January job advice for engineers

The start of a new year heralds new beginnings and a chance to change your life for the better. Aside from resolutions to get fitter, lose weight, quit smoking or take up a new hobby, people also consider whether they’re in the right job and reflect on how they want their career to develop in the year ahead.

For engineering professionals, January is a great time to secure new work. In the UK, many projects ramp up before the end of the tax year in April and as a result, an abundance of contract opportunities arise in the early months of the year. But, it’s also a good time to secure a new permanent job as many people resign before or just after Christmas; opening up new opportunities for those eager to take on a new challenge.

Of course, with so many people applying for new jobs at this time of year, competition to secure the opportunity you want can be fierce. To help in your new job search, our specialist recruitment consultants have some valuable tips on how to stand out to employers.


Show off your cross-sector skill sets & experience

“Employers are looking for people who are genuinely interested in the job opportunity and who will make a positive difference whether it is for a six month contract or a permanent role. If you show you are genuinely interested in the work they do and what they’re offering, then employers will be interested in you. With the current skills shortage in the industry, many employers are looking for people who have cross-sector skill sets and people who are keen to extend their experience.”

Joe Wilson – Head of Highways, Planning and Transportation

Be exclusive & choose the right recruiter

“Becoming an exclusive candidate to a single recruitment agency will separate you from other candidates out there. This avoids duplicate applications for the same jobs and helps set you apart from those who have just had their CV sent without any phone call.”

James Marlow – Senior Recruitment Consultant, General Engineering

“There are thousands of recruiters out there so be selective. Discount those who only communicate via email and don’t take the time to get to know you. Finding a company where you fit from a personality/culture perspective is just as important as a skills/experience match. A recruiter who cuts corners may get you interviews but may miss this critical piece of the puzzle.”

Chris Thornton – Head of Maritime

Make your CV stand out

“Keep your CV to 2 or 3 pages and make it relevant to each job you apply for. A short, personal profile at the start of your CV will give the potential employer a good feel for who you are and what you want, prior to reading about your recent experience.”

Tim Carling, Director of Engineering Technology

“Try and tailor your CV to each job that you are applying for. It may sound time consuming and obvious, but by highlighting your specific skills that are required in the job description you are differentiating yourself from generic applications. Recruiters will want to speak to you first, giving you the head start!”

“Avoid the generic interests/hobbies like “spending time with friends and family”; show a bit of personality, this is your shop window…if you like travelling, list the most exciting place you’ve visited and why you liked it so much.”

Ben Hough – Department Manager of Energy

Show your individuality

“Demonstrating what special skill you can add to a business will really help when you’re looking for work. Make sure to show your people skills. These are really important throughout the industry but particularly within infrastructure where major collaboration between major projects is happening.”

Stuart Minchin – Director of Buildings and Water & Environment

You can find more advice on our career advice pages. If you’re ready to start looking for your next role, register on our website so you can quickly and easily browse and apply for jobs. You can also set up job alerts so you can be one of the first to apply for your dream job. Good luck!

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