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Insights Five steps to get your quantity surveying career started after graduation

Quantity surveyors play a crucial role in the construction and engineering life cycle by ensuring that projects are completed as efficiently as possible. These professionals are responsible for calculating and managing the costs relating to projects; from helping to produce initial budget estimates to finalising the complete budget requirements.

As Middle Eastern firms continue to commit to large-scale infrastructure projects, the demand for skilled quantity surveyors is on the rise. As a quantity surveying graduate, there are a wealth of opportunities available to you to take your first step on a rewarding career journey.

Here, we provide the five steps you should take to get your quantity surveying career started after graduation.

image of a hand drawing plans

Apply to the right graduate scheme

Quantity surveying graduate jobs are often competitive so it’s always a good idea to be open-minded when applying for graduate schemes. Research a range of companies that you know are offering graduate schemes and write down the pros and cons of each. Once you’ve completed your research, you should be left with a strong list of companies that are ideal for you to kickstart your career.

When choosing firms to apply for, you should aim to give yourself the best chance of succeeding without spreading yourself too thinly: well-considered, well-researched applications are key. It’s also beneficial to take a look at their vision and values and discover if they align with your personal values.

Prepare thoroughly for your interviews

A common theme when it comes to successfully landing your first role in quantity surveying is preparation; particularly when it comes to interviews. Interviews for competitive graduate roles can often be thorough and tricky, and it’s possible you’ll get an unanticipated question that you’re not prepared for. To minimise the risk of stumbling at the interview stage, research as many quantity surveying questions as possible, and stay well versed on the current news and trends to ensure you’re prepared for all eventualities.

Secure work experience

There are a range of quantity surveying internships and placements available for graduates both during and after their studies. Work experience doesn’t have to be limited to a quantity surveying role, any experience that you can gain at construction or engineering firms can stand you in good stead for the future. If you’re a graduate that has already finished a placement, highlighting your previous experience and the skills you’ve developed while there will help to give you the edge in applications and interviews.

Work on your transferrable skills

In the modern working world, employers are searching for well-rounded individuals who can excel in various aspects of the role. The skills required won’t all be directly related to the most obvious features of the job description and can include:

  • IT and digital literacy
  • problem-solving
  • negotiation
  • teamwork and communication
  • confident presentation skills
  • organisation

Employers will look for a range of these skills, therefore it’s essential that you find your strong points and work on your weak points before you apply. Identify the soft skills that would be useful in a graduate quantity surveying role and make a point of highlighting them where possible. For example, you can mention them in your CV, cover letter or interview to catch the employer’s eye.

Make sure your CV is optimised

Having an up-to-date and eye-catching CV is one of the most important steps in securing a graduate quantity surveying role. Regardless of your grades, work experience or suitable skills, a well-written, well-structured and tailored CV should be a priority. Ensure that the most relevant and important information is at the top of your CV and remove any irrelevant information that doesn’t add value to your application.

Including keywords in your CV is also a fantastic way of being picked out by your employer’s application system. By matching your experience and abilities to keywords and phrases in the job description, your application is much more likely to be seen, and the recruiter will see you as a great match for the role.

Find your next quantity surveying role with AtkinsRéalis Lavalin

With over fifty active years in the Middle East, Atkins, a member of the AtkinsRéalis Group, provides a wealth of experience and in-depth knowledge of the region. We have a unique ability to draw upon global resources and architecture, engineering, and construction (AEC) expertise to deliver large-scale, complex projects.

If you’re interested in quantity surveying and you’re motivated to develop, grow and upskill, we’d like to hear from you. Browse our quantity surveying jobs, join the talent community, or sign up for job alerts.