Engineering Cover Letter Example (W/ Templates & Tips for 2024)

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The days you solved puzzles and tinkered with gadgets are long gone.

You've always had a knack for engineering, and now you’re turning your passion into a career.

But as you’re applying for your next gig, you’re having trouble writing your engineering cover letter.

No worries. 

Whether you’re an entry-level engineer who doesn’t know the basics of writing cover letters or a seasoned professional who’s not good at putting their professional experience into words, we’ve got your back. 

In this article, we're going to guide you through the process of creating a perfect engineering cover letter, one step at a time.

Here’s what we’ll cover: 

  • Professional Engineering Cover Letter Example
  • 5 Simple Steps to Craft an Impressive Engineering Cover Letter
  • 3 Essential Engineering Cover Letter Tips 

Let’s dive in!

Engineering Cover Letter Example

Engineering Cover Letter Example

5 Steps for the Perfect Engineering Cover Letter

You've seen what a great cover letter looks like, and now it's time to create your own . 

It's as simple as the following steps, starting with: 

#1. Put Contact Information in the Header

Start your engineer cover letter with your contact information, just like you would on your resume . Here's what you should include:

  • Full Name: Place your complete name at the top of the page.
  • Job Title: List the exact job title required by the specific engineering position you're applying for (e.g. “Electrical Engineer”). Clarity here helps streamline the hiring process.
  • Email Address: Opt for a professional and straightforward email address, typically a combination of your first and last name.
  • Phone Number: Ensure your phone number is accurate, including the dialing code if applying for positions abroad.
  • Location: Mention your city and state or country. If you're open to remote work or relocating, make that clear on your engineering resume.
  • Relevant Links (optional): Include any pertinent websites or social media profiles, such as LinkedIn.

Next, it's time to provide the hiring manager's information:

  • Company Name: Specify the company you're applying to.
  • Hiring Manager's Name: Whenever possible, identify the hiring manager for the department you're interested in. Research the job ad, the company's website, or LinkedIn for this information.
  • Hiring Manager's Title: If you find that the hiring manager for this specific job ad holds a department head role, use that title instead of just "Hiring Manager."
  • Location: Include the city and state or country, particularly for globally operating companies. You can also add the company's street address for precision.
  • Email Address (optional): If available, include the hiring manager's email address.
  • Date of Writing (optional): Consider adding the date you composed your cover letter for that extra touch of professionalism.

#2. Address the Hiring Manager

Once you've included all the necessary contact information in your engineer cover letter, it's crucial to address it to the right person. 

For starters, avoid the generic and dated "To Whom It May Concern."

Giving some thought to how you address the cover letter can make a positive impression on the hiring manager. Here's how to do it:

Start by doing some research. Check the job posting, the company's website, or their LinkedIn profiles to identify the hiring manager for the department you're interested in. This way, you can find their name and email address.

Next, address them formally. Consider using "Ms." or "Mr." followed by their last name. If you're unsure about their gender or marital status, you can simply use their full name. For example:

  • Dear Mr. Rodriguez,
  • Dear Taylor Anderson,

In cases where you can't find specific information about the hiring manager or the head of the engineering department, you can address your letter to the department or the company in general:

  • Dear Engineering Department,
  • Dear Engineering Hiring Team,
  • Dear Human Resources Recruitment Team,
  • Dear Head of Engineering Services,

#3. Write an Eye-Catching Opening Statement

Hiring managers typically spend around seven seconds reviewing a candidate's application before deciding whether to continue reading it. This means your opening paragraph is your chance to grab the hiring manager’s attention and get them to read your cover letter.

Begin by introducing yourself and expressing your genuine interest in the role. Demonstrating your passion for the engineering field or the specific job can capture the hiring manager's attention.

Researching the company is also essential. The more you learn about the employer, the better you can talk about how you’d fit with the company culture. This conveys to the hiring manager that your application is not random; you're genuinely enthusiastic about this particular position.

Depending on your experience level, you can also start your cover letter by highlighting a significant achievement or showcasing the skills that make you an ideal fit for the role. 

However, keep this paragraph concise to ignite the hiring manager's curiosity and encourage them to explore the details in your cover letter further.

Check out our other cover letter examples to write an inspired opening paragraph. 

#4. Use the Cover Letter Body for the Details

You’re meant to use the body of your cover letter to talk in detail about why you are the perfect candidate for the position. 

The key here is to avoid rehashing your engineering resume . This is where you can talk in more detail about skills and achievements you didn’t have space for on your resume. 

Your mission is to persuade the hiring manager that you are the standout choice among a sea of applicants. To achieve this, you can highlight a couple of your most notable engineering achievements, and elaborate on the skills that helped you and the positive results your work has had.

Customizing your cover letter to align with the job posting is essential. Spotlight the specific skills the company is seeking and articulate how you can make valuable contributions to their team. For instance, if you're aiming for a position in a tech-focused engineering firm, emphasize your tech-related proficiencies rather than unrelated experiences.

Demonstrating your familiarity with the company, its business model, or its industry can be a tremendous asset. If you possess knowledge of the company's products or services, ensure it's mentioned in your cover letter to convey your alignment with their mission and corporate culture.

To keep this important cover letter part perfect, avoid these common cover letter mistakes at all costs. 

#5. Wrap It Up and Sign It

Concluding your cover letter professionally is just as important as starting on the right note.

Your goal is to leave a positive, lasting impression on the hiring manager and reinforce their confidence in your suitability for the engineering role.

In the conclusion, confidently reiterate why you are an excellent fit for the engineer position or highlight the skills that you believe distinguish you from other applicants.

Then, you can optionally include a call to action. Encouraging the hiring manager to take the next step, such as arranging a conversation to explore your application further, can enhance your chances of securing an interview.

Last but not least, conclude with a signature line. Choose something personal but still professional, followed by your full name. Here's an example:

Please don’t hesitate to contact me using the provided email or phone number to schedule a discussion. I eagerly anticipate the opportunity to delve deeper into my application at your earliest convenience.

Best wishes,

If you feel that "Best wishes" is overused, consider these alternative sign-off options:

  • Kind regards,
  • Respectfully yours,
  • Thank you for your consideration,

Simply choose the sign-off that aligns with your style and the tone of your engineering cover letter.

Engineering Cover Letter Structure

3 Essential Engineering Cover Letter Tips

You've covered the fundamentals, and now it's time to elevate your engineering cover letter with some cover letter tips . 

Here are our top three: 

#1. Match Your Resume

If you're truly committed to landing the gig, your job application needs to look as good as it reads.

Make certain that the formatting and layout of your engineering cover letter align seamlessly with your resume. This will not only show off your sense of professionalism but also highlight your attention to detail. 

Ensure that your text and contact information are neatly arranged on the page, maintain uniform font styles and sizes, and set the right margins and line spacing to keep your cover letter on a single page.

This can set you apart from other candidates and underscore your genuine dedication to the position.

Or Use A Cover Letter Template Instead

As an engineer, you likely have better things to do than create a matching cover letter and resume.

There’s a solution to this.  

Try out our free resume templates to create the perfect engineering resume.

Then, pick a cover letter template that matches it visually to save time and effort.

Our templates are created in collaboration with hiring managers around the world, which means they hit industry standards right on the mark. You save time and get a matching cover letter for your resume that looks absolutely professional. Sweet deal, isn’t it?

Engineering Cover Letter Samples

#2. Emphasize Your Achievements

Highlighting your achievements in your engineering cover letter is a smart move. 

It's not just about listing them, though; it's about showing how they make you the ideal candidate for the job. This helps hiring managers see the value you can bring to their team. 

So, be sure to integrate your achievements seamlessly into your cover letter, connecting them to the role you're pursuing. This way, you'll leave a lasting impression of your capabilities.

#3. Keep It Relevant

In your engineering cover letter, being concise is key. 

It's not about overwhelming the hiring manager with lengthy paragraphs; it's about providing relevant information efficiently. Employers appreciate cover letters that get to the point and directly address the qualifications and skills that make you a great fit for the job. 

So, keep it relevant, and you'll make a strong and lasting impression.

Key Takeaways

Here you go!

Now, you're all set to craft the ideal engineering cover letter and secure that role you've been eyeing.

For clarity, let's revisit the key takeaways:

  • Ensuring your engineering cover letter aligns with your resume provides a cohesive, professional appearance. Consider using a resume and cover letter builder for the seamless creation of both documents.
  • Organize your cover letter with a captivating opening, followed by detailed elaboration. Utilize the main section to emphasize your engineering skills, past projects, and why you're the perfect fit for the role.
  • Review the job listing for specific engineering skills and relevant keywords. By aligning with the employer's expectations, you'll stand out and make a lasting impression.
  • Never underestimate the importance of proofreading. A small oversight might jeopardize your chance, so double-check for errors before submission.

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sample of cover letter in engineering

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3 Engineering Cover Letter Examples Built for 2024 

Stephen Greet

  • Engineering Cover Letter
  • Mechanical Engineering Cover Letter
  • Civil Engineering Cover Letter
  • Write Your Engineering Cover Letter

As an engineer, your role holds immense significance in shaping the world around us. You’re the problem solver, the innovator, and the driving force behind complex projects. From designing sustainable infrastructure to optimizing machinery and electrical systems, your skills are diverse and impactful.

But when it comes to writing a cover letter to complement your engineering resume , it’s a different ball game, and it can definitely feel a bit daunting. We understand that articulating your engineering prowess on paper can be a challenge.

That’s why we’re here to guide you through the process. Just follow our engineer cover letter examples and tips to simplify this unique writing task and fast forward to landing your dream job in engineering.

sample of cover letter in engineering

Engineering Cover Letter Example


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Engineering cover letter example

Copy this text for your engineering cover letter!

123 Fictional Avenue Dallas, TX 75001 (123) 456-7890

October 01, 2023

Isabella Hill Texas Instruments 123 Fictional Lane Dallas, TX 75001

Dear Ms. Hill:

I have always revered Texas Instruments’ dedication to innovation and forward-thinking, so I am thrilled at the chance to contribute to your advancement in electrical engineering. With a dedication that resonates with your focus on pushing the boundaries of electronics, I bring five years of relevant experience that can help accelerate the development of your products, identify engineering efficiencies, and maintain your reputation for excellence as your electrical engineer.

At Intellic Integration, my contribution was instrumental in designing and deploying 32+ distinct analog circuit projects. By employing software tools like LTspice and KiCad, I was able to aid in the reduction of design turnaround time by 27% while ensuring a defect rate of less than 4%. In collaboration with teams, I also successfully reduced the cost of raw materials by 18% by presenting an alternative vendor offering similar quality products.

While working at NXP Semiconductors, I led a team conducting comprehensive power flow studies using ETAP for 13 industrial clients. This project not only resulted in a 14% reduction in network losses but also increased network availability by 19%, thereby ensuring higher client satisfaction and retention.

My experience also includes complex problem-solving in swift turnaround settings. One notable instance was at Baker Hughes, where I designed and implemented an emergency power supply circuit within 17 hours, helping the firm avert a projected loss of $67,123 due to power outages. My Professional Engineer (PE) license further underscores my commitment to the highest technical and ethical standards.

Unwavering in my commitment to cultivating an environment of trust, respect, and collaboration, it would be an honor to bring my talent to a company as reputable as Texas Instruments. I am prepared to provide further details about my experience at your earliest convenience. Thank you for your consideration.

Matias Castro

Enclosures: Resume Application 2 letters of recommendation Professional Engineer (PE) License

Why this cover letter works

  • Also, see how Matias enthusiastically kicks off this engineering cover letter. In addition, one or two soft skills should suffice (cue communication skills, project management, and problem-solving).

Level up your cover letter game

Relax! We’ll do the heavy lifiting to write your cover letter in seconds.

Mechanical Engineering Cover Letter Example

Mechanical engineering cover letter example

Copy this text for your mechanical engineering cover letter!

123 Fictional Avenue Chicago, IL 60007 (123) 456-7890

James Lewis United Airlines 123 Fictional Lane Chicago, IL 60007

Dear Mr. Lewis:

Studying the combustion of jet engines while pursuing my mechanical engineering degree left an indelible impression on me. The intricate fusion of precision, power, and excellence not only fascinated me but also pushed me to make it a part of my career journey. Carrying this passion forward, I have been fortunate to fuse my knowledge with my profession over the past six years. Emulating a similar pattern towards success and precision, I am eager to embark on a new adventure with United Airlines as your next mechanical engineer.

At Invernergy, I utilized SOLIDWORKS and ANSYS for designing and simulating mechanical systems. Due to my efforts, there was a decrease in the production defect rate by 17%, and I managed to extend the product lifecycle by 13%, amplifying cost savings.

Together with the team at James Hardie, we tapped MATLAB for several predictive maintenance assignments. Utilizing predictive models, we were able to flag the signs of imminent equipment failure, slashing the failure probability by 14% and achieving a 9% increase in production volume.

At Arrow Gear, my skills in ANSYS facilitated finite element analysis, leading to a substantial 23% decrease in material stress concentration points in our product line. This directly led to a spike in the product safety and compliance rating by 29%. I look forward to the opportunity to bring my unique set of skills and the spirit of perseverance to United Airlines. Thank you for considering my application.

  • Use real numbers to underpin impacts generated from industry-specific skills in previous roles (cue 13% improvement in product lifecycle). Proficiency in pertinent software like MATLAB, ANYSYS, and SOLIDWORKS is a welcome bonus.

Civil Engineering Cover Letter Example

Civil engineering cover letter example

Copy this text for your civil engineering cover letter!

123 Fictional Avenue Detroit, MI 48127 (123) 456-7890

Noah Moore Wade Trim 123 Fictional Lane Detroit, MI 48127

Dear Mr. Moore,

Since my tender age, I have been utterly fascinated by the intriguing bond between civil engineering and societal development. Starkly etched in my memory is the 2013 Detroit flooding, a catastrophic event that could have decimated my family were it not for the efforts of the resilient city engineers and planners. It served as my pivotal moment, sparking a burning desire to become a civil engineer who didn’t just build structures but shaped lives and society. Now, I am thrilled to bring my expertise in SAP2000, Geotechnical Engineering, and more to Wade Trim as a civil engineer.

During my tenure with Smith Group, harnessing the power of SAP2000, I proposed ground-breaking enhancements to existing structures, which ushered in an unprecedented 19% surge in load-bearing capacity. That was instrumental in bolstering public safety and triggering significant urban developments.

Later, in my role at Giffels Webster, I played a crucial part in a monumental urban revitalization project, applying my expertise in soil mechanics, slope stability, and foundations. Seeing our landslide risk plummet by a spectacular 27% was a testament to our hard work, ensuring the structural safety of the new community development.

In my stint with the flood control task force at WSP, I capitalized on HEC-RAS to model and decipher the complex dynamics of floodplain scenarios. After relentless ideation, I spotted and redesigned critical bottlenecks in the waterways. This strategic move led to a remarkable 16% dip in flooding risks for susceptible zones in the Detroit metropolitan region.

Wade Trim stands as a beacon of engineering brilliance and I look forward to discussing how my civil engineering savvy can catalyze your continual growth and, in return, enrich urban landscapes and escalate societal quality of life. Thank you.

Mikhail Ivanov

  • But again, you must prove your competence. Enter detailed and snappy highlights of your experiences showcasing the use of industry-specific skills like Geotechnical engineering and HEC-RAS and complemented with tangible results.

