Just graduated? Transform your resume with our CV advice for aspiring engineers.
Applications for higher engineering courses increased by 5.5% in 2014, however a skills gap still exists. As an engineering graduate you are very employable; according to Engineer UK in 2014, 66% of graduates were in full-time employment within six months of graduating from their course. A third of engineering organisations have indicated that they will focus their efforts towards recruiting apprentices and graduates, making it a great time for you to join the industry.
It’s fair to say that by the time you’ve finished university you would have picked up a plethora of skills and gained valuable experience, however translating this onto paper isn’t always the easiest task. CV writing is a skill in itself, a juggling act that requires you to get the right amount of technical knowledge and skills neatly summarised as concisely as possible, in order to sell yourself to a potential employee. We’ve included a few tips to help you craft your CV.
#1 – Layout
There’s nothing worse as a recruiter then receiving pages and pages of words with no clear layout. Ensure your layout is legible; remember this will be the first thing a potential employer sees. Choose relevant headings to section your CV, such as ‘Personal Statement’ and ‘Qualifications'.
#2 – Personal statement
Keep a clear goal at the forefront of your mind; be precise about who you are and what you’re looking for. Stay away from egotistical statements and keep them honest and brief, as it’s likely this will be discussed in an interview.
#3 – Work experience
Include tangible work experience; this might be a non- engineer related work placement, but think about how the skills could be transferred to the engineering industry. Non-engineering experience can boost your CV, but it’s also worth including relevant university projects, courses or dissertations. Focus on bringing the real life value out of these academic achievements; show how you can apply your skills and knowledge in the workplace. This is important as many employers complain that graduates do not have the practical skills they’re looking for. Remember, work experience should be written in chronological order.
#4 - Research
When applying for a job, tailor your CV to match their particular job requirements and company culture. You’ll need to research the company to understand their values, their needs and their structure. You should have at least one generic CV as a template which you can then modify as needed to highlight particular skills, experience or interests. This will make it clear to the employer that you’ve done your homework and have a genuine interest in and commitment to getting the job, and the closer you are to their job specification the more likely you are to get an interview.
#5 Check and double check
Badly written CVs plagued with spelling mistakes are more common than you think considering how important they are! It’s very likely that your CV will make it to the ‘no’ pile if you’ve confused your grammar or made spelling mistakes. When an employer reviews a CV they’re searching for the whole package. They want to know a candidate has put effort into their application and is genuinely interested in the job and the company. Many jobs also require a keen eye for detail. Having mistakes in your CV gives a bad impression on both counts, as it can make you look careless or lazy. Even if you’ve checked and double checked yourself, it may help to get somebody else to proof read your CV before sending it to employers. A pair of fresh eyes might be able to spot something you didn’t.
We hope you’ll find these CV tips useful. Here’s a final tip for you – visit our jobs page for fantastic engineering opportunities in a range of sectors up and down the country. Good luck and happy hunting!