With the Industry getting more bullish, here’s how to get a CV Noticed in the Mining Industry
CSG Global Talent
Whenever you’re in pursuit of a new role, especially in tight markets like we are currently experiencing, it is essential to have a document that conveys your full experience, competencies, and skills in order to standout and lead the pack of applicants. Here are some helpful tips for ensuring your Curriculum Vitae (CV) will assist you in getting that job. At the end of the day, consider it your marketing brochure!
A Few Broad Tips:
In my role, I see a variety of CVs every day. What I do not see is people using a professional font like Calibri or Arial. This is always number one or two for making your CV look “the part”. However, if it looks the part but many words are misspelt then this is equally bad. Proof reading and spell checking are critical. What company would entrust important data to an engineer or accountant who makes a sloppy mistake on their own CV?
Personal preferences aside, hiring managers will always prefer concise CVs with clear punchy sentences. Most hiring managers and HR professionals are busy and cannot afford to spend much time evaluating each CV. Why not utilise bullet points rather than paragraph upon paragraph of experiences and skills? Remember you’re looking for a job, not a publisher for your autobiography.
K.I.S.S. – As well as being a great rock band in the 80’s and a romantic gesture, K.I.S.S. in this instance stands for Keep it Short and Simple. Communication on a mine site or the corporate office is of ultimate importance. Don’t try and sell yourself by writing everything you did in a role or being too technical. Utilise the phone or face-to-face interview to convey the greater detail of your technical skills and experience. Use your CV to bait the hiring manager into wanting to interview you. This can be done by using short, sharp, and accurate details of your work experience and skills. For example if you were a Metallurgist at a lead-zinc operation which underwent an expansion, a simple bullet point or two to highlight your involvement in the project, the plant used, and any key achievements or successes would suffice.
Chronologically, set out your school/university/working life from most recent to earliest. In mining, what you did most recently will mean more to the company than what you did 15 years ago as a graduate or intern.
For mining roles, when discussing past work always include the dates you worked there, the company name, the site/location, the position, and then three to four key points about your experiences and skills learned. In many technical roles, proficiency in software tools can be an important selling point, so be sure to include that too based on the needs of the role.
Try and utilise key action words in each bullet point at the beginning of each sentence. I’m talking about words that every hiring manager wants to see. Examples are increased, reduced, improved, accelerated, produced, budgeted, launched, identified, eliminated, led and managed.
Customise your CV to the role. No two jobs will be the same and in an industry like mining where the market can quickly go from boom to bust, you never know when you may have to be flexible or that dream role pops up. Keeping multiple versions of your CVs up-to-date for various positions can be very advantageous as it allows you to be agile and flexible in difficult and booming markets.
For heaven’s sake, don’t forget your contact details! Some jobs are filled overnight so don’t miss out on that dream role just because you’ve accidentally left your number and/or email out.
Common Questions and Concerns:
Where do I put my education details?
I get this question a lot. Usually, I’m a fan of putting the degree or education details as one of the last things and here is why:
- Everything else in your resume is in reverse chronological order (recent to earliest), so why shouldn’t your education be as well.
- If you don’t happen to have a degree (and let’s face it, 99% of mining jobs require a degree as per the job descriptions) why would you put it at the top of your CV that could automatically disqualify you from the process? Let your experience shine first and then let them question if a degree is necessary in the first place. Trust me, I’ve seen it for myself. It won’t work all of the time, but sometimes it does.
- As an academic, you often sit behind desks or are as “green as green can be”. Working the daily grind can change you and give you experiences that alter your methodologies from school. The person you are today is probably far removed from the straight “A” student you were in university.
How do I easily show many positions with one Company?
This is a process I use a lot when assisting people I represent with their CVs. If you’ve been a strong performer and promoted during your tenure at a company, it is acceptable that you show each individual role you held. But, before detailing each individual role, combine all roles and dates you worked there into one heading so the person reading understands that you’ve not “jumped around” from company to company and job to job. An example of this would be if you worked for BHP Billiton as a Mine Geologist and worked up to Chief Mine Geologist in the space of 10 years (good on ya!). This is how I would set it out on a resume:
Figure 1: Example of multiple roles within the same company.
Do I include a Cover Letter?
Personally, I find these outdated. I’ve said it before that I think your time is better spent outlining your synergy to the job you’re applying for in bullet point form. This will allow you or the recruiter that is representing you to illustrate your candidacy clearly and concisely.
Now, I know that some companies still ask for cover letters but the handy thing about the bullet points is that:
- They can be used across multiple cover letters;
- They can be added directly into cover letters.
Cover letters will have to be broken down sentence by sentence in order to be translated into bullet points.
I’m a consultant, how do I show the all projects I worked on?
The consultants and contractors of this world are synonymous with working on a multitude of different projects. Do you include all of them in your CV? My answer is both ”Yes” and ”No”. Let me explain:
If you worked on a site for one or two months and nothing “major” happened, add it but don’t go into too much detail. If you worked at a site for a longer duration of time, worked on a major project or there was a major part you played in the success/turnaround then add it. But always add the dates of when you worked at each site and for how long.
Simultaneously, if you did work somewhere on a contract basis it might be worth mentioning that. This is just to avoid hiring managers getting the wrong idea and thinking you were let go for ”negative” reasons.
How long should my CV be?
I always follow the guidelines of careers:
- Zero to 7 years – two pages is sufficient;
- 7-10 years – three pages;
- 10+ years – four pages.
Don’t take this as gospel but it’s a good template for ease of reading and keeping the reader’s attention. Focus on quality writing and the quality of the accountabilities and achievements rather than the quantity. My mum made fantastic lists for our weekly shop when I was young. Basically, lists have their place. Your CV is not that place.
What about all the bits and pieces at the end? References, Personal Interests, Publications, etc?
These are all valid questions. Include referees if you know the referees are happy to vouch for you and provide a positive recommendation. If they aren’t and want to be contacted by you prior to someone else calling them out of the blue then do not include them.
I live and die by the simple path: Include some personal interests if you want. It will show you’re human. If you don’t want to include it, I don’t think it’ll deter a company from interviewing you. The reason I say this is because you’ll never know if the hiring manager also plays hockey (or whatever sport/hobby you have). INSTANT RAPPORT!
If your publications or other item can be directly linked or is relevant to the company or role, then include it. It will avoid the list conundrum again. Easy!
Comment below if you have anything to add or give your views and experiences of what works for you. However, please remember this is only an opinion and really, above all, it is based on what you’re comfortable with and what you want to do.
About the Author:
Jon Taylor is Team Leader – Technical for CSG Global Talent with 8 Years post-graduate experience in Mining from the formation of investor summits in Africa, Russia, the Americas, and Europe and more recently in Executive Search for Mining Specific positions. He specialises in Exploration & Geology, Technical Services, Geotechnical, and Board & C-Level appointments. Jon has been identified by a number of global mining organisations to assist with Senior and Board-level assignments identifying talent that exclusively work with him and are not actively searching for roles.