Related cover letter examples

  • Engineering resume
  • Computer science
  • Web developer

How to Write a Persuasive Engineering Cover Letter

Salesperson pops out of computer screen to depict outselling the competition with sales cover letter

Precision and attention to detail are second nature to you, and writing a great cover letter is already well within your skill set—because you know what makes a good engineer. To truly showcase this expertise and stand out to each potential employer, it’s crucial to tailor your cover letter to the specific job description . 

For instance, if the role emphasizes management skills, highlight your experience in successfully overseeing complex engineering projects. Doing this demonstrates that you’ve read the job requirements and understand how your qualifications align with the employer’s needs. 

sample of cover letter in engineering

Getting the greeting right

To kick off your engineer cover letter with a bang, start by addressing the recipient by name. You can find this information by scouring the company’s website and LinkedIn profile, or even making a quick phone call. If you absolutely can’t find a name, a polite “Dear Hiring Manager” or “Dear [Company] Team” will still do the trick.

Following the greeting, your opening paragraph should be a captivating hook. This is your opportunity to connect with the company and demonstrate why you’re tailor-made for the role. 

Mention your passion for tackling complex engineering challenges or your admiration for the company’s groundbreaking projects. Personalize this for each job application; for example, if the role emphasizes designing and reading blueprints, mention your confidence in that regard.

Now, let’s steer clear of some common pitfalls. This example falls flat because it lacks enthusiasm, doesn’t address why you’re a great fit, and fails to make any connection with the employer or its specific needs. 

A bit bland…

I saw your job listing for an engineer online. I noticed you haven’t gotten many responses, so I hope you can hire me.

This next example, on the other hand, is positively bursting with enthusiasm. The applicant sounds like they’re applying for their ultimate dream job, and that’s exactly the impression you want to give.

Enthusiastic and exciting!

sample of cover letter in engineering

Crafting compelling body paragraphs

In the body paragraphs of your cover letter, it’s time to build on the strong foundation you’ve laid. For engineers, this is your opportunity to discuss specific projects you’ve worked on, your technical expertise, and the impact you’ve made. 

Whether it’s managing complex infrastructure projects, optimizing machinery for efficiency, or solving intricate electrical system challenges, focus on the engineering tasks that make you stand out. 

Numbers are your friends here. Share metrics that illustrate your contributions—whether it’s the number of successful projects you’ve completed, the percentage increase in productivity you achieved, or how your innovative solutions reduced costs or improved safety.

Your expertise will shine!

sample of cover letter in engineering

Closing and signing off your cover letter with style

In the closing paragraph of your engineer cover letter, your goal is to leave a lasting impression by summarizing how your values, qualifications, and job skills align perfectly with the company.

Begin by reiterating your excitement about the opportunity. Demonstrate that you’ve done your research by mentioning something specific about the company or role that resonates with you. For example, if applying to a company known for innovative sustainability projects, express your passion for environmental responsibility.

Lastly, never forget to express gratitude for the consideration and conclude with a professional signoff like “Sincerely, [Your Name].”

This closing line is a no-go because it introduces a potential obstacle and is unprofessional for a cover letter. Always leave such discussions for later stages of the hiring process! 

Not so fast!

I’m looking forward to working with you. Just so you know, I play golf every Friday so I need to leave by 2 pm on that day. Thanks!

The next example is far more on point. Any company will choose the passionate applicant over everyone else because it gives the impression that you’ll go above and beyond. 

In modern cover letter writing, including addresses is largely unnecessary. Instead, focus on the letter’s content, which should emphasize your job skills in engineering and the field you specialize in the most, such as civil engineering.

Customize your cover letter for each job application by mentioning specific aspects of the company that resonate with you. For example, if the company is known for introducing innovative solutions in the medical field, emphasize your excitement at contributing your engineering expertise to such an important mission.

Tailor the tone to match the company culture and job description . If the company has a formal culture, keep your language professional. If it’s more relaxed, you can be slightly more informal, but always maintain a respectful and positive tone. Don’t be afraid to use technical engineering jargon to show your knowledge.

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Engineering Cover Letter: 10 Samples & Writing Tips

sample of cover letter in engineering

In today’s competitive job market, it is essential to have a standout cover letter that catches the attention of recruiters and hiring managers. A cover letter is a crucial component of a job application, and it can help you land your dream job in the engineering industry. This article aims to provide you with useful tips and 10 sample cover letters to help you craft an effective cover letter that showcases your skills, qualifications, and experience.

Importance of a Cover Letter

A cover letter is a document that introduces you to potential employers and highlights your qualifications for the job. It complements your resume and showcases your writing skills, attention to detail, and communication abilities. A well-crafted cover letter can help you stand out from other applicants and demonstrate your enthusiasm for the position.

General Tips for Writing an Engineering Cover Letter

If you’re applying for an engineering position, your cover letter is an opportunity to make a great first impression on a potential employer. Here are some general tips to help you craft a successful engineering cover letter.

A. Customization

One of the most important things you can do when writing an engineering cover letter is to customize it for the position you’re applying for. This means tailoring your letter to match the job description and highlighting the skills and experience that make you a good fit for the role.

Start by carefully reading the job description to understand the employer’s needs and requirements. Then, use the language and terminology from the job ad to show that you understand the position and are a good match for it.

B. Conciseness

Employers don’t have time to read lengthy cover letters, so it’s important to keep your letter concise and to the point. Be sure to highlight your most relevant skills and experience and explain why you’re a strong candidate for the position.

sample of cover letter in engineering

Use bullet points or short paragraphs to make your letter easy to skim, and avoid repeating information that’s already included in your resume.

C. Formatting

A well-formatted cover letter can help demonstrate your attention to detail and professionalism. Use a standard font and formatting style, and be sure to include your contact information, the date, and the employer’s contact information.

You can also consider adding some design elements, such as a header or bullet points, to make your letter stand out. Just be sure to keep the overall design clean and professional.

D. Sign-off

Finally, make sure to end your cover letter with a strong sign-off. Use a professional closing, such as “Sincerely” or “Best regards”, followed by your name and contact information.

Remember to proofread your letter carefully for spelling and grammar errors, and ask a trusted friend or colleague to review it as well. With these general tips in mind, you’ll be well on your way to crafting a winning engineering cover letter.

Types of Engineering Cover Letters

When it comes to writing an engineering cover letter, there are several different types that you might need to consider. Below, we’ll take a look at some of the most common types of engineering cover letters, along with examples and tips for writing each one.

A. Entry-Level Engineering Cover Letter Example

If you’re just starting out in your engineering career, you’ll need to write an entry-level engineering cover letter. This type of cover letter should focus on your education, internships, and any relevant coursework or projects that you’ve completed.

Here’s an example of an entry-level engineering cover letter:

Dear Hiring Manager,

I am excited to submit my application for the entry-level engineering position at ABC Company. As a recent graduate of XYZ University’s mechanical engineering program, I have developed a strong foundation in engineering principles and design.

During my time at XYZ University, I completed several projects that allowed me to apply my engineering knowledge to real-world problems. For example, I worked with a team of classmates to design and build a prototype for a solar-powered car. This experience taught me the importance of collaboration and communication in engineering projects.

I am confident that my engineering skills, combined with my strong work ethic and eagerness to learn, make me an excellent candidate for the entry-level engineering position at ABC Company. Thank you for considering my application.

sample of cover letter in engineering

Sincerely, [Your Name]

B. Experienced Engineering Cover Letter Example

If you have several years of experience in engineering, you’ll need to focus on highlighting your accomplishments and skills in your cover letter. This type of cover letter should also demonstrate your knowledge of the industry and the company you’re applying to.

Here’s an example of an experienced engineering cover letter:

I am excited to apply for the senior mechanical engineer position at DEF Company. As a mechanical engineer with over 7 years of experience in the aerospace industry, I have a proven track record of designing and implementing successful engineering projects.

In my most recent role at GHI Corporation, I was responsible for leading a team of engineers in the development of a new aircraft engine. Through my leadership and technical abilities, we were able to bring the project in on time and under budget.

I am impressed by DEF Company’s commitment to innovation and creativity in the aerospace industry. I am confident that my experience and skills make me an excellent candidate for the senior mechanical engineer position, and I look forward to contributing to the success of the company.

C. Internship Engineering Cover Letter Example

If you’re applying for an internship in engineering, your cover letter should focus on your educational background and any relevant experience or coursework. You should also demonstrate your enthusiasm for the industry and the company you’re applying to.

Here’s an example of an internship engineering cover letter:

I am excited to apply for the engineering intern position at JK Company.

Engineering Cover Letter Dos and Don’ts

When it comes to writing your engineering cover letter, there are certain things that you should do, and others that you should avoid. Here are some dos and don’ts to keep in mind:

Show your passion:  Let the hiring manager know that you are truly passionate about engineering. Explain what inspires you and motivates you to pursue this field.

Highlight your qualifications and achievements:  Showcase your education and work experience that aligns with the job requirements. Highlight any notable achievements, such as projects you led or awards you received.

Address the job description:  Tailor your cover letter to the specific job you are applying for. Use keywords and phrases from the job description to show that you have carefully read and understood the requirements.

Use generic language or clichés:  Avoid using overused phrases like “team player” or “results-driven”. Instead, use specific examples to demonstrate your skills and accomplishments.

Repeat your resume:  Your cover letter should complement and expand upon your resume, not restate it. Avoid simply rehashing the information listed on your resume.

Make spelling or grammar errors:  Mistakes in grammar or spelling can make a bad impression on a potential employer. Proofread your cover letter and have someone else read it over before submitting. Utilize software, such as Grammarly, to ensure your letter is free of errors.

By following these dos and don’ts, you can create a compelling engineering cover letter that showcases your skills, passion, and qualifications.

Reverse Chronological Order – The Key to Highlighting Your Experience

As an engineer, highlighting your experience is essential in creating a convincing cover letter. One way to structure your experiences is through reverse chronological order. By doing so, you start with your most recent experience and work your way backwards. This format is commonly used by professionals since it effectively showcases the latest skills and accomplishments.

A. How to Structure an Engineering Cover Letter

When structuring your engineering cover letter in reverse chronological order, follow these steps:

  • Start with your most relevant and recent work experience. Highlight the key responsibilities and achievements you had during your time in that position.
  • Follow with your previous job experiences, working your way back in time, but remember to stay relevant.
  • Continue to highlight the key experiences you’ve had, always making sure that they support the role you are applying for.
  • Conclude by briefly stating why you are a great fit for the position and express your enthusiasm for the job opportunity.

By structuring your cover letter in reverse chronological order, you are able to emphasize the relevance of your experiences and how it makes you an ideal candidate for the job.

B. Example of Reverse Chronological Order Format

I am pleased to submit my application for the role of Lead Mechanical Engineer at XYZ Corporation. With over five years of experience in the mechanical engineering field, I am confident that my technical skills and leadership experience make me an ideal candidate.

My most recent experience was with ABC Manufacturing as a Senior Mechanical Engineer. In this role, I was responsible for managing a team of engineers in the design and implementation of mechanical systems for their product line. I also spearheaded the implementation of a new automated testing system, which resulted in a 30% increase in efficiency.

Prior to this role, I worked as a Mechanical Design Engineer at DEF Consulting, where I gained expertise in designing and developing various mechanical systems. During my time there, I played a crucial role in the development of a new ceramic coating process that resulted in a 20% reduction in manufacturing time.

I hold a Bachelor’s degree in Mechanical Engineering from LMN University and am a licensed Professional Engineer in the state of California. I believe that my expertise in mechanical engineering combined with my leadership experience make me an excellent fit for the Lead Mechanical Engineer position.

Thank you for considering my application. I am excited about the opportunity to contribute to the growth and success of XYZ Corporation.

Steps to Write an Engineering Cover Letter

If you’re an engineer seeking a job, you need to write a cover letter that will set you apart from the crowd. Here are the six steps to make your engineering cover letter stand out:

A. Analyze the Job Description

The first step in crafting an effective cover letter is to analyze the job description. Identify the most important skills and requirements mentioned in the job posting, and tailor your cover letter to highlight your relevant experiences and qualifications.

B. Conduct Research on the Company

Next, conduct research on the company to which you’re applying. Understanding the company’s values, mission, and culture can help you tailor your cover letter to fit their organization.

C. Create a Structure

Create a structure for your cover letter that includes an opening paragraph, a body, and a closing paragraph. This provides a clear and concise way to organize your thoughts and communicate your qualifications.

D. Write the Body

Use the body of the cover letter to expand on the qualifications mentioned in the job description, highlighting your relevant experiences and accomplishments. Provide specific examples of how you’ve used your engineering skills to solve problems and achieve results.

E. Create an Attractive Opening

The opening paragraph should be concise and attention-grabbing. Use this opportunity to demonstrate your enthusiasm for the role and your excitement to contribute to the company.

F. Create a Strong Closing

In the closing paragraph, summarize why you’re the best candidate for the position and thank the reader for their time and consideration. End with a call to action, such as asking for an interview.

By following these six steps, you can craft an engineering cover letter that will showcase your skills and help you land the job. Good luck!

Tips for Writing a Successful Engineering Cover Letter

As an engineering professional, crafting a cover letter that stands out is crucial to landing your dream job. Here are some tips to help you make a lasting impression on recruiters and employers:

A. Highlight Your Skills

Your cover letter should highlight the key engineering skills that you possess. This can include technical abilities such as proficiency in programming languages or software, as well as soft skills like communication, problem-solving, and leadership. Use bullet points and concrete examples to showcase your skills and demonstrate how they align with the job requirements.

B. Emphasize Your Achievements and Accomplishments

In addition to outlining your skills, it is important to highlight your accomplishments and achievements. This can include successful projects or initiatives you have led, publications you have authored or contributed to, awards or recognitions you have received, or other accomplishments that demonstrate your proficiency and potential.

C. Show Your Compatibility with the Company

To help your cover letter stand out from the rest, show your potential employer how you are compatible with their company culture and values. Research the company and its mission statement, and tailor your letter to show how you can contribute to their goals and objectives. This can include discussing why you want to work for that specific company, your passion for the industry, or your shared values.

D. Provide Proof of Your Skills and Achievements

One way to make your cover letter more persuasive and convincing is by providing proof of your skills and achievements. This can include attaching a portfolio of your previous work, including links to your GitHub or social media accounts, or referencing relevant case studies that demonstrate your abilities. You can also include testimonials or recommendations from previous employers or colleagues.

When writing a cover letter for an engineering position, it is important to highlight your skills, emphasize your achievements and accomplishments, demonstrate your compatibility with the company, and provide proof of your skills and achievements. By following these tips, you can increase your chances of impressing potential employers and landing your dream job in the engineering field. ** Follow-Up Email After Sending an Engineering Cover Letter**

A. Purpose of Follow-Up Email

The purpose of sending a follow-up email after sending an engineering cover letter is to express your continued interest in the position for which you have applied. It also serves as an opportunity for you to reiterate your qualifications and to emphasize your enthusiasm for the role.

Sending a follow-up email also demonstrates your professionalism and proactive approach to the job search process. It shows that you are interested and committed to the position, willing to go the extra mile to ensure that you are considered for the job.

B. Sample Follow-Up Email Template

Dear [Hiring Manager’s Name],

I hope this email finds you well. I wanted to follow up on the engineering cover letter and resume I recently sent for the [Position] role at [Company].

I am incredibly excited about this opportunity and wanted to express my continued interest in the role. I am confident that my skills and experience align perfectly with the requirements of the job.

