Tuesday, 26 June 2012

5 tips to writing a top technical CV


Your CV is a recruiter’s guide to your career – whether you are a Senior Technical Safety Engineer or a Graduate looking for your first career role, having a well written CV is fundamental to securing your next career opportunity. 

A recruiter should be able to make a decision on your suitability for their client’s project within moments of reading your CV. This means you need to position your CV carefully to get across the key technical points without dwelling on to much detail. 

Remember, a single recruiter can review hundreds of technical and engineering candidate applications every day – if your pitch isn't right, your work will go to waste, and the job opportunity will pass by.

To help you position your CV correctly, here are 5 tips to keep you on track:

1. Own it!
It may sound obvious but make sure you include your contact details. If you’re using social media such as LinkedIn, Twitter, or Facebook, you can add web links to your profiles but make sure the content online is up to date, consistent with the information on your CV, and represents you in a professional way. Recruiters are now using Social Media as second nature so it’s important that you stay on top of your online presence. Read more about how you can utilise social media for job seeking in our ‘Guide to Going Social’.

2. Set the hook

A summary is a great way to give a recruiter a snapshot of your work. Sell yourself, and tailor this paragraph to demonstrate instantly that your skills and experience matches the skills and experience requested in the job advert or specification. This paragraph must hook the reader, encouraging them to delve deeper into the detail of your previous employment, education and qualifications.

The following is a good example of a Technical Safety Engineer Summary:

“I have over ten years experience in the oil and gas industry with six of those within Technical Safety, and Safety Engineering; with competency developed in Project Management and Business Development. My current core capabilities include:
  • A detailed working knowledge of process design safety through the use of prevention, control and mitigation
  • Safety Case Development, and Safety Case Thorough Review, in line with OSCR 2005 with ALARP demonstration.
  • Extensive knowledge of Major Accidents Hazards (MAHs), Safety Critical Element (SCE), Performance Standards & Assurance Routine.
  • Working knowledge of principle of assessment and verification for Safety Instrumented Systems, QRA, CBA, FERA, EERA, ESSA, Passive Fire Protection and Active Fire Protection.
  • Detailed knowledge and experience in the application of UK regulations, codes and standards.
I am computer literate with a working knowledge of MS Office software for reporting and data monitoring."

3. Qualify yourself

Any technical position is likely to require certain qualifications, ranging from professional engineering status, like Ieng, to on the job/company learning or introductory industry courses such as those available through the likes of the ‘AMEC Academy’. This information is important and could help to differentiate you from other job seekers. It’s best to start with the most recent first, showing the qualifications you have completed during your career – include dates of study too.

4. Tell your career story

Give a brief description of your duties and responsibilities for all employers and positions starting with your current or most recent employer first. Make sure you list any notable achievements as interviewers are always keen to see this type of information. Don’t leave anything out, but don’t overplay the details – keep to the facts to ensure you can elaborate on this information at an interview. Similar to your summary, the information should entice the recruiter to take the next step - pick up the phone to speak with you directly (or hopefully, to book an interview).

5. Check, and check again

Always check your CV before sending! Run through the obvious checks on grammar and spelling as well as making sure it flows well and looks easy on the eye. Most importantly; can you read your CV and honestly say that it answers the question posed by the job advert or specification? If not – the danger, and likelihood, is that the recruiter will agree. 100% of the information in your CV must be accurate and truthful, but it’s your responsibility to present the facts in the right way to give yourself the best chance of being progressed to the next stage in the recruitment process.

To help with creating your CV, we have put together a basic CV template as well as a more detailed CV writing guide; both can be found as white pages in the job seeker section of our knowledge bank.

Once you’ve perfected your CV – put it to use by searching and applying for one of our range of oil and gas, nuclear, conventional power and rail career opportunities, at primatrecruitment.com



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