11 Tips for Your Engineering CV
Writing a compelling CV will help you land the ideal engineering job – one that pays well, that challenges you, that presents opportunities for career progression, and that strikes the right work-life balance. How do you write a great engineering CV, though? Here are 11 tips:
1. Make Your Engineering CV Relevant
Tailor your CV to the job you are applying for as engineering roles are varied, even within disciplines. By tailoring your CV, you can show you have knowledge of the industry as well as highlighting specific skills and experience that will be beneficial to the role.
Tailoring your engineering CV could be something as simple as re-arranging the information to make certain points more visible. For example, if you are applying for a Control Systems Engineer position, you should make sure you give weight to your control systems experience. Also, you could replace part of your summary at the top of the CV with points that are control systems specific.
2. Ensure It Is Easy for Recruiters to Read
Your engineering CV should be as easy to read as possible. The aim is to ensure recruiters reading your CV can quickly and easily identify the most important information.
So, state your engineering skills and experience explicitly. You can do this by highlighting projects you’ve worked on, responsibilities you’ve had, and tasks you’ve performed.
3. Focus on the Most Important Points First
Focus a lot of your efforts on the beginning part of the CV as first impressions count. This is the section before your work and education history, where you highlight your main skills and experience, creating a short profile.
You can go into more detail later in the CV but make sure you list the most important and relevant points in this section. For example, you should include points tailored to the role you are applying for.
4. Use Relevant Engineering Words and Phrases
You should include specific engineering skills keywords in your engineering CV. You can do this in a list or throughout the content as you describe roles and achievements. Below are examples of the types of keyword you should include:
- Your technical skills
- Your software skills
- Programming languages you know
- Your hardware knowledge
- Your systems knowledge
- Processes you have experience with
- Frameworks you have experience with
- Compliance experience
Highlighting your industry experience through the words you use is also important, especially if the job prefers or requires specific experience.
5. Include Achievements
Remember, responsibilities are important, but achievements are crucial. Also, achievements provide evidence for your skills and knowledge. After all, it is easy to create a list of all the things you can do. The more impactful information will be evidence of how you have used your knowledge and skills. Therefore, focus on achievements as much as possible.
6. Highlight Your Soft Skills
Focusing on achievements will also highlight your interpersonal skills. This includes things like communication skills, leadership abilities, and teamwork skills. These are known as soft skills, and they are different from the hard skills you have as an Engineer.
Don’t underestimate the importance of soft skills. Interpersonal skills, in particular, let the potential employer visualise the roles and duties you can perform, not just the technical capabilities you have.
7. Keep It Concise
Your CV should include detail, but don’t be repetitive and make sure you write succinctly. It is important you strike the right balance between presenting an accurate picture of your experience and capabilities while not going overboard.
The more concise and comprehensive you can make the CV, the better. If you stray into a third page, you probably need to cut back a bit to two pages.
8. Include a Project Page
If you have experience on multiple projects over several years, you may find it difficult to include everything important in two pages.
In this situation, you should include the main and most recent projects on your CV and then add a third additional page that contains a project list. This list should have the name of the project, the employer/client, a brief, one-sentence summary/description of what you did, and the outcomes achieved.
9. Replace Paragraphs of Text with Bullet Points
Use bullet points instead of paragraphs as much as possible, as bullet-point lists are easier to read.
10. Include Non-Engineering Achievements
Include your achievements and experience outside engineering. This is particularly important if you are a new graduate without much engineering work experience.
Volunteer work, sporting achievements, or participation in community organisations can help the employer better understand who you are.
11. Check, Check, and Check Again
Check for and remove all mistakes. Of course, mistake-free CVs are necessary for all types of jobs, but the nature of engineering work makes it even more important that you pay attention to the details and check for errors. This means proofreading the CV.
After you proofread it, you should then get someone else to proofread it again to spot mistakes you may have missed.
Another proofreading technique is to leave the CV for a few hours before you proofread it again. Also, temporarily changing the text’s font to something completely different can help you spot mistakes you may have missed.
Keeping Your Engineering CV Up to Date
Your engineering CV is about selling you as a professional engineer. It should be a fluid document that you amend and customise for each role you apply for.
Looking After Your Mental Health While Working from Home
The Covid-19 pandemic is a major health emergency, but it is not just a physical health issue. The steps we all must take to stop the spread of the disease means there are mental health issues to consider as well. In particular, mental health issues that can arise from remote working.
