Oil and gas recruitment is transforming. Sustained low oil prices have made opportunities scarce, and as a result, employers are now far more selective than they used to be. Recruiting methods that suited a high oil price and scarcity of applicants no longer apply.
Getting noticed is paramount, and needn’t be a daunting prospect. The process has many facets, and in this article, we explore the one over which you have full control and responsibility, and that’s your resume.
So where do you start, as there is conflicting advice available from everyone with an opinion on the subject? There is no right and wrong, and different techniques yield different results, but the critical mantra should always be the same: Getting Your Resume Noticed.
While advising on how to stand out varies, most recruitment experts agree on the fundamental principles;
- Be accurate, precise and concise.
- Allow the recruiter to see the ‘wood for the trees’.
- Display all your badges.
To meet the above objectives, you need to structure your resume into sections each displaying core data;
- Key Personal Data.
- Brief Personal Statement.
- Employment History, ( in chronological order, starting with most recent).
- Training Courses, (also in chronological order, starting with most recent).
- Interests, Activities and Personal Achievements.
- References, (these should get offered on request).
Job openings are currently overwhelmed with applications, and as a result, you have to ensure that you stand out from the crowd. To do so, you need to be tidy and display all your badges in the right places. Computers, as well as the human eye, will scan resumes for keywords.
Let’s take an entirely fictional example of an oil and gas operator named SAB OPCO, who aim to recruit a team. They are planning a deepwater drilling project, in the South Atlantic Basin. In this location, they know the most significant challenges will be hard rock drilling and total losses, drilling dynamics and a requirement to use either underbalanced or managed pressure drilling techniques.
Standard practice is that SAB OPCO will likely contact several recruiters and give them each a brief description of their project to source the right talent. SAB OPCO specify that all candidates must have relevant prior experience.
It should be no surprise what the recruiters will look for as all the clues they need are in the brief description!
Most industry veterans will agree that a significant proportion of candidates throw away their chances to catch the eye of a recruiter, by neglecting to use the appropriate keywords.
While you should never assume this to be the case, it’s highly likely that the majority of employers and recruiters are familiar with generic work scope for most key positions. Filling your resume with such content is highly counterproductive, especially when you do so repetitively. Everyone has a responsibility to mentor their subordinates, take HSE issues seriously and attend appropriate meetings.
Based on a target of no more than 2-3 pages, your resume needs to draw readers to your key attributes.
So with recruiting efforts underway for SAB OPCO, the candidates that will be front runners will be those that have the project keywords listed. A perfect match will almost certainly make the shortlist.
Did you make the SAB OPCO short-list, or did you throw away your chance?
It’s no surprise that most recruiters will have a shortlist comprising candidates that have included the most of the following words: South Atlantic Basin, SAB OPCO, hard rock drilling, total losses, drilling dynamics, underbalanced and managed pressure drilling.
Getting your resume noticed is all about making connections with your audience, and using the right words. Unless you’re relying on a personal relationship with either the prospective employer or recruiter, then you should always include well-chosen words.
Regardless of your actual role, ensure that you sell yourself. The one golden rule is that you should always list the companies you’ve worked for, and as a subcontractor that includes the operator. Also, listing countries and significant oil or gas fields you’ve worked in, and the keywords that summarise each project will ensure that you are getting your resume noticed and that you stand out from the crowd.
To summarise, you need to wear your badges with pride. You earned them, so make sure they are all correctly displayed.
Graduated with an Honours Geology Degree in 1987, and joined the oil and gas industry straight after. Worked across the globe for three major service companies and four operators up to 2015. Founded Natural Resource Professionals as a grassroots technical recruiter with a global reach.