Getting a Job After Your RPL: Tips on How to Apply for Jobs (Engineering)


So you’ve finally completed your RPL (Recognition of Prior Learning) and you’re ready to take on new professional engineering work. 

Thanks to your RPL in the field of engineering, you probably have a good grasp on current industry standards and the latest technical knowledge . From working on informal projects to units covered in a formal course, all these play an important role in acquiring your RPL and solidifying your qualifications. 

But what an RPL doesn’t teach you is how to interview with a company or give you the steps to begin networking in the industry. 

In this article, Gimbal Training will cover the essential pointers you need to know before applying for your new job. 

What Is an RPL in Engineering?

Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL) is a nationally-recognised method of qualifying individuals for their desired job fields based on their previous experiences and knowledge. 

With an RPL, you’re given the opportunity to certify your existing skills and learnings and fast-track your qualifications. This way, you can bypass traditional methods and gain recognition for the jobs you want to apply for. 

At Gimbal Training, we offer the following qualifications via RPL: 

Whether you’re completing an entry-level or advanced qualification, the skills you gain through RPL can help you apply for better career opportunities.

Now that you’ve acquired your qualifications, let’s walk through the steps on making your applications for a new role. 

Tips to Get a Job in Engineering

As technology advances, engineering roles are constantly adapting to meet new demands. This means you’ve got to take the time to understand the needs of the role you’re applying for, whether you’re a recent graduate or an experienced professional. While we understand that roles like this often include:

Tailoring Your Resume

Tailoring your resume post-RPL is a great way to start the job-seeking process. RPL uncovers the wealth of knowledge and skills you’ve acquired through various life experiences, such as volunteer work, hobbies, or previous jobs. 

By incorporating these skills into your resume, you provide a more comprehensive picture of your abilities, making your application stand out. 

Aligning your resume with the specific skills and competencies required in the role you’re applying for demonstrates an understanding of how your unique experiences make you a fit for the position. While this might take a minute to prepare, it’s an essential step that helps showcase your potential to employers. 

By specifically mentioning your RPL in your resume, you highlight the unique competencies you possess. It may also reflect your proactiveness towards professional development.

Tailoring your resume to include these insights ensures that recruiters recognise the full scope of your abilities, aligning your real-world experience with the demands of the job. 

Writing a Compelling Cover Letter

Emphasising RPL when relevant is an effective strategy to demonstrate how your background equips you for the role. Crafting a cover letter that does that while cutting through the noise can take a bit of time, but can be extremely rewarding. 

A well formatted cover letter that speaks to all the requirements of the job  can showcase your attention to detail and interest in the role. RPL can be a strong point to include in a cover letter, especially when applying for an engineering position. 

  • Begin your cover letter by immediately addressing the specific engineering role you’re applying for, and express your genuine enthusiasm for both the position and the company. 
  • Clearly link your skills and the competencies recognised in your RPL with the requirements listed in the job description. One effective approach is to use the STAR method, outlining the Situation, Task, Action, and Result for one or more specific experiences.

Here’s a quick example of how the STAR method could look in writing: 

Situation: We were faced with a critical issue in [describe the problem or challenge].

Task: As the lead engineer, my task was to find an innovative solution within a tight deadline.

Action: I initiated a comprehensive analysis, utilised [specific engineering tools or methods], and coordinated with my team to develop and implement a strategic plan.

Result: Our efforts led to [describe the positive outcome, such as an improved process, cost savings, or other measurable success].

  • Provide concrete examples of projects or roles where you’ve applied your engineering skills. Emphasise the competencies that were formally recognised through your RPL process. For example, “My RPL not only accredited my proficiency in [specific engineering skills] but also validated my leadership in [specific project or role].”

Prepare for Common Interview Questions

When preparing for an engineering job interview, it’s essential to anticipate the questions you might be asked and consider how to answer them thoughtfully and precisely. Engineering often requires a balance of technical expertise, creativity, and collaboration. Here are a few common questions, each crafted to help you articulate how your engineering skills and RPL experience align with the role.

  • Can You Describe a Complex Engineering Project You’ve Worked On? 
  • What Engineering Software or Tools Are You Experienced With?
  • How Do You Stay Current with Engineering Technologies and Standards? 
  • Can You Give an Example of a Time When a Project Didn’t Go as Planned?

How Do I Get an RPL With Gimbal Engineering (RTO ID 31820)?

You can apply for an RPL by making an application with Gimbal Engineering (RTO ID 31820). You can start by contacting one of our friendly team members for a consultation. 

Once you send in your application post consult, we will review it to ensure you are eligible. We then work with you to ensure you provide the necessary documents and references for evidence of previous work. 

With Gimbal Training, you can identify your gaps in your engineering training and ensure you have the necessary qualifications for your career. Speak to one of our specialists today to learn more.