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How to secure a Tendering role in the Oil and Gas Industry

13 Jun 2018
Laura Brownhill

Confidence returning to North Sea

According to the 28th Oil and Gas survey, conducted by Aberdeen & Grampian Chamber of Commerce, KPMG and the Fraser of Allander Institute, firms are now feeling optimistic about the North Sea and international markets for the first time since 2013.

Almost two thirds (64 per cent) of contractors are more confident about doing business than they were a year ago and many of them agree that there has been a rise in the value of production activities.

The steady rise in oil prices in recent months has opened the doors for a promising future for the North Sea.  As a result, oil majors are increasing their commitment to the North Sea operations.

As confidence grows in the market and organisations refocus on their recruitment strategies, it is important to address the gap between the demand and supply of tendering professionals.

Source- Data from Aberdeen & Grampian Chamber of Commerce 28th Oil and Gas survey

 

My background                                                                                                       

Joining Eden Scott in 2010, I have seen the ups and downs of the Industry over recent times.

Focusing on Procurement & Supply Chain roles, from entry level up to Director (on both a contract and permanent basis), affords me  an in-depth knowledge of the market and means that I have been able to work with candidates throughout various stages of their careers.

Since the start of the year I have seen an increase in demand for tendering professionals across the Oil and Gas market, but often employers find these positions difficult to fill with some vacancies remaining vacant through  multiple rounds of interviews.

This situation can be due to specific needs within the tendering team. One organisation cited  a lack of specific subsea tendering experience  as a barrier to recruiting a candidate.  Recently losing key people within the tendering team means they “need to recruit within the subsea pool specifically, meaning that we had a very limited number of candidates. Although what we do as a business is not niche, the way we run our tendering department is as our Contracts Engineers have full accountability for the commercial and contractual piece.”

However, it can also be due to candidates missing key information from their CV when applying for roles. 

 

Below are the five key areas that employers look for in a CV for a role in tendering-

Qualifications

If you’re considering a career in tendering,  companies will often look for candidates who are educated to degree level; preferably with a law, business or quantity surveying qualification. However, depending on the position, a degree in engineering can also be attractive for an employer. Consideration is almost always given to those who have equivalent experience, so if you’ve been working in this area and are now looking to move, but don’t have the relevant degree, don’t let this deter you from applying for a role.

Technical capabilities

Again, depending on the nature of a role, some Companies will look for applicants who possess an understanding of engineering principles. If, for example, you possess the ability to read and understand specifications and drawings, make sure that this is listed clearly in bullet format under ‘duties performed in the role’ section of your CV. It might also be worth adding it to your ‘Key Skills’ section too.

Sector

Although some tendering skills are transferrable, organisations may look for demonstrable experience within their specific sector.  Whether this is subsea, operator, offshore construction, and so on, make sure you clearly show the companies that you have worked for. If you have been on a secondment, make sure that you give specific details of the company, the duration and what duties you were involved in.

Projects

The size of tenders can dramatically differ, so it’s important to detail your experience.

For example, if a role is looking for someone who has experience in tendering for projects £10 million and above, make sure that you state on your CV the monetary values that you have been working with.

This is a key piece of information which is often missing from applications, but it can differentiate you from the other candidates during the screening process.

‘Soft’ skills

‘Soft skills’ is a term used by employers to refer to the more intangible and non-technical abilities that are sought from candidates.  Often referred to as transferable skills or professional skills, these refer to the personal and interpersonal qualities and characteristics of a candidate.

Typically for a Tendering role, employers will be looking for candidates with the following skills:

  • Communication; 
  • Negotiation;
  • Organisational; and
  • Time Management.

 

Conclusion

Job titles for tendering roles within organisations often differ significantly. So whether it is advertised as Tenders/Proposals/Quotations/Contract Engineers/Specialist/Coordinator/Manager/Administrator, you should take the time to read through the job description and ensure that your CV and application clearly highlight the key areas discussed above.

Author

Laura Brownhill
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