If you are thinking of a career in engineering or just moving jobs it’s worth realising at the outset that it’s a very competitive industry where standards and expectations can change week to week. This means you’ll have to have real passion for the job and a degree of dedication. The recruitment process for hiring an engineer can be a rigorous, with many falling at the first hurdle – the CV.
Prepare to succeed
If you are using the same CV for every application you are making a big mistake, it might be time consuming but your CV should be updated all the time. It’s imperative that you research the firm and the industry and find out as much information about the role as possible – this will enable you to adjust your CV as appropriate.
Never be content with writing your CV yourself. Always get someone else to check it for you and don’t be disheartened at any changes they suggest. Engineering CVs can be awash with qualifications but an employer will also want to know something about you. Even if the qualifications are essential, try to include a ‘recent projects’ section or at least give them an idea in which area you excel.
These are all pretty obvious things, but as well as a dedicated CV if you are lucky enough to be called to interview you’re bound to be asked what you know about the company. This means you should:
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o Find out what the role entails
o Do some research about the company and its history
o Make sure you understand any jargon which may come up at interview
o Have information about a project you completed successfully
o Read news surrounding the industry
If you are prepared for questions it’ll be much better than having to utter the words “I don’t know.” A good strategy is to ask yourself which questions you’d least like to be asked. Is there a gap in your CV? Have you ever failed at something? What do you enjoy least about your current job? Where do you see yourself in five years’ time? These are all popular questions, but with good answers you can turn them to your advantage.
In most interviews you’ll likely only be asked some basic engineering questions. The interview will be a personal interview with the employer wanting to see what you are like. They already know what qualifications you have from your CV, and your previous working history, so they might not focus on these things. What’s important here is that you leave the right impression. What makes you stand out above anyone else they are interviewing? Try to be clear and concise and above all make sure you smile and are confident.
What you wear also really makes a difference. So make sure you are correctly attired. Many interviewers will decide whether they like you before you’ve even had chance to speak so it’s important to make that first impression count.
David French knows how hard it can be to get a job. He’d always recommend using a recruitment agency such as Attic Recruitment.