This weeks Guest Blog. A Life experience – Graduate to Surveyor

This week’s Guest blog come from  Sean Hughes BSc Hons  Maintenance Officer at The Richmond Fellowship Scotland.

University to working life,

That’s a daunting process: a long hard process applying for jobs and a nerve-wracking time getting knock back after knock back.

With every interview, there seemed to be more competition and with every unsuccessful application, the pressure began to build.  At times, I thought I would never get my first job.

Eventually, I was hired by a residential surveying firm. It lasted a day.  I knew straight away that I had entered the wrong discipline and that to continue would be a mistake.

Yes, it had taken me forever just to get this far, but I knew I had to be honest with myself, and with my employer, who was very supportive of my decision.  After all, another graduate would slide in and take my place.

Finally – finally – I got my first role as a building surveyor; a diverse and ever-changing role that always keeps me on my toes.

One minute you can be researching construction technologies and the next you could be sent to inspect a storm damaged property; however, it’s this diversity that keeps building surveying interesting.  I can speak for myself and say I enjoy the parts in surveying when you’re squeezing through a loft hatch to inspect a leaky roof; that’s what it’s all about.

My university lecturer was a true believer in two types of surveyor: a shirt and tie surveyor and a boiler suit surveyor, and I can truly say I’m a boiler suit surveyor.  It wasn’t until a few months into my new job I actually realised what he meant; a boiler suit surveyor is a surveyor who doesn’t mind getting under floors, in roof spaces and getting himself dirty to find the source of a problem.

That’s me. And finally, I’m happy.

Sean Hughes






Jon Lever FRICS answers “Can you CHEAT at RICS APC to become Chartered ?”

Jon Lever FRICS answers “Can you CHEAT at RICS APC to become Chartered ?”

Firstly we couldn’t believe that this question was asked. Also to an RICS Assessor on the Governing Council !

Well, I asked him……

He shook his head. Looked up and answered..

According to Jon, you need to take it seriously. If you wish to cheat, fast track and are offered help to do this, then walk away. Point them at Ethics and conduct, its part of the Formal CPD.

Intro to Ethics – (Old version)

If you need a jump start with the RICS APC  :

USB Starter   edozo event


This weeks ‘Guest Blog’ – Graduate Surveying Advice

On Friday 20 May, RICS Recruit hosted its very first Twitter Q&A on the topic of Graduate Surveying Advice.  Graduate Surveyors founder Shyam Visavadia answered questions from recent graduates around the globe.

What is the process for becoming registered as an RICS Surveyor?

It’s simple – just follow the ‘Which assessment is right for you?‘ online wizard.

Generally, you need to be employed to start your APC. My employer took responsibility for formally registering and paying for my membership. If you meet one of these criteria you can enrol now and start the process.

From a recent graduate: “I have an MBA from RICS SBE & a B Tech in Civil Engineering.
Should I do another course to help find a job?”  

Academic and practical work experience goes hand in hand. Employers are looking at how your academic knowledge can be transferable in the real world to create tangible value.

Where are the best places for students to find tips on applications?  

There are various sources you can use including LinkedIn and Job Board websites. RICS Recruit puts out a lot of great advice which can be found here.


Would you advise young graduates to look overseas for a graduate career, from your experience in the Middle East?

Definitely. I took my surveying career abroad within the first 18 months of starting my career. Make a plan to ensure the decision is in line with your long-term career aspirations. Remember the novelty of moving abroad can quickly diminish. You can find more information here.

What are the best avenues for networking events where you can get senior professional’s advice on careers?

For me, there were three key areas: career mentor, global LinkedIn network, and RICS Matrics.

What advice would you give to non-cognate degree holders who wish to pursue a career in QS/PM?

I actually came into the industry as a non-cognate. Whilst conducting work experience I registered myself onto an RICS accredited distance learning course.

Some employers actually sponsor non-cognate students. My employer sponsored me once I got a position on their Graduate Scheme – financially this was a great help.

How can I improve my social media profile to help with my job search? 

Having a good quality, professional and up to date profile picture and relevant content is key. You can find some of my top tips/advice here and here.

What is the best way to get a surveying job abroad?

There are a number of ways to get a surveying job abroad. I was employed by a global company and was fortunate to take up opportunities in Asia, Europe, and the Middle East. LinkedIn is a great platform to reach out to recruiters and employers abroad. You can also find surveying jobs around the globe on

DeLever – Oyster Partnership   Jake Major is working to improve how candidates get prepared. oyster


What’s the best way to answer ‘What is your present salary’ in a job interview?

It is important that you are honest. Employers and recruiters alike are totally aware of what the market is paying for someone with your experience. Be prepared – conduct market research, speak to recruiters, and review salary guidelines. The RICS and MacDonald & Company Rewards and Attitudes Survey is a great resource to find out the latest salary information.

Huge thanks to Shyam from Graduate Surveyors – LinkedIn profile
In 2011, Shyam founded ‘Graduate Surveyors’; an advice-focused platform for Generation Y professionals interested in pursuing a career in property, real estate, and construction. Today, Graduate Surveyors is a global brand attracting more than 2500+ followers worldwide. Shyam is an avid blog writer and networker, and this has led him to build strong relationships with influential policy makers and advocates.

‘Dealing with Referral’ on your RICS APC final assessment

Firstly, let’s get the stigma out of the way.  Referral simply means you have not demonstrated to the panel that you are ready for Chartered status.  It does not mean you are useless!

Jon Lever’s tips for  Referred candidates

It does mean that you will need to consider how you plan the next 6-month lead-in to your Final Assessment,
plus there is always an element of personal disappointment and negativity that I always try and enthuse referred candidates to turn into positive thinking and energy and refocus on the new final assessment goal ahead.

Please make sure you carefully consider your referral report which has been produced by the chairman of your referring assessment panel.  Currently, this report will be in your next submission pack so the next assessment panel will be expecting you to have taken on board all of the points it refers to where you were deemed deficient.

Take heart that the pass rate for referred candidates is normally substantially higher than the first time pass rate.

Lastly, please remember not to get caught out by the time scales as whilst the assessment dates are six months apart the actual time between receiving your referral report and having to reapply and resubmit your documentation is substantially less.

DeLever APC Seminars hosted by Edozo
(Commerical Property, Residential and Valuation)

It’s time to focus…
Ready     Steady   Pass

11 July 2016

●    APC Case Study – 9am-12pm
●    Inspection, Measurement & Property Management – 11 July 2016 2pm-5pm
25 July 2016
●    APC Supervisor & Counsellor – 9am-12pm
●    Agency Competencies – Purchase & Sale, Leasing & Letting, Landlord & Tenant – 2pm-5pm
12 September 2016
●    APC Template and Pre-Submission Document Review – 9am-12pm
●    Valuation – Part 1 – Level 1Technical input on comparable method, DRC & Profits – 2pm-5pm
22 September 2016
●    APC Final Assessment & Presentation – 9am-12pm
●    Development Appraisals & Property Records –2pm-5pm
23 September 2016
●    APC Rules of Conduct and Professional Ethics –9am-12pm
●    Valuation – Part 2 – Level 1 Technical Input on Investment Method & Red Book – 2pm-5pm

All APC Seminars are held in Nottingham at the Village Hotel (NG9 6DL)

Presented by Jon Lever FRICS and Kate Taylor FRICS

Click to book your place today.  Limited spaces so don’t delay!  edozo event