Oil and Gas Engineering CV Breakdown and Analysis
Engineering is a broad discipline, with many different subspecialties. As such, it’s particularly important to distinguish yourself, and properly present your profile through your CV. The oil and gas industry is also known by different names in Malaysia, such as petroleum engineering. Even within the industry, roles and responsibilities are split throughout the value chain: most commonly, the division is within the upstream and downstream roles. It is similarly important to showcase your competency in your area of specialisation on your CV, or highlight your general knowledge if you’re skilled in both areas.
Previously, I’ve talked about mechanical engineering – you can read about that CV dissection here. Some of the tips and tricks can be applied to oil and gas as well. In this article, I’ll be breaking down and analysing the CVs of a few old clients I’ve worked with in great detail. I’ve combined some bits and pieces from different profiles into this hypothetical CV – some areas may seem a little incommensurate with someone of ‘Joe’s’ seniority level, but that’ll be because I’ve imported some details from another CV to serve as a learning point. The logic and reasoning behind what I’ve put into the particular CV remains the same, and you can adapt it easily for use in your own resume.
If you’re unsure of any industry-specific practices which should be included, drop us an email at hello (at) resumewriter.my – we read every email and we’ll try to answer any questions you may have. We also offer free CV reviews and consults – if you have any questions about your CV, send it over for us to take a look at. We’ll give you some advice based on our years of headhunting expertise.
Let’s get right into the CV breakdown. Here’s the finalised oil and gas CV:
OIL & GAS ENGINEER
Tel.: +60 12 XXXX XXXX | Email: firstname.lastname@example.org | LinkedIn: linkedin.com/banner | Nationality: Malaysian | Languages: English, Bahasa Melayu
[Where possible, include your LinkedIn profile. it’s an amazing networking tool that you should definitely be using, regardless of the industry you are in.]
[As engineering is a more ‘back office’ sort of role which does not include as much client-facing time, languages aren’t as important to highlight. If you’re proficient in multiple languages, it’ll be a nice bonus to include though.]
- Skilled engineer with over 8 years of experience in semiconductor and oil and gas industries, having driven major projects valued at >USD 100M for leading blue-chip firms such as Shell, B.P, & ExxonMobil. [This opening line perfectly captures a strong summary, citing that you have worked for big brands.]
- Capable of effectively marrying extensive technical knowledge with practical skills and experience in driving a diverse range of business operations, from expansion and growth operations to technical surveys and consultancy projects. [This client wanted to emphasise that he had a range of skills beyond mere ‘on paper’ technical knowledge. Such transferable skillsets are nice bonuses to have. Depending on your goals and strategy, you can choose to include these traits in your narrative, or alternatively choose to emphasise your technical and industry-specific knowledge, to position yourself as an industry subject-matter expert. Both are equally valid approaches, and which one to take depends on context.]
- Experienced in full spectrum of production management from machine setup to optimization and maintenance. [Be sure to highlight specific knowledge and expertise that you have. As Engineering is a very broad discipline, it is important to showcase your specialisation, to ensure a proper match with the needs of your future employer and/or company. A civil engineer probably won’t be very effective in an oil & gas role, for instance!]
- Gifted communicator capable of liaising and communicating with clients across multiple roles, including acting as primary point-of-contact, advising clients as a consultant, and bridging communications as on-site PM. [I’ve included this point for illustration. It’s from a different client of greater seniority (but still within the oil & gas industry). Note in particular how I’ve contextualised and ‘proven’ the main point of him being good at communicating. When presenting your soft skills or stating subjective points, you must back them up with examples, otherwise the point loses a lot of effectiveness – everyone will be saying something similar, but your examples ‘prove’ it!]
- Highly sought-after speaker, frequently invited to speak at prestigious oil & gas conferences such as OGIC, SPE, AAPG, etc., and as a subject-matter expert in various business and project management forums. [Again, a ‘grafted’ point. Oil and gas in Malaysia isn’t a particularly large industry, and if you’ve been invited to conferences, or have contributed to proceedings etc., be sure to highlight it. It’s a very good distinguishing trait which demonstrates your skills and abilities.]
