After leaving university, most graduates want to jump into the workplace but come across a “chicken and the egg” problem faced by millions. It seems every business wants candidates with experience but no businesses are willing to provide training and allow candidates to gain that all important experience.
As a recruitment consultant I see candidates facing these problems everyday, but there are methods to increasing your chances in the workplace and enable you to secure that all important rung on the ladder.
Lets start with your CV. I see so many CV’s coming through to us that never make it past a first glance. Incorrect spelling, strange file formats, missing information and these are to just name a few errors. You should spend a good hour writing your CV for the first time and focus on the positions you are applying to not on how important you deem your life experiences. I have known candidates to have up to 6 CV’s all tailored to a different niche that they have experience in. Candidates like these are much more likely to secure a job as the CV is relevant and shows preparation.
Employers always want to know the following;
- What field you qualified in, be it architecture, automotive engineering or aerospace. They will want to know you have a background in the field you are applying to.
- What software you have experience/training using. This seems the most obvious point of them all, but seems to be the most overlooked. Each CAD job role will require a specific set of software skills. Take time to read the job description and tailor your CV to outline the skills you posses clearly.
- Your working background is also important. If you have had an internship in a similar firm or worked freelance, detail the projects you worked on and the experiences you gained.
I have seen many CV’s run over 3 pages long with detailed descriptions of tasks carried out in both gap years and previous employment. Including in your CV that you have ridden a camel and looked after its everyday needs are not going to impress a partner in a interior design company. Its off putting and shows no consistency. Employers want to see relevance to the role. If previous employments are not relevant, don’t bother including them. Focus on your strengths, and what you will bring to the table for that role.
Your CV should be clearly structured. A website I recommend for making CV’s is cvmkr.com its free to use and enables you to save your CV online and edit it at a later date. It will also structure your CV and allow you to save it in .pdf format. Keeping a flowing structure is a must. Clearly mark each section and keep the same font and text size. A great structure to follow is;
- Personal details and contact information – Name, email address, phone number and address.
- CAD software experience – Which software you use and which you feel confident using for this job role.
- Brief outline of qualifications and field of experience – Details of what course you took and what field it was in.
- Work experience – Detail previous related employment.
Including a cover letter is always a great idea but ensure that it addresses the employer and that specific job role.