At SL Controls, we have initiatives aimed at helping our employees live a healthy lifestyle, both physically and mentally. Those initiatives are Live Well at SL for physical health and Think Well at SL for mental health.
As the company has moved to 100 percent remote working as we follow advice to help slow the spread of Covid-19, a key focus during this time is to promote good mental health
Here are our tips at SL Controls for looking after your mental health while working from home.
The Mental Health Challenges of Working from Home
Many of us are now working from home, some of us for the first time. Even for people who have a lot of remote working experience, this situation is unique as partners, children, and others who live with us are also practicing social distancing so are at home as well. This makes working from home even more challenging.
Isolation and burnout are other mental health issues that are important to consider in relation to working from home.
Isolation because we don’t have the same connection with colleagues. This is exacerbated during this pandemic as we also don’t have the same connection with family, friends, and others that we normally do.
In relation to burnout, it is common for people working from home to work longer hours. This, as you might expect, throws work-life balance out of kilter.
It’s also important to consider the suddenness of the situation we are all now in. That can have an impact on our mental health too.
Mental Health Tips While Working from Home
Accept There Will Be Challenges
This is a unique situation that nobody has faced before, at least not on this scale. So, things won’t always go according to plan and there will be challenges. Accepting this helps to prevent anger and frustration.
Create a Daily Routine
It is essential you create a routine or schedule for the working day and then stick to it. Also, try to keep your routine as close to normal as possible, including taking regular breaks, setting tasks for the day, and monitoring your progress.
In addition, focus on reaching outcomes not just letting the time go by, and be flexible in what you want to achieve in the day.
Avoid Mixing Home Life with Work Life
You are working from home so this is not easy, but you should make a clear distinction between work time and home/family time and then do your best to adhere to it as much as possible.
We hear a lot at the moment about staying connected with loved ones. This is crucially important, but it’s also important to stay connected with work colleagues too.
This isn’t just staying connected in relation to work issues either, as it’s important you keep social contact with your work colleagues as well.
Get IT Help When Required
One challenge that many people face when working from home is getting the technology to work. Don’t let your frustration get to boiling point before you seek help, though.
Be Flexible in How You Work
Everyone is in the same situation, adapting to this new, albeit temporary, work reality. So, things won’t always go smoothly. Therefore, you need to be flexible and patient in your approach.
Eat Well and Exercise
An important part of looking after your mental health involves looking after your physical health too. So, avoid going to the fridge for a snack every 30 minutes and exercise when and where you can while following the social distancing rules and guidelines.
Manage How You Consume News and Information
This final tip is a general point, but it is crucial to overall mental health. After all, there are currently two things happening at the same time, both of which can come into conflict.
The first is our desire for information on the pandemic and how we can protect ourselves and our loved ones. The second is the overload of information that is available on the topic.
The advice from mental health professionals is to control and sometimes limit your consumption of information and news to prevent it from becoming overwhelming. You should also make sure you only get updates from reputable sources.
Staying Mentally Healthy
There are things we all must do to stay physically healthy, prevent the spread of Covid-19, and help the country get through this pandemic. It’s important during this time, however, that we also look after our mental health.
12 Advantages of Progressing Your Engineering Career with a Position at SL Controls
SL Controls continues to grow, increasing the numbers of people we employ across the island of Ireland. This means we have opportunities for engineers, particularly those with controls, validation, and automation engineering experience.
So, if you’re thinking about progressing your engineering career, here are 12 advantages of exploring the opportunities that are available at SL Controls.
1. Our Strong and Sustained Growth
SL Controls has been growing steadily over the past 10+ years. In fact, we were recently named as one of the fastest growing technology companies in Ireland.
2. Range of Customers
We specialise in providing bespoke software, validation, automation, and equipment system integration solutions to the pharmaceutical and medical device manufacturing sectors. We also provide engineering consultancy services.
Our customers include Irish companies in the pharmaceutical and MedTech industries as well as international companies that have operations in Ireland. In fact, 7 of the top 10 pharmaceutical and MedTech companies in the world are our customers.
3. Long-Standing Business Relationships with Our Customers
We have been working with many of our customers for several years. Our customers are loyal to us because of the standard of service that we offer as well as the results we achieve.
