engineer cv
engineer cv

Engineers - What does a good CV look like ?

ATA Recruitment

​For many Engineers, writing a good CV can create anxiety. Many don’t know where to start, and end up asking themselves a series of questions such as:

  • What do I include?

  • Is it too long?

  • Is it too short?

  • How much detail of each role needs to be on there?

Ultimately there isn’t a perfect way to write a CV. However, it’s vital that your CV makes a great first impression and secures you that interview! With this in mind, you need to create a CV that reflects you, your experience, key achievements and skills in the best way possible. With over 60 years’ experience in engineering recruitment, and screening hundreds of CVs on a daily basis, we are well qualified to advise. The following is a guide to what “good” looks like.

Personal statement

This is your chance to give an overview of you as an Engineer. Here you can include; length and type of experience, skills, knowledge, qualifications and what you are looking for. This is also your chance to introduce the sort of person you are, your motivations, values, interests, family, what you are passionate about. You don’t have to include everything, just what you feel represents you in the best light.

Education and Qualifications

Within engineering and manufacturing, qualifications are seen by many as a benchmark of competence as well as an ability and desire to learn. Make sure you include all of your qualifications, you can either list them in date order or start with your highest qualification first. You also have the option to add in any courses you have completed that you feel have added value to you as an Engineer.

Career History

Make sure you start with your most recent role and work backwards. Bear in mind your CV maybe the 20th an employer has looked at that day, so if they have to scroll right to the bottom to read about your most recent employment history, it can be frustrating!

Get your dates right

For each role in your track record, have a start and end date (month and year is fine), that way an employer can see exactly how long you have spent in each role. All too often dates are wrong or are missing, sometimes CV’s even read like the candidate had two jobs at the same time. If your CV is wrong, what does it say about you? How good is your attention to detail? Do you have something to hide?

Give a good overview of each role

Many Engineers find it hard to know what detail to include on each role they have. Some give very little; some give way too much. So as a benchmark, what are the must haves? What does your company do? Remember if you are applying for a role outside of your industry, the chances are an employer may not have heard of your company before. Next is an overview of your day-to-day role and responsibilities, what skills do you use in the role? I.e., if you are a Maintenance Engineer, what machinery do you work on, what do you do mechanically and electrically, what can you do on PLC’s, how much of your role is reactive or planned maintenance? Alternatively, if you are a Design Engineer what CAD package do you use? How much of your role is 2D vs 3D, do you create bill of materials, what calculations do you do?

Spell check it

Too many CVs are littered with spelling mistakes and grammatical errors, so run a spell check before you submit it. It doesn’t take long, and you wouldn’t want any errors to detract from the positive impression you have made with your skills and experience.


Cultural fit is vital to every business and Hiring Manager, so tell them about you, what are your hobbies and interests. Many interviewers like to spend time discussing this area as it’s a great way to build rapport, so make sure you include it.

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Our team of specialist recruiters have been working with Engineers like you for over 60 years. Not only do we provide career opportunities within leading organisations across the UK, but through our consultative approach, we provide advice and support to help you go from strength to strength in your career.

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