New: the “R-i-G” Oil & Gas CV / Resume

Introducing, the R-i-G CV. You don’t want your Oil & Gas CV to look like a million others. Right? You want it to make you stand out. Let me show you how. (Or I can do it for you.)

Here’s what happens:

  • you agonize over writing your CV
  • you look for templates
  • you try to bash your square peg of personal experience into a round hole
  • you struggle with the words
  • you struggle with the format
  • you wonder what to include
  • and with what to leave out

And then you remember you forgot to add that one Health & Safety course you did, so you add it. And by adding one line more, you now need another page! Ugh!!

The result? Your CV or resume is just kind of awkward and average. You don’t want that.

So I’ve created the R-i-G CV concept to help you.

WARNING: writing a CV, by definition, is irritating! And it can be hard. For example, you may have complicated gaps in your CV – like that year you went on holiday and just stayed on holiday The R-i-G CV or Resumefor a year, or that time you started that small food vending business based on your grandmother’s famous curry recipe, and it didn’t become the overnight global franchise you imagined! These things can be hard to explain in your CV / resume. But what the R-i-G CV does is provide a framework for success, especially in differentiating yourself in a crowded market (thousands of applicants!)

First up for the R-i-G CV is this…

R. It stands for “Regular”.

This is boring. But critically important.

You have to include in the CV: the REGULAR detail! What is that? It’s the stuff that has to make several people and MACHINES happy. Whether an HR person, a recruiter or an applicant tracking software system (the “machines”), your Oil and Gas CV has to provide the detail that satisfies their needs.

They want to see what they want, where they want it. Otherwise they will toss you out.

So here’s the list – you have to make sure these details are included, labelled and easy to see and find.

  1. Personal Details: Name; address, zip code, country, willingness to travel and work abroad
  2. Work Experience: job titles, companies worked for, date worked for, job description
  3. Education: trade and training certifications, relevant courses recently undertaken

DO NOT SKIP THIS STEP! You may want to. Resist the urge. Spend time on this. Look at a typical job ad you want to apply for. Then review the content of your CV. Let’s demonstrate.

Here’s what’s perhaps a typical ad you’ll see and perhaps want to respond to:

Welding Manager
Requirements:

  • Must have a welding qualification or related discipline (i.e. relevant Engineering qualification, Artisan Welder/Boilermaker or equivalent)
  • Minimum 5 years experience in managing a Welding department within a manufacturing environment
  • Minimum 5 years experience in welding automation
  • Must be computer literate
  • Good verbal and written communication skills

Advantageous requirements:

  • Good understanding of mechanical and structural components as it relates to Welding Engineering assessments and recommendations;
  • Knowledge and experience in welding carbon and low alloy steels, stainless steels and aluminium;
    Fundamental knowledge of NDE; ability to categorise and quantify weld defects;
  • Knowledge and experience in Quality Management Systems (minimum 5 years);
  • Management and decision-making abilities;
  • Critical thinking and problem-solving skills.

Now, after studying the advert, and understanding what the requirements are… double check that you have all of “REGULAR” details included to match the needs.

Don’t include long bulleted lists of ‘duties’ – keep it short, to the point. And for the machines… keep your job title to a common title (the same as the jobs you’re applying for!) and use the same words and terms that appear in job ads you’re applying for. Scan the job ad again and again. Identify the most important skills and requirements mentioned. Make sure they’re in your Oil & Gas CV, multiple times (but not in an unnatural or artificial way, okay?) Make sure your CV reflects what the advert is asking for.

Here’s my version of what the keywords are that should be highlighted in YOUR CV (only if you’re a Welding Manager, of course!) The keywords are in bold.

Welding Manager
Requirements:

  • Must have a welding qualification or related discipline (i.e. relevant Engineering qualification, Artisan Welder/Boilermaker or equivalent)
  • Minimum 5 years experience in managing a Welding department within a manufacturing environment
  • Minimum 5 years experience in welding automation
  • Must be computer literate
  • Good verbal and written communication skills

Advantageous requirements:

  • Good understanding of mechanical and structural components as it relates to Welding Engineering assessments and recommendations;
  • Knowledge and experience in welding carbon and low alloy steels, stainless steels and aluminium;
    Fundamental knowledge of NDE; ability to categorise and quantify weld defects;
  • Knowledge and experience in Quality Management Systems (minimum 5 years);
  • Management and decision-making abilities;
  • Critical thinking and problem-solving skills.

In your CV, those keywords, including acronyms such as “NDE” (non-destructive evaluation / testing), really need to be featured strongly, they must stand out. Why? They will be searched for by recruiters. You want them to see it featured in your CV. So check that you focus on these.

And stick to traditional headings, such as “Education”. Simple, easy to understand, even for software!

This first point (“R”) may seem obvious. But double check it. View your CV as a recruiter would. Give it just a few seconds. Scan it over. What stands out? Do you look immediately like a good person for the job? You should. Your “REGULAR” detail must be complete and easy to find. It must be ‘tuned’ to match the job ad.

“i” Is for Interesting

Recruiters don’t like reviewing CVs! Remember that. So if you go out of your way to make your CV more interesting, it’s a good thing. And when I say “interesting”, I don’t mean meaningless ‘bells and whistles’, or anything fancy. I mean adding detail that helps the reader see you’re great for the position! And doing it in a way that’s noticeable, catches their attention and is… you guessed… interesting!

