Learn how to format a cover letter properly: from your cover letter layout and presentation to its contents. Get examples and cover letter formatting tips.
You’ve just come across the engineering job of your dreams.
Whether it’s in aerospace, building services, or electronics, you know you’re an engineer skilled enough to give even Sheldon Cooper pause.
But, before you get the job, you’ve got to write a cover letter that’s structurally sound and engineered to perfection.
In this article, you’ll get:
- Two engineering cover letter examples, one for an experienced engineer and another for an entry-level engineering internship cover letter.
- Step-by-step tips on how to write engineering cover letters that will score you more interviews.
- Engineering cover letter templates you can copy, tweak, and have ready in 15 minutes.
Let’s start by taking a look at two engineering cover letter samples:
1. Engineering Cover Letter Examples
First, meet Joyce.
Joyce is about 26 years old, the oldest of two siblings, and she can kick your butt in badminton.
Joyce is a skilled engineer, having a couple of years of private experience as well as a degree in mechanical engineering. Which is perfect, because the job to which she’s applying seeks an experienced engineer capable of developing thermal systems, control boxes, and other such items.
Let’s look at Joyce’s cover letter and see how she wins over the employer:
Example #1: Mid-Level Mechanical Engineer Candidate
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Joyce P. Herron
Honolulu, September 10, 2019
Head of Engineering
1896 Don Jackson Lane
Honolulu, HI 96826
As a mechanical engineering graduate with a passion for chemistry and physics and 2 years of experience with fluid mechanics and heat transfer research, I was excited to see the opening for a mechanical engineer. Having already obtained a U.S. Government Secret Security Clearance, I believe my expertise in thermodynamics and cooling systems make me an excellent candidate to consider for Northridge Grunwald.
In the job ad, it says that you’re looking for a mechanical engineer capable of designing, modifying, and developing mechanical products and systems such as instrumentation, control boxes, robotics, and heat transfer systems. During my employment at Space Robotrix, I was instrumental in developing thermal hydraulic systems, one of which increased energy transfer by 250%. I am sure that I would be able to achieve similar results as a mechanical engineer at Northridge Grunwald.
As a teenager, I would often pass the secure facilities of Northridge Grunwald on my way to school, and it definitely helped inspire me to become an engineer. Joining the world-renowned engineering team and playing a role in creating the next generation of technological hardware would be a dream come true.
Could you make time for a phone call or in-person chat to allow me to discuss my research, analysis, and process methods and how they could be valuable to your upcoming objectives?
Joyce P. Herron
How about that, right?
Joyce definitely has a cover letter for mechanical engineer jobs that’s bound to go all the way.
But what about writing an entry-level engineering cover letter?
Joseph is the younger brother to Joyce, an Instagram foodie, and loves to assemble model cars.
Of greater relevance is the fact that Joseph has no professional engineering experience.
So, let’s see now how Joseph woos the hiring manager over with a top-of-the-line engineering intern cover letter:
Example #2: Entry-Level Cover Letter for Engineering Internship
Joseph P. Herron
Honolulu, September 10, 2019
Head of Engineering
1896 Don Jackson Lane
Honolulu, HI 96826
Having just completed my bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering, I would like to apply for the opening you recently posted for a robotics test engineering intern. Having completed coursework in robotics, electrical engineering, and test automation, I believe I have what it takes to be a successful and effective intern candidate.
In the job ad I found on Indeed, it states that you are searching for intern candidates capable of creating and implementing new scripts to test robotics systems. During my senior year, I created a case study featuring Northridge Grunwald and its latest achievements, and I performed an analysis where I would achieve a 15% greater efficiency metric than the results you posted publicly. I’d love to continue this process improvement as an actual engineering employee.
If you could grant me the time, I would love the opportunity to discuss Northridge Grunwald’s upcoming research and development process and explain how my university coursework prepared me to be a great engineering internship candidate.
Joseph P. Herron
Well, there you have it—
You’ve now seen two awesome cover letter examples which would have engineering managers begging you to attend an interview.
Now, let’s learn how to write an engineering cover letter of your own.
We’re about to give you cover letter-writing advice fitting any engineering job, be it mechanical engineering, electrical engineering, chemical engineering, or an internship.
And, if your anxious to complete it, we have easy, fill-in-the-blanks cover letter templates to make it a breeze.
Make sure your engineering resume is as optimized as your cover letter’s about to be. Check out a great engineer resume guide here: Engineering Resume Sample—Examples and 25+ Writing Tips
2. How to Write a Cover Letter for Engineering Jobs Step by Step (Template)
Here is how to make a high-performance cover letter for engineering jobs:
1. Format Engineering Cover Letters as You Would Any Formal Letter
To start a cover letter for engineering jobs, don’t go straight to writing its content.
First, you’ve got to format the cover letter.
Here are some guidelines for the engineer cover letter format:
- Choose a cover letter font which is easy for the engineering manager to read (and use the same font on your resume).
- Left-align all content in your aerospace or civil engineering cover letter, and don’t justify any of the text.
- Use a 1” margin on each of the 4 sides of your cover letter, and go with single-line spacing within the cover letter text.
- Don’t allow your chemical or mechanical engineer cover letter to be more than one page in length.
Expert Hint: Employment in engineering occupations, including aerospace, civil engineering, nuclear, biomedical, and mechanical, is expected to grow by 7% between 2016 and 2026. Almost 195,000 new jobs in engineering will be added, so your cover letter must be laid out correctly if you’re to have a shot at scoring the interview over the other candidates.
