Landing the right senior surveying role can be a challenge. As the industry changes, the needs of surveying companies and the requirements of surveying roles are also changing.
Technology, a younger workforce and shifting client demands are all playing a part in this change. So how can those looking to move into a senior surveyor role make sure they have the skills to get the role they really want?
How is the surveying industry changing?
New technologies are having a huge impact on the surveying industry. Although this is making work life faster and more efficient, it also means that the skills and knowledge of the workforce also needs to change.
As Neale Smith, Head of Recruitment at Connells Survey & Valuation explained: “The world of surveying will dramatically change in the next 10 years. The huge intake of tech-savvy, young chartered and AssocRICS-qualified surveyors will bring down the average age of the profession.”
Along with a changing demographic, the surveying industry and senior surveying roles will also start to become more competitive. Neale said: “Surveyors will have to differentiate themselves to get an advantage. This could be by having exceptional local knowledge, reputation for high quality and accuracy, or offering a particular in-demand service.”
What does this mean for senior surveyors?
For senior surveyors having a breadth of knowledge and understanding of projects is a high priority for companies and recruiters. However, Neale said: “I would say experience isn’t everything. For us, it is more important that candidates are in tune with the company ethos of ‘getting it right first time’ and have the polite and flexible customer service skills that make you memorable. Just because you have 20 years’ experience, it shouldn’t mean you have nothing else to learn.”
Although the levels within surveying are relatively well structured, the upskilling and access to different forms of surveyor training means that roles are expanding or taking on new requirements.
Neale explained: “Mortgage lenders, for example, are increasingly recognising the skills of AssocRICS-qualified residential surveyors, so much so that experienced AssocRICS surveyors now carry out the same work as chartered surveyors. Candidates should note how the marketplace is becoming more competitive, due to the way the assignment of work is changing”
So, what are recruiters looking for in senior surveyor candidates?
Just fulfilling the requirements of a surveyor role is no longer enough to impress recruiters and companies. Candidates looking to move to the next level in their career also need to develop their business skills too.
Donna Banks, Recruitment Manager at Joshua Robert in Birmingham and Worcester said: “Recruiters want people who can demonstrate strategic thinking and bring value to a company and its clients. Such candidates also tend to be more successful over the long term within a company and gain more opportunities for promotion.”
“As so much work is client facing, great communication skills are essential. Someone with strong interpersonal skills will always be somewhere near the top of the list of ideal candidates.”
As well as being able to work well with their clients and colleagues, senior surveyor candidates also need to prove that they can bring benefits to the wider business too.
Donna explained: “Many businesses look for people who can be a bit entrepreneurial – by building client trust and bringing more money into the firm. If you consider your role not as just your job, but as your mini business, this can help you think outside of your limitations and push you forward into new challenges.”
How can I make my CV more attractive to senior surveyor recruiters?
It's difficult to cover everything a senior surveyor has achieved in two pages of A4. However, keeping your resume short and to the point of what recruiters are looking for is key to success.
Here are a few things to think about when creating your CV:
- Write an executive summary. Recruiters want to see what you can offer them that’s different to the other candidates on their desk. List these in four or five concise bullet points that highlight your achievements and skills.
- Put in quantitative results where you can. When applying for a senior role, demonstrate how you can make positive changes to the company. Numbers can be a quick and effective way to get the point across.
- Highlight your key accomplishments. Based on the role you’re applying for, you can pick and choose which you think will be the most relevant and add in some detail, using the STAR technique is a great model to base this on.
- Consider your ‘personal branding’. Throughout your CV, you should be trying to sell your ‘brand’. What makes you unique and sets you apart from other candidates? This is where your passion for the profession and personal strengths should come through.
By considering the role you’re applying for and what you think the recruiter may be looking for, you can write an effective CV that is sure to get your foot through the door.