How to write an engineering CV

Friday, December 18, 2020
It is vital to market your expertise effectively and here are our key tips in writing an effective engineering CV.

Position and focus

From chemical to mechanical, civil to electronic – there are over 200 types of engineer and over 40 different engineering degrees. With so many different engineering specialties, it is crucial to make sure you clearly position yourself for the types of engineering role you are applying for. Do this in the first line of your professional profile so the reader can immediately ascertain the relevance of your CV.

Personal not hypothetical

Many job seekers write down a list of duties and responsibilities in their work history. The challenge with this is it could apply to anyone doing the job. Some people even write ‘the post holder will…’ as they simply copy and paste information from a job description. This makes the CV very dry and impersonal. It is important that within each employment you tell your own personal story.

It’s not your skills, it’s what you do with them

You may have great AutoCAD skills but they count for nothing without the resulting blueprints or designs. You may be an experienced cost engineer but it is only through the effective analysis and projection of costs that they mean anything. Therefore, it is what you do with your skills your engineering CV needs to focus on. Write about the achievements and outcomes of your work. Include facts and figures to support. 

Make your engineering CV different

It is very easy to try and conform to what you think an ideal engineer should look like. This may explain why so many people tend to reproduce generic job descriptions. They are afraid to be themselves and would rather cast their work as a non-descript engineering automaton. The profile at the beginning of the engineering CV is a chance to let the real you present itself. Tell the reader about the particular personal qualities that make you great at your job.

Professional qualifications

You must include all your relevant academic and professional qualifications in your engineering CV. This includes membership of professional bodies and any nationally recognised qualifications. Do not include internal courses that are unlikely to be understood by an external audience. As a fresh graduate you may have your qualification section at the front of the CV just after the professional profile. However, for most experienced engineers this section should go at the back of the CV as your work experience will be more important. 

When writing your engineering CV target and align the CV to the specific role you are apply for. Don’t be afraid to let the real you shine by providing examples of your achievements with facts and figures to support. Make the job of the reader as easy as possible to say ‘yes’ to calling you to interview.

This article is written by Neville Rose, Director of CV Writers.

CV Writers are the official CV partner to Guardian Jobs.

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