As a [previous experience], I have developed [specific skills/qualifications] that I believe will allow me to make a significant contribution to the [Company] team. In addition, I am deeply passionate about engineering and am eager to bring my knowledge and enthusiasm to this role.

If there is any additional information you require from me, please do not hesitate to let me know. I can be reached at [your phone number/email address].

Thank you again for your consideration. I look forward to the opportunity to speak with you further about how I can contribute to the success of [Company].

Common Mistakes to Avoid When Writing an Engineering Cover Letter

When applying for an engineering job, a well-crafted cover letter is crucial to stand out from the competition. However, there are common mistakes that engineers make when writing their cover letters that could hinder their chances of getting the job. Here are some of the most common mistakes that you should avoid:

A. Neglecting to Use Keywords from the Job Description

One of the biggest mistakes you can make is failing to include relevant keywords from the job description in your cover letter. Employers use Applicant Tracking Systems (ATS) which search for specific keywords to determine whether or not you are a good fit for the job. By not including the keywords, your cover letter might not make it past the initial screening process.

To avoid this mistake, read the job description thoroughly and highlight the key requirements, skills, and qualifications. Make sure to include the relevant keywords in your cover letter, but do not overdo it. The goal is to serve as a match for the position without sounding forced.

B. Making Spelling and Grammar Errors

Your cover letter is a representation of yourself and your abilities. If it contains spelling and grammar mistakes, it reflects poorly on your attention to detail and communication skills. Employers will quickly toss your application in the trash if they notice these errors.

To avoid this pitfall, make sure to proofread your cover letter several times before submitting your application. You may want to enlist someone else to review it as well. Use online tools such as Grammarly to help you catch errors that you might miss.

C. Being Too Casual or Informal

It’s essential to strike a balance between being professional and being too casual or informal. This mistake is especially common among younger engineers who may not have much experience in the workforce. A cover letter that’s too casual can give off the impression that you are not serious about the position.

To avoid this mistake, make sure to use a professional tone in your cover letter. Avoid using slang or overly informal language, and use a professional greeting and closing.

D. Focusing on Needs Rather than Qualifications

Lastly, many engineers make the mistake of focusing on their needs rather than their qualifications. This occurs when a candidate writes about what they want from the job, such as salary or benefits, instead of what they bring to the position.

To avoid this mistake, focus on your qualifications and how they align with the responsibilities of the job. Highlight your achievements and skills that are relevant to the job description. Show the employer how you can add value to the company and contribute to its success.

Avoid these common mistakes that engineers make when writing their cover letters, and make sure to present yourself in the best possible light. With these tips, your cover letter will stand out, and you will be one step closer to landing your dream job in engineering.

Engineering Cover Letter Samples for Job Application

Are you an engineering graduate looking for a job in your field of expertise? A well-crafted cover letter can make all the difference when it comes to landing your dream job. Here are three sample engineering cover letters to help you get started.

A. Sample Engineering Cover Letter 1

I am writing to express my interest in the [Job Title] position at [Company Name]. With [Number of] years of experience in [Engineering Specialization], I am confident in my ability to make an immediate and valuable contribution to your team.

At my previous position at [Company Name], I was responsible for [Key Responsibilities or Achievements]. Through these experiences, I have developed a strong foundation in [Key Engineering Skills], which I believe will be essential to executing the responsibilities of this position.

I am particularly drawn to [Company Name]’s commitment to [Company Values or Mission Statement], and I am excited to align myself with an organization that shares my passion for [Related Interest or Field].

Thank you for considering my application. I look forward to discussing my qualifications further.

B. Sample Engineering Cover Letter 2

As a recent graduate from [University Name] with a degree in [Engineering Specialization], I am excited to apply for the [Job Title] position at [Company Name]. I am drawn to the opportunity to work for a company that is at the forefront of [Industry or Field], and I am confident in my ability to contribute to your team.

During my time at [University Name], I was involved in [Related Extracurriculars or Projects]. Through these experiences, I gained proficiency in [Key Engineering Skills], which I believe will enable me to excel in this position.

I am impressed by [Company Name]’s reputation for [Key Company Achievements or Values], and I am eager to contribute to the company’s continued success. Thank you for considering my application, and I look forward to the opportunity to discuss my qualifications further.

C. Sample Engineering Cover Letter 3

I am excited to apply for the [Job Title] position at [Company Name]. As a seasoned [Engineering Specialization] professional with [Number of] years of experience, I am confident in my ability to make an immediate and valuable contribution to your team.

At [Previous Company Name], I was responsible for [Key Responsibilities or Achievements]. Through these experiences, I developed expertise in [Key Engineering Skills or Specializations], which I believe will be essential to this role.

I am impressed by [Company Name]’s leadership in [Industry or Field], as well as the company’s commitment to [Key Company Attributes or Values].

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Engineering Cover Letter Example

Create the perfect first impression for an Engineering job by getting your cover letter in gear. Take a look over our example Engineering cover letter below to find out how you can optimize your application to perfection.

RC Team

Resume and Cover Letter Experts

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Engineering Cover Letter

You’ve found it. A job opening that is looking for an engineer. It comes with great benefits, hours, the whole package.

You’ve used a  resume template  to write your resume, so you know your job application is on point so far.

There is just one problem,  the job posting asks for a cover letter  along with the rest of your application.

In theory, it doesn’t take too long to create an engineering cover letter, but you want to  do it the right way , so let’s not rush it.

If you write a run-of-the-mill cover letter, it will end up in the rejection pile before the hiring manager even gets halfway through reading it. You’ll want to ensure your cover letter stands out and  grabs the employer’s attention right away .

Luckily, there is a tested method to create a cover letter that  will help you stand out  from the rest of the applicants.

In this guide, you’ll learn how to:

  • Write a cover letter if you have work experience Write a cover letter if you have no work experience Write your cover letter if you have an employment gap

You’ll also get some useful  cover letter  tips for engineering, and be able to see expertly-written engineering cover letter samples.

To familiarize yourself with what a good cover should look like, you can review this cover letter sample below, along with a resume example.

Hiring Manager’s name

Company name

Company address

Dear Mr/Mrs/Ms. [Hiring Manager Name]

I’m very excited to be applying for the [POSITION] at [COMPANY]. As an Electrical Engineer with more than 4 years of experience working in component design and manufacture for production lines, I am confident I can bring the attention-to-detail and professional oversight necessary to achieve great results.

During my professional work as an Electrical Engineer so far, I have become familiar with formulating solutions to complex problems in circuit board design and power management, as well as preventing component malfunctions in the production line process. In fact, during my last year with [CURRENT COMPANY], my work helped to decrease production downtime by 23%.

Additionally, I am well versed in managing large scale projects, overseeing more than 20 employees, and creating a productive and safe working environment. Furthermore, I bring excellent communication skills, experience in training staff, and first-class accuracy with regards to diagnostics.

I was initially compelled to apply for this position as it focuses on industrial production. This is a field with which I am very familiar and am eager to further progress by taking on a position with more responsibility. However, I also feel that [COMPANY]’s devotion to high standards compliments my own well.

I have attached my resume which details my full career experience and training credentials. I hope that we can meet in person in the near future to discuss the opportunity and how I can help advance the goals of [COMPANY].

Please feel free to contact me via [PHONE NUMBER] between 5 pm and 8 pm any day of the week. I am also available at any time via [EMAIL ADDRESS].

Thank you for your consideration.

Sincerely, Name

Address Phone number Email address

In addition to these samples, you can use a cover letter or  resume builder  to make the entire writing process go much smoother.

How to Write a Cover Letter for Engineering with Experience

Having experience can help you a lot when you’re writing your cover letter. However, including any of your  prior work experience is only half the battle .

Remember, your cover letter is not supposed to be exactly like a resume.

You want to  show you are motivated and going to be valuable  to the company you want to work for.

If you don’t start and end your cover letter well, there’s a good chance the hiring manager will not continue with your job application.

So getting your engineering cover letter right is essential!

So how do you  start your letter ?

Let’s take a look at the correct way and the wrong way.

I am an engineer with 5 years of experience. I am writing this letter as part of my application for the engineering vacancy at your company.

This is a very generic opening that won’t grab the manager’s attention at all. It also says very little about you except that you have some experience.

After 5 years of being a team lead that increased productivity at x company by 25%, the engineering vacancy at x company jumped out at me and seems like the perfect opportunity to continue improving and applying my skills.

This is a much better example as it shows an achievement, your experience, and your motivation to do well and even improve.

This opening paragraph should set up the rest of your letter to state the skills you have and  your motivation for working at the new company .

To end your letter , make sure you review the company’s needs and how your experience and skills meet those needs.

Remember to  keep it personal  as well.

How to Write a Cover Letter with an Employment Gap

When looking at cover letter and  resume examples  for inspiration, you may have a tough time figuring out what to include if you’ve had a gap in your employment history.

With a  gap in your employment history , you may think you have no chance of landing the job.

However, that doesn’t necessarily need to be the case.

There are plenty of  good reasons someone did not work  for a certain amount of time.

So what are some things you should include in your cover letter if you were out of work for an extended period?

  • Be honest: A hiring manager will probably find out about it and may come to the wrong conclusion. Briefly explain why you weren’t or couldn’t be working.
  • Don’t worry about every single gap: If it’s a short amount of time, or it was a long time ago, you probably don’t need to mention it.

When it comes time to interview, you should also  be prepared to answer any question  related to your gap in employment.

You could even turn your gap into a positive. You can briefly mention any  relevant skills  you learned in your cover letter or resume.

However, remember to stick to the correct cover letter and  resume format  when creating your documents.

How to Write a Cover Letter for Engineering with No Experience

One thing a lot of applicants read that stops them from even applying, is when the posting wants someone with job experience.

If you see that and don’t have any engineering experience,  don’t delete your application .

Even with no engineering experience, you can create a cover letter that shows  how your qualities match the vacancy  and that you are a fantastic fit for the available position.

So what’s  the secret ?

What you should do is, fully  understand what the company needs . That means analyzing what they want from their employees and what the goals of the company are.

Once you do that,  use your education and any internship experience  to demonstrate that you are a good fit.

In your cover letter, make sure to give  examples of your personality  and internship or freelancing experience and touch on:

  • Company needs
  • Relevant achievements
  • Your valuable skills

By including those 3 points, it will make the hiring manager feel you know what you’re doing.

You may not be as experienced as other applicants, but you can  show you fill the company’s needs  and be a valuable employee.

When writing the motivation statement, you have the opportunity to convince the employer you’re ready to learn and will work harder than the rest of the applicants.

Engineer Cover Letter Tips and Advice

Engineering jobs are technical and specific in nature. The field of engineering is very wide and can range through  civil ,  electrical , and  mechanical  disciplines amongst others. It’s therefore critical that you  tailor your letter as much as possible to the type of job on offer  and to communicate your specific experience.

Double-check everything before you hit send on your application. One small mistake can absolutely scupper your chances of getting the job.

It’s important to throw in some examples of where your  efforts have yielded results.  A few carefully chosen statistics such as any percentile improvements in efficiency you helped achieve, production increases or cost savings that occurred on your watch will all help to do this.

Also, remember that Engineering is a career that is highly regulated and often requires a state license. Because of this, it is highly worth mentioning the status of your  PE (Professional Engineering)  license, especially if the job description specifies it.

Finally, don’t forget to proof everything once done  and to be mindful of the amount of industry-focused keywords you use in your letter. The level of complexity for an Engineering covering document should be detailed enough to show you know how to do the job but accessible for a recruiter to be able to understand without a background in engineering itself.

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Engineering Cover Letter Samples & Examples That Worked in 2024

Nikoleta Kuhejda — PR & Content Manager

Mastering the art of the engineering cover letter is crucial to successfully landing a role in this diverse field. Spanning from aerospace and electrical to chemical and civil, engineering arenas require more than a run-of-the-mill letter.

You need a targeted approach that showcases your expertise, together with your notable skills, achievements, and qualifications. Check out our savvy tips , real-world examples , and professional templates to engineer a cover letter that stands out from the blueprint.

Quality Control Project Technician Cover Letter

In this guide, we'll cover essential elements that any engineering cover letter should have. Keep reading to learn all about:

  • Delving into engineering cover letter samples
  • Properly formatting your engineering cover letter
  • Creating an effective engineering cover letter header & headline
  • Personalizing the greeting of your engineering cover letter
  • Writing an attention-grabbing engineering cover letter introduction
  • Showcasing your skills & accomplishments in engineering
  • Including powerful action words in your cover letter
  • Finishing your engineering cover letter with a strong closing statement
  • Avoiding common mistakes in an engineering cover letter
  • Understanding average salary and job outlook for engineers
  • Accessing job search resources for engineers

Junior mechanical engineer cover letter example

Junior mechanical engineer cover letter example

What are the strengths of this junior engineer cover letter sample?

  • Highlighting achievements: This candidate does a great job of not just describing day-to-day duties but especially highlighting achievements like designing parts, winning an employee of the month award and finishing all projects on schedule. The impact of these achievements is especially important for a junior role.
  • Relevant experiences: The writer uses specific examples from their university and work experience to demonstrate their knowledge and skills.

What could be improved?

  • Personalization of greeting: Using "To whom it may concern" could be considered impersonal and old-fashioned. If at all possible, the candidate should try to find out the hiring manager's name and use it. It demonstrates initiative and attention to detail.
  • Direct application to the new role: While the applicant mentions several skills and achievements, it would be helpful to directly link these to the requirements of this new role at Jarx Technologies, Inc. This would show the employer how the candidate can add value in this specific role. 
  • Using bullet points: The long paragraph detailing professional experience and skills could be easier to skim if it was broken down into bullet points. Bullet points help highlight individual skills and achievements and make the letter more reader-friendly. 

Civil engineer cover letter example

Civil engineer cover letter example

Why does this engineering cover letter sample work?

  • Use of bullet points: The candidate has organized their achievements effectively using bullet points. This makes it easy for the reader to quickly grasp key skills and accomplishments.
  • Relevant skills and certifications: The writer references their Certification in Engineering Technician and proficiency in relevant software, clearly demonstrating they have necessary qualifications and skills.

What could we enhance?

  • Using a personalized greeting: Similar to the previous example, "Dear Sir/Madam" can come off as impersonal and outdated. Finding the name of the hiring manager adds a personal touch.
  • Explaining why this company: While the candidate mentions the role would help their professional and personal growth, they don’t state why this particular company appeals to them. An understanding of and interest in the company's work can strengthen the connection with the reader.

Senior software engineer cover letter example

Senior software engineer cover letter example

What makes this senior engineer cover letter sample effective?

  • Variety of skills: The candidate mentions a broad range of skills, which demonstrates versatility. They list specific programming languages that they are proficient in, which could be directly relevant to the job.
  • Adaptability: The writer communicates their ability to adapt to a variety of technologies. This can be a desirable trait in the ever-evolving field of software engineering.

How could we make this sample better?

  • Greeting: Once again, "Dear Sir/Madam" can be replaced with the hiring manager's name, if it's possible to find out.
  • Linking skills to job requirements: While the applicant does mention their skills, these aren’t directly linked to any job requirements. Specific examples showing how their skills have added value to previous projects would give a better idea of their practical application.
  • Lack of company-specific motivation: Much like previous examples, this candidate doesn’t convey why they're attracted to the specific company. This kind of interest shows the employer that the applicant has a genuine motivation to contribute to the company.

1. Properly format your engineering cover letter

Just as the efficiency of a well-constructed bridge depends on its structure, the effectiveness of your cover letter rests largely on its format . The appearance of your letter can influence the first impression you make on hiring managers.

