief sentences that include your most relevant work experience and mention your career goals in a way that matches the civil engineering job description as closely as possible. Resume objectives go at the beginning of your resume and serve as a brief introduction to the rest of the content within. Because they are so narrowly focused, there are limitations when writing a resume objective that make it difficult to adequately display the varied skills and accomplishments that make you a strong civil engineering job candidate.
Compare the following examples of writing a resume objective to the modern practices of writing a resume summary statement that encompasses different civil engineering skills and work experiences:
Registered CIOB member and civil engineer with five years of experience seeking to apply project management experience to a position with a large construction firm.
Creative civil engineer seeks entry-level position with BLE Construction that utilizes MS in Civil Engineering and BS in Architectural Engineering.
How to Write a Civil Engineering Resume Summary Statement
Writing a summary statement differs the most from writing a resume objective in its focus. A resume objective is focused on what you are looking for in an engineering employer, but a summary statement presents a broader perspective on your skills, achievements and work history as a civil engineering job candidate. Begin by isolating the skills and achievements that are most closely related to the field of engineering that you want to enter. If you want a job working for a firm that renovates government buildings, stress your prior experience as a consultant for renovations on a public structure.
The following examples show how to write a resume summary statement that focuses on specific skills and experiences that are targeted at the job you want without resulting in a narrow focus:
Registered Institute of Civil Engineering member with dual degrees in Civil Engineering and Architectural Engineering. Experienced in project management and able to work independently on tight deadlines. Goal-oriented and professional. Excellent software skills.
Experienced civil engineer with an emphasis on environmentally friendly structures and development. Ability to clearly communicate plans and designs to professionals in different areas of discipline. Solid decision-making and project management skills.
Motivated civil engineer with experience supervising project teams of 20 employees. Strong communication skills and focus on continuing education. Skilled at contract negotiation and coordinating large renovations. Safety-oriented and analytical.
The LiveCareer community has many tips and tricks for job seekers that you may find helpful as you create your resume. Writing a resume objective may be outdated, but constructing a summary statement that highlights your professional certifications and experiences as a civil engineer is the best way to ensure your success in the job search.