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Your McMurray Career Advice
How to Write an Oil & Gas Resume: 2 Steps You’re Doing Wrong
Let’s face it, the oil and gas industry is competitive, and to write a resume that grabs the attention of big company employers can be difficult. Writing out your qualifications requires a lot of thought; whether you’re describing a profile project or an idea you introduced to improve efficiencies. To make the dreadful process easier, we’ve created tips on how to get a hiring manager to look at your resume for more than 10 seconds.
Tip #1: Include the Right Keywords
Many multinational corporations in the oil and gas industry are known for using applicant tracking systems (ATS). These systems help filter out the candidates that aren’t qualified for a specific role. Hiring committees simply don’t have enough time to review every single resume that comes in for the many job postings listed. That’s why, keywords are golden. Here are some tricks on finding the right keywords to make your resume more searchable:
1. Carefully read the job posting
One of the simplest ways to find keywords is to read the job posting in detail. Pick specific words you see being repeated throughout. Just remember, do not replace these keywords with synonyms. For example, if the job posting requires you to have “time management” skills, then write “time management” rather than using a phrase like “time budgeting.” Otherwise, the ATS won’t scan your resume correctly. You can also review the qualifications or requirements sections of the posting and use similar wording. But do not copy and paste entire sentences, the hiring manager will not be impressed.
2. Review the company website
Another trick to finding keywords is reading through the company website. Not only will you learn more about the company and its environment, but you can also become familiar with the kind of language they use. You can pick up their writing style and identify terminology to use in your resume.
Tip #2: Properly Format Your Resume
Your resume is one of the first impressions your hiring manager will have of you, so you want it to suggest sophistication. Oil and gas resumes should be kept simple. Fancy, colourful resumes are often used for jobs that require creativity, for example, an artist or graphic designer – not for oil and gas jobs. Here are some tips on keeping your resume clean:
1. Choose the Right Layout
An oil and gas resume should always be black and white, with horizontal lines dividing the different sections. Remember to use fonts that are easy to read, like Times New Roman or Arial. Do not use more than two different font sizes, this can make your resume look too busy. Also, an entry-level resume should go into your educational background, certificates and apprenticeships and can be anywhere from one to two pages. Lastly, avoid inserting a border around the page, it wastes space and can actually cause havoc with ATS systems.
2. Find the Right Order to Place Sections
Both entry-level and professional-level resumes have the same sections, but they highlight these sections differently. Here’s how:
An entry-level resume should include the following sections in this order:
a. Value statement
b. Core skills & competencies
c. Education & key projects
d. Relevant experience
e. Additional experience & community work (listed without descriptions)
f. Certifications & affiliations
A professional-level resume should include the following sections in this order:
a. Value statement
b. Core Skills & competencies
c. Key projects & career highlights
d. Relevant experience (up to 10 years in detail, anything over 10 years, simply line item but don’t go into detail)
e. Additional experience & community involvement (listed without descriptions and dates)
f. Certifications & Tickets
Just remember, relevance is key. These tips will not be helpful if the role you are applying for does not match your experience. It’s important to read the bottom section of a job description that usually tells you what you must have to qualify to apply for the role. Even if you have some of the qualifications but not all, remember that others may have all and that is what you are competing against.
Once you’ve found the right role, follow these tips and you’ll be sure to optimize your chances at scoring an interview.
ResumeTarget.com is the lead professional resume writing service in North America that specializes in Oil and Gas Resume Writing. Call us at 1-877-777-6805 to talk to a Sr. Resume Advisor or go online and submit your resume for a free resume review.