On Friday 20 May, RICS Recruit hosted its very first Twitter Q&A on the topic of Graduate Surveying Advice. We were joined by Graduate Surveyors founder Shyam Visavadia who answered questions from recent graduates around the globe.
If you missed the live chat or just want to refer back to Shyam’s advice, we’ve assembled a comprehensive transcript of the questions and Shyam’s answers below.
What is the process for becoming registered as an RICS Surveyor?
It's simple - just follow the 'Which assessment is right for you?' online wizard.
Generally, you need to be employed to start your APC. My employer took responsibility for formally registering and paying for my membership. If you meet one of these criteria you can enrol now and start the process.
From a recent graduate: “I have an MBA from RICS SBE & a B Tech in Civil Engineering. Should I do another course to help find a job?”
Academic and practical work experience goes hand in hand. Employers are looking at how your academic knowledge can be transferable in the real world to create tangible value.
Where are the best places for students to find tips on applications?
There are various sources you can use including LinkedIn and Job Board websites. RICS Recruit puts out a lot of great advice which can be found here, including this article on application forms.
Would you advise young graduates to look overseas for a graduate career, from your experience in the Middle East?
Definitely. I took my surveying career abroad within the first 18 months of starting my career. Make a plan to ensure the decision is in line with your long term career aspirations. Remember the novelty of moving abroad can quickly diminish. You can find more information here.
What are the best avenues for networking events where you can get senior professional’s advice on careers?
For me there were three key areas: career mentor, global LinkedIn network, and RICS Matrics. Did you know there is now a RICS Matrics UAE networking group?
What advice would you give to non-cognate degree holders who wish to pursue a career in QS/PM?
I actually came into the industry as a non-cognate. Whilst conducting work experience I registered myself onto an RICS accredited distance learning course.
Some employers actually sponsor non-cognate students. My employer sponsored me once I got a positon on their Graduate Scheme - financially this was a great help.
How can I improve my social media profile to help with my job search?
Having a good quality, professional and up to date profile picture and relevant content is key. You can find some of my top tips/advice here and here.
What is the best way to get a surveying job abroad?
There are a number of ways to get a surveying job abroad. I was employed by a global company and was fortunate to take up opportunities in Asia, Europe, and the Middle East. LinkedIn is a great platform to reach out to recruiters and employers abroad. You can also find surveying jobs around the globe on RICSRecruit.com.
What's the best way to answer ‘What is your present salary’ in a job interview?
It is important that you are honest. Employers and recruiters alike are totally aware of what the market is paying for someone with your experience. Be prepared - conduct market research, speak to recruiters, and review salary guidelines. The RICS and MacDonald & Company Rewards and Attitudes Survey is a great resource to find out the latest salary information.
A big thanks to Shyam and everyone who helped make this Q&A possible .