As a fresh engineering graduate, one of the hardest things that you will encounter is to find your first job. You are finding an entry-level engineering work immediately after graduation, and most likely tried searching for job postings online and emailing resume but to no avail.
Despite that, never be discouraged – the job won’t find its way to you – you have to get there yourself. Almost always, it is a frustrating process, but you will have a rewarding ending.
There is a silver lining with your job hunt to help you step up your game. A study conducted in 2012 by Millennial Branding and Experience, Inc. called the Student Employment Gap stated that 87% of employers are hiring recent graduates, 34% of which are looking for engineering and computer information systems majors.
Jennifer Floren, founder and former CEO of Experience, Inc. said that in hiring recent college grads, employers look for the so-called soft skills, which are communication, teamwork, flexibility, and positive attitude towards work.
She added, “Employers understand that everything else can be taught, so they look for the most promising raw material to work with.”
It’s clear that having the diploma is enough benchmark to get a job, but there is more that you need to do about it. Here are tips:
Keep your resume up to date
What the employers see other than your personal appearance in the job interview is your resume. It is essentially the snapshot of all your skills, experience, and objectives related to engineering, so you better keep it fresh and more importantly, clean.
GIF via Giphy
If there are any seminars, workshops, and trainings that you have participated in, and skills and experience as an engineering student that may apply, they should be included in your resume in time for the interview. This is your golden ticket to getting the job so don’t mess it up.
Network with colleagues, family, and friends
If you can’t find a job on your own, seek the help of your connections through the people you know. Perhaps your engineering batchmates have already been employed, ask them if the company he or she is in hires more.
Referrals are a big help because it saves you a lot of time and effort. Contact as many as you can and stay in touch with them.
Check on your alumni association
I’m sure you do not belong to the only batch of engineers who graduated in your college. There will always be someone ahead of you, probably even older than your parents, who are just there waiting for the fresh engineers like you to apply in their companies.
Stay active in your local chapter of engineering groups. Keep in touch with them over LinkedIn or Facebook. They would be more than willing to help a fellow in the name of your school spirit.
Do related part-time work
It would not hurt that you’re being active in a minor job while you’re looking for a long-term one. In fact, it will even help you once you come in for a job interview that you’re doing something related to engineering, maybe even not, but willing to give it up once you are hired. It shows that you are a proactive engineer, and that’s a plus to employers.
Expand your opportunities
Never be afraid to get your one foot out of the door while you’re waiting for that dream job. Search for adjacent companies that will give you contractual work or temporary opportunities so you could earn and learn for the meantime.