Here are some general formatting tips to make your cover letter clear, concise, and reader-friendly:

  • Alignment and margins: Align your text to the left margin. This layout is easier to read and looks tidy. Stick to standard 1-inch margins for a neat presentation. 
  • Font consistency: Pick a professional font such as Arial, Calibri, or Times New Roman. Keep your font size somewhere between 10 and 12 points for optimal legibility. The same rule applies to your resume, ensuring that your job application package is consistent.
  • Spacing : Avoid solid blocks of text, which can be difficult to digest. Use single spacing within paragraphs and a space between each paragraph. 
  • Bullet points: When highlighting key achievements or skills, consider using bullet points. They make your achievements stand out and are conveniently easy to scan through.
  • The rule of one: Keep your cover letter to a single, one-sided page. You want to convey the essentials while respecting the time of your reader.
  • Document file type:  If the job post doesn't say otherwise, save your cover letter as a PDF before sending it. This will maintain your formatting across different devices and screen sizes.
  • Proofreading:  It might not directly connect to the format, but even the most elegant letter can be undermined by typos and grammatical errors. Ensure perfect punctuation, grammar and spelling before sending it off.

The cover letter is your professional introduction to potential employers. It's a chance to direct attention towards your strongest attributes and to show an understanding of the company's values. And so, it should look as professional as the expertise it describes.

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2. create an effective engineering cover letter header & headline.

To start writing your engineering cover letter, the first key step is to create a header and headline.

A cover letter header refers to the block of text found at the top of the document. In this header, you will include all the necessary information about yourself and the company you are applying to.

Following the header is the cover letter headline , a title statement used to hook the attention of employers with an accurate and compelling preview of the most important information in the letter. While a headline is considered optional, it can be a powerful tool to use to intrigue employers.

Below are more in-depth explanations and examples of the cover letter header and headline:

Formatting the header

The header is the first bit of information an employer will come across on your cover letter. As such, you want your name to be noticeable and the header to be well-organized.

An engineering header should contain:

  • Your name and professional title
  • Your professional contact information
  • The name of the company & department you are applying to
  • The address of the company you are applying to

 Here are two contrasting examples of cover letter headers:

Bad example of a cover letter header

Hank Green mobile: (123) 456-7890 email: [email protected] Linkedin: To Atlanta Engineering Group's Construction & Management Department

Why is it weak? This header seems jumbled and lacks organization due to different uses of punctuation and inconsistent formatting. The wording and layout make it harder to see at a glance who the letter is from, who it's to, and the relevant contact details. It also looks less professional and doesn't leave the best first impression.

Good example of an engineering cover letter header

Hank Green , Civil Engineer (123) 456-7890 | [email protected] |

To: Atlanta Engineering Group Construction & Management Department 1234 Street Address Atlanta, GA, 30301

Why does it work? There is clear and consistent formatting throughout. The applicant's name and title are at the top, followed by their contact information including phone, email, and LinkedIn — all neatly separated by vertical separators. Next, the recipient's company and department are clearly noted. This means that Hank Green has taken the time to address his letter to the specific department where he wants to apply, showing his genuine interest in the position.

Writing the headline

While a headline is considered an optional element of a cover letter, a well-written headline can go a long way in initially impressing and intriguing an employer. While it isn't mandatory, it's a way to differentiate your application and succinctly state your value proposition.

A good headline, much like the title of an article, gives the reader an idea of what to expect from the content. Just one short, punchy statement can set you apart.

Bad cover letter headline example

Applying for the Civil Engineer Job

Why is it weak? This rather lackluster headline doesn't tell the employer anything beyond what they already know (you're applying for the job), and it lacks energy and professionalism. It's a missed opportunity to highlight experience, skills, or a unique selling proposition.

Good cover letter headline example

Experienced Civil Engineer Specializing in Sustainable Urban Infrastructure

Why is it effective? This well-constructed headline immediately informs the employer that this candidate has experience, a field of specialty, and a specific focus (sustainability) — three things that are likely to be of interest to an engineering firm.

All in all, an effective headline should quickly and clearly present who you are as a professional and what you bring to the table. It's a chance to captivate the hiring manager and spark their interest in learning more about you.

Engineer cover letter headline examples

3. Personalize the greeting of your engineering cover letter

Anytime you write an engineering cover letter , it is crucial to personalize both the greeting and content of the letter. To do so, you will need to thoroughly research the company beforehand, including:

  • Who will review your cover letter and application
  • What the company’s values and goals are
  • How your experience relates to the company’s projects

A personalized greeting is a type of greeting that addresses a specific person by name. By including this type of greeting, you immediately show the employer that you have researched their company and have excellent attention to detail.

Here are 3 examples of personalized greetings

  • Dear Mrs. Jane Doe,
  • To Mrs. Jane Doe, Hiring Manager at Atlanta Engineering Group,
  • To Mrs. Jane Doe & the Engineering Team, 

However, there may be scenarios where you may not find the exact person who will be reviewing your application. In such a case, don't panic. You can still address your cover letter with a general but still professional greeting.

Avoid overly generic phrases such as "To whom it may concern," or "Dear Sir/Madam," as these can feel impersonal and outdated. Instead, opt for a more current and less gender-specific greeting.

Here are 3 examples of general greetings for your engineering cover letter

Dear Hiring Manager, To the Engineering Team, Dear [Company Name] Team,

While these greetings aren't as personalized as addressing someone directly, they still provide an appropriately formal and respectful introduction to your engineering cover letter. Just remember to follow these greetings with a comma or colon as per your preferred style and regional norms.

4. Write an attention-grabbing engineering cover letter introduction

The introduction of your engineering cover letter not only introduces you to the employer but also ensures their interest stays piqued, encouraging them to read further.

To make your introduction compelling, you should include:

  • A brief overview of your professional history using quantifiable facts (years of experience, position titles, etc.)
  • A statement on why you are enthusiastic about applying to this company
  • A mutual acquaintance (when possible) — including a mutual acquaintance provides the employer with a trusted professional reference, as well as helps you to build credibility.

Pro Tip: If you do not have any mutual acquaintances, connecting with relevant professionals on LinkedIn is a great way to build your professional network.

Bad example of an engineering cover letter introduction

Dear Hiring Manager,

You should hire me as I have been a mechanical engineer for a few years now. I know how prototypes work and think your company could use someone like me.

 Why does it fall flat? It's simply too vague and lacks excitement about the role or the company. It also doesn't give enough detail about the candidate's experience from the start.

Good engineering cover letter introduction example

To Mrs. Jane Doe & the Engineering Team,

I am a Mechanical Engineer with more than 6 years of experience working in prototype design. The description for this position is an excellent match for my skill set and I am confident I will be a worthwhile and profitable addition to your team. To learn more about your company, I reached out to your Head of Communications – Jack Smith – on LinkedIn, who strongly recommended I apply upon reviewing my resume.

Why does it work? This   example provides the hiring manager with a clear and concise snapshot of the applicant's background, states exactly how their skills pair well with the job specifications, and even goes as far as to name-drop a known contact.

In brief, while developing your introduction, always aim to strike a balance between informative and concise, ensuring each word serves a purpose. Relay your enthusiasm for both the role and the company, and if possible, make a mention of any meaningful connections or interactions you've had with anyone from the company.

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5. Showcase your skills & accomplishments in engineering

With your introduction in place, the next step is to write the largest section of your cover letter — the body paragraphs. In these body paragraphs is where you will expand upon your various relevant skills, accomplishments, and qualifications.

You should aim to include between 2 to 4 body paragraphs that answer the following key questions:

  • What excites you about working at this company?
  • What can your skills and experience contribute to the company?
  • What accomplishments or qualifications make you stand out as an applicant?
  • What key skills do you possess that are relevant to the position?

Here are 6 examples of engineering skills to include in your cover letter

  • Computer modeling
  • Problem-solving
  • Structural analysis
  • Project management
  • Collaboration

When including skills, make sure to give them context – such as how you applied them at previous positions and how you plan to employ them in this new position.

Here are some examples of how to describe an accomplishment in an engineering cover letter

Successfully Led Complex Engineering Projects: In my previous role as a Senior Mechanical Engineer at XYZ Company, I led a cross-functional team in the successful design and implementation of a cutting-edge manufacturing process. By overseeing the project from concept to completion, I achieved a 30% increase in production efficiency while reducing costs by 20%. This accomplishment demonstrates my ability to manage complex engineering projects, collaborate with diverse stakeholders, and deliver tangible results.

Improved Product Design and Performance: As a Design Engineer, I played a pivotal role in enhancing the performance of a key product line. Through rigorous analysis and testing, I identified design flaws and implemented innovative solutions that resulted in a 15% improvement in product reliability. By closely collaborating with the manufacturing team, I also achieved a 10% reduction in product assembly time, leading to increased productivity and customer satisfaction.

Streamlined Engineering Processes: In my role as a Process Engineer, I implemented process improvements that significantly enhanced operational efficiency. By conducting time studies, analyzing workflow, and introducing lean principles, I achieved a 25% reduction in production cycle time and a 30% decrease in material waste. These improvements not only optimized resource utilization but also improved overall product quality and reduced lead times.

Engineering cover letter skills

6. Make your engineering cover letter stand out with action words

When crafting your engineering cover letter, choosing the right verbs is crucial to convincingly paint a picture of your skills, work experience, and achievements. These action words demonstrate your contributions in prior roles and can make your letter more engaging , powerful and memorable .

Action words are effective because they provide a dynamic description of your abilities. They make your experiences more vivid for the reader, providing concrete examples of what you can accomplish. 

Here's a selection of action words that can help illustrate your engineering abilities

Using these action words strategically throughout your cover letter can give it a significant boost, making your experiences stand out and leaving the hiring manager with a solid understanding of your abilities. The key here is authenticity — make sure the verbs you choose accurately portray your skills and experiences.

Engineering cover letter action words

7. Finish your engineering cover letter with a strong closing statement

To conclude your engineering cover letter, end with a strong closing statement that includes:

  • An enthusiastic sentence saying you are looking forward to hearing from them
  • An additional sentence stating you will follow up, including how you will contact them or how they can contact you
  • A formal sign-off

Bad example of an engineering cover letter conclusion

Thanks for reading my letter. Let me know if you are interested.

[Applicant Name]

Why does it fall flat?  This example lacks the enthusiasm and initiative that would compel the hiring manager to reach out. There's no clear indication of follow-up, and it doesn't give explicit contact details or preferred times for contact. 

Here is an example of a well-worded closing statement from an engineering cover letter

Thank you for taking the time to review my application. I greatly look forward to hearing from you and will reach back out next Wednesday if I have not heard back. The best time and way to reach me is from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Thursday, at (123) 456-7890.

Warm Regards,

Why does it work? This example keeps the reader engaged to the end. The writer thanks the hiring manager for their time, shows eagerness about hearing back, and takes the initiative to follow up. The added detail about the best times for contact also shows consideration for the hiring manager's time.

In conclusion, wrap up your cover letter on a high note — make it clear that you're excited about the potential opportunity, indicate your plan for follow-up, and ensure your contact details are easily accessible. This leaves a lasting impression and steers the conversation towards the next steps.

Follow this cover letter outline for maximum success.

8. How to avoid common mistakes in an engineering cover letter

When crafting your cover letter, it's easy to overlook small details. Let's explore some common pitfalls that can potentially dull the impact of your cover letter and ways to avoid them.

  • Lack of focus:  Going off on a tangent in your cover letter isn't just distracting—it can also be off-putting for the reader. Stick to your most relevant experiences and skills. For instance, if you're applying for a civil engineering role, detailing your experience as a retail assistant may not be pertinent, unless you can tie it back to transferable skills. Avoid: "In my previous role as a retail assistant..." Use: "Through my experience as a project engineer, in which I consistently collaborated with diverse teams..."   
  • Forgetting to proofread:  A typo or grammatical error can potentially harm your professional image. Triple-check your document before sending it.  
  • Failing to mention the company:  Generic cover letters lack the personal touch that can make an application stand out. Tailor each cover letter to the company and role to show your interest. Instead of: "I look forward to the opportunity to work in this role..." Try: "I am excited about the opportunity to contribute to ABC engineering's innovative projects..."  
  • Neglecting to show enthusiasm:  Enthusiasm for the role can set you apart from other candidates who have similar qualifications. Show passion for both the role and the company in general. Avoid: "I am applying for this position because I am looking for new opportunities..." Try: "I am eager to bring my creative problem-solving skills to XYZ Company, which I admire for its innovative approach..."

Using cliches or buzzwords: Language that's too generic can seem insincere and fail to show your unique qualities. Avoid: "I'm a team player with excellent communication skills..." Opt for: "In my previous role, I collaborated with a diverse group of colleagues to successfully complete a challenging bridge project ahead of schedule..."

Remember, your cover letter is your chance to make an impression. Avoid these common mistakes to ensure that what stands out to a hiring manager is your competency and dedication to the role, not easily avoidable errors or irrelevant information.

9. Average salary and job outlook for engineers

When considering a career in engineering, it's crucial to understand the industry's landscape. Let’s take a look at the most recent statistics to give you a clear picture of what to expect.

According to the Michigan Technological University , the average annual salary for engineers in 2024 in the U.S. stood at a comfortably high figure of $100,640 . This demonstrates the significant financial prospects of an engineering career.

But it's not just about the promising salary; the job outlook for engineers also proves encouraging. Across the board, the engineering field is expected to grow by 6 percent from 2020 to 2030. This positive forecast equates to the creation of almost 146,000 new engineering jobs in the next decade.

These figures confirm the stability of pursuing a career in engineering. What's more, this constant demand for engineers means the industry’s key role in developing solutions for our modern world’s grand challenges.

Engineer salary and job outlook

10. Top job search resources for engineers

Venturing into the engineering job market requires a smart strategy, equipped with varied resources. Here are a few categories you should consider:

  • Industry websites and blogs: Websites like don't just list jobs — they serve as a trove of industry information, thought-provoking articles, and networking opportunities.
  • Social media groups: Communities on LinkedIn and Facebook cater to engineers offering a platform where professionals can interact, ask questions, and often find job postings.
  • Online courses: Stay sharp and up-to-date in your specific field with courses on platforms such as Coursera and Udemy . 
  • Professional organizations: Joining groups like the National Society of Professional Engineers (NSPE) or the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) can provide fantastic networking opportunities, industry news, and job listings.
  • Job boards: Broaden your search beyond generic job boards. Engineer jobs Simply Hired  and IEEE Job Site , for instance, cater specifically to engineers. They're a valuable resource for accessing a wide array of engineering jobs all in one place.

In an industry that is always changing and innovating, staying in the loop is important. And these resources can help you do just that.

Engineering Cover Letter FAQ

Your cover letter should highlight your specific engineering expertise, core skills, key achievements, and how they align with the job requirements. Proving that you understand the role and can contribute significantly to it is pivotal. 

Hugely important. A generic cover letter is a missed opportunity. Tailor your cover letter to each job application, addressing the hiring manager by name if possible, and clearly articulating why you're a good fit for that particular role at their company.

Keep your cover letter concise, ideally one page. Recruiters spend only a few seconds scanning each application, so make sure every sentence counts.

No, your cover letter should complement your resume, not repeat it. While you can highlight key achievements and experiences from your resume, use your cover letter to delve deeper, explaining the context and impact of your accomplishments.

