Seven top tips to perfect your engineering CV and covering letter
By UCL Careers, on 21 October 2014
Some engineering employers, notably smaller companies, prefer CVs and covering letter. Here are some hints and tips to help you perfect your CV and covering letter to convince recruiters you’re right for the job.
- Length of your CV: A CV should be no more than two pages of A4, and a covering letter just one page. By researching the skills sought by the employers you’re targeting and then matching your experience to theses you should be able to fit in all the information that is relevant to that particular graduate job.
- CV layout: the layout of your CV is important. Choose a layout that is clear and easy to read, avoid small fonts and large sections of text. Use a skills-focused or chronological format for your CV, depending on what sells you best, and remember to tailor your CV to each employer.
- Personal statements | Many students start their CV’s with a brief personal statement outlining their abilities and aspirations. If you choose to do this, be specific and keep it relevant to the engineering job in question.
- Educational history: your educational history from your university years should include your predicted or actual degree class, information on group projects and your dissertation, any modules relevant to the job, and relevant academic awards. Include you’re a level (or equivalent) subjects and grades. Give GCSE/standard grad results.
- Engineering work experience: outline engineering work experience in your CV, judging how much detail to give by how closely it relates to the specific job you are applying to. Explain what skills you learned and how they can be transferred to the position in question.
- Non-engineering work experience: Many engineering employers look very favourably on achievements and experiences outside engineering. This can be a real boost if you haven’t been able to secure engineering work experience – and can give you an extra edge if you have. Examples worth mentioning include fundraising, voluntary work, organising independent overseas travel, sporting achievements or taking a leading role in a university society. Don’t go into detail: summarise your achievements and any transferable skills developed.
- What’s the point of a covering letter? Most engineering graduates have a fairly wide range of career options open to them. Outside the engineering sector, graduate engineers are sought after for their numerical skills and problem-solving mentality; inside, there’s a wide range of industries and job types that engineers of most disciplines can choose from. Your covering letter, therefore, is a chance to convince the engineering employer in question that you want to work in their industry, for their specific organisation, and in the job role advertised.
For more advice visit www.targetjobsengineering.co.uk
TARGETJobs Engineering kindly sponsored the UCL Careers Engineering Fair 2014.