CV, tips on CV, Job Search...
A well-written CV is the backbone of any job application. After all, an employer wants to understand who you are, what your experience is and why you’re applying to their role. Yet, most of us groan at the thought of having to update our CV and will fail to tailor it to every job application we make. Here are some tips, based on rail engineering but relevant cross-sector, written by our friend Augusta Henning at CV-Library.
1. Stick to a clear format
A huge part of getting yourself noticed is using a format that is easy to digest and that clearly displays all the relevant information needed. Alongside this, use an easy-to-read font, such as Arial or Calibri, in size 12. You can separate each section with bold headings, starting with your personal profile and following this with your work experience and education.
Remember to write up your experience in reverse chronological order, placing your most recent and relevant positions first. In addition, you may wish to include a key skills section at the bottom, within your education section. Here, you can outline any additional qualifications you’ve gained, such as Prince2 or Agile.
2. Write a punchy personal profile
As mentioned previously, your CV needs to open with a punchy personal profile. Here, you should give a clear and succinct summary of your professional background and career aspirations. It’s best to make this specific to the job you are applying for and you need to ensure that it’s not too broad. Otherwise, this suggests that you haven’t researched the job properly.
Split this into two sections. In the first, you need to state who you are, for example: ‘a highly-skilled rail engineer, looking to secure a new position in…’ The second part needs to outline what you can offer the company. Here, you need to highlight any relevant skills and back them up with clear examples. For example ‘having worked on multiple successful projects for my employer, I have expressed strong problem-solving skills.’
3. Bring your skills to life
As a rail engineer, you’ll need to have a range of technical skills and be proficient with certain technologies. For example, you may be a pro at CAD but you can’t just simply state this on your CV. Try to bring these points to life by giving examples of any projects you’ve worked on in which you utilised these skills.
Then, shout about the results that you achieved. For example, the ability to communicate effectively is crucial as a rail engineer. In this case, you’d write about a time when you’ve worked closely with other craftspeople to reach an end goal and highlight the success that came as a result of this. Think about using action keywords, such as: achieved, contributed, guided, handled and so on.
4. Showcase your qualifications
In order to obtain a job as an engineer, you’ll need to hold a relevant qualification, such as Engineering Maintenance (NVQ Level 3) or Railway Engineering (NVQ Level 3). You may also be able to get the job by undergoing an apprenticeship. The final section of your CV should showcase these qualifications, outlining the title and dates completed.
If you’re new to the rail engineer industry, you can go into more detail in this section, giving some examples of projects you worked on or any key skills you gained throughout your studies. You may also want to highlight any professional development courses you have taken, such as Personal Track Safety.
Overall, perfecting your CV should be your number one task when it comes to looking for a new job. Spend the time and effort on getting it right and you’ll have no problem in finding a rail engineering position that’s right for you.
Engineering Jobs is a leading job board in the sector and is part of the CV-Library network. For more expert advice on engineering jobs, careers and the workplace, visit CV-Library’s Career Advice and Recruitment Insight pages.