Author Topic: Anyone have engineering hiring experience? I could use help with a cover letter  (Read 3139 times)

Victorious Secret

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Hey all, maybe I'm pushing my luck posting this but I have a bit of an odd request here.  I'm hoping someone with hiring experience (preferably in some field of engineering) can give me some feedback on my resume and cover letter, before I apply for a job I've been eyeing.  Or, maybe point me in the direction of someone who can?  I think this would be a great company for me to work for and I really want to make sure I'm putting my best foot forward.  It's a small-ish company that seems to value quality of life and well-being as much as productivity.  So I want to get their attention in my cover letter, without going over the top. 

Whatever help I can get I would appreciate.  Feel free to PM me, or we can exchange e-mails if that's more convenient.


  • Handlebar Stache
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I haven't done a lot of hiring but I have done some. Also been hired a few times, which counts for something I guess. PM sent


  • Magnum Stache
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I'm a firmware engineer/manager in a large multinational tech company and have done hiring.  Feel free to send stuff to me via PM if you like.

My opinions, which I used successfully to get hired where I'm at now but are possibly worth what you paid for them:

It helps a ton if you know someone or even someone who knows someone at the target company.  Network, ask around, let people know you're interested in working at this place.  If you find someone, just let them know you're applying for position X there, and did they have any general advice they're willing to give you.  Listen to their answer.
Research the position - know what the company does, who their main customers are, what their main products are, what issues they face, and the hiring manager's name and job title.
Don't put anything in the resume or cover letter that doesn't relate reasonably to the position.
Cover letter should explain how your skills and experience apply to this job.
Customize both cover letter and resume for each position.  Start with a generic one, cut-and-paste from older ones, but spammy "Here's my resume, do you want to hire me?" makes you feel good but is not effective and thus a waste of everyone's time.
No typos, grammatical mistakes, alignment issues, slang, anywhere.  Have multiple people review what you're going to send.
Resume should be one page maximum unless you've got a work history over 10 years long and it's all relevant to the position.


  • Stubble
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The best cover letter resource I've found is That site is also good for general career advice. I credit it entirely with the awesome new job that I just found - if I hadn't been reading Ask a Manager, I wouldn't have had nearly as good a shot for this opportunity.

Ask a Manager will also give you good tips on interviewing, like questions to ask to figure out if you really do want to work for this particular company. When I was applying, I went on an interview with a company that looked really good on paper, but when I got there, turned out to be a serious hot mess.

I could also look at your resume and cover letter, in my professional capacity as an editor. PM me if you'd like.


  • Pencil Stache
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What type of engineering? Maybe it doesn't matter, but I'm in Civil/Environmental, which is a far cry from software or something like that.

I work in a small office of a large firm and have been involved hiring. PM me if you like.


  • Stubble
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I've hired mechanical and chemical engineers, and if you are of that bent and want a set of eyes on your cover letter, PM me the text if you like and I'll give you my reaction as a hiring manager.  It's funny that I've seen a lot of cover letters, but the most memorable ones are the bad ones.  My best advice is to be enthusiastic but genuine.  I want to see some specifics about why you want to work for my company, but I don't want to be shmoozed.  It's a balance between the personal and professional that makes a good cover letter in my opinion.  The goal is to get me to read your resume, not have me remember how ridiculous your first line was five years later.  :)  It's the resume that will sell you into the job, you just have to get me to read it.


  • Walrus Stache
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I didn't know anyone read those cover letters.  TIL