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Advice on Son's cv

(17 Posts)
SaintJulie Mon 27-Oct-14 17:22:25

My son is in his final year at uni. He had to retake his second year due to illness/poor choice of housemates etc. He has worked really hard and passed his second year but is now unsure about what to put on his cv. He has tried to get advice from his uni careers service but trying to use the service is a nightmare.

Any advice would be much appreciated.

feelingmellow Mon 27-Oct-14 17:31:40

I would just put his time at university as eg 2010-15 instead of 2010-2014.
There's no need to draw attention to it unless asked. Most employees wouldn't even spot it.
If asked he should just explain that he missed some of his lectures due to illness and so had to repeat a year. Happens all the time. If he gets a 2.1 or First so much the better.

SaintJulie Mon 27-Oct-14 17:40:30

Not sure he will get a 2:1 His marks due to repeating a year are capped at 40% but he is determined to do his best. His experience at uni has been a nightmare - I would love to name the uni - they are not interested in the students just the money that they bring. He is studying civil and coastal engineering.

Thanks for the advice

sashh Tue 28-Oct-14 07:32:47

Agree with just the dates, I did my degree part time so it looks like I spent 7 years at uni - no one has asked.

Hedgehoginhotpants Tue 28-Oct-14 11:01:59

Sorry to hear it has been so miserable for him but the real positive in this is that he saw it through and will end up with his qualification. I'd also go with the just the dates. Don't some courses in Scotland take four years for an honours degree in engineering so his CV isn't going to look glaringly out of step if compared across a UK perspective?

I'm sure you are telling him constantly that the strengths and determination he used to overcome the situation he found himself in will actually give him an advantage when it come to job hunting. Employers are looking for those who can demonstrate resourcefulness and tenacity as well as qualifications. It's all about putting the negatives behind him and looking forward brightly and confidently.

MillyMollyMama Tue 28-Oct-14 12:14:20

I think there is a problem with 4 years for a BEng degree. Employers will know that it is the MEng degree that takes 4 years and that is the only course of this description (Civiland Coastal Engineering) recognised by the Council of Engineering Institutions. The BEng is not recognised. It is also really easy to work out what University this is - only one offers it. A quick search by any engineering employer is going to work out what has happened.

I would not follow the suggestions that employers will confuse this University with a Scottish one! They won't. The Scottish courses are probably MEng too! Be honest about the dates and if, asked, what happened.

I think maybe doing more investigation before starting such a course is vital. This has taken 4 years and the course is not even recognised by the CEI putting these graduates way down the pecking order when applying for graduate jobs. They get less money too!

cathyandclaire Tue 28-Oct-14 12:21:24

Is that right?
What Uni info states it's accredited.

DrewOB Tue 28-Oct-14 12:27:17

I am a civil eng graduate who got a 2.2.
a lot of the big civ eng companies do not require CVs and have forms to fill instead.
as for the repeated year, I would not draw attention to it unless asked.

MillyMollyMama Tue 28-Oct-14 13:02:09

I could be wrong. The 2011 intake is accredited for IEng, not CEng. The 4 year course, MEng, definitely is accredited for CEng. A BEng course after the 2011 intake is not accredited. I just looked at accreditation for current courses.

My DD recruits Civil Engineers and, although they fill in a form, the questions WILL refer to university education and require a time-line!!! As this course is not available at any other university, they will easily know it is a 3 year course not a 4 year course. There is still plenty of competition to get the job leading to IEng or CEng status and a 2:2 just is not the best start. Explain why it took 4 years, not 3 but illness and other issues willnot lookthat good either. It is a real problem and I am not sure how it can be resolved.

I woud try and do lots and lots of work experience to augment the degree.

Hedgehoginhotpants Tue 28-Oct-14 16:52:49

Milly: My nephew is in Edinburgh doing a BEng Hons in Civil Engineering and it is a 4 year course. The MEng is five years and students can transfer to that course if their marks are good enough.

Getting back to the question in hand: by writing down the dates when he was at Uni the OP's son is being honest. No one has suggested anything other than that...

Your recommendation that he should try and do lots of work experience to augment the degree is a good one. I suspect this young man worked that out for himself and that's why he is trying to compile a CV and went to his uni careers dept for advice in the first place.

feelingmellow Tue 28-Oct-14 17:48:30

Just tell him not to mention the houseshare problems-I don't think it would go down well, unless of course it was major - iike living with a murderer or similar.

MillyMollyMama Tue 28-Oct-14 18:50:17

Yes, feelingmellow, but all Edinburgh degrees are 4 years, History, English, Geography etc! Non Scottish universities offer MEng as 4 years, not 5. Usually BEng courses are 3 years, except sandwich courses, and that is why an employer will know the difference! You only have to look up this particular, unusual, degree to see where it is offered and then see what the programmes are. It is not Edinburgh! The OPs son will find it virtually impossible to transfer to an MEng or do an MSc if he gets a 2:2. This is why it is so difficult.

HowDidThatWorkOut Wed 29-Oct-14 21:05:40

Im sorry your DS had a rough time at Uni. It must have been worrying for you. It's admirable that he persevered and completed his degree.

Am I right in thinking that the Uni didn't take his illness into account when he failed his 2nd year? If so, I think it best not to mention anything but if asked to be honest about what happened. I would like to think a lot of employers would be understanding.

Did he do well in his final year exams? He could highlight these results if he did.

AppleRings Sun 02-Nov-14 18:57:33

I did the same thing (did second year again) and just put 4 years instead of 3 ie 2010-14 instead of 2010-13. As said before noone has ever asked.
Also hearing from people I know who did engineering getting a 2.2 isn't the end of the world

heritagewarrior Sun 02-Nov-14 19:14:07

I'm like Applerings - had to repeat my second year (because of illness). My degree course subject is usually 3 years. I got a 2:2. I am now fully professionally qualified, fairly high up in my chosen specialism and no one has ever asked me about my degree dates!smile

SaintJulie Mon 03-Nov-14 12:59:29

Thank you for your positive comments and contributions. It is a worrying time so to hear people come through it is good to hear

Audeca Tue 11-Nov-14 10:30:16

It might be worth pointing him towards his University or Student Union's Careers & Employability service. They usually offer 1-to-1 CV clinics which can be really useful (although quality can vary!) and should have experience of exactly this kind of issue and the way to present it. Most universities provide access to these services for a year or so after graduation, so if his workload is a bit crazy atm there is no rush and time to let things calm down.

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