Expert Manufacturing Advice tailored for step-by-step implementation in the workplace. Small Manufacturers, Machine Shops and CAD Engineers improve and thrive with our hands-on help. Engineering CV Technical Content: Great Ideas to Stand Out and Survive the CV Sift
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It goes without saying your technical skills and experiences are likely to be instrumental in getting you that dream job. Aim to succinctly describe technical abilities and importantly how they delivered or contributed to specific project outcomes and performance. Again, highlight key accomplishments with quantifiable results. Search online, perhaps on technical recruitment sites, to see precisely what technical desirables are listed for the same or similar jobs. Words and phrases typical within your industry should feature here.
Technical content details should be included in the Employment History, Skills and to a lesser extent Personal Statement sections of your CV. They should also feature in your covering letter.
Engineering CV Technical Content: Make Yours Stand Out...
Powerful Tips for Your CV Content
So what specifically are employers looking for in a CV? Well for technical jobs clearly relevant technical skills and experience are important, as is industry knowledge. However there are a range of transferable, sometimes ‘softer’ skills companies look for in applicants’ CVs.
Many of the areas below may feature in the Personal Statement and Employment History sections of your CV. However some of the details may also be useful in the other sections too.
Engineering CV Technical Content: Winning Criteria...
Interpersonal and Communication Skills
Demonstrate you can adapt your communication style depending on the task. Reveal how you possess a personable and amiable manner when dealing with people both within the business and externally. Prove you can communicate clearly and succinctly, both in writing and verbally.
Adaptable and Flexible
They say the only constant in business is change. Demonstrate you’ve more than coped and may have even sought and exploited opportunities, because of change. Have you been involved in a change management programme?
Innovation and Creativity
Employers appreciate new ideas and dynamism. Individuals who can demonstrate this stand out. Be prepared to show you are willing to make improvements by doing things differently.
Drive and Initiative
The ability to go above and beyond is a great attribute, highly regarded by employers. Highlight the motivation you’ve displayed to achieve this, together with specific activities and the resultant outcomes. Working without the need for constant supervision and instruction is also valued.
If you have experience planning, sorting out, coordinating and managing, be sure to highlight this with tangible evidence. Show how you have used these skills to increase efficiency and productivity.
The ability to way up options and make decisions is a skill employers value. They are looking for evidence to show you can use your judgement and analyse the evidence, before being decisive.
Working with Others
Teamwork is a common quality cited in CVs. However the key is tangible evidence showing how you worked with others, often of differing disciplines and perhaps from different organisations, to produce quantifiable results. Communication and diplomacy are closely related.
Ambition and Objective Setting
Employers want staff who add the most value to their organisations. Those who demonstrate ambition are often looked upon favourably. Show you have set objectives and goals in the past, and then worked towards achieving them. Demonstrate this with tangible performance results.
Get-up-and-go is important to employers. Closely related to initiative, organisations of all sizes value those who can demonstrate the energy to make things work, see things through and inspire others, particularly through tough times.
Not to be confused with management, leadership attributes should be highlighted too in a CV. Leaders inspire others by clearly communicating a vision to those they lead, followed by motivating others to deliver. They get things done, are visible, make decisions and give strategic direction. Strong leadership is important during good times and critical when trading conditions get tough.
Strategy and Planning
Show your experience in planning tasks, as well as executing them. Have you been involved in formulating team, department or company strategy? Can you describe the real-world outcome?
Show you are willing to not only bring your skills to a prospective employer, but also your network. Which links do you possess that compliment the organisation you are applying to? Show how you get out and about, networking in a constructive way. Reveal how your networks have delivered benefits.
Technical work is often organised into projects. So demonstrating you excel in a project environment is important. Explain how you understand the key stages, together with factors like planning, quality, resourcing and governance. As always focus on solid outcomes. If you have formal project management qualifications (at any level) or systems engineering experience, it’s definitely worth mentioning them.
Financial and Commercial Awareness
Costings and budgets are critical factors in technical work. It is definitely worthwhile demonstrating you are competent in this field. Provide evidence of financial management, as well as contractual and procurement experience. It goes without saying prospective employers regard this as important.
Mentoring and Coaching
Some employers are keen to take on individuals who have experience in these areas. Apart from your core job, have you assisted the professional development or training of others? Prospective employers value those able to motivate and increase the skills of other staff, and so boost overall productivity within their organisations.
Back to Engineering Jobs
We constantly hear about the skills shortage in engineering and high-end manufacturing? Well according to the laws of supply and demand, a shortage of anything should increase its value. So why aren’t engineering salaries sky rocketing as a result? Or are they? What do you think?