Answers to questions from participants at a seminar An Australian CV at Engineers Australia Careers Expo by Ian Little.
Q When customising my Australian engineering CV for a mining job application, can I just change the words to make my experience from another industry, such as oil & gas, to make it look like it was obtained in the mining industry?
A No! No! and No! – Everything in your Australian engineering CV and job application must be the truth and nothing but the truth. When customising your Australian engineering CV for an employer or job application, the changes you make must be from your experience. All this experience is in your basic (vanilla) Australian engineering CV. This is the database of all your experience from which your take a specific tailored view to suit each employer, industry and position. Your aim is to show an employer the the parts of your experience that he is most interested in.
Do not make up experience that is not true to try and impress. In an interview you will be asked questions about your experience. If you have written something that is untrue, interviewers will sense the lie from your responses in the interview. One lie will totally discredit your Australian engineering CV. The interviewers will think: “If that part is not true, the rest of the engineering CV may also be a total fabrication.” Your application will be rejected and you will never be able to work for that company as you will be viewed as dishonest – not unfair if you do not write the truth.
Q For on-line applications I can only attach two documnets, what do I do? Do I include my selection criteria matching statement with the cover letter or with my Australian engineering CV?
A For on-line applications attach you selection criteria matching statement to your Australian engineering CV. You want to keep your cover letter brief, with short sentences and paragraphs that ‘pack a punch.’ Remember that the first thing that will happen with applications is the selection panel will want to reduce the number of applicants that they have to look at in detail. If your cover letter does not say “I have just what you are after” the readers may not even look at your Australian engineering CV.
Q What is the difference between a job, a position, or a situation vacant?
A None. These are synonyms – they have similar meanings. In newspaper classified advertising, engineering positions will be advertised under the professional section. Trade and unskilled jobs are advertised in the situations vacant section.
Other words you may come across are post, occupation, and function.
Anyone with similar queries, please let us know. We are putting together a page to help explain the mysteries of Australian English.
Q How many job applications should I be doing each day ?
A Quality is more important than quantity. If you are applying to companies that you are not familiar with, you could not do enough research to do more than one quality job application a day. You need to do research on each company to find out what they do and produce, their competitors, their values, where they are developing their business, and try and talk to an engineer in the company to find out in detail what the opportunities are for your discipline, experience level, particular skills and specific interests. Armed with all the company information, you then have to customise your Australian engineering CV and application to highlight the skills, experience and interests you have that the company is after.