Enhancing your CV as an engineering student.
Societies that your Uni may offer such as Formula Student, Vertically Integrated Projects and Eco Vehicle, are a great way to show off your learning in a practical manner and also gain a bit of experience. In reality, so many people are part of these teams and competitions that you can’t afford not to join nowadays. Employers are constantly looking for engineers with more than a degree, and showing you can work as a group to complete a valuable project will set you miles above the rest.
As you progress through Uni, you’ll realise how important it is to integrate with companies and institutes. Becoming a member of the Institute of Engineering and Technology (IET) or the Institute of Mechanical Engineers, for example, is a positive way to show on your CV that you are genuinely interested in a career in engineering and are trying to get involved with people in the world of technology. You’ll also receive a free monthly magazine as a student from these institutes which can keep you up to date with present-day projects – this helps in interviews despite being unmentionable on your CV. Many Unis offer a similar membership process to industry awareness groups and hold conferences and various events such as ‘careers and beers’ to allow students to speak to companies. Be sure to find out about what it is your Uni offers.
Gaining a scholarship, or summer work if the idea of being tied to a company doesn’t appeal to you, makes your CV outstanding. By discussing live projects you’ve been a part of, as well as your education through Uni, there’s not an awful lot more you can do to impress a prospective employer. If you don’t have a scholarship, get one. They can be tricky to get depending on where you’re looking, but the process of applying is relatively simple. Scholarships through the IET Power Academy require only an online application, and an interview at a later stage and individual openings are just as easy to apply for. Even if you’re not sure of any companies which offer scholarships near you, and feel you have no way of getting one, send your CV around and see what the replies are. You never know what can happen – I did this, ended up with summer work, and was given a job offer at the end of the 11 weeks. Take care to research the companies you’re applying for.
As for anyone on any degree, extracurricular activities are just as important as your academic experience. Employers want to see your ability to mingle and chop and change between tasks. Flexibility is key, and while it's all fair and well being super involved in your field of work, you need to show that you're able to have fun while being committed professionally. Whether it’s a sport, music, art or politics, get involved elsewhere and make the most of Uni life.
What are you doing to enhance your CV?
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