On Friday 29 July, RICS Recruit hosted its second Twitter Q&A on the topic of Job Hunting Advice. We were joined by Graduate Surveyors founder Shyam Visavadia who answered questions from surveyors 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. You can find the full chat available on TWChat.
In a competency based interview for a graduate building surveyor, what questions can I expect?
You can't really prepare for the exact question. However you can prepare how you answer that question. Use the STAR approach - Situation, Task, Action, Result! This is the best way to answer some of the trickiest questions.
RICS Recruit recently wrote an article explaining the STAR technique in more detail.
How much would the structured training fees be for MRICS APC in Dubai?
The fees for MRICS APC in UAE are listed on the application form.
I am a mechanical estimator working in Bahrain for the past 3 years. I completed RICS accredited ACQS course last year and am exploring opportunities for a new job in other countries for the past few months but no luck yet. How can a graduate surveyor get a surveying job abroad?
Can you advise a good pathway to MRICS?
There are many pathways to MRICS, and each surveyor needs to choose the one that’s right for them. You can find a full list of options here.
How can I find a company offering internships abroad and the details on how to enroll?
Most large employers will have some type of internship or graduate programme on offer. We suggest that you make a list of the employers you aspire to work for. Conduct some desktop research to see if they have such programmes available and what the opening/closing dates are. Understand the application process and what it takes to successfully attain to that internship/graduate opportunity.
Do you have advice/tips on how I can gain work experience in Quantity Surveying with a RICS MSC conversion degree?
A lot of graduate surveyors have been swindled by fake agencies. Do you have any suggestions for identifying genuine ones?
There are many genuine organisations within the industry that are willing to help. Take time when researching. Also, build a strong online network as this will help create opportunities for you inside and outside of the region.
Is there a list of RICS certified companies that we can use in this research?
We do not have a specific list, however you can verify firms using Find A Surveyor. You can also use Find A Surveyor to search for firms within specific regions.
What are the opportunities for those with postgrad qualifications? How best can these qualifications be marketed to employers?
Firstly, postgraduate alumni networks are a great way to engage with employers. Academia, professional qualifications and practical work experience go hand in hand. You need to understand what the employer is asking for before trying to market such qualifications. You also need to demonstrate that these qualifications can be manipulated to create value within the organisation.
Would postgrad alumni networks be through individual universities or through other avenues?
Ideally, you can find the networks through your own university. Most universities also have a LinkedIn alumni group which is great for networking.
I was made redundant in the construction industry six years ago. How possible is it to return to quantity surveying on a part-time basis?
If you had the option of valuations or management, which would you say is the better career path?
We don't really think like that. We want people to follow their strengths, interests and passions. This will lead them to their desired path.
Brainstorm your thoughts on both paths and explore the opportunities each offers. Also, speak to people in both sectors before deciding. Remember, your decision has to be informed, so take a pragmatic approach.
Take a look at an article Shyam published on choosing the right employer.
Is choosing UAE to start our career as a fresh graduate a wise decision or is experience essential to land a good position?
Experience is key, however, we are seeing a lot more employers consider Generation Y professionals for entry level positions.
Start by understanding what employers are looking for in a young professional. Then build a strong foundation for your future career by developing such skills and competencies. This is the start of building a brand. This is what we think attracts employers to candidates.
Here is an article Shyam wrote about Brand Building for RICS Recruit with more information.
What do you think Generation Y professionals should do to grab this opportunity?
There is no specific route. You need to think outside of the box. You also need to understand what you want. Many young people often make uninformed and quick decisions without actually understanding the ‘why’. If you understand the 'why' things often become a lot easier. Make a plan and be completely focused on this.
Is there a possibility that you can share a sample resume from our industry?
Resume format and style changes depending on the role/position that you are applying for. Don’t try to include everything that you’ve done over the years. You want to tailor your approach and be specific.
Here are some of our top tips to get you started on your CV.
Where can we find information about our local RICS Matrics group?
RICS Matrics is a great networking resource for young surveyors. You can find more information here.
With the increasing role of #proptech in our everyday roles, do you think traditional surveying jobs will be replaced?
I think what we will see is a shift into a new wave of working and this will come from the next generation of surveying professionals.
I am nearing the completion of my PGCer in BIM. I wanted to ask about creating a CV for jobs, interview tips, etc. for graduate jobs.
You can always find advice many different topics on Graduate Surveyors or here on RICS Recruit.