If you're just getting started in your career, focus on your education, internships, projects, and transferable skills relevant to the role. Describe how these experiences have equipped you with the skills needed for the job.

Nikoleta Kuhejda — PR & Content Manager

Nikoleta Kuhejda

A journalist by trade, a writer by fate. Nikoleta went from writing for media outlets to exploring the world of content creation with Kickresume and helping people get closer to the job of their dreams. Her insights and career guides have been published by The Female Lead , College Recruiter , and ISIC, among others. When she’s not writing or (enthusiastically) pestering people with questions, you can find her traveling or sipping on a cup of coffee.


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I consult or invest on behalf of a financial institution.

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Larry Fink’s 2024 Annual Chairman’s Letter to Investors

Time to rethink retirement.

When my mom passed away in 2012, my dad started to decline quickly, and my brother and I had to go through my parents’ bills and finances.

Both my mom and dad worked great jobs for 50 years, but they were never in the top tax bracket. My mom taught English at the local state college (Cal Northridge), and my dad owned a shoe store.

I don’t know exactly how much they made every year, but in today’s dollars, it was probably not more than $150,000 as a couple. So, my brother and I were surprised when we saw the size of our parents' retirement savings. It was an order of magnitude bigger than you’d expect for a couple making their income. And when we finished going over their estate, we learned why: My parents' investments.

My dad had always been an enthusiastic investor. He encouraged me to buy my first stock (the DuPont chemical company) as a teenager. My dad invested because he knew that whatever money he put in the bond or stock markets would likely grow faster than in the bank. And he was right.

I went back and did the math. If my parents had $1,000 to invest in 1960, and they put that money in the S&P 500, then by the time they’d reached retirement age in 1990, the $1,000 would be worth nearly $20,000. 1 That’s more than double what they would have earned if they’d just put the money in a bank account. My dad passed away a few months after my mom, in his late 80s. But both my parents could have lived beyond 100 and comfortably afforded it.

Why am I writing about my parents? Because going over their finances showed me something about my own career in finance. I had been working at BlackRock for almost 25 years by the time I lost my mom and dad, but the experience reminded me — in a new and very personal way — why my business partners and I founded BlackRock in the first place.

Obviously, we were ambitious entrepreneurs, and we wanted to build a big, successful company. But we also wanted to help people retire like my parents did. That’s why we started an asset manager — a company that helps people invest in the capital markets — because we believed participating in those markets was going to be crucial for people who wanted to retire comfortably and financially secure.

We also believed the capital markets would become a bigger and bigger part of the global economy. If more people could invest in the capital markets, it would create a virtuous economic cycle, fueling growth for companies and countries, which would, in turn, generate wealth for millions more people.

My parents lived their final years with dignity and financial freedom. Most people don’t have that chance. But they can. The same kinds of markets that helped my parents in their time can help others in our time.  Indeed, I think the growth- and prosperity-generating power of the   capital markets will remain a dominant economic trend through the rest of the 21 st  Century.

This letter attempts to explain why.

I had been working at BlackRock for almost 25 years by the time I lost my mom and dad, but the experience reminded me — in a new and very personal way — why my business partners and I founded BlackRock in the first place.

A brief (and admittedly incomplete) history of U.S. capital markets

In finance, there are two basic ways to get or grow money.

One is the bank, which is what most people historically relied on. They deposited their savings to earn interest or took out loans to buy a home or expand their business. But over time a second avenue for financing arose, particularly in the U.S., with the growth of the capital markets: Publicly traded stocks, bonds, and other securities.

I saw this firsthand in the late 1970s and early 1980s when I played a role in the creation of the securitization market for mortgages.

Before the 1970s, most people secured financing for their homes the same way they did in the Christmas classic It’s a Wonderful Life — through the Building & Loan (B&L). Customers deposited their savings into the B&L, which was essentially a bank. Then that bank would turn around and lend out those savings in the form of mortgages.

In the movie — and in real life — everything works fine until people start lining up at the bank’s front door asking for their deposits back. As Jimmy Stewart explained in the film, the bank didn’t have their money. It was tied up in somebody else’s house.

After the Great Depression, B&Ls morphed into savings & loans (S&Ls), which had their own crisis in the 1980s. Approximately half of the outstanding home mortgages in the U.S. were held by S&Ls in 1980, and poor risk management and loose lending practices led to a raft of failures costing U.S. taxpayers more than $100 billion dollars. 2

But the S&L crisis didn’t cause the American economy lasting damage. Why? Because at the same time the S&Ls were collapsing another method of financing was getting stronger. The capital markets were providing an avenue to channel capital back to challenged real estate markets.

This was mortgage securitization.

Securitization allowed banks not just to make mortgages but to sell them. By selling mortgages, banks could better manage risk on their balance sheets and have capital to lend to home buyers, which is why the S&L crisis didn’t severely impact American homeownership. 

Eventually, the excesses of mortgage securitization contributed to the crash in 2008, and unlike the S&L crisis, the Great Recession did harm home ownership in the U.S. The country still hasn’t fully recovered in that respect. But the broader underlying trend — the expansion of the capital markets — was still very helpful for the American economy.

In fact, it’s worth considering: Why did the U.S. rebound from 2008 faster than almost any other developed nation? 3

A big part of the answer is the country’s capital markets .

In Europe, where most assets were kept in banks, economies froze as banks were forced to shrink their balance sheets. Of course, U.S. banks had to tighten capital standards and pull back from lending as well. But because the U.S. had a more robust secondary pool of money – the capital markets — the nation was able to recover much more quickly.

Today public equities and bonds provide over 70% of financing for non-financial corporations in the U.S. – more than any other country in the world. In China, for example, the bank-to-capital market ratio is almost flipped. Chinese companies rely on bank loans for 65% of their financing. 4

In my opinion, this is the most important lesson in recent economic history:  Countries aiming for prosperity don’t just need strong banking systems — they also need strong capital markets.

That lesson is now spreading around the world.

Replicating the success of America’s capital markets

Last year, I spent a lot of days on the road, logging visits to 17 different countries. I met with clients and employees. I also met with many policymakers and heads of state, and during those meetings, the most frequent conversation I had was about the capital markets.

More and more countries recognize the power of American capital markets and want to build their own.

Of course, many countries do have capital markets already. There are something like 80 stock exchanges around the world, everywhere from Kuala Lumpur to Johannesburg. 5  But most of these are rather small, with little investment. They’re not as robust as the markets in the U.S., and that’s what other nations are increasingly looking for.

In Saudi Arabia, for example, the government is interested in building a market for mortgage securitization, while Japan and India want to give people new places to put their savings. Today, in Japan, it’s mostly the bank. In India, it’s often in gold.

When I visited India in November, I met policymakers who lamented their fellow citizens’ fondness for gold. The commodity has underperformed the Indian stock market, proving a subpar investment for individual investors. Nor has investing in gold helped the country’s economy.

Compare investing in gold with, let’s say, investing in a new house. When you buy a home, that creates an economic multiplier effect because you need to furnish and repair the house. Maybe you have a family and fill the house with children. All that generates economic activity. Even when someone puts their money in a bank, there’s a multiplier effect because the bank can use that money to fund a mortgage. But gold? It just sits in a safe. It can be a good store of value, but gold doesn’t generate economic growth.

This is a small illustration — but a good one — of what countries want to accomplish with robust capital markets. (Or rather, of what they  can’t accomplish without them.)

Despite the anti-capitalist strain in our modern politics, most world leaders still see the obvious: No other force can lift more people from poverty or improve quality of life quite like capitalism. No other economic model can help us achieve our highest hopes for financial freedom — whether we want it for ourselves or our country.

That’s why the capital markets will be key to addressing two of the mid-21 st Century’s biggest economic challenges.

  • The first is providing people what my parents built over time — a secure, well-earned retirement. This is a much harder proposition than it was 30 years ago. And it’ll be a much harder proposition 30 years from now . People are living longer lives. They’ll need more money. The capital markets can provide it — so long as governments and companies help people invest.
  • A second challenge is infrastructure. How are we going to build the massive amount the world needs? As countries decarbonize and digitize their economies, they’re supercharging demand for all sorts of infrastructure, from telecom networks to new ways to generate power. In fact, in my nearly 50 years in finance, I’ve never seen more demand for energy infrastructure. And that’s because many countries have twin aims: They want to transition to lower-carbon sources of power while also achieving energy security. The capital markets can help countries meet their energy goals, including decarbonization, in an affordable way.

[Retirement] is a much harder proposition than it was 30 years ago. And it’ll be a much harder proposition 30 years from now .

Asking the old age question: How do we afford longer lives?

Last year, Japan passed a demographic milestone. The country’s population has been aging since the early 1990s as the pool of working-age people has shrunk and the number of elderly has risen. But 2023 was the first time that 10% of their people exceeded 80 years old, 6 making Japan the “oldest country in the world” according to the United Nations. 7

This is part of the reason the Japanese government is making a push for retirement investment.

Most Japanese keep the bulk of their retirement savings in banks, earning a low interest rate. It wasn’t such a bad strategy when Japan was suffering from deflation, but now the country’s economy has turned around, with the NIKKEI surging past 40,000 for the first time this month (March 2024). 8

Most aspiring retirees are missing out on the upswing. The country didn’t have anything resembling a 401(k) program until 2001, but even then, the amount of income people could contribute was quite low. So a decade ago, the government launched the Nippon Individual Savings Accounts (NISA) to encourage people to invest even more in retirement. Now they’re trying to double NISA’s enrollment. The goal is 34 million Japanese investors before the end of the decade. 9 It will require the Japanese government to expand their capital markets, which historically had very little retail participation.

Japan isn’t alone in helping more of its citizens invest for retirement. BlackRock has a joint venture — Jio BlackRock — with Jio Financial Services, an affiliate of India’s Reliance Industries. Over the past 10 years, India has built a huge digital public infrastructure network that connects nearly one billion Indians to everything from healthcare to government payments via their smartphones. Jio BlackRock’s goal is to use the same infrastructure to deliver retirement investing (and more).

After all, India is aging, too. The whole world is, albeit at different speeds. Brazil will start seeing more people leave its workforce than enter it by 2035; Mexico will reach peak workforce by 2040; India sometime around 2050.

As populations age, building retirement savings has never been more urgent

Chart: Percentage of 2020 National working age population

Source: Working-age population (ages 15-64): UN “medium trend 10

By the mid-century mark, one-in-six people globally will be over the age of 65, up from one-in-11 in 2019. 11 To support them, governments are going to have to prioritize building out robust capital markets like the U.S. has.

But this isn’t to say the U.S. retirement system is perfect. I’m not sure anybody believes that. The retirement system in America needs modernizing, at the very least.

Rethinking retirement in the United States

This was particularly clear last year as the biotech industry pumped out a rush of new, life-extending drugs. Obesity, for example, can take more than 10 years off someone’s life expectancy, which is why some researchers think that new pharmaceuticals like Ozempic and Wegovy can be life-extending drugs, not just weight-loss drugs. 12 In fact, a recent study shows that semaglutide, the generic name for Ozempic, can give people with cardiovascular disease an extra two years of life where they don’t suffer a major condition like a heart attack. 13

We focus a tremendous amount of energy on helping people live longer lives. But not even a fraction of that effort is spent helping people afford those extra years.

These drugs are breakthroughs. But they underscore a frustrating irony: As a society, we focus a tremendous amount of energy on helping people live longer lives. But not even a fraction of that effort is spent helping people afford those extra years.

It wasn’t always this way. One reason my parents had a financially secure retirement was CalPERS, California’s state pension system. As a public university employee, my mom could enroll. But pension enrollment has been declining across the country since the 1980s. 14 Meanwhile the federal government has prioritized maintaining entitlement benefits for people my age (I’m 71) even though it might mean that Social Security will struggle to meet its full obligations when younger workers retire.

It’s no wonder younger generations, Millennials and Gen Z, are so economically anxious. They believe my generation — the Baby Boomers — have focused on their own financial well-being to the detriment of who comes next. And in the case of retirement, they’re right.

Today in America, the retirement message that the government and companies tell their workers is effectively: “You’re on your own.” And before my generation fully disappears from positions of corporate and political leadership, we have an obligation to change that.

Maybe once a decade, the U.S. faces a problem so big and urgent that government and corporate leaders stop business as usual. They step out of their silos and sit around the same table to find a solution. I participated in something like this after 2008, when the government needed to find a way to unwind the toxic assets from the mortgage crisis. More recently, tech CEOs and the federal government came together to address the fragility of America’s semiconductor supply chain. We need to do something similar for the retirement crisis. America needs an organized, high-level effort to ensure that future generations can live out their final years with dignity.

What should that national effort do? I don’t have all the answers. But what I do have is some data and the beginnings of a few ideas from BlackRock’s work. Because our core business is retirement.

More than half the assets BlackRock manages are for retirement. 15 We help about 35 million Americans invest for life after work, 16 which amounts to about a quarter of the country’s workers. 17 Many are educators like my mom was. BlackRock helps manage pension assets for roughly half of U.S. public school teachers. 18 And this work — and our similar work around the globe — has given us some insight into how a national initiative to modernize retirement might begin.

We think the conversation starts by looking at the challenge through three different lenses. 

  • What’s the issue from the perspective of a current worker , someone who’s still trying to save for retirement?
  • What about someone who has already retired? We have to look at the problem from the retiree’s point of view­­­­­­­­­­ — an individual who has already saved enough to stop working but is worried the money will run out.
  • But first it’s important to look at retirement in America like you’d look at a map of America — a high-level picture of the problem, the kind a national policymaker might look at. What’s the issue for the population as a whole? (It’s demographics.)

[Young people] believe my generation — the Baby Boomers — have focused on their own financial well-being to the detriment of who comes next. And in the case of retirement, they’re right.

The demographics don’t lie

There’s a popular saying in economics: “You just can’t fight demographics.” And yet, when it comes to retirement, the U.S. is trying anyway.

In wealthy countries, most retirement systems have three pillars. One is what people invest personally (my dad putting his money in the stock market). Another is the plans provided by employers (my mom’s CalPERS pension). A third component is what we hear politicians mostly talking about – the government safety net. In the U.S., this is Social Security.

You’re probably familiar with the economics behind Social Security. During your working years, the government takes a portion of your income, then after you retire, it sends you a check every month. The idea actually originates from pre-World War I Germany, and these “old-age insurance” programs gradually became popular over the 20 th Century largely because the demographics made sense.

Think about someone who was 65 years old in 1952, the year I was born. If he hadn’t retired already, that person was probably getting ready to stop working.

But now think about that person’s former colleagues, all the people around his age who he’d entered the workforce with back in the 1910s. The data shows that in 1952, most of those people were not preparing for retirement because they’d already passed away .

This is how the Social Security program functioned: More than half the people who worked and paid into the system never lived to retire and be paid from the system. 19

Today, these demographics have completely unraveled, and this unraveling is obviously a wonderful thing. We should want more people to live more years. But we can’t overlook the massive impact on the country’s retirement system.

It’s not just that more people are retiring in America; it’s also that their retirements are increasing in length. Today, if you’re married and both you and your spouse are over the age of 65, there’s a 50/50 chance at least one of you will be receiving a Social Security check until you’re 90. 20

All this is putting the U.S. retirement system under immense strain. The Social Security Administration itself says that by 2034, it won’t be able to pay people their full benefits. 21

What’s the solution here? No one should have to work longer than they want to. But I do think it’s a bit crazy that our anchor idea for the right retirement age — 65 years old — originates from the time of the Ottoman Empire.

