How to Write a Stand-Out CV for the Oil and Gas Industry

How to Write a Stand-out CV for the Oil and Gas Industry

As a result of the oil price crash, there is an abundance of highly-skilled oil and gas workers looking for work and less vacancies needing filled. The market is saturated with experienced men and women looking for their next role and competition is high. It’s becoming increasingly important that, if you are looking for a new job in the Oil and Gas industry, you promote yourself and your skills effectively – to do this you need a stand-out CV.

Writing a CV isn’t the easiest of tasks. Unless you work in recruitment or have an affinity for job-hopping then a general confusion exists about what information should be included, how much detail and whether you should include a selfie or not? (The answer is don’t if you are wondering!). It also doesn’t come naturally to many of us to draw direct attention to our skills and achievements (or as it’s fondly called in Scotland ‘boasting’).

The following tips are based on what we look for as recruiters and will help you create a CV that best showcases your skills in an overcrowded market.

Keep important information to the front.

Recent studies show that you only have 8.8 seconds to impress a recruiter reading your CV. Don’t let them spend that time learning about your exam results from the 80’s and how your favourite pastime is heading down to the pub. Keep the important information to the front; achievements and experience are what recruiters are looking out for so hook them with this and let the other information follow.

Include work-based achievements.

Think about your previous roles and what you achieved. Did you introduce a process that resulted in a safer workplace? Were you part of a team that completed a project ahead of schedule and under budget? If you instigated or were part of an activity that had a positive impact on your work environment, include it in your CV; prospective employers want to know what you can bring to the table.

Your CV isn’t set in stone.

There’s a common misconception that when you have completed your CV for the first time, you are done and all that is left is to send it out – this isn’t the case. View your CV as a working document and tailor it to suit each job you apply for. Use words directly from the job posting or job description. Are they asking for a skill you have previously carried out in another role? Include it. Make it glaringly obvious that you are suitable for the role you are applying for.

Avoid taking yourself out the race.

In an ideal world all of our candidates would be off to work on the newest of MODUs in the Caribbean Sea (or somewhere equally as nice!) on a 3/3 rotation for £500,000 a year (where do I sign?). Unfortunately, as a result of the oil price crash, there isn’t the same ability for workers to be so specific in their demands. Competent candidates are plentiful and competition is elevated amongst the workforce. By all means know your worth, however don’t take yourself out of the running. For example, if you have a pressing desire to one-day work in the Middle East but are applying for a job in Norway; don’t disclose this in your CV. It could be perceived that you will leave this position as soon as a more desirable one becomes available and result in you not being considered.

Include certificates and courses.

Are you up-to-date on your BOSIET? Have you taken any other courses to expand your skills? Include any relevant certificates and courses in your CV along with their expiry dates. Two of the things we look for when reading our candidates CV’s are: How keen are they to get back to work and advance in the industry and how quickly can they deploy? If you don’t include certificates or courses you have taken, it may be assumed you don’t have them.

Keep contact info up-to-date.

This might seem too obvious but there has been countless times that we have tried to contact candidates and they’ve included an old phone number on their CV. So much focus has been placed on the content and application that they have forgotten to check the basics. Keep your details up-to-date so that the vacancy doesn’t go to the next in line.


Oil and Gas recruiters aren’t looking for anything fancy, just a well presented CV that is easy to read. Avoid ‘fun’ fonts (nothing screams proficient Toolpusher like comic sans, right?) and opt for something more professional like Arial, Georgia or Helvetica. Make use of: spacing, bold for headings, bullet points and justification. You have 8.8 seconds (allegedly) to grab the recruiter’s attention, make sure it isn’t spent trying to make sense of your CV.

Remember to proof-read.

This is another obvious one but it is as important as the rest. Before you send your CV out, read over it or have someone else proof-read it for you. Ensure there are no typos, mistakes or naughty words sneaked in by cheeky colleagues (this has happened more than once!). Don’t let your CV give off the wrong impression of you; typos and mistakes can be deemed by employers as careless. Carelessness is not desirable trait for the Oil and Gas industry.

The above points mentioned may not guarantee you a job in the Oil and Gas industry, however they will help your CV stand-out and improve your chances of getting hired. If you are still unsure of what to include or would like some feedback on your CV, drop us an email to - we’d be happy to help.

- Carrington Pink