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 Damien Mason from CRH plc to give some advice for people considering this job:

Damien Mason

Mechanical Engineer

CRH plc

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Damien Mason

If you are really interested in people and have good interpersonal skills, you will find this job very rewarding.

Like a lot of jobs, you will not be using all the theoretical knowledge you gained in University or College, but you will develop significant management potential and the environment is stimulating and rewarding.

As an engineer, you will probably spend about 50% of your time in the office, and the other 50% out in the plant.

You should also expect that you may be asked if you are willing to travel abroad. This would be very attractive to most people, and a definite means to gain great experience, but it may not suit everyone.

You should ideally be a balanced person, someone with a good deal of technical knowledge, but also a good ability to deal with people.

Responsibility and challenges will be given to you from day one, and if you can handle the pressure, you will gain more and more responsibilities, ultimately leading you to gain invaluable experience, and undoubtedly onto a successful management position.

With the global nature of ICL's parent company CRH, this could be yours in Ireland or one of many countries worldwide.

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Realist?
Realist
Realists are usually interested in 'things' - such as buildings, mechanics, equipment, tools, electronics etc. Their primary focus is dealing with these - as in building, fixing, operating or designing them. Involvement in these areas leads to high manual skills, or a fine aptitude for practical design - as found in the various forms of engineering.

Realists like to find practical solutions to problems using tools, technology and skilled work. Realists usually prefer to be active in their work environment, often do most of their work alone, and enjoy taking decisive action with a minimum amount of discussion and paperwork.
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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.



 

Understand the Chain of Command

  

Be aware of both the formal and informal chain of command. Use it as a road map to get things done, reach your goals, and avoid problems.