Career Episode writing is one of the most crucial steps of writing a successful CDR (Competency Demonstration Report). An engineer gets a chance to showcase that he or she has the required competencies required by Engineers Australia for skilled migration to visa through the Career Episodes. To write a Career Episode report, one has to choose a particular incident or theme related to his or her academic and career like and elaborate it to show that how the engineer used specific competencies to handle that particular project.
Writing Career Episodes for Engineers Australia requires complete command over your language skills as well as good grasp over engineering skills and knowledge. One’s experiences as an engineer play an important role in crafting an effective CDR.
5 Important Tips for Career Episode Writing
CDRReport’s Career Episode writing service providers have a few tips to offer on how to draft a Career Episode report Engineers Australia will love:
1. A Career Episode is about showcasing your engineering knowledge, skills and experience during particular incidents during your education or work experiences. Each career episode should be from a different period in your life, demonstrate distinct aspect of your engineering activities, and serve as a proof that you have applied engineering knowledge and skills related to the occupation you chose as an applicant.
Some of the topics which you can pick up in your Career Episode are:
- An engineering task or project you undertook at the time you were doing your engineering course. It can be a competition you participated in or even a summer internship you did where you used your engineering knowledge and skills.
- A project you worked upon or are currently working on – where you can mention how you contributed to its completion as an engineer or technician.
- Your position in the company – and how you take care of the technical aspects of its operations. In this case, your career statement should not merely state your key responsibilities or your duty statement but should emphasize on what you individually do in the company where you use your engineering or management skills.
- You might also choose to write about particular engineering problem you have solved in the past – touching upon the specific details about how you solved it.
2. Career episodes should always be written in first person and use active voice. You need a good grasp on Australian English skills to be able to write an impressive Career Episode report.
You may start your sentences as ‘I planned’, ‘I measured’, ‘I designed’ – emphasizing upon your contribution rather than your team’s contribution.
3. You might refer to CDR samples available online but be warned – never ever pick up ideas or activities from a CDR sample you see. Plagiarism is strictly frowned upon by Engineers Australia and may lead to ‘ban’ on you for one year.
4. Ideally, a career episode should be 1,000 to 2,500 words long. Do not include too much technical data in the narrative. Stick to the applied knowledge and skills you showcased I that period.
If you identified and solved a particular problem or received an award or recognition for your efforts, mention about it too. Also mention the problem solving techniques you used for it.
5. Remember that EA asks you number each paragraph of your Career Episode in the SS format. Thus, the paragraphs of Career Episode 1 will be numbered as 1.1, 12, 1.3…; paragraphs of Career Episode 2 will be numbered as 2.1, 2.2, 2.3…; and paragraphs of Career Episode 3 will be numbered as 3.1, 3.2, 3.3…etc.
You will need to mention the number of the paragraphs in the Summary Statement. So, make sure that each paragraph you write is relevant for the purpose of why you are writing the Career Episode.
4 Essential Sections of a Career Episode
The introduction of a Career Episode should be about 100 words. It should mention when you undertook the activity and for what purpose (education or career), the dates and duration of the engineering activity you chose, name of the organisation and the location of your project, and the position you occupied in the company.
You should provide the background information in about 200 to 500 words. Here, you can mention your project objectives, nature of the overall engineering project, and something about the nature of work area in which you executed the project. You may also include an Organogram or Organization Chart to show your particular position in the project’s hierarchy during that particular Career Episode and your official duty statement or job description here.
This is where you actually start writing about the work you did as an engineer. This section should be 500 to 1000 words long. Here you can mention your particular role in the team, the engineering tasks that were entrusted to you and how you accomplished them; engineering knowledge and skills you applied during the project; how you coordinated with the team, and strategies you used to complete the project successfully.
Highlight the technical difficulties or challenges you faced during the project and how you overcame them. If you did any original or creative design work, do not forget to mention it here.
The summary should be 50 to 100 words long and quickly mention your overall impression about the project or engineering activity you did. You can also mention whether the project met its goals or not or how successful it was. If project was praised by an authority, you can mention it here too.
Do not forget to include a line about your personal contribution to the project while concluding your Career Episode.
Why do we write Career Episodes in the CDR?
Engineers Australia sees Career Episode writing as a chance for the visa applicants to showcase that they do possess the knowledge and skills necessary for the occupation category they have nominated for immigration – be it of the associate, technologist, or professional engineer level.
The narratives you write for your Career Episodes provide you a chance to demonstrate your competencies in great detail. You can show how you have applied the elements and sub-elements (as mentioned in the Engineers Australia’s Migration Skills Handbook) for your particular engineering discipline in three of your best projects you choose to describe.
A Career Episode report is NOT about:
- Your Company’s achievements and projects,
- Your Company’s history or origins or size or market position,
- The Technicalities of your Job or Project,
- Your Status in the Company or Respect you commanded there, or
- Your Claims of Knowing Something or Having Done Something or Achieving Something that cannot be validated. If you cannot prove a particular claim through hard or soft evidences, it might be best to skip that part.
The details Engineers Australia fishes for in the three Career Episodes for your CDR are:
- Your Actions and their Results that can be Proved with the help of Evidences,
- Your Though Processes, Actions, Methods and Strategies you used to accomplish your task in the Project,
- Your Competencies during that Career Episode, and
- Details of the Elements and Sub-elements of all competencies in the MSA booklet.
In the CDR report, it is not enough to say “I was successful in handling all the problems that occurred during the project.” Instead you have to mention exactly what problem you faced and how you overcame it. For example:
“When we tested the prototype, we found that its tolerance was less than what was required in our design specification. I analysed the circuit design but could not figure out the error right away. Hence, I devised a series of tests to separately test all the different input parameters and the operating environment step-by-step and found that the vibration was affecting the input transducer.
I replaced the transducer with a better one and had to redesign the control circuitry to accommodate the new component. Then, we re-conducted all the tests and were finally able to meet the design specifications successfully.”
In the Summary Statement, we need to relate each paragraph of your Career Episode with the four elements and sub-elements mentioned for the Occupation Category you are vying for. Hence, it is necessary to read all the elements and sub-elements well before penning the Career Episode – and make sure you write episodes which provide evidences to the fact that you possess the desired competencies.
Language Nuances to Remember
Writing Career Episodes for Engineers Australia is a typical task. It is not enough to know English or even Australian English. As mentioned above, you should always write in the first person and use active voice. The emphasis should be on the word ‘I’. It means that most of your sentences in the Career Episodes would begin with ‘I researched’, ‘I analysed’, ‘I designed’ etc.
Moreover, your writing style should always be simple and clear. EA advises you to write in prescriptive writing style – which is full of facts and details related to your engineering competencies.
Two things that can get your CDR rejected in a jiffy are:
- Making unsubstantiated claims about your knowledge or skills. If you can’t prove that what you wrote was true, it should best be left out of your narrative.
- Plagiarizing your career episodes. While you may refer CDR samples available online or available elsewhere, never ever copy ideas or tasks from them. Your Competency Demonstration Report must be original and unique in nature.
It is natural that an engineering project is teamwork but when you write a Career Episode, focus on what you did as part of the team and how you interacted with the team members.
To prove that you took efforts to establish a good work relationship with your team, you can mention things like ‘I bonded with the production team by writing progress reports for them and obtaining their feedbacks on the design modifications in our weekly meetings.”
EA does not want to listen to tall tales about your cleverness or knowledge; they want to see what you have done on ground. They like to see your work and conclude for themselves whether you possess the skills and knowledge they desire or not. So, choose your words well.