4. Working at the Cutting Edge
SL Controls operates at the cutting edge of the high-volume manufacturing industry. This means we develop solutions that help our customers take advantage of Industry 4.0 technologies to keep them competitive today and in the future.
5. SL Controls Has Four Regional Offices in Ireland
The SL Controls head office is in Sligo, but we also have offices in Galway, Limerick, and Maynooth/Dublin. This structure allows us to deliver a better quality of service to our clients, but it also means our employees have a better work-life balance, with less traveling to client or office locations.
6. Excellent Work-Life Balance
The above point is only one example of the steps we take at SL Controls to help our employees achieve a positive and healthy work-life balance. For example, flexible working and remote working arrangements are considered depending on circumstances, plus we have a proactive HR department.
7. Fantastic Salary and Benefits Package
While we are a medium-sized company, we offer a comprehensive benefits package to employees, plus the salaries we offer are in line with those elsewhere in the industry.
8. Commitment to Employee Wellbeing
Employee wellbeing is central to our HR process at SL Controls. Good examples of this include our Live Well at SL and Think Well at SL programmes. Live Well promotes physical wellbeing while Think Well promotes mental wellbeing.
9. We Give Back to the Community
We have a strong sense of community at SL Controls, too, giving back where we can. In addition, we involve our employees in making decisions on the local causes we support.
10. Our Learning Culture
We have developed a strong learning culture at SL Controls. This includes everything from knowledge sharing to supporting employees who are learning new skills and obtaining new qualifications.
11. Excellent Career Progression Opportunities
Our engineers have multiple career paths they can follow. While moving into management is one option, it isn’t the only one that is available. This makes it easier for employees to find a career path that suits their abilities, personality, and objectives.
12. Support and Mentorship
Providing mentorship support to our employees is central to all our business processes as we want everyone on our team to thrive and improve.
Explore Your Career Options Today
If the above sounds attractive to you, please visit our careers’ page to find out more about the positions we are currently recruiting for.
Becoming a Field Engineer at SL Controls Should be Your Next Career Move
Do you have a degree in engineering, particularly in an electrical, mechanical, electronic, automation, or chemical-related discipline? Do you want to work for one of the 50 fastest growing technology companies in Ireland? Do you love to travel?
Becoming a Field Engineer at SL Controls should be your next career move.
We have a growing Field Engineering team at SL Controls who work on projects for blue-chip companies, mostly in the pharmaceutical and medical device manufacturing sectors.
They use and implement cutting edge technologies in advanced manufacturing environments, helping our clients improve performance, drive efficiency savings, and ensure they remain compliant with EU, US, and other regulations.
A View from the Inside
Robert O’Hanlon is the Lead Control Systems Field Engineer at SL Controls. He said the best things about working at SL Controls include the flexible working options that are available as well as the career and salary progression opportunities.
“They offer a wide range of flexible options for work,” Robert said.
In terms of career progression, he used his own story as an example. He said: “I’ve gone from a graduate to becoming a manager of a group within four or five years, so there’s plenty of opportunity to move up the ladder.”
Where Will You Get to Travel to as an SL Controls Field Engineer?
As a Field Engineer, you will travel mostly to countries in Europe as well as to the US and elsewhere around the world. You will also spend some time working in Ireland. SL Controls has offices around the country in Sligo, Galway, Limerick, and Dublin.
The travel aspect of the job and the fact you get to meet new people are part of the job’s appeal for our Field Engineers.
This includes Robert. He said: “You get to travel, you get paid for it, you get a lot of experience meeting new people both in work and outside of work, so there are clear advantages.
“I absolutely love it, you get to meet so many different new people, whether it’s work related or whether it’s local people. If you get to spend the weekend, then you can do whatever you want. You meet new people, you see new places, it’s just fantastic.”
To find out more about the Field Engineer vacancies that we currently have available, please visit our careers page.
Watch our video to hear more from Robert about his experience working as a Field Engineer at SL Controls.
Top Tips for Engineers When Relocating to Ireland
The growing economy and the fact industries are expanding in a range of sectors are just some of the reasons for moving back to Ireland, wherever you choose to move to.
How do you make sure the process of relocating to Ireland goes smoothly? Here are our top tips.
1. Find the Right Job
The nature of the jobs market at the moment means it is possible to have a job already lined up before you move. This means you should start the relocation process by first finding the right job.
If you’re a Control Systems Engineer, Validation Engineer, Software Engineer, or Automation Engineer, you should check out opportunities at SL Controls on our careers page for current list of vacancies.
