We are pretty sure you have come across an internet meme about a young man in a job interview which essentially tells that the company is looking for someone aged 21 to 25 with 30 years of experience. A funny one, but this reflects a reality that graduates experience today.
It’s been the dilemma of fresh engineering graduates or newly licensed engineers to get work but having no work experience at all. Lucky for some they had good internships, which could be their edge in landing jobs later. But how about those who have zero experience to put in their resumes?
Of course engineering companies want to hire those with an employment background. It’s a risk for them to take in engineers who have not proven themselves yet or whose potentials have not been tapped.
If you are one of those engineers who have just been in the field and looking for experience, note that you only need to have the credibility for at least one company to be interested about you. Want to get that opportunity? Show to them that you are worthy of their trust as an employee.
So now the questions begs: how could you gain that credibility?
According to an initiative at Brandeis University’s Perlmutter Institute for Global Business Leadership, there are five activities that you can do as a young professional to overcome that experience deficit:
Leverage your research skills
Know which specific knowledge and skills are now required in the fields and build your area of expertise around it. Having a grasp of engineering trends and industry technology will give you an advantage that you could put in your resume or mention during the job interview.
Identify and embrace your specific contribution
What are your strengths as an engineer anyway? Which areas are you good at? Work on that and seek for resources that might help in you that aspect. This will be your starting point as you find work.
Because you do not have work experience just yet, you should be willing to volunteer. And that could mean that you will not be paid. But do it anyway for it shows your power of grit and determination.
During the job interview, your job is to convince that you are the right engineer for the vacant job. One of the most important skills that you need in this regard is your communication skills. You have to sell yourself and prove to the hiring manager that there is no other better engineer than you for the job.
Build a network of close relationships
You should have done this way before – even as an engineering student – so that you could ask those very important people in your field if they could be placed as character references in your resume. Hiring managers contact them and ask about you. If you have a close and good working relationship with them, you should be able to get the job because that is how to cement your credibility.
Source: Harvard Business Review