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Alberta Work Experience Record Common Mistakes

Common Work Experience Record (WER) Mistakes

Of Other Aspiring Engineers

One of the services that I provide to help people submit their best experience records is a draft review service.   I spend two full hours going line-by-line to review the draft to look for things that APEGA would like and things that could be improved.  Things like putting your situations under the wrong competency and leaving gaps in your employment history.

After reviewing many many drafts, I am yet to find a draft that is perfect.   Improvement opportunities have ranged from about 4 to 15 items.    

Two of the most common mistakes include:

experience record mistakes

Mistake #1 - “We instead of I”

Remember that this submission is about YOU.  Your licence depends on what you know and can do; not your team at work.

It is natural to use ‘we’ because you are I are taught to work in teams and be collaborative with other professionals.  However, when it comes to writing your Work Experience Record, you must focus on your individual contribution.

Let’s say you have some of your write-up already started.  Can you just find and replace all instances of ‘we’ for ‘I’?

Absolutely not.

You need to re-write the entire sentence (or even paragraph) to focus on your contribution.  Simply replacing the words will mess with the grammar as well as over hype your contributions (unless the reviewers believes that you can accomplish as much as a full team).

Mistake #2 - “Plagiarized content”

Far too often I see soon-to-be engineers copy and paste text from an online source.  See below for a real example:

Experience Record - bad example of plagiarized content
Don't plagiarize content for the sake of providing definitions. Instead speak from real project situations you resolved.

The plagiarism starts at “In a welded joint . . .”    It was pretty obvious for me to pick-up on this because the writing style changed voice.  We each talk in a voice when we type.  The use of different English grammar elements (eg. verbs, adjectives, nouns) and the order we use them in makes up our written voice.  If you cut and paste content it reduces your credibility and can have your submission put in the rejection pile.

Content that is ripped off has another problem; it is usually ‘useless filler content’.  Look at the above example.  Does the reader receive any benefit from reading your Wikipedia cut-and-paste?  The answer is No.  Don’t define concepts; your reviewer is smart and can look something up if he/she is unfamiliar with it.  Focus on your individual contribution. 


For sample experience records and step-by-step help including lessons on all the best practice, common mistakes and frequently asked questions, register for our Experience Record Rapid Submission Course.