A new string of engineering graduates will be looking for jobs in the industry very soon. Every year engineering graduates are produced and ready to bring their youthful style and their expertise into a company. In South Africa, the University of Pretoria said that they account for 27 percent of engineering graduates in the country. Recently, the World Economic Forum said the most engineering students would be coming out of Russia, but didn't account for the number of graduates in China and India. All in all, the number of engineers getting their qualifications would mean there is no shortage of engineering talent. However, the name of your university can only get you that far. Sometimes in order to get an engineering job you have to go the extra mile.
The next step for graduates is getting that desirable job, right? But the first step is polishing the curriculum vitae and getting it out there so you can appear to be the best candidate for an engineering job. Some experts in the engineering field have weighed in and given their two cents as to how to build that attractive looking CV.
The Dean of Engineering at the Engineering Institute of Technology (EIT), Steve Mackay, talks about constructing an engineering résumé in the fifteenth episode of the Engineering News Network. Here is a summary with some quotes from the Dean that might strengthen your curriculum vitae:
1. Focus on the job: "Most people think they can use a generic résumé because they are applying for lots of jobs but that is a sure fire path to destruction."
2. Make it simple: "Use simple English, lay it out simply, you don't have to address it to the village idiot but by the same token make it simple and easy and reasonable."
3. Grammar and spelling must be 100%: "Try and look at the English and the spelling to make sure it reads well."
4. Avoid excessive information: "The twenty page CV is long since gone. Employers don't have time to read."
5. Lots of white space and include an executive summary: Mackay says the executive summary should be included because it would state why you think you're the right pick for the job. "Try and be specific, give real employers names...who actually exist...plus your time with them and the job you had and the reason why you left," he said." He further says that you should try and avoid the 'job hopping' approach where your CV shows that you've only spent a few months at a place of employment because that doesn't look good at all.
6. Search for jobs you really want: "It's pointless going for a higher paying job if you hate it. Try and focus on the jobs you are looking for, make sure it's aligned with you."
7. Business strengths: Mackay says it should include 'business wins' from previous employment. Stating what kind of successes you achieved.
8. Experience: "No matter how many qualifications you've got, if you don't have the experience that matches up with the qualifications, you've got a pretty tough job selling yourself. Experience plus qualifications...great match."
Engineering.com also penned a list of things to look out for, which should equip you with the necessary skills to create a good CV for engineering employers:
- Know the target company
- Think outside the box
- If you don't ask, you don't get
- Give the employer a compelling reason to read on
If you seem to find yourself absolutely lost in the formatting stage of preparing a curriculum vitae, there are options on the internet that you can explore. For example, Google has templates available, that are crowdsourced templates that can make CVs look professional and readable so that you could perhaps secure that job. You can find them here: Résumé Templates.
The rest is all up to you. Good luck on finding a job and congratulations if you have just graduated with an engineering degree.