2. List Your Contact Information in the Cover Letter Header
In the header of your cover letter, just like in the engineering resume, you’re to include the general contact details.
The first portion is about you: include your name, phone number, email address, LinkedIn profile URL, and, optionally, your job title.
Next, today’s date, or the date you’ll send the application letter.
Finally, a text block for the employer’s info. Include the recruiter or hiring manager’s name, their position title, and the company address.
Use this sample template as a guide:
Cover Letter Engineering Example Template
[ Your First & Last Name]
[ Your Professional Title or Branding Statement ] (Optional)
[ Telephone Number ]
[ Email Address ]
[ LinkedIn URL ]
[ Date of Writing ]
[ Hiring Manager’s Name ]
[ Hiring Manager’s Job Title ]
[ Name of Corporation ]
[ Street Address ]
[ City, State, Zip Code ]
Expert Hint: The most important aspect of an engineering cover letter heading, aside from including accurate personal information, is that it matches the design and format of the heading on your engineer resume template.
3. Introduce Yourself and Identify the Engineering Job You’re Applying For
In the first paragraph of a cover letter for electrical engineers or automotive engineers, you’ve got to wow them.
If the opening sentences don’t catch their interest, they’ll put your cover letter aside like old technology.
Start the cover letter off by first addressing the employer by name. Then, identify the engineering position you’re applying for. Next, give a quick breakdown of your background in a way that shows that you’re an ideal candidate.
Check out this below opening statement template for your reference:
Engineering Cover Letter Example: Introduction
Dear [Name of Engineering Supervisor]:
I was thrilled when I came across the opening at [Name of Company] for the [Position Name] position. As a [Current Professional Title] with [#] years of engineering expertise, I’ve become quite knowledgeable in the area of [e.g., Validation Protocols, Mechanical Drawings, Diagnostic Devices, Sensory Systems, Energy Auditing, Engineering Change Notification, etc.].I am sure I would be a great fit on your engineering team to help you overcome any future challenges.
4. Feature Your Most Relevant Engineering Skills & Strengths
The following portion of any environmental engineer or civil engineering cover letter needs to be customized to the engineering job description.
Open the job ad which you’re applying to, and find the job requirements. In your second paragraph, you must show them how your engineering skills, past experience, and professional background are a match to what they’re looking for.
Here’s an easy-breezy engineer cover letter example for you to use as a template:
Cover Letter Example Engineering Jobs: Body Paragraph
Inside the job listing, it mentions that you’re searching for a [Engineering Job Title] with experience in [Engineering Job Responsibilities From Advertisement]. As a [Previous or Current Job Title] with [Name of Previous or Current Company],I became quite skilled with [Give Several of Your Proudest and Most Relevant Engineering Tasks, With Numbers, If Possible, to Show Results]. I know that I’d be able to achieve similar success were I to be hired at [Company Name].
If you have thoughts on how the organization you're applying for can improve in X way, you can include this as a thought starter in your cover letter. This shows that you not only have done your homework, but also thought about how you can add value to the organization, even before starting the job!
Expert Hint: According to a study in Physics Today, more and more science and engineering jobs are moving overseas away from the U.S. due to cost-cutting. To snatch the remaining jobs, your mechanical or electrical engineering cover letter had better be super compelling, and definitely NOT generic. So remember to always tailor it to the position you’re applying for.
5. Explain Why You’d Like to Work at This Particular Corporation
In the next part, whether on experienced or entry-level engineering cover letters, show enthusiasm.
Of course they need to know how your engineer skills and past experience fit the role, but they’d also like a hire which matches their company culture.
Show them you’re a perfect fit by throwing in a compliment or two.
Use this sample engineering cover letter template as a guide:
Engineering Cover Letter Example: Motivation Paragraph
I particularly admire [Company Name]’s take on [Give an Example of Something About the Company That Impresses You]. The beliefs and mission statement of your company seem to match perfectly with my own values. It would be an honor for me to be counted among your employees as the next [Target Position Name] at [Company Name].
6. Write a Strong Call to Action to Sign Off Effectively
To close a covering letter, request a face-to-face meeting, Skype session, or a telephone call to discuss further how you could benefit their engineering endeavors.
Here’s a sample engineering cover letter template where you can just fill in the blanks:
Sample Cover Letter for Engineering Jobs: Call to Action & Formal Closing
Could I schedule a call or meeting with you to go over how I believe my engineering skills may assist [Company Name] in achieving its upcoming KPIs and targets?
[Digital Copy of Handwritten Signature] (optional)
[First Name and Last Name]
Let’s have a brief summary—
Here’s how to write an engineering cover letter:
- Before you get to writing, format the engineering cover letter template for readability.
- Address the engineering supervisor or HR manager by name in the salutation.
- Start with a personal introduction, inform them of the role to which you’re applying, and give a quick background on your professional experience and technical skills.
- Get the job ad out and show how your background and expertise in engineering match their job requirements perfectly.
- Show some enthusiasm and give them a reason for why you want to be their new hire.
- Ask for a meeting or phone call to discuss further in your call-to-action statement.
Got any questions on writing mechanical engineering cover letters or electrical engineer cover letters? Need help showing you have what it takes on an entry-level engineer cover letter for an internship? Let’s talk down in the comments, and thank you for reading!