Crafting the Perfect Civil Engineering Resume

BY 
February 12, 2020

Want to turn those job applications into job interviews?

It’s all about crafting the perfect resume.

The way you present your work history and abilities isn’t just important; it can be the paramount reason you get that callback for an interview.

ASCE assembled an 11-member expert team of resume coaches for its 2020 Resume Workshop.

Together, they bring a diversity of experience and wealth of knowledge to help you craft the perfect civil engineering resume:

Melany Alliston-Brick

P.E., M.ASCE

Civil engineering practice director, Toole Design, Washington, D.C.

Best resume tip? Talk about your accomplishments, not your duties.

Best career advice you’ve ever received? Communication skills are just as important as the math and science in an engineering career. Your ideas must be communicated clearly and succinctly in plain language for someone to be able to implement them. From your resume to your design drawings to the way you explain your work to the public, communicate clearly in all you do – someone’s life may depend on it!

Cantrell

Doug Cantrell

P.E., PMP, M.ASCE

Preservation and repair engineer, North Carolina Department of Transportation

Best resume tip? Use bullet points and effective headings to organize your resume.

Best career advice you’ve ever received? It’s not a mistake, unless you make it twice.

Fasano

Anthony Fasano

P.E., M.ASCE

Executive coach and trainer for engineers

Best resume tip? You should submit a different resume to each job you apply for. Each one should be catered to the specific needs of that company.

Best career advice you’ve ever received? Focus on the 20 percent of the things that drive 80 percent of your success, forget the rest.

Lesser

Ashley Lesser

P.E., M.ASCE

Project engineer, NTH Consultants, Detroit, Michigan

Best resume tip? Take the time to create a fresh, tailored version of your resume for each opportunity you pursue. Review the job description and company website carefully, and emphasize specific experiences and accomplishments that will help you succeed in that particular role.

Best career advice you’ve ever received? Never stop learning!  But don’t think that learning only takes place in a classroom or from a textbook.  Get to know the engineers in your company who you most admire for their technical prowess, and ask them what you can do to sharpen your skills.

Little

Katie Little

A.M.ASCE

Minister of Christian Service, Detroit, Michigan

Best resume tip? Keep it clear. Many recruiters may not spend more than a glance at it if it’s too cluttered or poorly formatted.

Best career advice you’ve ever received? Look for a job that is a good fit, but if a job doesn’t turn out the way you hoped, you can still learn from the experience and then use it as a stepping stone to a better one.

Medora

Christopher Medora

EIT, ENV SP, A.M.ASCE

Highway designer, Gannett Fleming, Philadelphia

Best resume tip? Organization of your resume goes a long way.

Best career advice you’ve ever received? Do not be afraid to ask questions, no matter how silly they may seem.

Oliden

Nicolai Oliden

P.E., M.ASCE

Project engineer, Ethos Engineering, Tempe, Arizona

Best resume tip? Become so desirable, or network so well that you don’t need a resume.

Best career advice you’ve ever received? “You don’t get paid by the hour. You get paid for the value you bring to that hour.” – Jim Rohn. This has made me continually focus on what value I’m bringing to my job each day and finding ways to always improve.

Perez

Michael A. Perez

Ph.D., EI, A.M.ASCE

Assistant professor, Auburn University

Best resume tip? Formatting should be clear, concise and easy for readers to follow.

Best career advice you’ve ever received? Networking is the best thing you can do to grow professionally.

Schroeder

Danielle Schroeder

EIT, A.M.ASCE

Associate bridge engineer, Pennoni Associates, Philadelphia

Best resume tip? Experience in the past should be written in past tense. If it is present experience, use present tense.

Best career advice you’ve ever received? Somewhat Drexel specific, but the best career advice I ever received from a Drexel alumnus was to apply for the BS/MS accelerated degree program. To be able to graduate with both my bachelor’s and master’s in civil engineering in five years was difficult, but it made it so much easier for me to stand out when I was searching for my first full-time job.

Valencia

Julian Valencia

A.M.ASCE

Utility management engineer (Engineer II), Atkins, Houston

Best resume tip? Don’t undervalue your aptitudes and skills when you write your experience.

Best career advice you’ve ever received? Always give your 100 percent in the task you are assigned. This commitment will be present in the work you deliver and will follow you over time.

Ziegler

Jennifer Sloan Ziegler

Ph.D., P.E. ENV SP, M.ASCE

Engineer, Cypress Environmental Science and Engineering, Jackson, Mississippi

Best resume tip? Keep your resume clean – balance white space and text.

Best career advice you’ve ever received? You need to know what you know. You need to know what you don’t know. And you need to learn to ask for help.

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