Humanity has changed over the past 120 years. So must our conception of retirement.

One nation that’s rethought retirement is the Netherlands. In order to keep their state pension affordable, the Dutch decided more than 10 years ago to gradually raise the retirement age. It will now automatically adjust as the country’s life expectancy changes. 22

Obviously, implementing this policy elsewhere would be a massive political undertaking. But my point is that we should start having the conversation . When people are regularly living past 90, what should the average retirement age be?

Or rather than pushing back when people receive retirement benefits, perhaps there’s a more politically palatable idea: How do we encourage more people who wish to work longer with carrots rather than sticks? What if the government and the private sector treated 60-plus year-olds as late-career workers with much to offer rather than people who should retire?

One way Japan has managed its aging economy is by doing exactly this. They’ve found new ways to boost the labor force participation rate, a metric that has been declining in the U.S. since the early 2000s. 23 It’s worth asking: How can America stop (or at least, slow) that trend?

Again, I’m not pretending to have the answers. Despite BlackRock’s success helping millions retire, these questions are going to have to be posed to a broader range of investors, retirees, policymakers, and others. Over the next few months, BlackRock will be announcing a series of partnerships and initiatives to do just that, and I invite you to join us.

For workers, make investing (almost) automatic

When the U.S. Census Bureau released its regular survey of consumer finances in 2022, nearly half of Americans aged 55 to 65 reported not having a single dollar saved in personal retirement accounts. 24 Nothing in a pension. Zero in an IRA or 401(k).

Why? Well, the first barrier to retirement investing is affordability.

Four-in-10 Americans don’t have $400 to spare to cover an emergency like a car repair or hospital visit. 25 Who is going to invest money for a retirement 30 years away if they don’t have cash for today? No one. That’s why BlackRock’s foundation has worked with a group of nonprofits to set up an Emergency Savings Initiative. The program has helped mostly low-income Americans put away a total of $2 billion in new liquid savings. 26

Studies show that when people have emergency savings, they’re 70% more likely to invest for retirement. 27 But this is where workers run into another barrier: Investing is complex even if you can afford it.

No one is born a natural investor. It’s important to say that because sometimes in the financial services industry we imply the opposite. We make it seem like saving for retirement can be a simple task, something anyone can do with a bit of practice, like driving your car to work. Just grab your keys and hop in the driver’s seat. But financing retirement isn’t so intuitive. The better analogy is if someone dropped a bunch of engine and auto parts in your driveway and said, “Figure it out.”

At BlackRock, we’ve tried to make the investing process more intuitive by inventing simpler products like target date funds. They only require people to make one decision: What year do they expect to retire? Once people choose their “target date,” the fund automatically adjusts their portfolio, shifting from higher-return equities to less risky bonds as retirement approaches. 28

In 2023, BlackRock expanded the types of target date ETFs we offer so people can more easily buy them even if they don’t work for employers offering a retirement plan. There are 57 million people like this in America — farmers, gig workers, restaurant employees, independent contractors — who don’t have access to a defined contribution plan. 29 And while better investment products can help, there are limits to what something like a target date fund can do. Indeed, for most people, the data shows that the hardest part of retirement investing is just getting started.

Other nations make things simpler for their part-time and contract workers. In Australia, employers must contribute a portion of income for every worker between the ages of 18 and 70 into a retirement account, which then belongs to the employee. The Superannuation Guarantee was introduced in 1992 when the country seemed like it was on the path to a retirement crisis. Thirty-two years later, Australians likely have more retirement savings per capita than any other country. The nation has the world’s 54 th largest population, 30 but the 4 th largest retirement system. 31

Of course, every country is different, so every retirement system should be different. But Australia’s experience with Supers could be a good model for American policymakers to study and build on. Some already are. There are about 20 U.S. states — like Colorado and Virginia — that have instituted retirement systems to cover all workers like Australia does, even if they’re gig or part-time. 32

It’s a good thing that legislators are proposing different bills and states are becoming “laboratories of retirement.” More should consider it. The benefits could be enormous for individual retirees. These new programs could also help the U.S. ensure the long-term solvency of Social Security. That’s what Australia found — their Superannuation Guarantee relieved the financial tension in their country’s public pension program. 33

But what about workers who do have access to an employer retirement plan? They need support too.

Even among employees who have access to employer plans, 17% don’t enroll in them, and the hypothesis among retirement experts is this is not a conscious choice. People are just busy.

It sounds trivial, but even the hour or so it takes someone to look through their work email inbox for the correct link to their company’s retirement system, and then select the percentage of their income they want to contribute can be the unclearable hurdle. That’s why companies should make a conscious effort to look at what their default option is. Are people automatically enrolled in a plan or not? And how much are they auto-enrolled to contribute? Is it a minimum percentage of their income? Or the maximum?

In 2017, the University of Chicago economist Richard Thaler won the Nobel Prize, in part, for his pioneering work around “nudges” — small changes in policy that can have enormous impact in people’s financial lives. Auto-enrollment is one of them. Studies show that the simple step of making enrollment automatic increases retirement plan participation by nearly 50%. 34

As a nation, we should do everything we can to make retirement investing more automatic for workers. And there are already bright spots. Next year, a new federal law will kick in, requiring employers that set up new 401(k) plans to auto-enroll their new workers. Plus, there are hundreds of major companies (including BlackRock) that have already taken this step voluntarily.

But firms can do even more to improve their employee’s financial lives, such as providing some level of matching funds for retirement plans and offering more financial education on the tremendous long-term difference between contributing a small percentage of your income to retirement versus the maximum. I also think we should make it easier for workers to transfer their 401(k) savings when they switch jobs. There is a menu of options here, and we need to explore all of them.

For retirees, help them spend what they saved

In 2018, BlackRock commissioned a study of 1,150 American retirees. When we dug into the data, we found something unexpected — even paradoxical.

The survey showed that after nearly two decades of retirement, the average person still had 80% of their pre-retirement money saved. We’re talking about people who were probably between the ages of 75 and 95. If they had invested for retirement, they were likely sitting on more than enough money for the rest of their lives. And yet the data also showed that they were anxious about their finances. Only 32% reported feeling comfortable about spending what they saved. 35

This retirement paradox has a simple explanation: Even people who know how to save for retirement still don’t know how to spend for it.

In the U.S., this problem’s roots stretch back more than four decades when employers began switching from defined benefit plans — pensions — to defined contribution plans like 401(k)s.

In a lot of ways, pensions were much simpler than the 401(k). You had a job somewhere for 20 or 30 years. Then when you retired, your pension paid you a set amount — a defined benefit — every month.

When I entered the workforce in the 1970s, 38% of Americans had one of these defined benefit plans, but by 2008 the percentage had been cut almost in half. 36 Meanwhile, the fraction of Americans with defined contribution plans almost quadrupled. 37

This should have been a good thing. Beginning with the Baby Boomers, fewer and fewer workers spent their entire careers in one place, meaning they needed a retirement option that would follow them from job to job. In theory, 401(k)s did that. But in practice? Not really.

Anyone who’s switched jobs knows how unintuitive it is to transfer your retirement savings. In fact, studies show that about 40% of employees cash out their 401(k)s when they switch jobs, putting themselves back at the starting line for retirement savings. 38

The real drawback of defined contribution was that it removed most of the retirement responsibility from employers and put it squarely on the shoulders of the employees themselves. With pensions, companies had a very clear obligation to their workers. Their retirement money was a financial liability on the corporate balance sheet. Companies knew they’d have to write a check every month to each one of their retirees. But defined contribution plans ended that, forcing retirees to trade a steady stream of income for an impossible math problem.

Because most defined contribution accounts don’t come with instructions for how much you can take out every month, individual savers first must build up a nest-egg, then spend down at a rate that will last them the rest of their lives. But who really knows how long that will be?

Put simply, the shift from defined benefit to defined contribution has been, for most people, a shift from financial certainty to financial un certainty .

That’s why around the same time we saw the data that retirees were nervous about spending their savings, we started wondering: Was there something we can do about it? Could we develop an investment strategy that provided the flexibility of a 401(k) investment but also the potential for a predictable, paycheck-like income stream, similar to a pension?

It turns out, we could. That strategy is called LifePath Paycheck™, which will go live in April. As I write this, 14 retirement plan sponsors are planning to make LifePath Paycheck™ available to 500,000 employees. I believe it will one day be the most used investment strategy in defined contribution plans.

We’re talking about a revolution in retirement. And while it may happen in the U.S. first, eventually other countries will benefit from the innovation as well. At least, that is my hope. Because while retirement is mainly a saving challenge, the data is clear: It’s a spending one too.

Fear vs. hope

Before I conclude this section on retirement, I want to share a few words about one of the largest barriers to investing for the future. In my view, it’s not just affordability or complexity or the fact that people are too busy to enroll in their employer’s plan.

Arguably the biggest barrier to investing for retirement — or for anything — is fear.

In finance, we sometimes think of “fear” as a fuzzy, emotional concept — not as a hard economic data point. But that’s what it is. Fear is as important and actionable a metric as GDP. After all, investment (or lack thereof) is just a measure of fear because no one lets their money sit in a stock or a bond for 30 or 40 years if they’re afraid the future is going to be worse than the present. That’s when they put their money in a bank. Or underneath the mattress.

This is what happens in many countries. In China, where new surveys show consumer confidence has dropped to its lowest level in decades, household savings have reached their highest level on record — nearly $20 trillion — according to the central bank. 39 China has a savings rate of about 30%. Nearly a third of all money earned is socked away in cash in case it’s needed for harder times ahead. The U.S., by comparison, has a savings rate in the single digits. 40

America has rarely been a fearful country. Hope has been the nation’s greatest economic asset. People put their money in American markets for the same reason they invest in their homes and businesses — because they believe this country will be better tomorrow than it is today.

This big, hopeful America has been the one I’ve known my whole life, but over the past few years, especially as I’ve had more grandchildren, I’ve started to ask myself: Will they know this version of America, too?

As I was finishing this letter, The Wall Street Journal published an article that caught my attention. It was titled “The Rough Years that Turned Gen Z into America’s Most Disillusioned Voters,” and it included some eye-catching — and really disheartening — data.

The article showed that from the mid-1990s through most of the early 21 st Century, most young people — around 60% of high school seniors, to be specific — believed they’d earn a professional degree, would land a good job, and go on to be wealthier than their parents. They were optimistic. But since the pandemic, that optimism has fallen precipitously.

Compared with 20 years ago, the current cohort of young Americans is 50% more likely to question whether life has a purpose. Four-in-10 say it’s “hard to have hope for the world.” 41

I’ve been working in finance for almost 50 years. I’ve seen a lot of numbers. But no single data point has ever concerned me more than this one.

The lack of hope worries me as a CEO. It worries me as a grandfather. But most of all, it worries me as an American.

If future generations don’t feel hopeful about this country and their future in it, then the U.S. doesn’t only lose the force that makes people want to invest. America will lose what makes it America. Without hope, we risk becoming just another place where people look at the incentive structure before them and decide that the safe choice is the only choice. We risk becoming a country where people keep their money under the mattress and their dreams bottled up in their bedroom.

How do we get our hope back?

Whether we’re trying to solve retirement or any other problem, that is the first question we have to ask, although I readily admit that I do not have the solution. I look at the state of America — and the world — and I am as answerless as everyone else. There’s so much anger and division, and I often struggle to wrap my head around it.

What I do know is that any answer has to start by bringing young people into the fold. The same surveys that show their lack of hope also show their lack of confidence — far less than any previous generation — in every pillar of society: In politics, government, the media, and in corporations. Leaders of these institutions (I am one) should be empathetic to their concerns.

Young people have lost trust in older generations. The burden is on us to get it back. And maybe investing for their long-term goals, including retirement, isn’t such a bad place to begin.

Perhaps the best way to start building hope is by telling young people, “You may not feel very hopeful about your future. But we do. And we’re going to help you invest in it.”

Young people have lost trust in older generations. The burden is on us to get it back. And maybe investing for their long-term goals, including retirement, isn’t such a bad place to begin.

The new infrastructure blueprint: Steel, concrete, and public-private partnership

I started traveling to London in the 1980s, and back then, if you had a choice between the city’s two major international airports — Heathrow or Gatwick — you probably chose Heathrow. Gatwick was farther from the city. It was also in a comparative state of disrepair.

But things changed in 2009 when Gatwick was purchased by Global Infrastructure Partners (GIP). They increased runway capacity and instituted commonsense changes, like oversized luggage trays that cut security screening times by more than half.

“The thing about infrastructure businesses... is a lot of them tend not to focus on customer service,” GIP’s CEO Bayo Ogunlesi told the Financial Times . GIP wanted to make Gatwick different. In the process, they also turned the airport into a prime example of how infrastructure will be built and run in the 21 st Century — with private capital. 42

In the U.S., people tend to think of infrastructure as a government endeavor, something built with taxpayer funds. But because of one very big reason that I’ll dive into momentarily, that won’t be the primary way infrastructure is built in the mid-21 st Century. Rather than only tapping government treasuries to build bridges, power grids, and airports, the world will do what Gatwick did.

The future of infrastructure is public-private partnership.

Debt matters

The $1 trillion infrastructure sector is one of the fastest growing segments of the private markets, and there are some undeniable macroeconomic trends driving this growth. In developing countries, people are getting richer, boosting demand for everything from energy to transportation while in wealthy countries, governments need to both build new infrastructure and repair the old.

Even in the U.S., where the Biden Administration has signed generational infrastructure investments into law, there’s still $2 trillion worth of deferred maintenance. 43

How will we pay for all this infrastructure? The reason I believe it’ll have to be some combination of public and private dollars is that funding probably cannot come from the government alone. The debt is just too high.

From Italy to South Africa, many nations are suffering the highest debt burdens in their history. Public debt has tripled since the mid-1970s, reaching 92% of global GDP in 2022. 44 And in America, the situation is more urgent than I can ever remember. Since the start of the pandemic, the U.S. has issued roughly $11.1 trillion of new debt, and the amount is only part of the issue. 45 There’s also the interest rate the Treasury needs to pay on it.

Three years ago, the rate on a 10-year Treasury bill was under 1%. But as I write this, it’s over 4%, and that 3-percentage-point increase is very dangerous. Should the current rates hold, it amounts to an extra trillion dollars in interest payments over the next decade. 46

Why is this debt a problem now? Because historically, America has paid for old debt by issuing new debt in the form of Treasury securities. It’s a workable strategy so long as people want to buy those securities — but going forward, the U.S. cannot take for granted that investors will want to buy them in such volume or at the premium they currently do.

Today, around 30% of U.S. Treasury securities are held by foreign governments or investors. That percentage will likely go down as more countries build their own capital markets and invest domestically. 47

More leaders should pay attention to America’s snowballing debt. There’s a bad scenario where the American economy starts looking like Japan’s in the late 1990s and early 2000s, when debt exceeded GDP and led to periods of austerity and stagnation. A high-debt America would also be one where it’s much harder to fight inflation since monetary policymakers could not raise rates without dramatically adding to an already unsustainable debt-servicing bill.

But is a debt crisis inevitable? No.

While fiscal discipline can help tame debt on the margins, it will be very difficult (both politically and mathematically) to raise taxes or cut spending at the level America would need to dramatically reduce the debt. But there is another way out beyond taxing or cutting, and that’s growth. If U.S. GDP grows at an average of 3% (in real, not nominal terms) over the next five years, that would keep the country’s debt-to-GDP ratio at 120% – high, but reasonable.

