Your CV is often the first impression you make when looking for a new job. When it comes to engineering, if you want to land an interview, you need to make sure you’re using the right terminology, otherwise it may look like you aren’t as qualified as you are.
Recruiters and hiring managers will see a lot of CVs, so the language you use can really help you stand out, and as you’ll learn: some words are better than others.
Recruiters, hiring managers, and CV-reading software will all scan your CV for the most important words they want to see that indicate you’re qualified for the job. If you don’t have the right words they’re looking for, you may not make it through to the next stage.
This might seem like the odds are stacked against you, but it actually means that there is a way for you to get over the first hurdle of the job hunting process, just by using the right language on your CV.
Of course, depending on what field of engineering you work in, you’ll need different keywords to reflect your skills and experience. We can’t cover all of them here, but we’ve spoken to clients around the world to find out the most desired keywords for engineers looking for a new job in 2023.
Computer-aided design is one of the key skills that almost every engineer will use on the job. While it’s a standard skill that you might think not worth mentioning, don’t neglect it. If it isn’t on your CV, it’s possible it could look like you’re downplaying your design ability.
It’s also an important skill to mention as it showcases your creativity. If you’ve designed innovative or impressive projects, it shows that not only are you creative, but that you have the technical design skill to translate your ideas from your imagination to the screen.
Being proficient in data analytics is a valuable tool for any engineering project. As more and more projects take on a digital aspect, engineers who can read and develop insights through data are becoming more employable.
If you have worked on a project and put together an analytics report, either internally or for a client, be sure to mention it on your CV.
As an engineer, it’s vital that you comply by the rules and regulations of professional and regulatory bodies, as well as by the laws of the country you’re working in.
In engineering, compliance is everyone’s job, not just the compliance manager, or the project lead, or the site manager. If you can demonstrate a time you noticed a breach in compliance and set it right, you’re showing yourself to be an engineer with good attention to detail.
If you want to manage builds in the future, it’s important that you show leadership qualities on your CV. The easiest way to do this is by talking about projects or areas that you managed.
You don’t have to have managed an entire team, or a project from start to finish. Even if you only took the lead on a small element of project, if you showed initiative and took accountability, this is important for recruiters and hiring managers to know.
Lastly, it’s important to remember that although working with machines is a massive part of engineering, people skills can make the difference between getting the job or not.
Everything else we’ve mentioned so far has focused on you and your hard skills. Soft skills like communication and teamwork are just as important, but they’re easy to forget about when you need to include technical qualifications and project descriptions on your CV.
Remember to include examples of times you worked in a team, or helped a colleague. These little details can open the door to a wider conversation where you can really show who you are, helping you stand out compared to others who only talked about their technical skills.
While there are many other keywords that you might want to use on your CV, these are some of the most useful for getting to general engineering interviews.