XYZ Energy Technologies Pte. Ltd., Malaysia
Directly invited to join team as a pioneer employee, establishing company’s new geophysics department from scratch, and supporting company’s initial foray and expansion into Malaysia’s geophysical survey sector.
[The first point in every job description should be a top-level summary which encompasses your entire role and highlights the main points of your portfolio. If the hiring manager only had the time to read the first paragraph of every JD, he should still get a good sense of what you’ve done and why he should hire you. Here, I’ve highlighted the fact that ‘Joe’ was specially invited to join (that means he’s gotta be pretty good at what he does), as well as some of his main duties.]
- Recruited, coached, and trained new team members, reinforcing their professional competencies, and developing their industry-specific skills and knowledge. [Here, I expand on the duties as a pioneering team member. You can choose to expand on other aspects instead, for instance, project-based duties, any major industry-based roles requiring industry knowledge / technical competencies, etc. The idea is to demonstrate that you’re capable of doing the job, and that you have industry knowledge.]
- Headed execution of business development strategies: presented and pitched value of geophysical surveys to clients, showcased potential benefits, and consequently secured new accounts. [This is a rather different duty that isn’t industry related. At the same time, it’s also a more ‘high-level’ or significant responsibility (i.e. not really grunt work). It demonstrates the trust senior management has placed in him and his abilities.]
- Aligned geophysics department’s business objectives with parent company’s overarching goals by redefining department strategy and mitigating potential business risks. [Again, a ‘high-level’ role which I’ve used to emphasise that he’s ready and prepared for a more senior appointment. If you’re looking to move up the ranks, be sure to include any responsibilities that you’ve taken on which would be considered more senior.]
- Led major geophysical surveys and mapping operations, collate and analyse resulting data, and inform clients of potential roadblocks/obstacles prior to construction. [Since he intends to stay in the industry, I’ve also included some relevant industry-related duties he’s performed. You should include points like this as well, regardless of your intentions. It demonstrates that you’re ‘in touch’ with the prevailing best practices.]
Achievements are vital in demonstrating your value-add and contributions!
- Acquired major multi-million-dollar accounts in a then-underutilised and under-represented industry. [Be sure to check your confidentiality clauses and/or NDAs that you’ve signed. Since ‘Joe’ didn’t want to release the specific numbers and accounts, I went with a more general approach to protect that info while still being able to convey the magnitude and importance of what he’s accomplished during his tenure.]
ASM Technology, Malaysia
- Lead team of 15 to manage all aspects of semiconductor etching operation; constantly monitor production metrics, identify bottlenecks and organize doily operator meeting to communicate production goals. [The opening line captures all the reader needs to know about this role. Here, I’ve demonstrated his leadership experience as well as industry-related knowledge. If you’re gunning for a more senior role, try to include details of teams you’ve led, their sizes, and your managerial responsibilities. This demonstrates your leadership capabilities.]
- Performed internal process audits to ensure compliance with ES 16949 and adherence to general corporate guidelines. [This role is very industry-based. I’m therefore sprinkling in a lot of industry-based duties to demonstrate that he knows his stuff.]
- Liaised closely with cross functional teams to troubleshoot failures, brainstorm design improvements and plan implementation schedules for projects and equipment modifications. [Again, it’s always good to mention how you work with cross functional teams as it demonstrates leadership. Mention specific projects, if any.]
- Spearheaded testing and commissioning of new machinery in 2008 and 2010; setup machine line, troubleshoot failures and optimize parameters to maximise production output. [A more junior role, but this role was from further back, so it’s okay to include. As a leader, you should be familiar with the tasks and responsibilities of your subordinates.]
- Conducted training sessions for new employees during On-Job-Training (OJT) program; prepare training documents, organize schedule, identify and track key KPIs to measure training effectiveness. [Leading trainings demonstrates that you’re a subject-matter expert and that you’ve good mastery of the content you’re teaching. Include any relevant teaching/training duties. It could be anything from mass lectures to individual mentoring.]
- Key member of company Quality Improvement Team; actively identify process yield losses, propose rectification solutions and record process improvements.
- Participated in monthly committee meetings regarding chemical safety measures for lead frame production. [This is a fairly inconsequential duty. I didn’t include this in the final CV: it’s here for example purposes only. For minor duties like this, a judgement call must be made: is it worth taking up valuable space? If you don’t have many points, you can include it, as it does show a bit of what you’ve done, but there’s a risk of inadvertently looking like your role wasn’t very broad. This again depends on context and the overall CV strategy.]
