Careers rarely develop the way we plan them. Our career path often takes many twists and turns, with particular events, choices and people influencing our direction.

We asked Elva Bannon from Smart Futures to give some advice for people considering this job:

Elva Bannon

Mechatronic Engineer

Smart Futures

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Elva Bannon

I found having education in a number of different areas of engineering to be beneficial to the work I am doing.

There is a whole world of possibilities out there for engineers, and it is difficult to know what subjects are necessary for the industry you will end up in. I was always interested in robotics and environmental issues, but it was not until my Masters that I really knew what I wanted to do.

General entry courses are quite useful, as you get a taste for a few different areas before you have to specialise, a lot of companies offer on the job training, and there is also the possibility of further study.

An engineering qualification teaches you so much more than just the technical subjects, but a way of looking at the world and solving problems in a logical and systematic way.

Engineers are sought after for these skills as much as the technical ones, and it opens up incredible opportunities. Engineering is not an easy route through college, but it is incredibly rewarding.

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Creative people are drawn to careers and activities that enable them to take responsibility for the design, layout or sensory impact of something (visual, auditory etc). They may be drawn towards the traditional artistic pursuits such as painting, sculpture, singing, or music. Or they may show more interest in design, such as architecture, animation, or craft areas, such as pottery and ceramics.

Creative people use their personal understanding of people and the world they live in to guide their work. Creative people like to work in unstructured workplaces, enjoy taking risks and prefer a minimum of routine.
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CV & Interview Preparation

Finding Employment

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CV Preparation

To make a job application you will need to prepare a letter indicating your interest in the position (known as the Cover Letter) and create or modify a copy of your CV for the position.

Your CV is a very important document. It is a summary of your personal details, educational qualifications and work experience. It should also include your key skills and other relevant information together with the names of 2 people who will provide a reference for you.

These two documents, your CV and cover letter, are critical to your success in catching the attention of a possible employer.

CV Tips

Here are 5 tips to keep you focused when making a CV that will get you noticed:

1. Keep it short and concise 
If you can fit your whole relevant career experience into two pages, it not only shows focus, but a willingness to condense data into short useful bites. The majority of employers looking to fill business positions will really appreciate this. Bullet points are useful in these situations.

2. Don’t sell yourself short but keep it short 
Many people take for granted the skills they have and presume employers will assume they have them too. If you know your way around Microsoft Office or you’re good at a skill which an employer needs then state that. If you don’t state something clearly, we will presume you are being vague for a reason. Tell us who you are and tell us how you can help us. Don’t leave it up to an employer to dissect your CV.

3. Tell an employer what they want to hear 
So you just graduated college with that important degree for the job you always wanted. Unfortunately, so did a couple of hundred other people. How do you stand out? Don’t just tell them you have a degree, tell them how your experience and knowledge of that degree can help them. Are you good with computers or with filing or typing? Don’t just state that on a CV, tell an employer how it can help them. Make them need something they didn't think they needed before.

4. Consider adding a personal statement to your CV 
Most people don’t think of including one. As a rule of thumb it can really help your chances of securing employment. Movies have trailers that make you want to go see it. A CV acts in the same way, a taster of what you’re worth. Sell yourself in 2-3 lines so that an employer will want to read more of your CV.

5. Know the job you are applying for
Try and learn as much as you can about the place you are applying to. Some of this information can go into your CV in a subtle way to show that you are aware of the needs of the position. Spot anything the business does which you think you could improve upon - Do you think you could be an asset to them? Let them know how in your CV. This why copy and paste type CVs frequently find themselves on the rejection pile. Many employers can get annoyed at the fact that you are not sufficiently interested in the position advertised to do a bit of research. As employers, we all know that the world doesn't revolve around us but sometimes we like to feel a bit special.

Source: Dr. Bill Mallon founder and director of CareerProjections, a Dublin based team of specialists in career and college advice and provision of CV and college proofreading services.

There is a whole industry built up around how these two small documents should be written, and it is wise to familiarise yourself with some of the advice and pitfalls that can be found. We provide some useful links below to get you started.



 

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