Congratulations! The moment you never thought would come is finally here. You’ve achieved a bachelors degree or maybe even a masters and you feel on top of the world. But suddenly it hits you. How do I take the next step into the next stage in my life? What do I include in my CV? How do I prepare for an interview. This guide hopes to help you with this daunting prospect.

The day to day dealings of a QS are vary rarely black and white and operating in the commercial world means your very often working in the grey areas. Often times QS’ deal with contractual disputes, estimating and quoting, building and assessing compensation events or major changes and agreeing final accounts.

Characteristics and attributes

To name just a handful, the day-to-day tasks that Quantity Surveyors deal with that lend themselves to certain characteristics and attributes that employers look out for. These include but are not limited to:

  • Confidence and self-assurance
  • Astute attention to detail
  • Organisation and meeting deadlines
  • Good use of self initiative and intuition
  • Commercial and business acumen
  • Ability to build relationships

Getting your CV noticed

As we are sure you are aware, the job market can be very competitive so next, we want to cover some tips on how to get your CV noticed. When building your CV we recommend writing it in a way that demonstrates any scenarios where you’ve demonstrated evidence of the characterisitcs you’ve outined from your:

  • Personal
  • Educational
  • Or work experience

Research, research and more research

As simple as this may seem we truly cannot underestimate the importance of doing company research about the organisation you are applying to. This includes things like:

  • Their history
  • Current performance
  • Their core values
  • And as silly as it may seem, what they actually do as a business and organisation in all aspects

Make the cover letter count

Once your research is complete take the time to write a cover letter to accompany your CV. Relate it to the specific company and job role offered. This is a crucial step to take the time to get right. When employers are sifting through hundreds of CV’s a cover letter, which encompasses a brief over view of why your applying for the role and why you work for the company will help put you at the top of the pile. It will give your application a much more personable feel and convince your potential employers that you truely want to work for them. Rather than giving off the impression that you have blindly sent off your CV to every graduate QS role you can find without any major thought.

Interview tips and likely questions

When interviewing for a graduate QS role probable questions asked are likely to include:

Questions around your technical knowledge:
– Standard form of construction contract
– BoQ’s, EVM & Business Information Modelling

Questions specific to the job role and company:
– Why have you applied for the advertised position?
– Why do you want to work for this company?
– What are your career aspirations within
this organisation?

Questions where you demonstrate characteristics and attributes that make you a good QS
– Remember that the interviewer is aware that you applying for a graduate position and that you may not have much real world QS experience. Run with it, and prepare examples from all areas of your life.

Finally, stay grounded

Try to remember that this is also your opportunity to gage whether this would be a place that you would like to work and whether you think you’re likely to get along with the employer. Go into the interview prepared, confident and remember to be yourself. You’ve studied hard to get to this point and deserve to start a long and successful career in Quantity Surveying. Good luck!

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References:

Surveying, M. Q. Q. (2020). Top Tips to Secure That Graduate Quantity Surveyor Job You’ve Been Studying For! YouTube. Retrieved October 27, 2022, from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_XOP3CljbdE&t=180s.