STEM Graduates support Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics students and graduates during every step of the job search. Sophie Chadwick from STEM Women gives her top 5 tips for success when writing a CV for engineering roles.
- Include a ‘Personal Statement’ and brief overview of your technical skills at the top of your CV. This will allow your potential employer to scan the CV and see that you are suitable within the first few seconds- drawing them in to continue reading. Keep this part short and punchy and always relevant to engineering, avoid big blocks of text as these are off putting.
2. Make your skills the main focus of your CV and be sure to emphasise the most relevant ones. Rather than mass applying with the same generic CV, tailor your CV to different employers. Certain skills may be of more interest to different companies and you should go into more detail about your ability and experience with those skills in particular. With regards to ‘Education’ highlight relevant modules and qualifications and avoid going into too much detail about any others.
3. List some hobbies and non-engineering related experiences. It can be tempting when writing a technical CV to focus purely on your skills and academic achievements, but it is still important to give a rounded view of yourself. Include any sports you play, any groups you are part of and any causes you have volunteered for in a ‘Personal Interests’ section to remind the employer you are a sociable and interesting person- as well as a brilliant engineering candidate!
4. Utilise a ‘Cover Letter’. Cover Letters can be a useful addition to your CV by emphasizing why you want to work in the industry area you are applying to work within. You need to demonstrate your commitment and enthusiasm coupled with your potential and your ambition. Do your research on what the company does and explain why you are interested and passionate about that field, then demonstrate how your skills match up to their goals. It can be tempting to make this a long document but keep it as succinct as possible, certainly no more than one side of A4- unless they have specifically asked otherwise.
5. Finally, PROOF READ! Get your friends, your family and even your pets to proof read your CV. Spelling mistakes, bad grammar and repeating yourself will give a bad first impression as your application will come across as lacking focus. That is not the impression you are going for in an industry where technicalities and accuracy are of utmost importance. Make sure your CV is streamlined, completely accurate and correctly punctuated to best reflect how accurate and committed you are as a candidate. Be sure to avoid using the same words frequently. Although you are not applying for a position in writing or journalism, using a thesaurus to avoid using the words ‘teamwork’ and ‘dedicated’ over and over again can make your CV a more interesting and compelling read.
You can get your CV checked by a member of the Careers and Employability team at our drop-in, which runs Monday to Friday, 1pm – 4pm in the Employability Hub, Business School Building. You can also find lots of useful resources to help you when writing your CV on our website.