The short answer is YES! Whilst you may have a digital ‘footprint’ out there via a Facebook Account, a Twitter Feed, a LinkedIn Page, or even a personal Blog site, you still need a good up to date CV. Whilst this might sound blindingly obvious to many, we've come across a surprisingly high number of CV's recently that are not good examples of a modern, well constructed CV. These 'old fashioned' CV's seem to be more common amongst people who have worked in one sector for a long time, or they've rarely had to formally apply for a job in the past as finding work was easy back in the day.
So, what does ‘good’ look like?
Your CV is usually your first ‘selling’ opportunity and it often represents the first time an employer will see what you have to offer. It therefore needs to be clear, relevant, and attractive to prospective employers, so how it looks, and what it says, are vitally important. Two key features of a modern CV are:
- It needs to state your key achievements, and not just the duties you performed. Achievements are the positive differences you made in your previous roles and these will be unique to you (duties won’t be).
- It needs to say what your best and most relevant skills are, and these should ideally be linked to your achievements. We believe there are three main skill categories:
- Technical Skills (e.g. those specific and specialised to your function).
- Organisational Skills (e.g. project management, strategic planning, research etc).
- People Skills (e.g. empathy, motivating others, leadership etc).
These T-O-P skills need to be relevant to the field or jobs you are applying for, so for Oil and Gas workers moving out of their Sector, you need to carefully consider what your key transferable skills are. Transferable skills are those which are the most relevant to other sectors or industries, and many of your skills will be transferable. However, be careful if you’re thinking about using Industry Specific jargon that only other businesses in your industry would understand. If you’re moving out of Oil and Gas and into a new field, even one which is a closely related Engineering, Science or Technology field, you may still need to translate the way you name or define some of your skills, and convert them into a language that other industries would recognise as relevant to them.
Showing off or just stating the obvious?
We meet lots of people from many different functions on our Career Management Workshops and we regularly hear someone say "I don't think I really made a difference - I was only doing my job”. Yet when we’ve asked them to tell their stories about work, it soon becomes clear that they did make a difference – they just couldn’t see it!
An observant outsider might have seen that … you saved money, or you increased efficiency, or made things safer, or you improved morale, or you brought new business in, or you thought up a new idea that made people’s lives easier.
These are the kinds of stand out factors employers are looking for in new staff – they want productive people who can help improve their businesses. And your CV is very often the first calling card from you where you can present yourself as exactly like this kind of stand out candidate.
So please don’t see a modern CV as document for show offs, but rather as a means to present your best, most professional, most attractive image to a prospective employer. They could have the kind of role you’d be brilliant at. Go for it!
Oil and Gas
If you are an Oil and Gas worker looking for work, and you need more 1:1 support, or further practical guidance about your CV, or help about the best sectors that would fit you, there is a fabulous FREE resource available at all SDS Centres (Skills Development Scotland). Their advisers are specially trained to assist you with careers information and guidance. Some of the centres are happy for individuals to just drop in, whilst others will require appointments, particularly in the busier regions. They are currently very active in the North East so please call into your local centre for more support.
There aren’t any limits as to how many appointments you can have, so do take advantage of this great resource on your doorstep. Remember, all the service offerings are free. To contact your nearest centre, check out the SDS site:
Visit them here:
Or contact them:
Please spread the news to others you know of who are affected by the Oil and Gas Industry downturn, that a new Portal is now open for anyone looking for work. It is used by employers who specialise in the Science, Technology, Engineering, and Manufacturing fields and they are looking for new people through that portal. As the portal is used by a wide range of businesses from Small and Medium Sized companies, to global industrial giants, there will usually be more employers looking for staff than posted vacancies - so please get your CV polished and updated on the Portal as soon as you can. The link is below.