2. Check the Relocation Package on Offer
As you narrow in on a job opportunity, you should check first that there is a relocation package on offer and, second, what that relocation package entails. At SL Controls, for example, we offer relocation packages to new employees moving to Ireland to one of our regional offices, depending on circumstances.
3. Consider the Whole Offering
When considering any job, it’s important to look at the whole offering, not just the salary. It’s even important to look beyond the benefits package on offer by the employer to consider things like quality of life, cost of living, and work-life balance.
4. Find Out About the Company
When relocating to a different country, it’s also important to find out as much about the company as you can. This means going further than learning about their products, services, and customers, though.
Learning more about your career prospects in the new company and the opportunities that exist for professional development are also important.
5. Discuss the Move with Your Family
This is especially important if you have a partner and children who will be coming with you. Some of the big considerations you’ll need to discuss include whether your partner and children will like the new location, check out schools, colleges and local amenities.
6. Stay Organised
Finally, stay as organised as possible throughout the process as moving to another country or different region of Ireland is a big undertaking.
Staying organised involves properly budgeting for the move and planning as much as you can, as far in advance as you can, as possible.
Relocating to Ireland to Advance Your Engineering Career with SL Controls – What You Need to Know
Relocating to Ireland for work is a major topic right now. The drive for this is the result of a range of factors including:
- The strong economy and jobs market which makes Ireland an attractive place to live and work.
- Skills shortages in many areas, including in a range of different engineering disciplines. One of the ways companies are responding to these skills shortages is to actively recruit outside Ireland.
Should You Relocate?
You will need to consider a range of factors when thinking about this question including the work-life balance you currently have, your current career prospects, the level of job satisfaction you currently enjoy, and your salary.
Your Options for Relocating to Ireland with SL Controls
Ireland has strong and well-established industries in a range of sectors. This includes the sectors that SL Controls is most actively involved in, i.e. pharmaceuticals and MedTech. This means there can be a considerable choice of companies to work for, depending on your skills and field of expertise.
At SL Controls – There is also a choice of locations you can move to in Ireland. This includes Dublin, one of Europe’s great capital cities, the wider County Dublin area, and Dublin’s surrounding counties.
While there are undoubtedly opportunities that exist in Dublin, and there are major benefits of living in the Dublin area, this isn’t your only choice when thinking about a move to – or back to – Ireland with SL Controls.
This is because Ireland’s regions also have strong economies and well-established industries. Pharmaceutical and medical device manufacturers, for example, are not just based in Dublin. Instead, there are significant regional hubs with SL Controls throughout the country including in Limerick, Galway, and Sligo.
The West and Northwest of the country are also regarded as being regional hubs for the IT, software development, and ICT industries.
Why not check out the engineering vacancies that currently exist at SL Controls – your next career move could be with us!
Working at SL Control’s Dublin / Maynooth Regional Office – Is this Your Next Career Move?
There are several regional hubs for the pharmaceutical and medical device sectors in Ireland.
SL Controls specialises in providing services to companies in these sectors, so it makes sense that we have regional offices in the hub locations.
SL Controls’ Leinster location is the Dublin/Maynooth regional office.
It is located in Maynooth and is our prime location for serving clients in Dublin and the surrounding areas. This location offers a range of benefits to our business, not least because it ensures we have a core team of highly skilled and committed engineers operating in close proximity to some of our key clients.
Range of Clients
SL Controls works with a range of different clients in Dublin and the surrounding areas. Our primary focus is on providing controls, automation, and validation solutions to pharmaceutical and medical device manufacturers.
As a result, working for us means working on projects for some of the world’s largest companies. We also do work for exciting Irish companies in the pharmaceutical and MedTech sectors.
Growth of SL Controls
SL Controls has been on a consistent growth trajectory for several years now. Just last year we were named as one of the 50 fastest growing tech companies in the country.
We have ambitious plans for the future too, not just in Ireland but in export markets around the world, including the US. This presents fantastic opportunities for our staff to grow professionally, take on new challenges, and achieve their career goals.
Roles Available in Maynooth
If you’re an engineer, could working from our Dublin/Maynooth office be your next career move?
Visit our engineering careers page now to find out more about the current vacancies we have in Dublin/Maynooth.
