We’ve all heard the statistics: more people are graduating with engineering degrees than jobs available. What this means to those of us just starting in our profession (and looking to get hired) is that it’s more complicated than ever before to find an entry-level engineering job, and employers are getting pickier about who they hire. So how do you make sure you stand out from the crowd? Follow these ten steps to help you find success as an entry-level engineer and impress your prospective employers in the process!
1. Create a List Of Companies You Want To Work For
Entry-level engineering jobs offer a lot of opportunities and diversity. You might want to work for many companies, but you should consider these tips when deciding what company is best for you.
- Don’t be afraid to do your research! Check out the company’s website, LinkedIn page, Glassdoor reviews, and more.
- Be proactive! Networking is key – don’t wait for companies to come to find you.
- Get as much experience as possible before graduating – internships are great ways of doing this!
- Don’t be discouraged by low starting salaries – some engineering positions offer stock options and other perks that will make up the pay difference over time
- Consider the location of your job carefully. If you’re looking for a large city with many opportunities, engineering jobs in cities like Houston or Dallas may be ideal. However, engineering jobs in smaller towns or even suburbs may suit you better if you’re looking for something closer to home with less competition.
- Be sure to negotiate salary before accepting any offers from prospective employers; it never hurts to ask! If they don’t budge on salary and benefits, it might not be worth accepting the position. Engineering jobs often have extended hours and demanding expectations; if they can’t meet your needs now, they probably won’t in the future, either.
- Know your strengths and weaknesses. You might want to focus on one type of engineering rather than trying to branch out into all different areas. For example, someone with strong math skills could look into becoming a mechanical engineer rather than an electrical engineer because he or she would be better suited for that type of work.
- Find ways to stay connected while searching for jobs: sign up for relevant industry newsletters, create a LinkedIn profile, follow them on social media, and more! Remember: the most important thing you need is persistence!
2. Research What Each Company Offers
- Enter the company name into LinkedIn and look at its About page to find out its culture, what they offer, and how they promote from within.
- Check out Glassdoor’s reviews on the company’s CEO and COO to see if you can find any information about their culture or the type of person they’re looking for.
- Look up the company on Yelp or Indeed’s website to see what other people say about them- positive or negative reviews could give you a good idea of whether that company would be a good fit.
If you still weren’t convinced, below is a list of questions you can search for.
The best way to find your perfect engineering job is by researching what each company offers. Here are some things you’ll want to consider when considering a company:
- How many employees does the company have?
- What is the typical starting salary for entry-level jobs?
- Is there a bonus or commission program?
- What are the benefits of working there?
- What is the work-life balance like at this company?
- Does this company offer on-the-job training?
- Are there other opportunities that may be offered after working here, such as tuition reimbursement programs, internal promotions, etc.?
- Is the company financially stable?
- What is the dress code like, and how often do people work overtime?
- Are there any offices in other countries, or does it just operate within one country (if you’re considering applying for international positions)?
3. Research The Engineering Culture At Those Companies
Engineering culture is the atmosphere of one’s workplace. For example, some companies like Facebook encourage employees to live as fully as possible outside of work and not take themselves too seriously. Other companies may have a more rigid environment and require their employees to be on call 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
The engineering culture varies significantly from company to company. The best way to get a feel of the culture is by talking with someone at the company you are interested in. Some companies may be more laid back, while others are very strict and have many restrictions. The best way to learn about the culture is by asking questions like:
- What is a typical workday like?
- What are some of your favorite things about working here?
- How does management approach engineering problems?
- What would I be doing on my first day of work?
To help get hired for entry-level engineering jobs, you should research the company’s engineering culture and decide whether or not it fits your personality. If it doesn’t seem like you will fit in well with that company’s culture, you may want to reconsider applying there.
4. Talk With People Who Currently Work There
Talk to people currently working at the company and find out what their day-to-day is like. Does their role overlap with yours? Do they have any tips or tricks that you could use on your first day? What’s a typical day like? How did they feel when they first started in their position? When you ask them about the company, describe your job aspirations. Find out if the company has any summer internships or apprenticeships that are perfect for someone just starting.
You could also ask them: What types of things do you do regularly? How much time off do you get? What are some common misconceptions about this profession?
Did you have any issues getting hired? What did your application process entail? Did you need a degree or experience to apply for the job?
Talk with people who have been in your position before and see if they can offer any advice. Maybe they know what type of clothes are most appropriate for the industry, or maybe there are specific skills that will be necessary for your position.
If you haven’t already, research the company online and try to find out as much about them as possible. For example, you may want to see if they have a blog or Twitter account where they share more information about themselves. Many companies will also post pictures from recent team outings, which might give you insight into what it might be like to work there.
Finally, make sure to dress appropriately! For example, I would recommend not wearing sneakers during an interview unless it’s clear that it won’t affect how well you’re able to perform your job duties.
5. Become Familiar With The Job Requirements
To apply for entry-level engineering jobs, it is essential that you are familiar with the job requirements. This will help you make a more informed decision about your education and career goals and provide you with more targeted information when interviewing. The following are some of the most common examples of job requirements:
- 2-5+ years experience in a related field, such as engineering or technology
- Strong knowledge of computer software such as Microsoft Office Suite or other programs specific to the engineering profession
- Ability to work independently or in a team environment
- Excellent communication skills, both verbal and written
- Strong analytical skills and attention to detail
- Advanced math skills, including trigonometry and calculus
- Familiarity with MS Project and Six Sigma principles
- Familiarity with project management tools such as Primavera P6 or SAP Project System
- Knowledge of how to design structures like bridges, buildings, highways, roads, tunnels, etc.
- Able to speak one or more languages fluently.
