We don’t just train the motorsport engineers of the future, we also do everything we can to make sure that our students have all the skills needed to get their dream job. Motorsport jobs are not as hard to access as people imagine – sometimes you just need to some insider-information to give you the upper hand.
We spoke with Russell Howard, owner of RaceStaff.com, one of the UK’s most established motorsport recruitment specialists. Russell has decades of experience both as a motorsport professional and as a specialist recruiter in the industry and here he gives us the inside track on how to apply for the best motorsport jobs.
All sectors are facing changes in the skills required from their team members. What are the key skills now in demand in the motorsport industry?
Interestingly they are at the modern and traditional ends of the spectrum. People that can fabricate and weld in titanium for example are very much in demand but also people with experience in simulation. There is also a demand for powertrain engineers and, as more race series go fully or partly electric, HV engineers are in demand.
3 Quick Do’s and Don’ts for writing a CV for motorsport jobs
Do remember to add your contact details to your cv, you’d be amazed at how many people forget, I would recommend your address, mobile number, email address and Skype if you have it as many first interviews are held virtually.
Don’t forget to include relevant experience you have even if not in a specific job role. When people are trying to get into the industry, they may not have worked for a motorsport team before but could well have helped out at weekends for years or built their own car etc so be sure to include this and make it visible, it could be what sets you apart from another candidate.
Do use a traditional CV format. Name and contact details at the top, couple of sentences about you and what you want to achieve, experience in chronological order starting with most recent. Education again in chronological order from most recent, hobbies and interests (top tip: put motorsport first in this section!)
Have the number of motorsport jobs increased or decreased over the last 5 years?
We have seen a steady increase but that could be because the teams and companies are just becoming more aware of us but there are certainly more ‘high-tech’ jobs now than ever before.
3 pieces of advice to someone looking to get into motorsport from an automotive background
This question comes up frequently and it’s always a case of getting your foot in the door in the first place. From the outside Motorsport can look like an exclusive club that is difficult to break into as all the teams want Motorsport experience but how can you get it in the first place if no-one with give you a chance? I’m sure this is not just a Motorsport issue, many industries will be the same especially highly technical ones, but there are ways in. Instead of blindly applying for jobs that you don’t have the required experience for find a way to get it. Volunteer with local teams, take an online Motorsport course with the NMA. You can fit all of these things in around a current job so you can get the right skills without having to go back and start again.
All NMA students are required to volunteer in motorsport in some way whilst studying. Can you give any advice to anyone looking to get work experience in the industry?
In my opinion ‘fortune favours the brave’, go to race meetings, knock on the pit garage doors and ask if you can volunteer, print some business cards to hand out, sooner or later someone will say yes. Networking can also help you to get a job in motorsport. LinkedIn is also a great place to make contacts, you could be working on a theoretical Motorsport project so ask for help from a relevant person on Likedin and you have a contact. The vast majority of people working in Motorsport are great people and will try to help you into the sport they love if you show passion for it.
RaceStaff has been going for 9 years. What different types of motorsport jobs are out there compared to when you started the business?
There are more electronics job, simulation, High Voltage engineers and technicians, wiring harness builders.
1 big thing you wish you had known when you were working in motorsport
Don’t forget to allow for family time. Motorsport can be a very demanding industry, especially if you’re working trackside. I recently saw a friend of mine that I hadn’t seen for years. He works trackside in F1 and has done for almost 30 years so I asked if he was still married. To my surprise he said “Yes” but then added “She’s my third wife but I’m still married!”
Top 3 jobs you have available at the moment –
To find out more about motorsport job opportunities visit RaceStaff.com or why not find out more about studying for a Motorsport Degree, online with the National Motorsport Academy. All of our courses are designed to fit in around you and your current lifestyle. Start at anytime and learn online in our world leading virtual learning environment. You’ll get access to the latest motorsport industry software and will join an award-winning team on the GT Cup circuit! Contact us for more information