I am in the final stages of My PhD (in Petroleum Engineering, unfortunately). I got my undergraduate in chemical engineering with a one year industrial diploma at an oil company (R&D), and a number of other part time/short similar experiences during my PhD. My PhD topic was Chemical Thermodynamics. I would like to move back into the chemical industry (Process engineering), however I am struggling greatly.

I have recently had my CV analysed by one of these CV companies and I was told it's very 'me me me' rather than an outward sales pitch and not keyword rich.

How can I make my CV value focused and keyword rich?

I'm looking for a engineering job in the industry rather than R&D...

Any resources you can recommend...Any help is appreciated.

  • "I have recently had my CV analysed by one of these CV companies" - why not ask them what they meant by 'keyword rich'? I assume you paid them so it's reasonable follow-up. – Rup Mar 21 '16 at 17:33
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    oh no, I did not pay, it's their sales pitch, but they have good points in it. They want to charge and arm, a leg and then my other arm and leg as a follow up. – Saeid Alami Mar 21 '16 at 17:40
  • I wouldn't put much trust in a company that says "Your resume is awful, but you have to pay us to tell you how to fix it." Most universities have career services for students looking for jobs. They should be able to help you with your resume free of charge. – David K Mar 21 '16 at 17:54
  • oh my university's career center is awful. There is one person who is an expert in my field but naturally he has been moved to help social sciences because that's obviously logical and the one who has experience with social sciences does engineering. I need some more info so when I go to them I can ask for specifics, so I don't get "your CV looks good...and thats it" or they don't fix each others changes. – Saeid Alami Mar 21 '16 at 18:02
  • For one Chemical Thermodynamics is not capitalized - it is not proper noun. Do you have a lot of 'me me me' or 'I I I'? Do you have a lot of what you did versus results? A recruiter may help you with your resume for free. Not good timing for the oil patch. – paparazzo Mar 21 '16 at 18:40

My advice would be to get a recommendation from someone at the company, for whom your project made a lot of money. Not the endorsement type, by someone clicking "YES" button, but someone, preferably, with a title of supervisor or manager etc., to write a few sentences, outlining your contribution to the project. It says a lot about a person, especially if you are at starting phase of your career.

On the me-me-me vs results part, concentrate on what your contributions did for the projects you worked on rather than just saying I worked on million different projects with glitzy titles.

Also, try to get recommendations from your college professors, telling about your work ethic, perseverance, etc, i.e. character building.

Last but not the least, if a recruiter tells you something like, "you should modify your resume in such way to get more attention" do not ignore their suggestions, as long as they are not asking you to flat out lie, which is in neither parties' interest anyway.


Review existing job advertisements in your field. The words they use are the keywords that their automated resume review software is looking for. This may differ from job to job, so be ready to adjust for different keywords.

The me, me, me criticism is ridiculous, this is your resume of course it about you. If you make it more general and talk about responsibilities of the job instead of actual things you accomplished then the resume is much less strong.

If you want someone to review your resume and give you good advice, find someone successful in your field and ask them to help you out. Someone you did an internship for or worked for in the summer is really likely to be of more use to you than a resume mill where they likely have no idea what is actually even done in the positions you are looking at.

  • You may want to change the spelling of the last word in the first sentence. – Amy Blankenship Mar 21 '16 at 20:01

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