There are many ways to do this, but here are a few of my favorite that you can easily use in your Oil & Gas CV to transform it in the direction of making it a R-i-G CV.

  1. Include a section titled: “Why Hire Me?” And then give 3 or 4 clear reasons and benefits the employer gets if they hire you! Make your case! No-one does this! Recruiters need a reason to give you a call. Give them the reasons. Don’t assume that, in the 5 seconds they’re gonna give your CV, they will figure it out for you. They may. But rather, spoon feed it to them! Like this, perhaps (using the job advert above as an example – see how I’ve used keywords too):

Example:

“Why Hire Me? I’m a Welding Manager with 15 years’ experience as a Welder & Boilermaker, 5 years’ managing a Welding department, delivering mechanical and structural components to the highest quality standards including NDE. I deliver on-time, to high quality standards, I build strong teams, make good decisions that result in on-target, profitable delivery of work.”

Short, sharp, keyword optimised and a confident statement to answer the question! Effective! Makes an impact both with people and ‘the machines’!

2. Include examples of projects: demonstrate – show! – your work. Use this proven format: project name (and company), project location and environment, value of project (if you have the $ value), give some statistics (number of people, vessels, containers, miles offshore – numbers are interesting), describe the project in a sentence, list your role, describe the challenge the work presented, how you overcame it and the result achieved.

Like this, perhaps:

Example:

Project Delta Phoenix, Chevron, 2016, off Nigeria coastline, USD200M value project with 200 skilled tradesman and 500 labourers. As Welding Manager led a team of 30 Welders restoring aged oil rig / platform. Despite unseasonal bad weather, high winds, pushed the team and successfully completed project in 5 months, within 1 week of deadline.

See how that provides a ‘picture’ of your work. It’s interesting! More readable.

3. Leave out “Achievements”, include “Notes”. Normally you’d include an “Achievements” section. But that’s become stale. And recruiters know that this is the section where you will try to impress, state all your ‘incredible’ exploits and heroic acts on behalf the company! So they don’t take it that seriously. You DO, however, need a place to list important (and interesting!) information.

Example:

  • your 100% safety record,
  • your 4 out of 5 (“exceeds expectations”) performance rating,
  • how your shift and team outperformed the other shift by 25%,
  • or how you saved money by being careful with your resources and supplies,
  • or how you trained up local workers and left skills behind!

This is interesting stuff. It captures attention. Is good to read. And it presents you in a positive light.

“G” Is for Generate Trust

So far we’ve covered how you need to 1) provide on-point information, providing the regular data clearly, unmistakably; and 2) made your CV interesting; and now we have to: 3) make them trust you.

How do you make people trust you? And it’s vital. For someone to hire you they have to believe you’re credible, skilled. They have to trust that you have what they need. That you’ll do a great job. They must trust that you’ll get along with their team and ‘produce the goods’.

Here are a few ideas of how to generate the trust you need in your Oil & Gas CV / resume.

  • Get the basics right – follow the template provided above and in my “CV Writing for the Oil & Gas Industry” article. Use the Oil & Gas resume template (you’ll see it on that page). Check your spelling. Use okay grammar (no-one expects you to be Shakespeare!) Include the right information.
  • Be specific: name names, include statistics, provide values, show that you measured your work, make sure your dates are correct.
  • Be concise. Put the work in to make it all quite short and punchy.
  • Use straight lines, proper formatting for the CV. For example, often I see my clients’ resumes and for example, they’ve used spaces to position words – instead of tabs for that purpose. As a result the CV looks messy and unprofessional. It doesn’t encourage trust. Get someone you know who has some word processing skills to get this sorted. My template makes it easier too.
    Include successful projects – we’ve already done this, above, but make sure you do it.

And also… why not try this:

  • Include some testimonial extracts: make it a practice to get your colleagues, managers and supervisors to write you a short email saying how great you are to work with. Do the same for them. And then include an extract at the end of your CV. In a section labelled “Endorsements”, include stuff like this:

Example:

“Joe really knows how to run a team”
“Joe is tough. But as a team we loved his leadership, we got things done. We had such bad weather but somehow we finished on time. Team spirit was great. Our quality was great. Joe really knows how to run a team.” – Mike Smith, Underwater Welder

Finish off with 3 or 4 of these. It builds trust. Puts you in a positive light. It sells you.

In Conclusion:

Make sure then that your job application for Oil & Gas, oil field, petrochemical technical type jobs is with a R-i-G CV or resume. It means you’ll be doing it right. You won’t get every job you apply for… not ever. And you’re dealing with recruiters who receive 1,000’s of applications every week and “The Machines” who don’t care about you, they’re clinical, they look only for keywords and good structure and quality of your CV.

And if you need my personal help with your CV – if you find yourself getting stuck, or struggling to figure it all out or ‘spin-doctoring’ your own unique situation, send me an email, perhaps I can help with some advice or a ‘done for you’ resume writing service.

I’m on gerard@wowcv.net.

Other useful articles on this topic:

CV Writing for the Oil and Gas Industry

Who Am I to Write An Oil & Gas CV?