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Selling your skills to potential employers

There are a few ways to do this, let’s take a look.

Your CV is a gateway

Make the most of your CV because it’s the first chance to show employers the skills you've gained and how they’ll benefit the company. You might be a little unsure about what’s worth highlighting and how much to say. We asked some professional recruiters for their advice.

  1. Be adaptable
    No matter where your placement was, make it work for the job you’re applying for. If you did a week-long placement in a shop it might not seem useful on your CV when you’re applying for an office job. But all you have to do is find the link, explain that you learned teamwork, time management and dealing with a wide variety of people.
  2. Be insightful
    Employers look for more than just academic achievement. They want to be reassured that you truly understand the day to day of the industry. Show employers you’ve already experienced the world of work in some way. Problem solving skills and entrepreneurial flair stand out from the crowd. Highlight any practical engineering skills you've developed as well as those learned in a laboratory or workshop. If you finished a busy internship, mention how you managed your time and resources.
  3. Be practical
    Employers are generally short on time and they want to know how they’ll benefit from hiring you. They would always prefer not to start a complete apprenticeship for graduate entrants. If you can show one or more practical examples of applied success it can really seal the deal. Frame your examples of experience like this: the problem was X, we analysed it taking into account A and B, we delivered the following solution and the outcome was C.
  4. Be bespoke
    Each application and interview needs to be tailored so that you only show employers relevant work experience. Present skills and competencies that fit with what the company has listed as essential and desirable in the job specification. Impressive work experience should be on the first page of your CV. Use language that makes a big impact and inject your passion and excitement into your words.