Five tips for improving your engineering CV

Your CV is your shop window to attract that perfect job and is likely to be the first impression a prospective employer has of you. And first impressions matter!

So presenting your CV – both in terms of content and format is critically important, as is ensuring that your CV is tailored for the position you are interested in.

This can be a daunting task and for some an intimidating experience. At Team Horizon we get asked advice on how to craft the perfect CV for that engineering job. Together with our recruiting team, we’ve put together some tips on how to enhance your profile and secure “that dream job”!

Be Clear and Concise

Make sure you bullet point your skills and experience within each role. Use short, simple & concise bullet points when outlining your work responsibilities. Choose a clear layout –  employers will scan your CV to begin, so make sure it’s well laid out and easy to read. Remember the 6 second rule – it takes 6 seconds to read a CV, if an employer is interested, if that first impression is positive, then they will go back and review in more detail.

Make a Good Impression

Including a compelling cover letter outlining your key strengths is a crucial part of your application and how these will be an asset to the employer in the role you are applying for. Remember, your CV is about you but the employer is looking for the right person for them. Show what makes you unique, don’t forget you are selling yourself so you need to stand out.

Include a background summary of who you are, your location and your openness to relocate if this is required. Document why you would relocate if you are not from the region. Companies will not risk hiring a candidate if they are not convinced you will settle in a new location.

Make sure your cover letter is in the same style as your CV, to demonstrate professionalism. And, always maintain a good LinkedIn profile, making sure it aligns with your CV.

Do Your Homework

It’s critical to study the job spec well and ensure your CV reflects the relevant experience as set out by the job spec. Too often we see generic CVs that get lost in the crowd. It’s amazing the reaction you see from a hiring manager or recruiter when they open an application and the skillset in the CV matches the job spec. You can be sure that the candidate who manages to capture this will be successful at progressing to interview stage.

Think of your target audience when writing your CV – use terminology that both the HR Manager and the Engineering/Technical Manager will understand when outlining your experience.

Research the company beforehand, and check-out the company’s core-values. If you can sense an alignment of values be sure to convey this on your cover letter.

Content is Key

Include a personal profile on your CV. Personal profiles should be 2-3 strong sentences describing your strong points and why you would be perfect for the role. Limit the number of times you start a sentence with “I” in your CV. Instead say “As a process engineer with five years’ experience, I have gained critical skills in …..”

Your entire CV should flow from current to past, so put employment history first and education after. When listing your employment history always do it in chronological order and ensure you add your job title for each role listed.  With regards to education don’t forget to include thesis information, if it is relevant to the role, and always include any technical qualifications or courses completed that are relevant

Including any career breaks or travel experience will enhance your CV as it will demonstrate a set of soft skills to compliment your technical expertise.

Above all, use correct grammar and do a spell check. Reading an error filled CV will give the impression that the candidate didn’t invest the necessary time, so why should the hiring manager?

Finally, don’t lie on your CV!

Have a Follow-up Plan

It’s a fine line between passionately pursuing a job and getting on the wrong side of annoying a potential employer. If you haven’t received any feedback, we advise to follow up with a phone call one week after submitting an application. If you don’t receive a reply, try once more via email or phone call in the coming days.

Good luck with the job-hunting! Don’t forget, our expert recruitment team are on hand to assist with an job related queries you may have. You can contact us on +353 98 50600 or drop us a note at: