Getting Your First Engineering Job

When you've finally graduated college and received some technical certifications, you're ready to get your first engineering job. However, after all that studying, switching gears to become a job seeker instead of a student can be tough.

Assess Your Wants

Because engineers are in demand, there are probably a lot of companies that would be happy to have you; however, you need to know where you'd be happiest. Instead of responding blindly to the many businesses with job ads, do a self-assessment first. What kind of industry do you want to work in? Do you want a job with some flexibility so you can work part of the week at home? Do you want a job that will allow you to travel? Are you willing to relocate? Answering these questions for yourself will help you avoid job ads that don't seem to fit in with your own wants and goals.

Study Engineering Job Boards

Your next move should be to find a few engineering job boards. Some recruiters will post jobs in the forums and might possibly interact with you and other job seekers; this interaction could lead to an interview. Most job boards will also have areas where other new engineers can trade ideas about possible leads and good companies to work for. You and other individuals can offer up support to each other throughout the job-seeking process too.

Get a Mentor

Sometimes getting help from a more experienced professional can help you navigate the job search successfully. An old professor or another established engineer can discuss with you your strong points and tell you what could be perceived as weak points. They can help you with resumes and follow-up letters as well.

Practice Interview Questions

When you finally get called in for an interview, you need to be well-prepared. Even though engineers are valuable to companies, there are many other people who are just as qualified as you are. Your goal during the interview should be twofold: set yourself apart and find out more.

The interview is really a chance to show off where you differ from any other person they'll interview. If you speak another language, for instance, make sure you bring that up. If you've designed programs similar to those that the position requires, point that out. While displaying your special skills and abilities, you also need to do some investigation for your own personal needs. Do they offer vacation time? Do they promote from within? As they interview you, interview them as well.

Finding your first engineering job can be an interesting experience. Use these job-seeking suggestions to get the perfect starting job.