I should be clear: 3% growth is a very tall order, especially given the country’s aging workforce. It will require policymakers to shift their focus. We can’t see debt as a problem that can be solved only through taxing and spending cuts anymore. Instead, America’s debt efforts have to center around pro-growth policies , which include tapping the capital markets to build one of the best catalysts for growth: Infrastructure. Especially energy infrastructure.

Energy pragmatism

Roads. Bridges. Ports. Airports. Cell towers. The infrastructure sector contains multitudes, but the multitude where BlackRock sees arguably the greatest demand for new investment is energy infrastructure.

Why energy? Two things are happening in the sector at the same time.

The first is the “energy transition.” It’s a mega force, a major economic trend being driven by nations representing 90% of the world’s GDP. 48 With wind and solar power now cheaper in many places than fossil-fuel-generated electricity, these countries are increasingly installing renewables. 49 It’s also a major way to address climate change. This shift – or energy transition – has created a ripple effect in the markets, creating both risks and opportunities for investors, including BlackRock’s clients.

I started writing about the transition in 2020. Since then, the issue has become more contentious in the U.S. But outside the debate, much is still the same. People are still investing heavily in decarbonization. In Europe, for example, net-zero remains a top investment priority for most of BlackRock’s clients. 50 But now the demand for clean energy is being amplified by something else: A focus on energy security.

Governments have been pursuing energy security since the oil crisis of the 1970s, (and probably as far back as the early Industrial Revolution), so this is not a new trend. In fact, when I wrote my original 2020 letter about sustainability, I also wrote to our clients that countries would still need to produce oil and gas to meet their energy needs. 

To be energy secure, I wrote, most parts of the globe would need “to rely on hydrocarbons for a number of years.” 51

I’m hearing more leaders talk about decarbonization and energy security together under the joint banner of what you might call “energy pragmatism.”

Then in 2022, Putin invaded Ukraine. The war lit a fresh spark under the idea of energy security. It disrupted the world’s supply of oil and gas causing massive energy inflation, particularly in Europe. The UK, Norway, and the 27 EU countries had to collectively spend 800 billion euros subsidizing energy bills. 52

This is part of the reason I’m hearing more leaders talk about decarbonization and energy security together under the joint banner of what you might call “energy pragmatism.”

Last year, as I mentioned, I visited 17 countries, and I spent a lot of time talking to the people who are responsible for powering homes and businesses, everybody from prime ministers to energy grid operators. The message I heard was completely opposite to what you often hear from activists on the far left and right who say that countries have to choose between renewables and oil and gas. These leaders believe that the world still needs both. They were far more pragmatic about energy than dogmatic. Even the most climate conscious among them saw that their long-term path to decarbonization will include hydrocarbons, albeit less of them, for some time to come.

Germany is a good example of how energy pragmatism is still a path to decarbonization. It’s one of the countries most committed to fighting climate change and has made enormous investments in wind and solar power. But sometimes the wind doesn’t blow in Berlin, and the sun doesn’t shine in Munich. And during those windless, sunless periods, the country still needs to rely on natural gas for “dispatchable power.” Germany used to get that gas from Russia, but now it needs to look elsewhere. So, they’re building additional gas facilities to import from other producers around the world. 53

Or look at Texas. They face a similar energy challenge – not because of Russia but because of the economy. The state is one of the fastest growing in the U.S., 54 and the additional demand for power is stretching ERCOT, Texas’ energy grid, to the limit. 55

Today, Texas runs on 28% renewable energy 56 – 6% more than the U.S. as a whole. 57 But without an additional 10 gigawatts of dispatchable power, which might need to come partially from natural gas, the state could continue to suffer devastating brownouts. In February, BlackRock helped convene a summit of investors and policymakers in Houston to help find a solution.

Texas and Germany are great illustrations of what the energy transition looks like. As I wrote in 2020, the transition will only succeed if it’s “fair.” Nobody will support decarbonization if it means giving up heating their home in the winter or cooling it in the summer. Or if the cost of doing so is prohibitive.

Since 2020, economists have popularized better language to describe what a fair transition actually means. One important concept is the “green premium.” It’s the surcharge people pay for “going green”: for example, switching from a car that runs on gas to an electric vehicle. The lower the green premium, the fairer decarbonization will be because it’ll be more affordable.

This is where the power of the capital markets can be unleashed to great effect. Private investment can help energy companies reduce the cost of their innovations and scale them around the world. Last year, BlackRock invested in over a dozen of these transition projects on behalf of our clients. We partnered with developers in Southeast Asia aiming to build over a gigawatt of solar capacity (enough to power a city) in both Thailand and the Philippines. 58 We also invested in Lake Turkana Wind Power, Africa’s largest windfarm. It’s located in Kenya and currently accounts for about 12% of the country’s power generation. 59

There are also earlier-stage technologies, like a giant “hot rock” battery being built by Antora Energy. The company heats up blocks of carbon with wind or solar power during parts of the day when renewable energy is cheap and abundant. These “thermal batteries” reach up to 2,400 degrees Celsius and glow brighter than the sun. 60 Then, that heat is used to power giant industrial facilities around-the-clock, even when the sun isn’t shining, or the wind isn’t blowing.

BlackRock invested in Antora through Decarbonization Partners, a partnership we have with the investment firm, Temasek. Our funding will help Antora scale up to deliver billions of dollars worth of zero-emission energy to industrial customers. 61 (One day, their thermal batteries might help solve the kind of dispatchable power problem that Texas and Germany are facing – but without carbon emissions.)

The final technology I’ll spotlight is carbon capture. Last year, one of BlackRock’s infrastructure funds invested $550 million in a project called STRATOS, which will be the world’s largest direct air capture facility when construction is completed in 2025. 62 Among the more interesting aspects of the project is who’s building the facility: Occidental Petroleum, the big Texas oil company.

The energy market isn’t divided the way some people think, with a hard split between oil & gas producers on one side and new clean power and climate tech firms on the other. Many companies, like Occidental, do both, which is a major reason BlackRock has never supported divesting from traditional energy firms. They’re pioneers of decarbonization, too.

Today, BlackRock has more than $300 billion invested in traditional energy firms on behalf of our clients. Of that $300 billion, more than half – $170 billion – is in the U.S. 63 We invest in these energy companies for one simple reason: It’s our clients’ money. If they want to invest in hydrocarbons, we give them every opportunity to do it – the same way we invest roughly $138 billion in energy transition strategies for our clients. That’s part of being an asset manager. We follow our clients’ mandates.

But when it comes to energy, I also understand why people have different preferences in the first place. Decarbonization and energy security are the two macroeconomic trends driving the demand for more energy infrastructure. Sometimes they’re competing trends. Other times, they’re complementary, like when the same advanced battery that decarbonizes your grid can also reduce your dependence on foreign power.

The point is: The energy transition is not proceeding in a straight line. As I’ve written many times before, it’s moving in different ways and at different paces in different parts of the world. At BlackRock, our job is to help our clients navigate the big shifts in the energy market no matter where they are.

BlackRock’s next transformation

One way we’re helping our clients navigate the booming infrastructure market is by transforming our company. I began this section by writing about the owners of Gatwick Airport, GIP. In January, BlackRock announced our plans to acquire them. 

Why GIP? BlackRock’s own infrastructure business had been growing rapidly over the past several years. But to meet demand, we realized we needed to grow even faster.

It’s not just debt-strapped governments that need to find alternate pools of financing for their infrastructure. Private sector firms do too. All over the world, there’s a vast infrastructure footprint that’s owned and operated entirely by private companies. Cell towers are a good example. So are pipelines that deliver the feedstocks for chemical companies. Increasingly, the owners of these assets prefer to have a financing partner, rather than carrying the full cost for the infrastructure on their balance sheet.

I had been thinking about this trend and called an old colleague, Bayo Ogunlesi.

Both Bayo and I started our careers in finance at the investment bank First Boston. But our paths diverged. I lost $100 million on a series of bad trades at First Boston and…well, nobody needs to hear that story again. But it led me (and my BlackRock partners) to pioneer better risk management for fixed income markets. Meanwhile, Bayo and his team were pioneering modern infrastructure investing in the private markets.

Now, we plan to join our forces again. I think the result will be better opportunities for our clients to invest in the infrastructure that keeps our lights on, planes flying, trains moving, and our cell service at the maximum number of bars.

More about BlackRock’s work in 2023

In this letter, I’ve shared my view that the capital markets are going to play an even bigger role in the global economy. They’ll have to if the world wants to address the challenges around infrastructure, debt, and retirement. These are the major economic issues of the mid-21st Century. We’re going to need the power of capitalism to solve them.

The way BlackRock figures into that story is through our work with clients. We want to position them well to navigate these trends, which is why we’ve tried to stay more connected to our clients than ever.

Over the past five years, thousands of clients on behalf of millions of individuals have entrusted BlackRock with managing over $1.9 trillion in net new assets. Thousands also use our technology to better understand the risks in their portfolios and support the growth and commercial agility of their own businesses. Years of organic growth, alongside the long-term growth of the capital markets, underpin our $10 trillion of client assets, which grew by over $1.4 trillion in 2023.

In good times and bad, whether clients are focused on increasing or decreasing risk, our consistent industry-leading organic growth demonstrates that clients are consolidating more of their portfolios with BlackRock. In 2023, our clients awarded us with $289 billion in net new assets during a period of rapid change and significant portfolio de-risking.

BlackRock’s differentiated business model has enabled us to continue to grow with our clients and maintain positive organic base fee growth. We’ve grown regardless of the market backdrop and even as most of the industry experienced outflows.

I think back to 2016 and 2018 when uncertainty and cautious sentiment impacted investment behavior among institutions and individuals. Many clients de-risked and moved to cash. BlackRock stayed connected with our clients. We stayed rigorous in driving investment performance, innovating new products and technologies, and providing advice on portfolio design. Once clients were ready to step back into the markets more actively, they did it with BlackRock – leading to new records for client flows, and organic base fee growth at or above our target.

Flows and organic base fee growth accelerated into the end of 2023. We saw $96 billion of total net inflows in the fourth quarter and we entered 2024 with great momentum.

In 2024, I plan to do what I did in 2023 – spend a lot of time on the road visiting clients. I’ve already taken several trips in the U.S. and around the world, and it’s clearer than ever that companies and clients want to work with BlackRock.

For companies where we are investing on behalf of our clients, they appreciate that we typically provide long-term, consistent capital. We often invest early, and we stay invested through cycles whether it’s debt or equity, pre-IPO or post-IPO. Companies recognize BlackRock’s global relationships, brand, and expertise across markets and industries. This makes us a valuable partner, and in turn supports the sourcing and performance we can provide for clients.

Over the past 18 months, we’ve sourced and executed on a number of deals for clients. In addition to the STRATOS direct air capture project, our funds partnered with AT&T on the Gigapower JV to build out broadband in communities across the U.S. We also made investments globally, including in Brasol (Brazil), AirFirst (South Korea), Akaysha Energy (Australia), and the Lake Turkana Wind Farm (Kenya).

Our ability to source deals for clients is a primary driver of demand for BlackRock private markets strategies. These strategies saw $14 billion of net inflows in 2023, driven by infrastructure and private credit. We continue to expect these categories to be our primary growth drivers within alternatives in the coming years.

Our active investment insights, expertise and strong investment performance similarly differentiate BlackRock in the market. We saw nearly $60 billion of active net inflows in 2023, compared with industry outflows.

In ETFs, BlackRock generated an industry-leading $186 billion of net inflows in 2023. Our leadership in the ETF industry is another testament to our global platform and connectivity with clients.

What we have seen in market after market is that if we can make investing easier and more affordable, we can quickly attract new clients. We are leveraging digital wealth platforms in local markets to provide more investment access and accelerate organic growth for iShares ETFs.

In EMEA, BlackRock powers ETF savings plans for end investors, partnering with many banks and brokerage platforms, including Trade Republic, Scalable Capital, ING, Lloyds, and Nordnet. These partnerships will help millions of people access investments, invest for the long-term, and achieve financial well-being.

In 2023, we also announced our minority investment in Upvest, which will help drive innovation in how Europeans access markets and make it cheaper and simpler to start investing.

Then there is our work with Britain’s leading digital bank, Monzo, to offer its customers our products through its app, with minimum investments as low as £1. Through these relationships, we’re evolving our iShares ETF franchise to meaningfully increase access to global markets.

Let me also say a few words about Aladdin. It remains the language of portfolios, uniting all of BlackRock, and providing the technological foundation for how we serve clients across our platform. And Aladdin isn’t just the key technology that powers BlackRock; it also powers many of our clients. The need for integrated data and risk analytics as well as whole portfolio views across public and private markets is driving annual contract value (ACV) growth.

In 2023, we generated $1.5 billion in technology services revenue. Clients are looking to grow and expand with Aladdin, reflected in strong harvesting activity, with over 50% of Aladdin sales being multi-product.

As we look ahead, the re-risking of client portfolios will create tremendous prospects for both our public and private markets franchises. And integrated technology will be needed to help clients be nimble while operating at scale.

These are the times where investors are making broad changes to the way they build portfolios. BlackRock is helping investors build the “portfolio of the future” – one that integrates public and private markets and is digitally enabled. We view these changes as big catalysts. With the diversified investment and technology platform we’ve built, we’ve set ourselves up to be a structural grower in the years ahead.

Positioning our organization for the future

Just as we continually innovate and evolve our business to stay ahead of our clients, we also evolve our organization and our leadership team.

Earlier this year we announced changes to reimagine our business and transform our organization to better anticipate what clients need – and shape BlackRock so clients can continue to get the insights, solutions, and outcomes they expect from us.

For years, BlackRock has worked with clients across the whole portfolio, albeit with distinctions between product structures for ETFs, active mutual funds, and separate accounts.

Now the traditional lines between products are blurring. Clients are building portfolios that seamlessly combine both active and index strategies, including liquid and illiquid assets and spanning public and private markets, across ETF, mutual fund, and separate account structures.

BlackRock has been critical in expanding the market for ETFs by making them accessible to more investors and delivering new asset classes (like bonds) and investment strategies (like active). As a result of that success, the ETF is no longer just an indexing concept – it is becoming an efficient structure for a range of investment solutions.

We always viewed ETFs as a technology, a technology that facilitated investing. And just as our Aladdin technology has become core to asset management, so too have ETFs. That’s why we believe embedding our ETF and Index expertise across the entire firm will accelerate the growth of iShares and every investment strategy at BlackRock.

We’ll be nimbler and more closely aligned with clients through our new architecture with the aim of delivering a better experience, better performance, and better outcomes.

Voting choice

Healthy capital markets depend on a continuous feedback loop between companies and their investors. For more than a decade, BlackRock endeavored to improve that feedback loop for our clients.

We’ve done it by building an industry-leading stewardship program, one that’s focused on engaging investee companies on issues impacting our clients’ long-term economic interests. This requires understanding how companies are positioned to navigate the risks and opportunities they face – for example, how geopolitical fragmentation might rewire their supply chains or how higher borrowing cost might impact their capacity to deliver sustained earnings growth.

To do that, we built one of the largest stewardship teams to engage with companies, often alongside our investment teams, because we never believed in the industry’s reliance on the recommendations of a few proxy advisors. We knew our clients would expect us to make independent proxy voting decisions, informed by our ongoing dialogue with companies – a philosophy that continues to underpin our stewardship efforts today. For our clients who have entrusted us with this important responsibility, we remain steadfast in promoting sound corporate governance practices and financial resilience at investee companies on their behalf.

