Structuring Your CV
A good CV ought to be structured broadly into three parts – the hook, the body, and the extras. The hook includes your short bio and a list of your key skills. This section is designed to pique the interest of the employer and make them want to keep reading. As such, you should have the most important or relevant information here.
The body of the CV will be where you go into detail about your experiences. Here you will outline in reverse-chronological order your work history and education. How you format this is up to you, but keep in mind that you want it to look inviting to the employer. A large block of text is less attractive than a series of bullet points. What you include depends on your experience. In engineering, employers are looking for evidence of technical proficiency and good problem-solving abilities. Giving a brief overview of a project you worked on – including its challenges and its outcomes – is an ideal place to start. If you haven’t had much experience with projects, then simply list your work history starting with your most recent place of work. Pick out the elements of your previous jobs most relevant to the role you’re applying for. If you haven’t had a job yet, then go into detail about relevant activities you conducted during education, apprenticeships, internships, volunteering, or work experience to emphasise your transferrable skills.
Lastly come the extras – these are smaller sections at the end of your CV listing your achievements, certifications, interests, and references. Naturally, any technical certifications or engineering-specific awards are a must. Your accomplishments outside of engineering won’t necessarily make or break your application, but they give the employer an idea of who you are. These days, engineering employers are looking for people that can work well in a team, so mentioning any sporting, volunteer, or community activities will be of interest.