6. Show Your Professional Certification To The Company.
If you are looking for a job in engineering and have no experience, getting your foot in the door is done by getting certified. There are many certifications that employers will be interested in. For example, you could get an AutoCAD or Testing certification. Once you have chosen a certification and course that meets your needs, take advantage of all the free courses offered by various universities on Coursera or edX. Most colleges offer these courses for free as well. Be sure to include any relevant work experience on your resume because it will help you land interviews with companies looking for entry-level engineers.
Employers love to see that you are willing to be proactive and go the extra mile. If you have a certification in a relevant field, share it with them! Showing them your credentials will give them a better idea of what you can do and your commitment to learning more about the industry.
Show that you’re excited about the opportunity by telling them what attracted you to their company. Explain why you want this job and how this position can help you reach your career goals. Make sure they know how passionate you are about their company or product!
7. Tailor Your Resume And Portfolio Accordingly
You’ve searched and searched, but you still can’t find a job. There might be a problem with your resume or portfolio. It could be that you are applying to jobs at the wrong level, or it could be that your resume is not tailored enough to the position you want.
Entry-level engineering jobs are competitive. However, with the proper preparation, you can set yourself apart from other candidates and make a great impression during the interview process.
As a recent engineering graduate, you know how difficult it can be to find a job. Companies usually want people with experience, which makes it hard for new grads to break in. However, there are ways you can make your resume and portfolio stand out and get that coveted interview. Here are some tips that will help make your application more attractive.
- Know the company and its industry: Research, the company you’re applying to. Visit their website, read their news, and learn about their products or services.
- Include relevant work-related experiences: When writing your resume or portfolio, include any work-related experiences, such as internships or part-time jobs related to the position you’re applying for. Remember to highlight any leadership positions, whether they were on your school’s student council or a team at work.
- Include specific examples of achievements: Tailor each accomplishment on your resume/portfolio to relate to the job you’re applying for. It may also be helpful to consider what they’re looking for and tailor each achievement accordingly.
- Make sure everything is up-to-date: Ensure all dates and contact information is current. If possible, include links to all websites or social media accounts if this is listed on the employer’s website (i.e., LinkedIn).
- Consider going paperless with e-resumes: Most employers these days prefer online applications because it saves them both time and money when hiring someone new.
8. Prepare For Technical Interviews
You can best prepare for technical interviews by making sure you know the basics. Spend time reviewing basic mathematics and science, like algebra and physics, to refresh your memory. It’s also a good idea to brush up on your computer programming skills with languages like Java or Python(if you belong from a computer science background). And, of course, make sure you’re familiar with CAD tools and 3D design software. Finally, spend some time looking at job postings related to engineering and see what questions they might ask in technical interviews. That way, you’ll be ready when you get that call from the company and hear about their technical interview process.
9. Prepare For Behavioural Interviews
The behavioral interview is one of the most popular and widely used interview styles. It’s also pretty effective at ferreting out candidates that are an excellent cultural fit for an organization. The goal of a behavioral interview is to predict how someone might perform in the future based on their past behavior, which can be gleaned from previous job experience and industry knowledge.
So what does it mean? Rather than asking what or how questions about your past experiences, you will be asked about your actions during those experiences. What were you specifically doing? How did you go about accomplishing them? Why did you choose to do things in a specific way? A great example would be: Tell me about a time when you had to work with someone who wasn’t pulling their weight. How did you handle that situation? This question is designed to elicit information on how you deal with conflict, whether as part of a team or as an individual contributor.
Here are some other examples – Give me an example of a time you failed. If I called your former boss, what would he/she say was your biggest weakness? Many people fail to realize that these interviews aren’t just about getting hired; they’re also about making sure you’re a good fit for the company culture. If your answers don’t align with theirs, then they’ll likely pass on hiring you (or even shortlisting you). That’s why it’s important to think through your responses beforehand and practice answering each potential question confidently. You should always have a story prepared for each scenario.
Remember, you want to focus on describing what happened and how you handled it – not why something happened. That said, if something outside of your control led to a less-than-ideal outcome, make sure you address that too by explaining how you’ve since improved yourself in preparation for similar situations in the future. It’s all about showing off your strengths while addressing any weaknesses head-on! Remember to tailor each answer to reflect well on your and your prospective employer’s needs.
10. Learn How To Ace Your Phone Interviews
The first step in getting hired for any job is, of course, to apply. But not every company you apply with will call you for an interview. You should do a little prep work before each phone interview to improve your chances of getting called for interviews and getting hired after those interviews (and hopefully impressing your future boss). When you’re able to prepare beforehand and stay calm during an interview, it shows potential employers that you are detail-oriented and serious about your career goals.
Phone interviews typically happen when a company shortlists candidates for an in-person interview, so you need to make sure you’re giving yourself every chance to get through. It is more than just doing your homework on the company, it’s about having a well-thought-out strategy for what you’ll say and how you will respond if they ask specific questions. The best way to prepare for phone interviews is by practicing with someone who can help give feedback on how you come across on a phone call.
In most cases, you’ll complete a phone screen before moving on to an in-person interview. If you’re not prepared, it’s easy to bomb and miss your chance at that dream job. Be sure you can answer all of these common questions effectively and prove yourself a great fit for your potential employer: What are your strengths? Where do you see yourself in five years? Why are you interested in working for our company? What about yourself would make a good boss want to hire you? While these may be tough questions, if you’re able to give examples or personal experiences when answering them, it will be easier.
Whether you’re a software engineer, mechanical engineer, aerospace engineer, or any other engineering professional job seeker, getting a job isn’t something that can be done overnight. It takes time and effort, but if you follow these tips, you should have no problem finding an entry-level engineering job in no time! If you found value in our guide to getting hired as an entry-level engineer, please share it with your friends on Facebook or Twitter! Good luck!