4 engineering CV mistakes to avoid 

When applying for engineering roles, it’s crucial to write a strong CV, which highlights your technical abilities, as well as your soft skills and ability to contribute to large projects.

It’s also vital that your CV is well structured and formatted. It needs to look professional, ensuring the reader can easily navigate it and find your most valuable attributes.

However, if you are making any of these engineering CV mistakes, you could be selling yourself short. Don’t miss out on great job opportunities and read on for more information.

1. Forgetting about non-technical readers

Engineering specific acronyms or terminology might be common place within your working environment. But, don’t assume the person reviewing your CV will be aware of these industry phrases.

Recruiters or HR professionals involved in the initial stages of the selection process are unlikely to have such in depth engineering knowledge.

Proving your technical know-how is essential. But, certain sector specific phrases or acronyms can differ even between companies and locations. So, make sure you’re clear in your explanations and write in plain simple English to avoid any confusion. Expand on examples or phrases in detail, bearing in mind those with less engineering experience, but still showing technical readers that you have the required expertise.

2. Failing to grab readers’ attention

If you don’t hook readers in the first few seconds of them opening your CV, they may just skip on to the next one.

Stand out from the competition by having an engaging personal profile. This should grab the recruiter’s attention at the top of the page, enticing them to delve deeper into your experiences.

Your profile should be a summary of your offerings as a candidate. It should include points like your engineering discipline and sub-disciplines, technical skills such as drawing, software packages like AutoCAD and the types of projects you have worked on. Your profile should also be heavily tailored to your target jobs, reflecting the skills the employers are looking for.

3. Structuring roles poorly

A poor structure could result in key information within your CV being missed. In turn, this could lead to your application being discounted by a recruiter. Large blocks of text and long-winded sentences will make it difficult to showcase your applicable skills or experience clearly.

Use a simple logical structure, breaking up information with headers, bullet points and defined sections. When structuring your role descriptions, begin with a summary of the role. Follow this up with bullet points of your key responsibilities and duties. Be sure to showcase as many of your in-demand skills as possible.

4. Not proving your impact

If you’re only stating your responsibilities within your roles, then you’re missing out on a big opportunity to prove your value to employers. You should prove the impact you make as an employer by giving solid examples of how your work benefits your employers and the projects you work on.

Look to add figures and facts to quantify these results. This will show how valuable your work is. For example, if whilst working as an electrical engineer you were able to reduce supplier costs, assert that you “reduced costs by 20% through negotiating with the company’s suppliers.”

Emphasise how you have previously worked to support company goals or targets or how your actions delivered an impact to your team or organisation.

About the author: Andrew Fennell is a former recruitment consultant and the founder of StandOut CV, a leading resource centre for CV and job hunting tips, including a dedicated engineering CV section.