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How to Create The Perfect CV as an Engineering Student

  • by: Jennifer Herve Samba
  • On: 6, Oct 2021
4 min read

Once you have achieved your engineering degree, the next step is to start looking for jobs that match your skills and experience. This can be a pretty daunting experience but it is important to make yourself stand out from the crowd. Before you begin applying for these jobs, you need to have a solid and compelling CV that showcases your skills and talent. 

While engineering is undoubtedly one of the best fields in today’s digital age, the competition in this area is pretty fierce. The only way to set yourself apart from other candidates is by preparing a killing CV.

VHR’s recruitment specialists have compiled a list of a few things you must consider when preparing your graduate engineering CV.  

Choosing the Right Format

Craft your CV in chronological order. It makes it easier for the potential employer to identify your skills and match them to the job description. A combination format is also a good option, as it allows you to highlight your most important skills. Most graduates do not have any experience in this industry unless they are lucky enough to land their first job before graduation or have completed an internship. So, the only information you may have to showcase is your expertise in the core subjects and relevant skills in other industry jobs. For the overall structuring of the CV, here are a few things to keep in mind:

  •  Keep it easy-to-read.
  •  Use readable fonts (no need for anything fancy).
  •  Keep it short and straightforward (one-page long is most effective).
  •  Bullet points are a great way to organise your writing and make your points stand out.

You don’t always have to build your CV from scratch. Instead, you can use templates for the engineer student resume or ask a recruiter to help you structure it. It makes it much easier for students to rephrase the already written sentences and bullet points with the relevant information suited to them and the jobs you are applying for.

Start with Your Contact Information

Contact details should be mentioned at the beginning. If the employer likes your CV and wants to contact you for the interview round, it must be easy for them to get in touch with you. Write your name and mention your phone number, email address, and LinkedIn URL. This makes your CV look more credible. 

Write a Summary

A summary is on the top of the page, under your contact details. A summary or the objective states who you are, what you have studied, your main skills, where you have worked before, and why you are a perfect candidate for the vacancy in question. Keep it short, i.e. 3-4 sentences is enough. If you have any achievements or awards that make you a better candidate for the job, mention them in summary itself.

One of the common mistakes people are likely to make with their engineering CV is the informal and ambiguous summary. Don’t use too many pronouns and fluff just to increase the length of this section. Keep it simple.

Academic Details

For students applying for the first engineering job, the academic experience is most likely the only speciality you have to showcase. So, make this section as detailed as possible, but avoid ‘fluff’. Start with your college/university, its location, and the universities it is affiliated with. Next, mention the courses you have completed from the college, extracurricular activities, and achievements.

Your academic background shows a lot about your skills, personality, and dedication. Do not list your primary and secondary schools, as that will be irrelevant to your job. Only mention your bachelor’s and master’s programs. Good grades, participation in extracurricular activities, any other certificates & qualifications or involvement in voluntary programs are a few bonus points that can make your CV look better. Don’t forget to mention the year you graduated and your GPA or grade.

List Your Experiences

If you have worked as an intern for a company or a part-time employee, add that to your CV. Past work experiences make a big difference to make you stand out from competition. Mention the organisation's name, the date of your joining, your title, and your responsibilities. 

It’s fine if you don’t have any work experience. You can use a voluntary job or an internship program that’s relevant to the current position. Anything that shows your expertise and how you are a suitable candidate for the job will do. Mention the quantitative data wherever possible to make your application look more effective.

Achievements and Rewards

This additional section is another way to prove your credibility and skills. List your achievements and rewards. It doesn’t have to be relevant to the job, but anything that can make your CV look better will be a good addition. For example, if you have worked as a leader or got nominated for the best speaker award, mention it. Similarly, if you took any voluntary job during graduation, mention it under this section. 

Mention Your Skills

Both soft and hard skills are essential elements of any CV, especially for engineering students. For hard skills, you need to list the software or machines you have used. A few examples of hard skills are data analytics, prototyping, IT skills, testing, structural analysis, city planning, etc. You can also list the digital software you can use such as Adobe suite.

For the soft skill section, your communication, speaking, writing, listening, leadership skills are a few things that can leave an excellent first impression on your employer.

Use Proper Grammar and Structure

We have already mentioned the proper format for an engineering CV. The format doesn’t have to be in chronological order, though it’d be great if you could use a template to keep the order similar to the points listed above. Double-check the summary, objectives, educational background, and other details to ensure proper grammar and punctuation. Avoid pronouns (I, me, and we) and ensure you spell check your CV before sending to the employer.

 It’s essential to leave an excellent first impression on the recruiting team. You can only expect a call back when you manage to win the attention of the employer with your CV and job application. Remember that they probably have tons of CV’s to check, and there’s an excellent chance they will skim through your application if your engineering job CV looks too complex. 

Looking for an Engineering job? Take a look at all of VHR’s live jobs.

Here are four ways engineers can improve their career prospects in 2021.

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