The Eight Biggest Mistakes Oil & Gas Contractors / Job Seekers Make When Seeking Work

By Matt Craven, Founder of The CV & Interview Advisors on behalf of oilandgaspeople.com

Oil & Gas Professionals are typically a savvy bunch when it comes to the job market, but in a rapidly evolving landscape, keeping abreast of change is absolutely crucial to success. We have identified eight common mistakes that both contractors and job seekers make when seeking work and this article will focus on number three – Failing to Optimise CVs for Recruitment Software.

When delivering webinars, the slide I use for CV optimisation often makes reference to Arnold Schwarzenegger and the Terminator films where the machines were taking over the world. Now despite the late Stephen Hawkin’s concerns over AI and its threat to the human race, the machines haven’t quite taken over the world yet, BUT they do have a large part to play in the recruitment process!

A quick Google search tells us that 75% of recruiters use recruiting or applicant tracking software and of that percentage, 94% believe the software has improved the hiring process.

When applying for a position, CVs are typically viewed by an Applicant Tracking System (ATSs) before they are seen by a human, and those ATSs have their own individual algorithm that looks for certain pieces of information that is then used to shortlist candidates. That means the machine is matching you against the job description before your CV is ever seen by the recruiter.

In order to optimise your CV for ATS’, it is important to correctly ‘sign-post’ your CV so that the algorithm can easily find the correct information.

If you would like to find out about the other mistakes that Oil & Gas professionals make when seeking work, ‘Oil and Gas People’ are running a webinar, hosted by The CV & Interview Advisors on Thursday Jan 16th at 7.15pm. You can find out more and register here: https://ogplink.com/Webinar

Failure to do this will mean your CV never gets read by a human (the recruiter / hiring manager).

Here are some key tactics that you can adopt.

Headings

Use headings that are universally accepted rather than obscure. For example, Professional Summary, Key Skills and Career History are common, but Executive Profile, Relevant Expertise and Contract Positions are not. If you use the wrong headings, the ATS may not ‘parse’ your CV correctly, which will negatively impact its effectiveness.

Your expertise

Tell the ATS what you are an expert in. Often, the ATS is looking for what it thinks you are an expert in and frankly, what it finds can be very random. The idea here is to sign-post it to what you want the results to show. If you state that you are ‘An experienced Project Manager, expert in delivering £multi-million Oil & Gas infrastructure projects’, then this is what it will show the recruiter. Make sure you use the phrase ‘expert in’. Leaving it to chance might throw up something random such as “Project Manager who is an expert in 22 Apple Crescent, London, W1 3XZ”.

What are you?

Make it clear what you are. No one ever set out to hire ‘An experienced Oil & Gas professional with experience working for many leading Oil & Gas companies’. It’s too ambiguous and they would have something much more specific in mind. If for example you are applying for a Well Engineer role, then make sure you have put Well Engineer after your name, and also in the first line of your Professional Summary / Personal Profile.

Keywords

Make sure the skills listed on the job description are listed on your CV and that the correct keywords are listed throughout your CV. A good way to do this is to have a Key Skills section as the second section on your CV where you have 14 to 16 skills listed. These skills should be written in passive voice and be no more than three words long e.g. Stakeholder Management, Design Documents, North Sea Regulations etc. You should also make sure that the duties and responsibilities on the job description match the duties and responsibilities under each position on your CV.

Geography

Perhaps less critical for international Oil & Gas roles, but to play it safe, make sure you include a postcode somewhere on the CV – ideally in the personal details section where you would add your address (this should be at the end of the CV not at the start).

The ATS may have been programmed to only consider candidates within a certain geography; if you don’t include a postcode, you may miss out on the shortlist altogether regardless of how good the rest of your CV is.

If you would like to find out about the other mistakes that Oil & Gas professionals make when seeking work, ‘Oil and Gas People’ are running a webinar, hosted by The CV & Interview Advisors on Thursday Jan 16th at 7.15pm. You can find out more and register here: https://ogplink.com/Webinar

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