How To Write a Graduate Engineer Cover Letter (With Example)

By Indeed Editorial Team

Published 19 July 2021

The Indeed Editorial Team comprises a diverse and talented team of writers, researchers and subject matter experts equipped with Indeed's data and insights to deliver useful tips to help guide your career journey.

When submitting an application for a graduate engineering job, a cover letter is an important way to introduce yourself to the recruitment team. It provides the reader with their first impression of you and tells them a lot more about you as a person than your CV may. It can be a vital part of your application and help you differentiate yourself from other candidates who're applying for the same position. In this article, we explore what a graduate engineer cover letter is, why you need one and how to write your own, plus provide an example.

Related: 139 Action Verbs to Make Your CV Stand Out

What is a graduate engineer cover letter?

A graduate engineer cover letter is the front page of your CV that a hiring manager, recruiter or human resources professional may read first when reviewing applications. It's also your opportunity to show the recruiter what makes you a great fit for the job. Your cover letter gives you the chance to show the recruiter who you are as a person, why you want to work as an engineer and how you see your career progressing.

Cover letters are generally only one A4 page long and tailored to the specific job you're applying for, so it can be helpful to research the company before submitting it. Keep your cover letter focused on the job you're applying for, describing more about your background and how you can provide what the employer needs. Consider highlighting the unique qualifications you possess that make you an ideal fit for the position.

Related: What You Need To Know About Professional Qualifications

Why is a cover letter important?

Cover letters are particularly important for new graduates because the experience on your CV might be limited. Instead, your cover letter can tell the reader your personal reasons for wanting to be an engineer, which can really help you get the job you want. Cover letters are one of the first documents that recruiters look at before opening your CV, so they provide a great way for you to introduce yourself and tell the reader exactly what makes you a brilliant engineer.

If you're submitting your application via email, you can make the main body of the email the same as your cover letter, but it's a good idea to include it as a separate document too. In this case, the first impression that the company gets from you is the cover letter, so ensure that the information you provide makes you memorable.

Tips for writing a graduate engineer cover letter

Cover letters are an important part of many recruitment processes, as they allow you the opportunity to explain more about your experience, abilities and skills, and how you can benefit the company by being its new hire. Consider these tips to write an effective cover letter:

  • Tell the employer about you and why you want to be an engineer.

  • Share more about your life, achievements, experience and qualifications.

  • Include the relevant keywords that were placed in the job advert.

  • Follow a simple and easy-to-read layout so that the reader can see the keywords at a glance.

  • Make sure there aren't any spelling or grammatical errors and that your cover letter is easy to understand.

Related: What Is a Cover Letter?: A Vital Document for Successful Job Searching

How to write a cover letter for a graduate engineer job

Follow these steps to write a cover letter that can successfully explain your experience to the reader and entice them to contact you for the next step of their recruitment process:

1. Include your contact details

When writing your cover letter, it's best practice to include your name at the top, followed by your phone number and email. Providing your name and contact details to the recruiter in a prominent location on your cover letter can make it easier for them to reference your cover letter later and have the information they need to contact you for an interview. You can place these details along the left or right margin depending on your personal preference and any layout you select for your cover letter.

2. Address your cover letter to the recruiter

Consider including the title, name and business address of the recruiter in the next part of your cover letter. If you're unsure who the recruiter is, you can address your cover letter to the company and the specific department you're applying with. Include the date of your submission here too so the reader can see exactly when you sent in your application. You can also reference this date later to determine if it's a good time to follow up with the employer if you have yet to hear from anyone.

Related: Show Hiring Managers That You're Ready To Work

3. Greet the recruiter

As with any official letter, it's important to start with a greeting to the individual who you expect to review the document. In most cases, the person considering your cover letter for an open position at the company is the recruiter, so your greeting can include their name or 'hiring manager.' Because your cover letter is a formal application document, stay professional in your greeting by using 'Dear.'

4. Write an introductory paragraph

You can use the first paragraph of your cover letter to tell the reader about who you are as a person. Give them some details about your background, qualifications and work experience in engineering, plus any other work you've done that relates to the role. The goal of this paragraph is to tell the reader why they should hire you.

If you have little experience, this paragraph can be a great opportunity for you to tell the reader about the transferrable skills you learned while at university. Think about the projects you completed, the specific courses you excelled at and accomplishments you earned that showcase your ability to succeed in the role you're applying for.

5. Explain why you want to be an engineer

In your second paragraph, you can give the recruiter some more information about why you want to be an engineer. Making this section more personal to you can show a recruiter that you genuinely care about the position you're applying for. This section can also include your goals for career progression, such as postgraduate study or specific courses you'd like to attend. Exploring this shows the recruiter that you are serious about this industry and that you're really interested in developing as an engineer.

6. Share why you want to work for the company

This paragraph is where you can really tell the company you're choosing to apply with them. Explain what specifically about the company appeals to you. This shows the recruiter that you took the time to research more about the company and connected the organisation's mission, values or goals with your own.

7. Insert a closing statement

Your closing statement can be brief and effectively end your cover letter in a professional and positive way. Finish your cover letter with a statement that tells the recruiter that you're looking forward to hearing from them. Consider telling them that you're available by email or phone to answer any questions they may have about your experience or other details you've included in your cover letter.

Example of a graduate engineer cover letter

Here is an example of a cover letter you can use for inspiration when writing your own as an engineering graduate:

Susan Smith
Susan.Smith@email.com
5559 876654

Mr. Timothy Gregs
Care & Co. Engineering

28 June 2021

Dear Mr. Gregs,

I am writing to apply for the Graduate Engineer vacancy you have advertised. I have a first-class degree with honours in Engineering from the University of the West of England, graduating in June of this year. I have an extensive understanding of using common computer software that works well with engineering programs and tools. My work experience includes working in retail throughout university, through which I learned important skills such as team working, time management and prioritising.

I have wanted to pursue a career in engineering from a young age and it has always been something that fascinates me. During my time at university, I was able to undertake some fantastic opportunities working with different engineers in a variety of settings. I enjoyed them all, but the job I enjoyed most was working on the environmental engineering team. This experience gave me really great insight into how environmental engineers work, furthering my passion to work in this industry.

My career goals are to commence a master's in environmental engineering over the next few years, and the opportunity to work with your company would give me priceless experience for this.

I have always followed your company on social media and I enjoy reading and learning from the publications you have produced. I have always admired the work you do across the country and to have the opportunity to be part of your award-winning team would be an ultimate career goal. I followed your project developing the local multi-storey car park and was fascinated to see how well you overcame the obstacles that arose.

I look forward to hearing from you and am available to interview as soon as possible. Please feel free to contact me via phone or email should you have any questions about my application.

Thank you,
Susan Smith

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