- Pivotal team member in implementation of new systematic approach for etching: process improved production output from 40,000 strips to 60,000 strips per day [Cite metrics to substantiate your achievements. Do, however, be aware of your company confidentiality clause.]
Successfully completed 6-month industrial attachment at ExxonMobil refinery [Simple, clear overview of the job you previously done. Notice also how the remaining bullet points are shorter. No need to go into deep detail about more junior work scopes.]
- Supported full spectrum of installation and maintenance of various oil and gas systems; collaborated closely with Inspection engineers, Plant Engineering Company and Setsco Services. [This was an internship, but the fact that he was entrusted with external stakeholder management is a good indicator of his internship performance.]
- Identified corrosion areas and monitored equipment using Equipment Degradation Documentation (EDD), Magnetic Particle Testing (MPT), Liquid Penetrant Test (LPT) and Radiography Testing (RT). [Internships are for learning. As such, I’ve highlighted the areas and knowledge he’s gained through his exposure to the industry. It’s good to remind the reader that he’s got the ability to handle work in these areas, regardless of seniority.]
- Key team member in overhaul of heat exchanger unit: inspected corrosion, liaised with contractors to determine ideal resolution with minimal downtime.
- Assisted in investigations to resolve furnace heating issue; successfully diagnosed problem as clogging due to contaminants.
[Note that I’ve used Significant Highlights as the title of this section. This means that I don’t have to limit myself to major contributions or achievements. As an intern, it’s not likely that he’d have the opportunity to make such contributions in the first place. However, it’s definitely worth including major projects or duties he was entrusted with. That’s what this section is for.]
Shell Eastern Petroleum, Malaysia
- Monitored hydrogen chloride and hydrogen sulphide emissions in Catalytic Reforming and Hydro-sulphurizer units; assisted process technologists, plant manager and shift controllers to monitor and rectify arising situations. [A single line is sufficient for a junior position so long ago. In fact, if he had taken on more roles and the CV was more ‘crowded’, I’d have considered eliminating this role altogether. It doesn’t add as much value or demonstrate his abilities as clearly as a more recent role, and Therefore fakes up valuable CV space without contributing as much.]
- Successfully troubleshot primary mode of failure in Catalytic Reforming Unit; solution eliminated corrosion issues plaguing system.
[Again, this is a Highlights section. Include major duties and projects which aren’t necessarily ‘achievements’. An achievement must come with a clear sense of value-add: a highlight does not. If your role is more quantifiable, use achievements as far as possible.]
EDUCATION & PROFESSIONAL QUALIFICATIONS
- Master of Science, Mechanical Engineering (Offshore Oil & Gas Specialization) • University of Malaysia • Malaysia • 2012
- Bachelor of Engineering, Materials Engineering • Malaysia University of Science and Technology • Malaysia • 2008
- Diploma In Chemical Engineering • Vocational Training Council • Malaysia • 2002
[If you’re a member of any professional organisations e.g. IES, PEB, or if you’ve any professional certifications, courses attended, speaking engagements, etc. be sure to include them here. They reflect your engagement with your profession, and are nice bonuses to include.]
- Nationality: Malaysian
- Languages: English and Bahasa Melayu
- Availability: 2 months’ notice
References available upon request
[There’s no need to list your references; if HR is interested in you they will ask you for them.]
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With the global problems the oil and gas industry is currently facing, it may be quite a challenge to prove yourself and why you are the right person to be hired for a particular position within the sector.
It is, therefore, important that you prepare a well-crafted oil and gas resume where you can demonstrate your skills, strengths, and achievements.
Here is my guide on how to create a winning oil and gas resume.
