As you finish university and start looking for the job that you have been working towards for the last few years, one of the first realisations you will have is that you are entering a very competitive job market. Engineer jobs generally receive a large number of applications, therefore it is really important that your CV is so polished that recruiters are compelled to offer you one of their limited number of interview places.
This is how you can create a CV that earns you that interview:
An attention-grabbing personal statement
Your personal statement has to be really strong to catch the recruiter’s attention enough to want to find out more about you. There will be plenty of applicants with similar or the same qualifications as you, so you must use the personal statement to stand out. Injecting your personality into it and explaining your passion for this industry and type of work will show them that you are focused and willing to work hard to succeed.
Showing your personal drive in this section will help the recruiter to form a better idea of whether you are a stronger candidate than others. Be sure to include your most notable achievements and any awards or exceptional grades.
Examples of your technical abilities
In the engineering industry, it is naturally highly focused on technical abilities, so you must convey these as astutely as possible. In addition to what technical qualifications you have, the recruiter will be looking for evidence that you have a very high level of technical ability. You might be able to draw on some projects that you delivered or examples from work placements. The more examples of relevant technical skills and experience, the better.
Your work placements
When you don’t have any on-the-job experience because you are applying for your first job, examples from any work placements should be used to demonstrate that you have the skills and experience required. It is also beneficial to refer to your knowledge of general engineering practices, regulations and maintenance safety as these are key requirements, that will be expected in a graduate CV.
Part-time jobs and transferable skills
In addition to work placements, you should be able to use experience from part-time jobs to your advantage too. Even if the job was not related to engineering in any way, there will be a number of transferable skills that you can discuss to show your suitability for the role.
For example, evidence of your analytical skills, ability to collaborate within teams, problem solving etc. are all relevant to the role you are applying for. You can refer to skills that you have demonstrated whilst studying, or even from sporting achievements and personal interests if they are relevant and transferable to the engineering industry.
If you have not written a CV to apply for a job before, it is a good idea to research examples of personal statements for the same roles and to use a CV template to ensure that you include all of the key information in the correct format. Finally, always get another person to read over your CV to provide feedback before you send it to recruiters.
Andrew Fennell is the founder of CV writing advice website StandOut CV – he is a former recruitment consultant and contributes careers advice to websites like Business Insider, The Guardian and FastCompany.
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