[This Article was originally written in Jan. 2010 but reposted in 2013 by request]
Writing an effective Geomatics Resume
So I will assume that if you are reading this article then there is a pretty good chance that you may either be getting ready to apply for your first Geomatics job or have had some trouble getting yourself a Geomatics related job recently. And if it is the latter that happened to describe you then do not get discouraged, Job Searching for Geomatics jobs can often be much harder then the actual jobs and I see people every day that fall into this category, yes even graduate students and people with all the right knowledge and skills.
Do not assume that your new degree automatically qualifies you for a Geomatics job (do not get me wrong, it will help but it is no Golden Ticket). The majority of us spend thousands of dollars in order to learn the latest and greatest often complicated technical skills while attending College or University but most often none of that money is spent on learning how to get a job after we are proficient with all those technical skills. Now that you have worked hard, learned a great deal of information, and are no doubt ready to get on with your career, what do you do? Here I have compiled some information based on my experience to get you started with writing your Geomatics resume.
The first thing that you need to learn to do is how to envision things from an employer’s perspective. As a general rule, Geomatics companies hire people that have the desired technical skills needed to do the particular job along with several extra attributes that makes a great employee, personality qualities that can contribute to the organization, ones that can indicate that the prospect will be around for a while and skills that indicate that they do not need any baby sitting or constant instructions. Hence it is very essential that you can clearly indicate to potential employers that you have all the right skills, knowledge and attributes that will help them be more successful, after all most companies do not offer jobs just to help you out but more so that you can help them out.
Your Geomatics resume is the career tool that you use to inform employers that you are the one that they need to hire, or in other words your first impression (after all we all know how important first impressions always are). If you have a good Geomatics resume then it can be the key to providing you with that call for an interview where the employer will learn how you are the best fit for their needs. Since your resume in most cases is your first line of communication about yourself, you must clearly relate your education, activities, and work experiences to the specific job qualifications that geomatics employers are looking for.
Identify the Skills & Qualifications from the job description
Start off by asking yourself why should this company hire you for this job?
Take some time, sit down and really look at the job description, scan it for key skills and requirements that the company is looking for, highlight them and then write them down on a separate sheet of paper. Now make a list of all them, ranking the key and required ones higher then the less desirable ones etc. At this point, you should not be worrying about the format or writing at this point, just ensure that you have all the keywords and skills covered, with quick notes; you can clean it up later.
Now match and assemble evidence on how you meet those requirements to prove that you have those desired skills. A Geomatics employer will most often be looking for a combination of technical and non-technical skills. Technical skills are usually the core geomatics knowledge and skills that are needed to do the job (e.g. GIS software knowledge, or programming languages) and will be clearly mentioned in the job ad. Make sure that your resume can clearly reveal that you have the core knowledge and skills for this particular job (do not generalize, be specific). The other skills are a little different but should describe your personal skills or how you get tasks done (e.g. leadership, hard working, dependable, punctual etc.). They are often more difficult to prove but it is important that you make them believable on your resume, and do not just a simple list of them.
Now is a good time to double check your list against the job qualifications in the job ad; Do you even qualify for this job? If at this point you can not find enough evidence why the company should they hire you for this job, if not then do not waste your time, move on to another job ad that you do qualify for. It is pretty normal to not have every one of the desired skills and requirements that a company is looking for, it will make it harder for you to get that job, (not impossible …) but if you are missing the key ones then your resume will not be considered anyway.
It would be like a carpenter trying to get a job as a mechanic, yes he does use tools but can he fix cars? Not necessarily …