The oil and gas sector is one of the biggest sectors in Nigeria; it constitutes about 80% of Nigeria’s export revenue. It is also one of the most coveted sectors to work in due to the attractive salary packages, allowances and benefits. Despite the current fall in oil prices, many still want a career in oil and gas this is mostly due to the long term outlook of the sector. The world still needs energy so there is a need for oil and gas, it is a stable sector.
There are many ways to build a career in oil and gas; some can go in through entry level or technical positions which require a degree. A degree in engineering or related courses like Geology or Geophysics gets you into higher level positions in oil and gas. There is always on the job training for fresh graduates who go through the graduate trainee program.
When drawing up your resume for an oil and gas company it is important for you to add some technical experience, a background in construction or electric related work is also helpful. If you do not have these experiences, you should include relevant skills like technical skills alongside problem solving skills, communication skills, detail oriented, team work and a strong work ethic. These are skills that employers in this sector look for in prospective candidates. Having certifications that are technical and safety related also gives you a boost.
There are so many opportunities in the oil and gas sector ranging from offshore to onshore jobs; field hands, radio operators, welders, drivers, heavy machinery operators, engineers, accountants to mention but a few. Offshore workers are usually paid more because their jobs require extended periods away from home. It also has some hazardous effects.
Getting a job in oil and gas requires a lot of networking as most job vacancies are not publicized; it is done mostly through word of mouth and connections. It is important for you to build a solid network with people within that sector. Joining a professional organization or trade organizations and social media pages both locally and internationally in that field.
Starting at a small service firm instead of aiming for the big companies like Shell, Chevron and Exxon Mobil is a great way to start. Service companies do a lot of work for the big companies including a lot of research and development. Starting small is a great way to gather relevant experience that can make you a qualified candidate when you eventually apply to the big companies.
Here are some tips for applying to an oil and gas company
- Your cover letter and resume must be perfect: This tip applies to every industry; it is important that you draw up a CV that is presentable and up to standard. There are several rules guiding resume writing, from font styles and sizes, to punctuation. Mistakes are not allowed. In the oil and gas sector, every mistake can be costly so making a mistake on your resume can be costly to your chances of getting a job.
- The content of your CV should be related to oil and gas: Seeing as you are applying for a job in oil and gas it is necessary for you to have some details that are relevant to the sector. Certifications and work experience are good.
- Network: This is very important, as most of the vacancies are not necessarily advertised publicly. Find a oil and gas professional organization in your local area and join.