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Topic Title: Advise on searching for a new position
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Created On: 08 April 2013 06:13 PM
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 08 April 2013 06:13 PM
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PaulJR

Posts: 5
Joined: 24 February 2010

Hi Folks,

Our manufacturing section is shutting down in December so I now need to start actively searching the job market and I have a couple of concerns .

Firstly, I have been in my current position for 8 years and am a little out of touch with agencies and the latest methods for searching for a new position. I wondered if anyone might have any recent insights that they might be able to share, such as good recruitment agencies I could use or anything else. My past (current role mentioned below) has consisted of RF/Microwave design and production engineering / support in the defence and commercial sectors. I am 40 years old and have a HND in Electrical/Electronic Engineering and a more recent BSc (Open) that covered Systems Thinking.

The second sticky point is that for the past 3 years my role has transitioned into a financial one, I feel I'm in a very unusual position in the sense I am still employed as a Product Support Engineer whilst I have taken on dual roles reporting manufacturing finances and estimating. I took on these roles directly from finance as my role as a Product Support Engineer diminished as manufacturing issues were resolved and manufacturing scaled down.

On my CV it clearly shows I have made the transition from an engineering role to a financial one. I wondered if this could show me as being diverse and open to change, or alternatively could work against me? I have this concern as I enjoy the finance route I have taken, but would I find it difficult to find alternative employment in a financial area both without finance qualifications and a formal finance position with my current employer? Would the same apply to engineering too? Could I be 'seen' as being interested in a finance route as I have been away from engineering for some time.

Just wondered if anyone had any thoughts about this.

Paul
 10 April 2013 02:04 PM
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amillar

Posts: 1918
Joined: 28 May 2002

You have my deepest sympathy...

This situation should work to your advantage. An engineer with financial acumen is a rare and valuable beast. I'm sure if you can get your CV in front of the right manager you have a good chance.

The problem is getting through the recruitment / HR people in the first place who will try to pigeon-hole you - they are not (in my experience) very good at dealing with people whose skills fit across a number of areas, even though those are the very people that engineering managers are looking for! So certainly register your CV with as many recruiters as you can, but don't expect miracles. Far better applying for individual jobs where you can tweak your CV to balance it for the particular jobs.

The LinkedIn job search is very good, also "TheCareerEngineer". I should of course also recommend the IET job search, although to be honest this does not have a very large number of jobs on it, but does sometimes have jobs that are not visible elsewhere. I'm sure others can recommend other sites.

Good luck!

-------------------------
Andy Millar CEng MIET CMgr MCMI

http://www.linkedin.com/in/millarandy

"The aim of argument, or of discussion, should not be victory, but progress." Joseph Joubert

Edited: 10 April 2013 at 03:31 PM by amillar
 12 April 2013 10:20 AM
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cblackha

Posts: 79
Joined: 21 January 2003

Paul

In terms of searching for adverised roles, http://www.indeed.co.uk centralises / cross references from a number of other places.

Might be worth a look at / talking to http://www.cvandinterviewadvisors.co.uk/
Whilst I haven't used them, I've taken one of their webinars and found the concept of a "skills" based CV very useful.
It would allow you, to perhaps, creat 2 CVs - one biased more to RF and the other more to finance.

Good luck
Charlie
 12 April 2013 10:39 AM
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PaulJR

Posts: 5
Joined: 24 February 2010

Andy,

Thank you for the advise - I am on the case!

I decided to keep the separation of my finance and production support skills under my current employer. I inserted a comment explaining that as manufacturing downsized I was given the opportunity to diversify my carrer and take responsibility for financial roles as they became available. I think that does the job of reflecting exactly what happened in the positive sense that it was.

Paul
 12 April 2013 10:53 AM
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PaulJR

Posts: 5
Joined: 24 February 2010

Thanks for that Charlie, I will have a look into those sites too.

You mention "skills" based - I'll have to check exactly what that means, but I have been considering the format of my CV...

The current format of my CV is that I have a short summary explaining my key skills and a little about me. Next is my carrer section where my skills/achievements are listed under each employer. I don't have a separate skills section.

The other option I was thinking was keeping the summary section, and then having a skills section - that I could mix up to some extent depending upon which position I am applying for. In this case, under each employer I would only list my key accomplishments.

Just wondered if both of these styles of CV are acceptable or whether I should change to the second style, having a skills section. This would probably help me get it down to 2 sides, as currently it's nearly 3!
 12 April 2013 12:54 PM
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amillar

Posts: 1918
Joined: 28 May 2002

Rule 1: Keep it to two sides. You would not believe how fast CVs are read during long listing, and it's often not much better in short listing. The chances of anyone making it to page 3 are pretty remote.

Recruiters and HR staff work very much on key words. So you need the short summary at the top with every word in that you think might be appealing.

After that you're a bit more on your own, because everybody reads CVs differently. But what you need to get over is what you personally have actually delivered in (say) the last five years. So mixing skills and achievements seems like a good (and indeed normal) way of doing this. Because what is important is that the skills and achievements are linked: that gives evidence that you really have the skills you claim you have.

-------------------------
Andy Millar CEng MIET CMgr MCMI

http://www.linkedin.com/in/millarandy

"The aim of argument, or of discussion, should not be victory, but progress." Joseph Joubert
 14 April 2013 07:17 PM
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cblackha

Posts: 79
Joined: 21 January 2003

To add to Andy's point, one options is STAR or Situation, Task, Action, Result.

A Skills based CV is one where you don't list what you have achieved in reverse Chronological Order, but list some relevant highlights from your career emphasising the points you want to get across. You may well need a short reverse order listing of employers/jobs but you don't list what you did in each job explicitly.
 14 April 2013 11:01 PM
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PaulJR

Posts: 5
Joined: 24 February 2010

Thank you for your support. I have it to 2 pages now and used the STAR option - I'm very happy with it. I plan to give it the once over again tomorrow before it goes out.
 19 April 2013 10:41 AM
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jgdavies

Posts: 7
Joined: 09 July 2006

Being an engineer who is financially aware should generally be to your advantage. Agents are fine but can become a pain. I'd advise applying directly to firms if you can for various reasons, most places have a 'careers' item on their site menus. So make sure you have a list of possible companies and build up contacts as soon as possible - you may need them.

-------------------------
jgdavies
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