Australian CV for engineers
Getting your Australian CV for engineers together. In general, engineers from overseas are able to get to Australia and find some jobs advertised, but they find it difficult to get job interviews. The main reason is that they don’t understand how to prepare their CV/resume so it is attractive enough to potential employers.
In this chapter we help you develop an Australian CV for engineers that is irresistible to employers. You will work out your strengths, the most effective parts of a CV, tailoring your CV to particular jobs and employers, and how to write a covering letter that sells you effectively.
What’s in a name: CV or resume?
Like many people, I thought a curriculum vitae (CV) and a resume were the same thing. Technically, a resume is a shortened version of a CV. However, we will stay with the popular masses and consider the terms interchangeable. I can assure you that if one advertisement says send a CV and another says send a resume, they both expect to receive the same document.
From now on, we’ll stick with CV it has fewer letters.
Preparing an Australian CV for engineers to begin job applications can be divided into two parts. The first is to prepare your CV as you see yourself and for the ideal job you would like. This basic or Master CV will emphasise the experience and skills which you believe are your strongest points. It will reflect the areas that are important for you to win that ideal job. It will also address the issues you would normally expect to find in a job description.
I call it a Master CV because it is plain in the sense that it has no distinctive flavour added to make it appeal to a specific prospective employer. You may like your Master CV, but that is not the point. You need to flavour it according to what you think the employer will like.
Obviously, that is what the second part of preparing your CV is about: tailoring it to match the culture, wording and feel of each prospective employer, as well as the specific criteria of the job you are applying for. The response you are after is: I like that. Let’s find out more about this applicant. Which means you’ll get an interview.
It takes time and effort to remake your Australian engineering CV for every application, but it’s well worth it. Compare it to the time you spend out of engineering, or in a job that doesn’t utilise your professional skills. The difference between sending out a Master CV and sending out an individually tailored one is like the difference between firing a high-powered heat-seeking missile and firing a shotgun.
The Master CV
We all have a lot more skills and attributes than we realize, derived from many sources. When preparing your CV and preparing for job interviews you need to be aware of them all.
You will have at least three sets of skills to draw on:
• Skills obtained from education and training, directly related to your engineering discipline and specialist expertise.
• Transferable skills. General skills and attributes you have from your work or training in other areas that can be applied on the job, such as organisation and management.
• Life skills. These have been acquired throughout your life. They won’t be asked for in a job advertisement, but they make you a more valuable employee. They help define you as a person. They may have been acquired through working in a family business, speaking foreign languages, or partaking in hobbies and pastimes. They include leadership skills acquired through participating in community bodies and sports. Life skills often relate to your attitudes and personal attributes. For example, if you grew up on a farm, you may have experience with a range of hands-on skills such as welding and fixing machinery which gave you a practical outlook on getting things done.
Typical engineering job descriptions
Here are three generic job descriptions for engineer, senior engineer and managing engineer positions. They have the generic attributes and skill sets for the different levels, and they are common across engineering disciplines.
I recommend that you build your Master CV around your particular skills, but to meet these typical requirements. This will reduce the amount of work you will have to do to match Australian engineering CV for a specific application.
Check out The Migrant Engineering CV Pack to learn how migrants can write an engineering CV to land a job in Australia.