How to Become an Oil and Gas Writer
Starting your career as an oil and gas writer is quite different from those working in marketing or business writing field, because
- It is a specialized industry with billion dollar value.
- It has comparatively lesser number of writers
- It has a complex process and thus, only a few writers decide to join this industry.
- It has widely distinct phases that writers need to understand, i.e. from exploration to refineries, production and downstream.
- It contributes significantly to the national GDP.
- It is a face-paced industry with lots of opportunities coming up every year. Thus, an established writer needs to stay up-to-date with the latest trends, while a beginner may need time to ramp up.
Successful and experienced oil and gas writers know this business deeply. They have to build their industry knowledge from time to time to stay in demand.
Since oil and gas is an extreme niche technical field, generally established writers find most of the high-paying gigs. But, it surely doesn’t mean there’s no place for beginners. Certainly, someone has to start somewhere, in the starting everyone is a beginner.
Different Oil and Gas Sectors you need to be Aware of
Oil and Gas industry has three major sectors i.e. upstream, midstream and downstream.
- Upstream: Upstream focus on the exploration of oils and gases present at different places. It includes searching for underground and underwater oil and gas fields, drilling of newly found wells as well as established wells to look for the possible recovery of oil and gas.
- Midstream: Midstream forms a connection between upstream and downstream. It focuses on transportation and storage services. After recovering the resources, they are transported to the respective refineries, often located in a completely different region in comparison to the reserves. The transportation can be done through tanker ships, trucking fleets, and pipelines.
- Downstream: Downstream focuses on the filtration of the raw materials i.e. refining of crude oil and purification of natural gas obtained from the upstream phase. The refined products are later distributed to the end users in the form of either diesel oil, lubricants, natural gas, gasoline, kerosene, petrol, asphalt, jet fuel, LPG, heating oil or any other types of petrochemicals.
Largest Volume Products
Fuel oil and petrol are the largest extracted products of the Oil and Gas industry. Petrol is highly used in various chemical products, such as solvents, fertilizers, pharmaceuticals, and plastics. On the other hand, fuel oil is used as heating oil for home furnaces, boilers, fuel tanks and for many other purposes.
4 Important Tips
- Build Strong Relationship: This is relatable for every business niche, but in this industry, it’s the most important thing you need to do. You must be able to use your ideas and validate them with a consultant or an industrial analyst before going into the market.
- Respect Confidentiality: Oil and Gas is a competitive field. People find ways to reach the top and ready to go any extra mile they need to. You may have to work for a supplier one day and another day for an analyst, then for a competitor some other day. It would be possible only if you stick to a confidentiality agreement and stay deeply committed with your work.
- Keep Learning: As I said before, the oil and gas industry is a fast-paced industry. You may feel, after working for years in this field, you have gained enough industry knowledge to stick to this profession for life. But, that is not the reality. Keep on learning to bring fresh directions to the old and new topics.
- Think and Write like a Reader: Oil and gas is a technical industry. It is possible that your work may be read by a non-technical audience. To make your writing understandable to a wider group of people, think like your readers and write the way they’d better understand. This is a challenging part of your job, because different firms target different niches for specific markets and thus, requires time to have a proper viewpoint of targeted readers.
A Deep Research will take you a Long Way
You can’t expect the retailers to have the same profile as that of convenience stores. It depends on who owns them or do they run independently. A well-crafted brochure may work fine for an independent store but can be offensive for an oil executive. Do deep research on the details given by your clients, find the specifically targeted readers and go back and forth to find the appropriate angles that work for them.
A cover letter doesn’t always play a crucial role in the oil and gas industry, but it is required in case the recruiting head demands for it. You may be asked for it especially for the post of Site Superintendent, Project Manager or Safety Inspector.
Make sure your cover letter is no more than 350 words. Here are a few tips to build an outstanding cover letter:
- In the introduction paragraph, include your current title and number of experience.
- Include the position name you are applying for along with the company’s name
- Discuss your current position and highlight mandatory skills that will be beneficial to the role you are applying for.
- Describe at most 5 achievements that are also included in your resume.
- Mention your academic qualifications and certifications.
- Most importantly, explain in a few sentences about how your work ethics will align with the corporate culture of the company you are applying for.
- Finally, show your gratitude to the hiring manager for taking the time to read your application.
Customize your Cover Letter
The included achievements must be in sync with the job requirements. Before finalizing your application, research the company’s profile deeply. Include their mission statement and core values in your application. This will establish your credibility and hiring manager will consider you to be a perfect fit not only for a job, but also for blending in with the team members and corporate system.
Tips for Resume Writing
- Along with your full name, include your contact information and LinkedIn profile, make sure it is completed and publicly accessible.
- Avoid using page border
- Mention current title at the top of the resume e.g. Operations Manager, Safety Inspector, etc.
- To increase your chances of getting noticed, include a section of “Core Skills and Competencies” with at most 12 important keywords that show your areas of expertise.
- The position of your experience and education sections depends on what you’ve done lately. If you are working, mention your experience first and if you’ve recently completed your masters or any other degree, mention your education first.
- References are generally not included in the resume. Not even the line, “References available upon request”. Mention them only in case the hiring manager explicitly asks for it.
Oil and Gas is a competitive field with huge demand in every sector. Let me mention again that you need to be a passionate learner to work as a writer in this field and consequently, increase your chances of higher salary and level of experience.