How to match your CV to the surveying role you want.
Three key messages in the first nine seconds of employers reading your CV could make the difference in landing your next job. Recruitment consultants reveal the tricks that will get your application noticed.
The first nine seconds after employers pick up your CV could make the difference in landing your next job… along with a few other tricks of the recruitment trade.
Recruiter Josh Powell insists ambitious surveyors looking to take the next step should stick to three key pieces of advice. Keep your CV simple, specialise and make sure you’re chartered.
“We've seen people perfect for jobs but couldn’t introduce them to clients because they weren’t MRICS. Being chartered or working towards it means you're ambitious and progressive," says the MD of Birmingham-based Joshua Robert Recruitment. "That and good communication skills and entrepreneurialism are critical in today’s marketplace.”
Show don’t tell
He says the industry-recognised qualification puts candidates in the top quartile as recruiters first glance at your CV. “Increasingly, attributes making surveying job applications stand out are a grasp of new technology and legislation. Both reveal an added level of expertise. Consultancies also seek people who can add value in terms of business development. So, when it comes to the CV, it’s important to ‘Show, Don’t Tell’.”
Present the evidence
That means evidencing demonstrable added value to your previous roles and projects by explaining what they were and the positive effect they had on the business.
Getting your specialism right is key to achieving your goals. Growing numbers of successful applicants are doing just this when visualising where they want to be in five or 10 years. “It might be that you go into building surveying but find it’s not for you because you see your future in quantity surveying,” says Josh.
“So set your target and work towards it. The longer you stay in a field you don’t want to be in, the harder it may be to transfer. Equally, if you find a specialism you're passionate about, it will show in your CV. Detailed knowledge of your field and a smaller pool of candidates increases your chances of success.”
Match the skills to the job
Because surveying isn't a one-size-fits-all career, it’s vital to identify your skill compatibility to the job you want.
Josh's company also values natural communicators capable of networking and developing new business without “being too salesy”. “If you’ve been in a business for a few years, shown loyalty, developed your skills and want to keep growing, that will shine from your CV,” he says.
“Understanding of surveying is a given. However, if you add methodical thinking, problem-solving, financial management and understanding of new technologies, you’re into the top few per cent of candidates.”
The Usain Bolt factor
It's a view shared by one of the country’s leading CV and recruitment experts and RICS Recruitment Partner, Macdonald & Company. The organisation believes there are clear steps to creating the perfect CV.
Director of Property Nathan Wakelam says knowing the position you’re applying for is an obvious start but one that's often overlooked. “Read the job description carefully. Understand what the employer needs and target your CV to the role and employer," he says. “It takes time but is worth the effort. Confirmation of qualifications, areas of expertise and ambitions help make employers' decision easier.
There are more tricks to get you noticed in the time it takes Usain Bolt to run 100 metres. We recommend creating a bullet point list of your surveying experience and proof of core competencies, such as time management and teamwork.
Time to get technical
Don't be afraid to be too technical. The CV is also the right place to add industry language that showcases your knowledge. Phrases such as degree educated, chartered, MRICS, FRICS, management experience and knowledge of refurbishment projects are popular among recruiters.
Josh adds: “Work your way up, hone skills and demonstrate loyalty and you will be sought after in the industry. It’s good to show willingness to explore new technologies, awareness of changes in legislation and ability to grow the business. But if I had to suggest one thing to make yourself a sought-after commodity, it would be to specialise.”