In this guide and resume dissection, I’ve assumed a bit of prior knowledge in the key skeletal structure of a resume and the major components that would traditionally be included. If you’d like to learn more about what makes an effective resume, check out my Ultimate Guide to CV Writing here. In that guide, I go into greater detail on how to properly write each section of a resume, the role and importance of these sections, and how to finally put everything together to get a highly effective and power-packed resume. I also devote more time to the intricacies and nuances of resume writing, and how to make sure you don’t miss out the subtle points that are crucial for a good resume. It’s a great read, if I do say so myself 🙂
Key Pointers Recruiters Look For In Oil and Gas Resumes:
- Your ability to deliver full end-to-end projects
- Your experience in comprehending business needs and translating them into technical specifications
- Proven leadership skills in managing teams and delivering large projects on time and under budget
Oil and gas engineering is also a rather project-based and project-heavy industry. If you’ve worked on major projects in the past, be sure to include them on your CV as well. You can do so through the Significant Projects approach. I usually do this for project managers, but I find it works well for CVs which depend a lot on showcasing projects.
Instead of Significant Achievements/Highlights, adopt the following format:
Role: XX | Project Value: USD XXm
A brief description of the project.
- Your individual contribution to the project’s success
- Another contribution or responsibility
I didn’t showcase this example in the CV breakdown, but you could choose to adopt it if it’s relevant to your context. You don’t need to choose between this and the Achievements as well. It’s perfectly okay (and in fact recommended!) to include achievements on your CV – recall that your resume is a marketing tool, and should thus show off what you’ve accomplished. You can do so by placing a Significant Achievements section after all your significant projects. If the project in itself represents an achievement (led to some improvement in efficiency, generated a lot of revenue, etc.), you can add a line under the last project job description talking about its significance. In other words:
Role: XX | Project Value: USD XXm
A brief description of the project.
- Your individual contribution to the project’s success
- Another contribution or responsibility
- Project resulted in a strong recurring revenue pipeline valued at over USD 100M.
This combines the best of both worlds, and strenghthens your CV immensely.
Writing an Oil and Gas Resume
1. Resume Header
Ensure your header clearly states your Name, Email Address and Contact Number. There is no need to put your home address or identification number.
2. Executive Summary
The executive summary gives a quick overview of your work history. Here, we want to communicate your strong work ethic, desire to learn and leadership abilities, if any. If you’ve got domain expertise in the field you’re applying for, do heavily emphasise that.
3. Technical Skills
It is highly recommended to include a technical skills table in your resume. This will help the recruiter gain a quick understanding of your skills in a single glance.
4. Work Experiences
Always break your work experiences into 2 parts – your daily workscope and your achievements.
For the daily workscope, include a high level summary. Workscopes which are implied can be omitted. Remember, you want to keep your resume short and sharp for the recruiter.
This section includes all the keywords resume scanning softwares often use. Its important to place key softwares/languages here relevant to the job ad you’re applying for. Scan the job application and parrot back the key phrases they’ve mentioned into your resume.
5. Key Achievements
Your achievements section is critical to differentiating your application from that of your peers. Include projects which you have led and their resulting tangible business benefits. These benefits can be in the form of:
- Cost savings to the firm
- New revenue gains
- Better / Streamlined processes
- Awards received during tenure
Always tie back your projects to business benefits. This is what the hiring manager and employer want to see. Ultimately, they want to know you can bring great value to their organisation.
As far as possible do include metrics or numbers in your achievements. This helps to add substance to your resume and give the reader an objective view of your skills and abilities.
Oil & Gas Job Opportunities
- Join LinkedIn groups or follow companies you wish to work for to keep abreast with new job openings.
- Alternatively, you can reach out to these headhunters in Malaysia to learn about any vacancies they may be trying to fill out.
Job Hunting Tips from our Resident Headhunter
- Create a winning cover letter and send it along your resume. The cover letter will serve as an introduction about yourself and is a great venue to answer the question “Why should we hire you?”
- Be active on social media, particularly on LinkedIn. Make sure to create a strong online profile that represents you and you professional experiences. Here’s our comprehensive guide on writing a great LinkedIn profile.
- Before you start sending out applications, get a free CV Feedback Session with our team.
More Useful Links
If you found this article useful, you might also like:
- How to Write a Winning Resume: Your Ultimate CV Guide
- How to Write a Cover Letter: Your Ultimate Cover Letter Guide
- How to Use LinkedIn to Find a Job: Your Ultimate LinkedIn Guide
- List of Headhunters in Malaysia
- Cover Letter Samples, Templates & Tips
- Downloadable Free Resume Templates
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