Author Topic: [META] How to express "I like good engineering" in a cover letter?  (Read 1765 times)

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Offline RedLion

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As many engineers, I often find it hard to express myself in a way that gets the point across. What I'd like to convey is that I don't like to bodge, but rather strive for well executed engineering. I'm sure we all know the satisfaction of coming up with a solution (or seeing it in someone elses design), that feeling of "now that's good engineering". However just stating it verbatim would be a bit blunt for a cover letter. How would you convey that in a cover letter?

Here's an effort at it I made earlier:
"Regarding my way of working, I think I can say that I have an undeniable tendency towards perfectionism, which translates into a particular attention to detail and a great deal of patience regarding the completion of tasks entrusted to me. Additionally, I am an engineering enthusiast at heart and I strive to always find the optimal solution to the problem at hand. Further, I am capable of a definite creativity when confronted with challenges and technological problems, independent of whether I'm working on my own or in a group."

Thanks for any help,
I.J.
Professionally talking myself out of a career since 1996
 

Online fourfathom

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Re: [META] How to express "I like good engineering" in a cover letter?
« Reply #1 on: March 17, 2022, 06:02:42 am »
I like the concept, but watch out for "perfectionism".  You don't want them to think that you will spend too much time in the pursuit of "perfect".  Here are a couple of sayings you will want to ponder:

"Good enough is Perfect" (paraphrasing Voltaire or someone else, depending on who you believe)
"There comes a point in every project where it's time to shoot the engineers and actually begin production."

Like you, I appreciate good, clever, brilliant engineering.  It's art, science, and philosophy combined.  But don't give the impression that you're one of those who can't actually deliver a working design to a reasonable schedule.

On the other hand, when doing a self-review one is usually expected to throw in a little critical self-analysis.  I usually mentioned "perfectionism" as one of my weaknesses.  But that was after I had the job and a good track-record, my bosses knew me, and we all realized that was how the game was played.
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Online RoGeorge

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Re: [META] How to express "I like good engineering" in a cover letter?
« Reply #2 on: March 17, 2022, 10:33:48 am »
Sounds well enough to me.  I'll make a PDF of an empty A4/letter page, with the title "Cover Letter" so to be clear that that PDF is your cover letter, and in the middle of the page write exactly that:  I like good engineering.

Write the sentence with normal font/size, centered in the middle of the page.  A blank page with just that text.  Make it a PDF, not a picture.

Offline TomS_

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Re: [META] How to express "I like good engineering" in a cover letter?
« Reply #3 on: December 27, 2022, 09:53:15 pm »
I feel that this

"Regarding my way of working, I think I can say that I have an undeniable tendency towards perfectionism, which translates into a particular attention to detail and a great deal of patience regarding the completion of tasks entrusted to me. Additionally, I am an engineering enthusiast at heart and I strive to always find the optimal solution to the problem at hand.

Could be reduced to

Quote
I am an engineering enthusiast at heart and I strive to always find the optimal solution to the problem at hand.

No fluff, to the point, concise, impactful. If you have examples to back it up, like solutions to problems that you have come up with, that is all the better.

I, too, have been urged away from trying to portray myself as a perfectionist, no matter how much I may feel that is one of my core principles.

Remember: this isn't an art project, it's something that has to be designed and built within a customers budget and likely to a deadline. They don't want someone who's going to dwell on details at the expense of the overall project.

That and the two sentences seem to be contrary to each other IMO. Engineering often involves compromise which precludes perfection. But compromise doesn't have to mean taking shortcuts...

While this

 
Quote
Further, I am capable of a definite creativity when confronted with challenges and technological problems, independent of whether I'm working on my own or in a group."

May be better replaced by a list of projects you have worked on, stating your responsibilities and accomplishments. That will get the same message across but with verifiable examples rather than just words.
 


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