How To Write A CV (That Grabs The Attention Of Technical People)

CV / Resume Tips For Engineers, Guidance for Job Seekers

How To Write A CV (That Grabs The Attention Of Technical People)

Not sure how to write a cv for technical jobs to make you stand out from the crowd? Don’t be tempted by gimmicks or CV guides written for designers or administrators, read this post from Nick Rothery explaining exactly what employers and recruiters look for in great technical and engineering CV’s.


Technical & engineering job candidates use many ploys to try to make their CV stand out from the crowd. Printed on colour paper, using unconventional fonts, including a photo, even printed on the packaging of a chocolate bar! However, many of these attempts get the candidate noticed for the wrong reasons. The CV stands out, but the impression given can be unprofessional or even a bit desperate.

The fact is that when a recruiter – whether a manager or HR person in a construction engineering firm or a specialist technical recruitment agency like Energi – reviews a CV we don’t want to be distracted by gimmicks. We want to find the information that we need to make a decision on whether to shortlist a candidate. For that reason we want a well written conventional CV so we can scan through your experience and qualifications, and immediately see what you can offer. It’s a classic case of form follows function. When you write your CV, it needs to be functional by highlighting exactly what recruiters need to know, and by doing that the form (or format) will follow.

So how can your CV stand out if everyone else is doing the same?

How To Write A CV – What Makes a CV Stand Out

To stand out for the right reasons, your CV needs to convince the reader that you have what they need; skills, qualifications, experience etc. The job description will list what these are, and most candidates will dutifully list them, often tailoring their CVs for the role by rewriting their personal statement and work experience by highlighting these key ‘must haves’.

But this still doesn’t make your CV stand out from other candidates who have followed a similar career path. To do this you need to really understand what the employer wants, and write a CV that spells out exactly what you can do for them.

How To Write A CV – Focus on the results

Whilst writing a CV, the job description could say that they need someone with ‘experience leading teams’. Your CV may include soft skills such as leadership and team management. But what the employer really wants to know is that you can get the best out of a team; improve performance, motivation, creativity and all those things that make a team in the construction engineering sector successful. So to make your CV stand out you should communicate this, rather than just saying ‘excellent team leader’. Use your work experience section of your CV to provide evidence that these skills have made a difference in your current or previous roles.

Similarly if a job description asks for experience ‘managing and leading projects’, the potential employer wants to know more than that you have got this experience. They want to know that you’ve done this successfully, ensured that projects ran smoothly, on budget, and that your skills will improve the way their projects are delivered to their clients.

How To Write A CV – Be Specific

‘Excellent technical skills’ is another phrase we see both in job descriptions and in candidates’ CVs. But what does this actually mean? The employer is asking for these skills for a reason, When you wrote your CV, you should address this reason and demonstrate why your ‘excellent technical skills’ are a good fit for their role; always with a focus on what the employer needs to achieve.

How To Write A CV – Tailor Your CV For Every Opportunity

Writing a CV tailored for the job opportunity has to go beyond using the same language and terminology as the employer, and squeezing in all the experience and responsibilities listed in the job description. Tailoring your CV means writing it for that employer and job opportunity, understanding exactly what they need to be successful and how your experience and skills can make that happen.

How To Write A CV – Conculsion

Taking the approaches in this How To Write A CV guide will provide employers and recruiters with exactly the information they need, and make your CV grab their attention without gimmicks and will secure you an interview for your dream job.

If you are thinking of making a move and would like to discuss your options, or would like some feedback after you have written a CV please get in touch with our team.

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