When you apply for a position as a civil engineer, you want to showcase your project experience and education in a way that gets you noticed. Here is some information about how to effectively highlight your skills and abilities, including how to create the best resume format to land a position as a civil engineer.
Best Resume Format for a Civil Engineer: Chronological or Functional?
When you structure your resume, you have two basic formats to choose from: chronological and functional. A chronological resume is just what it sounds like. It lists your past work history in the order it took place, starting with your most recent job and working backwards in time.
While many people find a chronological resume best if they have worked a long time in the engineering field, individuals with diverse work backgrounds or gaps in their work experience may prefer a functional resume format. This type of resume puts all of your engineering and related skill sets at the top, followed by other, less relevant experience. A functional resume calls attention to educational achievements, strengths, personal skills and goals that might otherwise be overlooked within your resume.
Which option is the best resume format for you? If you took time off to raise a family or have worked in another field recently, a functional resume is likely a good choice. If you are a recent graduate or have worked almost exclusively as a civil engineer or in a related field, a chronological resume is probably the best resume format.
What Sections Should a Civil Engineer Include on a Resume?
All resumes should start with your name, mailing address, email address and phone number at the top of the page. Next, create a section labeled "Experience." If you are using a functional resume, label one section as "Engineering Experience" and the another section as "Other Experience."
In the experience section, list each position you’ve held by job title, the name of your employer and the dates you worked there. Beneath each entry, build a list of bullet points outlining your job duties. Start each point with a verb like "drafted," "managed" or "developed." If you are still actively employed, those verbs should be in present tense.
After you list your experience, you need a section labeled "Education." Include any degrees you’ve earned as well as certifications relating to your career. Usually, advanced degrees come first, so a Ph.D. would be ahead of a master's degree, which would be above a bachelor's degree.
What Other Advice Should a Civil Engineer Know About Composing a Resume?
If you have worked on multiple large or prestigious projects during the course of your career, you may need to create subheadings under a job title for each project. Under each project, list bullet points with your duties for that project. This is especially important if you worked on well-known construction projects like major urban renewal initiatives, dams or bridges.
If you are still in school, put your expected graduation date under your education section. You can list any relevant engineering coursework to help make up for a light experience section. While you don't need to give your GPA, you can include honors or awards as well as licensing information in this section. Wait until you are asked to provide information about personal interests or references.
You can get more terrific resume advice by visiting LiveCareer. You'll learn more about the best resume format for your background and how to become the top candidate when you apply for civil engineering jobs.