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How to Write a Compelling CV for Engineers

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As an engineer, your Curriculum Vitae (CV) is one of the most important tools to sell yourself to potential employers. It is a document that outlines your skills, experience, and qualifications in a way that is easy for employers to understand. A well-written CV can be the difference between getting your dream job and being passed over for another candidate.

In Australia, the number of engineering job postings remained high in 2021 compared to the pre-pandemic, with an increase of 50 per cent year-on-year. This data shows that engineers are in high demand in Australia. And employers are looking for the right engineers who fit the role perfectly.

So, if you’re looking to land your first engineering job or are open to new opportunities to further your career, here are the things you should remember when writing your CV.

What Employers are Looking for in an
Engineering CV

As mentioned, Australia is facing a talent shortage, so as much as it’s easy to find an engineering role, it’s hard to find the right talent. This is where a good CV comes in. Here are the things employers look for when reviewing engineering CVs:

1. Right Technical Skills and Experience

The most important thing employers seek is the right technical skills and experience. As an engineer, you need the right and relevant skill set to do the job. This includes hard skills, like knowing how to use certain software or having experience with a specific type of engineering. Also, soft skills, like working well in a team or communicating effectively.

You must ensure that your CV highlights the technical skills and experience that match the job you are applying for. Do not try to overload your CV with every skill and knowledge you have. This will only confuse employers and make it harder for them to see if you’re a good fit. Instead, focus on highlighting your most relevant expertise and project experience by using keywords or skills the recruiter is looking for the position.

2. Clear and Concise CV

As mentioned above, employers do not have much time to read through long, drawn-out CVs. They want to be able to quickly scan your CV and see if you’re the right fit for the job. This is why they look for a CV that is clear and concise. Do not try to cram too much information into your CV. Stick to the most important points and use clear, concise language.

Here are some ways you can make your CV clearer and more concise.

  • Use keywords: When writing your CV, carefully look at the job description and ensure that they both align. Use keywords or skills that the recruiter highlighted in the description throughout your CV. Doing so ensures recruiters that you understand what the job role requires and makes it easier for them to recognise your talent and decide whether you’d be a good match for the job.

  • Use bullet points: Employers like to see information presented in an easy-to-read format. One way to do this is to use bullet points to list your skills and experience. Doing this makes it easier for employers to scan your CV.

  • Use headings and subheadings: Break up your information into easily-digestible chunks using headings and subheadings. This will help employers quickly see the essential points you want to highlight.

3. A CV that Stands Out

In a sea of CVs, you want yours to be the one that stands out. So, here are ways you can ensure that employers will give your CV attention:

  • Highlight strong technical skills: Employers want to see key technical skills on your CV, such as what systems you can design, what software you’re proficient in, and what type of projects you’ve previously worked on.

  • Highlight your achievements: Employers love seeing evidence of your accomplishments. Showcase your successes by highlighting them in your CV. This could be in the form of case studies, quantified data, or testimonials from previous employers or clients.

  • Make your CV visually appealing: A CV that is easy on the eyes is more likely to be read by employers. Use visuals, like charts or graphs, to break up your text and make your CV more visually appealing.

Submitting a suitable CV highlighting all relevant skills and project experience increases your chance of landing the job as this is what makes employers interested in what you offer. Because no matter how good your credentials are—if the employers discard them before reading them, it’s all for nothing.

Common Mistakes of Engineers
When Writing a CV

Now that you know what employers are looking for in an engineering CV, let’s look at 5 of the most common mistakes engineers make when writing their CVs.

Mistake #1: Not Tailoring the CV to the Job They’re Applying For

One of the most common mistakes engineers make is not tailoring their CVs to the job they’re applying for. As mentioned above, employers want to see evidence that you have the right skills and experience for the job. This means that you need to tweak your CV for each job application. Do not simply send out the same CV for every job. Instead, take the time to tailor your CV to each job by highlighting the skills and experience that are most relevant.

Mistake #2: Telling Only What You’ve Done, Not Showing

As an engineer, it can be challenging to explain exactly your previous roles and responsibilities in a CV. So, don’t just narrate what you did, instead show the recruiters what you’ve done in specific projects.

For example, if you’ve written white papers on a subject, include a link. You can also include screenshots of sample codes you’ve previously worked on. Through this, you provide the employer an insight into your experience and expertise. So, the more you can show them what you’ve done, the better picture they’ll have of what you can do for their company. 

Mistake #3: Not Including Enough Detail

While you want to keep your CV short and sweet, you also don’t want to leave out important information. Ensure you provide enough detail about your skills and experience so that employers can get a good idea of what you can do.

For example, it’s not enough to only write the projects you’ve worked on, also include adequate information about the project and insight into your primary responsibilities on the projects.

Mistake #4: Including Too Much Detail

On the other hand, you also don’t want to include too much detail in your CV. Remember, employers only have limited time to read your CV. So stick to the most critical points and leave out any superfluous information.

Mistake #5: Not Proofreading Your CV

One of the biggest mistakes you can make is not proofreading your CV before sending it off. Even minor errors, like typos, can give employers the impression that you are careless and sloppy. So make sure you take the time to proofread your CV before submitting it.

As an engineer, you are responsible for producing many technical documents. So if you provide a mediocre CV containing many typos and grammatical errors, it may give the employers the impression that you don’t have good attention to detail and writing skills. That’s why it’s important that you read your CV multiple times to ensure it’s perfect before you send it.

All in all, when you avoid these common mistakes that engineers commit when writing a CV, you can be sure that your CV will stand out from the crowd and land you the engineering job you want.

Write a CV That Lands You a Job

A well-written CV is essential for any engineer who wants to further their career. So, take the time to tailor your CV for each job application, highlight your achievements, and ensure you proofread before hitting “send.” And we promise, you’ll get a lot more traction than other candidates. 

If you want more details, download our free step-by-step guide on how to craft a compelling engineering CV that gets you hired by clicking this link here.