Industry 4.0 and What it Means for Your Future Engineering Career
Industry 4.0 is a modern phrase used to describe the Fourth Industrial Revolution. In each of the three revolutions that came before it, significant change occurred. The driver behind those changes was usually technology, but the impact was far-reaching. This includes changing economic structures in countries, the makeup of societies, and, importantly, the future prospects of workers.
What about the Fourth Industrial Revolution, though? After all, one of the key characteristics of Industry 4.0 is a further deepening of the use of automation in a wide range of sectors, including manufacturing. Many of these automation solutions replace people who previously did the work manually.
The reality is that some jobs will no longer exist as Industry 4.0 technologies become further embedded in manufacturing companies. There is a flip side to this, though. For engineers, that flip side looks very positive.
Industry 4.0 Opportunities
While Industry 4.0 technologies will replace some jobs, it will create many more. Those jobs will be in a number of areas but one of the most significant is engineering.
This is because companies will need skilled, creative, and innovative engineers to create, implement, manage, support, and maintain the solutions, technologies, platforms, and systems that are now possible in the Industry 4.0 era.
In other words, Smart Factories of the future may not need some of the workers that exist today, but they will need engineers.
Whether you are an experienced engineer, an engineer at the start of your career, or a student with aspirations to become an engineer, Industry 4.0 presents considerable opportunities.
Maximising Your Potential
As opportunities do exist and will continue to exist long into the future, you need to take steps now to ensure you are in a good position to maximise your potential. A key part of this is ensuring you continuously develop your professional skills.
This includes technical skills, learning new technologies, and enhancing your current level of knowledge. In addition, you should work to improve your soft skills as employers value these skills too.
It’s also important to have an open mind in terms of your engineering discipline. This is because manufacturing facilities of the future will require people who have a broad range of skills, rather than those who specialise in a particular discipline such as mechanical or electrical engineering.
You might need both in addition to validation skills and the ability to write code, for example.
This is one of the characteristics of engineers at SL Controls. Our team is made up of engineers who came to us with a solid foundation but who have then broadened their skillsets and areas of knowledge so they can contribute to the range of projects we work on for clients.
Your Future Engineering Career
We can guess at what the Smart Factory of the future will look like, and we can try to imagine the technologies that have yet to be developed but which will become essential when they do become available.
One thing is for certain, however – engineers are crucial to the journey.
Job Interview Questions Engineers Should Prepare For
Going through the interview stage is an important and essential part of getting that next job that moves your engineering career forward. To complete the interview stage successfully, you need to answer questions in a way that gives confidence to the interviewers and ensures they remember you after you leave.
In most interviews for engineering job roles, you will encounter four main types of question:
- Competency questions – to find out about the skills you have. Remember, employers will be interested in your soft skills in addition to your technical skills, so filter information on those into your answers as well.
- Motivation questions – largely centred on why you want to work in the industry, for the company, or in the particular role.
- Scenario questions – this is where the interviewer presents a scenario and asks how you would deal with it. This is to get a better understanding of the approach you take in different situations.
- Strength-based questions – these questions help the interviewer understand what you believe your strengths are. Crucially, it also helps the interviewer understand your main motivations in work.
The important thing to remember is that the interviewer wants to understand more than your technical engineering capabilities and experience.
Example Interview Questions
To give you an idea of the questions you might encounter in an interview for an engineering position, here are some examples:
- What do you like most/least about engineering?
- What motivates you as an engineer?
- Why do you want to work for the company and/or in the industry?
- What interests you about the specific role?
- Where do you see yourself in 10 years? (remember when answering this one that ambition takes many forms – moving up the ladder is just one, but you might have ambitions for something else)
- What’s the most challenging project you’ve been involved in?
- What is the most successful project you’ve been involved in and why?
- How have you used your skills to solve a problem? (with these sorts of question, interviewers are trying to learn about your problem-solving and creative skills)
- What new skills have you learned in recent times?
Tips for Answering Engineering Job Interview Questions
- Research the company
- Research the industry if you don’t work in it
- Get a thorough understanding of the role from the job description
- Understand in your own mind why you’re applying for the job
- Think about projects and other experiences you have had that you can use as examples
With the last point in the above list, don’t just focus on purely positive experiences. After all, not all engineering projects go according to plan. It’s important to show prospective employers how you deal with difficult situations.
In summary, employers want to find out in job interviews whether you have the necessary competencies. Using varied examples and thinking through some common interview questions in advance will help you do this.