And for our clients who wish to take a more direct role in the proxy voting process, we continue to innovate to provide them with more choice. In 2022, BlackRock was the first in our industry to launch Voting Choice, a capability that enabled institutional investors to participate in the proxy voting process. Today, about half of our clients’ index equity assets under management can access Voting Choice. And in February, we launched a pilot in our largest core S&P 500 ETF, enabling Voting Choice for individual investors for the first time.

We welcome these additional voices to corporate governance and believe they can further strengthen shareholder democracy. I believe that more asset owners can participate in this important process effectively if they are well-informed. We are encouraged by their engagement and the continued transformation of the proxy voting ecosystem but continue to believe that the industry would benefit from additional proxy advisors.

Strategy for long-term growth

For 36 years, BlackRock has led by listening to our clients and evolving to help them achieve long-term outcomes. That commitment has been behind everything we’ve done as a firm, whether it’s unlocking new markets through iShares, pioneering whole portfolio advisory, launching Aladdin on the desktops of investors and so much more. Clients have been at the foundation of our mindset and our growth strategy, informing the investments we’ve made across our businesses.

The combination of technology and advisory, alongside ETFs, active and private markets capabilities, enables us to deliver a better client experience – leading to clients consolidating more of their portfolios with BlackRock or engaging us for outsourcing solutions. We believe this in turn will drive continued differentiated organic growth into the future.

As we do each year, our management team and Board spent time assessing our strategy for growth. We challenge ourselves to think: What opportunities will this economic environment create for BlackRock and our clients, what more can we do to meet and anticipate their needs? How can we evolve our organization, operating structure, investment capabilities, and service models and, in doing so, keep leading the industry?

We have strong conviction in our strategy and our ability to execute with scale and expense discipline. Our strategy remains centered on growing Aladdin, ETFs, and private markets, keeping alpha at the heart of BlackRock, leading in sustainable investing, and advising clients on their whole portfolio.

We have continually made internal investments for organic growth and efficiency, investing ahead of client opportunities in private markets, ETFs, technology, and whole portfolio solutions.

In private markets, we are prepared to capitalize on structural growth trends. Whether it’s executing on demand for much-needed infrastructure, or the growing role of private credit as banks and public lenders move away from the middle market, private capital will be essential. BlackRock is poised to capture share through our scale, proprietary origination, and track record. And we believe our planned acquisition of GIP will meaningfully accelerate our ability to offer our private markets capabilities to our clients.

In ETFs, we will continue to lead by expanding investment access globally and through innovation. The ETF is an adaptable piece of financial technology, and over time we’ve been able to do more with it than just making investing more affordable. We’ve been able to bring better liquidity and price discovery to more opaque markets. One recent example is offering people exposure to Bitcoin through ETFs.

ETFs have been an incredible growth story in the U.S., with iShares leading the way. We believe global ETF adoption is set to accelerate as catalyst trends that we saw in the U.S. years ago like the growth of fee-based advisory and model portfolios are just beginning to take root. Nearly half of 2023 iShares net inflows were from our ETFs listed internationally in local markets, led by European iShares net inflows of $70 billion.

Active asset allocation, security selection and risk management have consistently been key elements in long-term returns. Our active teams across multi-asset, fixed income and equities are well-positioned to seize on broad opportunities arising out of this new interest rate and potentially more volatile regime. We are particularly excited about the opportunity in fixed income and how artificial intelligence is propelling performance in our systematic investing businesses.

Fixed income is going to be increasingly relevant in the construction of whole portfolios with higher yields and better return potential compared to the low-rate environment of the last 15 years. Now that the rate on 10-year U.S. Treasuries is near long-term averages, clients are reconsidering bond allocations.

BlackRock is well-positioned with a diversified fixed income platform. It’s not going to be just about index, where we manage nearly $1.7 trillion. Or just about active where we manage over $1 trillion. Some of the most interesting portfolio conversations are with allocators who are blending ETFs with active or using innovations like our active ETFs for professionally managed income solutions.

Across asset classes, the need for integrated data, technology and risk management will continue to drive demand for Aladdin. Through its dynamic ecosystem of over 130,000 users, the Aladdin platform is constantly innovating and being improved. Investments in Aladdin AI copilots, enhancements in openness supporting ecosystem partnerships, and advancing whole portfolio solutions are going to further augment the value of Aladdin.

We are honored that our clients entrusted us with $289 billion of net new assets in 2023. And over the past few months, we’ve seen a decidedly more positive sentiment and tone in markets and among clients that I'm very optimistic will carry into the rest of 2024.

Our ability to adapt, evolve, and grow has generated a total return of 9,000% for our shareholders since our IPO in 1999. That is well in excess of the S&P 500 return of 490% and representative of a business model serving all our stakeholders.

Total return since BlackRock’s IPO through December 31, 2023

Total return since BlackRock’s IPO through December 31, 2023

S&P Global. The performance graph is not necessarily indicative of future investment performance.

Our Board of Directors

BlackRock’s Board plays an integral role in our strategy, our growth and our success.

The diverse experiences and backgrounds of our Directors enable us to have rich discussions and debates. At each meeting, our Directors review components of our long-term strategy and foster constructive dialogue with our leadership team on strategic opportunities, priorities and risks facing BlackRock’s business. This dialogue ultimately pushes us to make the sometimes tactical and sometimes transformational moves to build a better BlackRock. This includes the two transformational moves we made in January: The strategic re-architecture of our organization and our agreement to acquire GIP.

These two transformational changes are the largest since our acquisition of Barclays Global Investors nearly 15 years ago.

Following the closing of the GIP transaction, we plan to have Bayo Ogunlesi join our Board of Directors. We will continue to evolve our Board over time to reflect the breadth of our global business and to guide us as we evolve ahead of our clients’ needs.

A final note

Over the past 36 years, BlackRock has grown from a company of eight people in a tiny Manhattan office into the largest asset manager in the world. But our growth is just a small part of a much larger success story.

It’s part of the same story that includes my parents retiring comfortably after 50 years of hard work. The same story where America was able to endure the 1980s S&L crisis and 2008 financial crisis – and rebound quickly and with growing strength.

And it’s the story that, hopefully, will include more people around the world. Nations that can outgrow their debt. Cities that can afford to power more homes and build more roads. Workers who can live out their golden years with dignity.

All of these stories are only possible because of the power of the capital markets and the people who are hopeful enough to invest in them.

Larry Fink digital signature

Laurence Fink Chairman and Chief Executive Officer

Income solutions that empower your retirement

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As a global investment manager and fiduciary to our clients, our purpose at BlackRock is to help everyone experience financial well-being. Since 1999, we've been a leading provider of financial technology, and our clients turn to us for the solutions they need when planning for their most important goals.

1 Based on a $1,000 investment from January 1960 to December 1990. Assumes reinvestment of all dividends. Past performance is not indicative of future results.

2 Federal Reserve History , Savings and Loan Crisis

3 OCED Economic Surveys: United States (2016)

4 Securities Industry and Financial Markets Association , Capital DMarkets Fact Book (2023), p.6

5 World Federation of Exchanges , Market Statistics-February 2024, (2024)

6 World Economic Forum , Ageing and Longevity, (2023)

7 United Nations , World Population Ageing, (2017), p.8

8 The Wall Street Journal , Japan’s Nikkei Tops 40000 for First Time, Driven by AI Optimism, ( 2024)

9 Cabinet Secretariat of Japan , Doubling Asset-based Income Plan, ( 2022), p.2

10 Note: 1. Format adapted from Adele M. Hayutin, New Landscapes of Population Change: A Demographic World Tour (Hoover Press, 2022). Data from United Nations Population Division, World Population Prospects. (latest refresh 2022), Medium Fertility Projection. 2. Peak year is defined as the year in which working age population reaches its maximum for a country. Sources: United Nations Population Statistics (as of 2022). OECD (as of 06/2023). World Bank (as of 2022).

11 United Nations , UN DESA releases new report on ageing , (2019)

12 The New York Times Magazine , Can We Live to 200? ( 2021)

13 National Library of Medicine , Estimated Life-Years Gained Free of New or Recurrent Major Cardiovascular Events With the Addition of Semaglutide to Standard of Care in People With Type 2 Diabetes and High Cardiovascular Risk, ( 2022)

14 Source 1: Bureau of Labor Statistics , Employee Benefits in the United States , (2023), p.1; Source 2: Bureau of Labor Statistics , Employee Benefits in Industry , (1980), p. 6

15 BLK Estimates based on AUM as of December 31 st , 2021 and Cerulli data as of 2020. ETF assets include only qualified assets based on Cerulli data, and assumes 9.5% of institutionally held ETFs are related to pensions or retirement. Institutional estimates includes assets defined as “related to retirement” and are based on products and clients with a specific retirement mandate (e.g., LifePath, pensions). Estimates for LatAm based on assets managed for LatAm Pension Fund clients, excluding cash.

16 BlackRock as of Dec. 31, 2021. The overall number of Americans is calculated based on estimates of participants in BlackRock’s Defined Contribution and Defined Benefit plan clients. The Defined Contribution number is estimated based on data from FERS as well as ISS Market Intelligence BrightScope for active participants across 401(k) and 403(b). Defined Contribution includes plans with over $100M+ in assets where participants have access to one or more BlackRock funds; some may not be invested with BlackRock. The Defined Benefit number is estimated based on data from public filings and Pension & Investments for the total number of participants across the 20 largest U.S. Defined Benefit plans that are not also Defined Contribution clients of BlackRock.

17 U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics , Labor Force Statistics from the Current Population Survey, (Feb. 2023)

18 Represents the total number of active public schoolteachers enrolled in defined benefit plans with assets managed by BlackRock. Excludes Virginia, Alaska and Pennsylvania pension clients, as the states’ DB plan is not the default plan for its participants. Public school teachers count from the National Center for Education Statistics, projection for 2022 school year. Pensions participation rate based on data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics: 89% as of March 2022.

19 Social Security , Life Tables for the United States Social Security Area 1900-2100, Figure 3a

20 Social Security , When to Start Receiving Retirement Benefits, (2023), p.2

21 Social Security , Summary: Actuarial Status of the Social Security Trust Funds, (2023)

22 Dutch Government , Why is the state pension age increasing? (translated from Dutch)

23 U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics , Civilian labor force participation rate, (2000-2024)

24 U.S. Census Bureau , Survey of Income and Program Participation (SIPP) , (2022)

25 Federal Reserve , Economic Well-Being of U.S. Households in 2022, (2023), p.2

26 BlackRock , Emergency Saving Initiative: Impact and Learnings Report, (2019-2022), p.2

27 BlackRock, Emergency Savings Initiative: Impact and Learnings Report, ( 2019-2022), p.12

28 BlackRock , What are target date funds?

29 AARP, New AARP Research: Nearly Half of Americans Do Not Have Access to Retirement Plans at Work, (2022)

30 CIA: The World Factbook , Country Comparisons: Population (2023 est.)

31 OECD , Pensions at a Glance 2023 , (2023), 222

32 Georgetown University Center for Retirement Initiatives , State-Facilitated Retirement Savings Programs: A Snapshot of Program Design Features, (2023)

33 Parliament of Australia , Superannuation and retirement incomes

34 Human Interest , The power of 401(k) automatic enrollment, (2024)

35 BlackRock , To spend or not to spend? (2023), p. 2-5

36 Source 1: The Wall Street Journal, The Champions of the 401(k) Lament the Revolution They Started, (2017); Source 2: Social Security Office of Retirement and Disability Policy, The Disappearing Defined Benefit Pension and Its Potential Impact on the Retirement Incomes of Baby Boomers , (2009)

37 U.S. Chamber of Commerce , Statement of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, (2012), p. 3

38 Harvard Business Review , Too Many Employees Cash Out Their 401(k)s When Leaving a Job, ( 2023)

39 The Wall Street Journal , Why China’s Middle Class Is Losing Its Confidence, (2024)

40   The Wall Street Journal , Covid-Era Savings are Crucial to China’s Economic Recovery , (2023)

41 The Wall Street Journal , The Rough Years That Turned Gen Z Into America’s Most Disillusioned Voters , (2024)

42 Financial Times , How Adebayo Ogunlesi’s contrarian bet led to $12.5bn BlackRock tie-up , (2024)

43 American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE ), 2021 Report Card For America’s Infrastructure, (2021), p. 5

44 International Monetary Fund , Global Debt Is Returning to its Rising Trend, (2023)

45 Fiscal Data: U.S. Treasury , Debt to the Penny, ( Debt was $23.4T in March 2020 and $34.5T in March 2024)

46 The Wall Street Journal , A $1 Trillion Conundrum: The U.S. Government’s Mounting Debt Bill, ( 2024)

47 US Department of Treasury , Table 5: Major Foreign Holders of Treasury Securities

48 As of March 2024. Net Zero Tracker, (last visited March 18 th , 2024)

49 Associated Press News , The year in clean energy: Wind, solar and batteries grow despite economic challenges, (2023)

50 BlackRock iResearch Services global survey, sample size n=200, May-June 2023. Survey covered institutional investors’ attitudes, approaches, barriers, and opportunities regarding transition investing. 83% of EMEA respondents surveyed have net zero by 2050 or other date as a transition objective across their portfolio.

51 BlackRock’s 2020 Letter to Clients , Sustainability as BlackRock’s New Standard for Investing, (2020)

52 Reuters , Europe’s spend on energy crisis nears 800 billion euros, (2023)

53 The New York Times , Germany Announces New L.N.G. Facility, Calling It a Green Move from Russian Energy, (2022)

54 Texas Fall 2023 Economic Forecast

55 Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas, Texas electrical grid remains vulnerable to extreme weather events, (2023)

56 U.S. Energy Information Administration : Electricity Data Browser

57 U.S. Energy Information Administration , Solar and wind to lead growth of U.S. power generation for the next two years, (2024)

58 BlackRock Alternatives, CFP, 2023

59 Kenya Power , Annual Report & Financial Statements, (2022)

60 Reuters , BlackRock, Temasek-led group invest $150 mln in thermal battery maker Antora, (2024)

61 Business Wire , Antora Energy Raises $150 Million to Slash Industrial Emissions and Spur U.S. Manufacturing, ( 2024)

62 Oxy, Occidental and BlackRock Form Joint Venture to Develop STRATOS, the World’s Largest Direct Air Capture Plant, (2023)

63 As of June 30, 2022. “Energy companies” refers to corporations classified as belonging to the GICS-1 Energy Sector.



  1. Engineering Cover Letter Templates

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  1. Engineering Allotment letter release I check ✔️ now I FE 2023 allotment letter

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  1. Engineer Cover Letter Example and Template for 2024

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    Here's an example of how to demonstrate your project management skills on your civil engineering cover letter: While employed at Seymour & Phillips, I oversaw the renovation of a local public housing project. Under my supervision, construction was completed 2 months early and 8% under our initially projected budget.

  18. How to write an engineer cover letter (With examples)

    Related: How to write a refrigeration engineer CV (with example) 2. Communicate your interest in the role. At the beginning of your cover letter, establish why you are writing it. Include details of the job you are applying for, and also include your name and where you came across the position.

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    As an engineer, you must apply the following rules in your cover letter format: It would be best to keep a one-inch margin at the end of the document. You should align your work on both sides to improve ease of reading. Professional font styles such as Calibri, Ariel, and Times New Roman must be used.

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  24. Engineering Manager Cover Letter Example and Template for 2024

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