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6 Tips for Landing an Entry-Level Engineering Job
For those wanting to enter the engineering playing field, you’re most likely looking for ways to stand out so you can eventually land that entry-level position. Engineering has become one of the most in-demand and fastest-growing career opportunities, making it a challenging discipline to be hired into since there’s so much competition in the job market.
Additionally, job searching generally is a frustrating process. Finding the ideal position takes a lot of time, outreach, research, follow-up, and more. Fortunately, there are ways to leverage your application to land the engineering job you’ve been working toward after years in school. Here are some tips that Austin Nichols Technical Search recommends for how to get an engineering job with no experience.
1. Put Together a Career Portfolio
The key to finding an engineering job is to sell yourself well. Engineering candidates often don’t do enough to stand out to potential employers because they don’t share enough about themselves at the beginning of the job search process. This is where putting together a career portfolio ahead of time comes in handy.
One of the best ways to sell yourself is by giving potential employers a way to learn more about you before the interview begins. By building a career portfolio, you’ll be able to tell a story about yourself through your strengths, education, resume, and experience. A career portfolio puts these items all into one place, giving the interviewer a detailed overview of who you are.
As you put together your career portfolio, you’ll want to make sure that you include the following items as they apply to you.
- Short Bio Page: This should summarize your education, strengths, and any previous recognition you’ve received.
- Resume: You’ll want to tailor your resume to each job you apply for, meaning you may have to adjust or move around certain qualifications to show how your current skills fit into each position you apply for.
- Experience: Include any information regarding experience from coursework, volunteer work, internships, what languages you are proficient in, and interesting hobbies you have. Your unique experiences will set you apart from other candidates.
- References, Testimonials, or Recommendations: These can come from other colleagues that you’ve worked with in the past, which may include professors, former employers, fellow students, or even professional clients.
- Overview of Technical Skills: Your technical skills can be shown in the form of project examples you’ve worked on previously.
- Overview of Non-Technical Skills: These general skills may include communication, flexibility, teamwork, a positive attitude, and many others.
Your career portfolio can live online, such as on your LinkedIn profile. Additionally, many potential employers will ask for supplementary documentation to support your application, which is the perfect place to attach your portfolio when you’re applying for the job. With a little grunt work ahead of time, you will have a more fully comprehensive job application to help you stand out from the crowd.
2. Learn the Business
You should never go into a job interview blindly without knowing anything about the company you’re interviewing with. In fact, you’ll want to do as much research as possible about the business so you fully understand their value statements, what they do, and how their goals and skill set align with your own.
During your job search, there will be various engineering companies that you’ll apply to. Some are publicly traded, meaning you can read annual reports about their sales channels, customers, and costs. Private engineering companies, on the other hand, will require you to do a little research into the company’s competitors, markets, and customers.
Not only does learning about the engineering business give you more context, but it also enables you to ask questions during the interview that will impress hiring managers. This will give you a leg-up in the hiring process, as well as help you determine if you’re actually interested in that company’s job openings.
3. Invest in Yourself
The engineering industry is constantly changing, and if you want to successfully keep up, you’ll have to stay up to date with all the latest trends and innovations in technology.
Personal side projects or freelance assignments are perfect ways to learn more about the industry and gain experience outside of work. You can also consider joining a professional network to make connections and participate in conferences where you can learn more about your engineering niche. Examples of professional networks to try may include:
- The American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE)
- The Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE)
- The Society of Women Engineers (SWE)
You should also take time to develop your social and leadership skills if you’re struggling with how to get an entry-level engineering job with no experience. Networking or taking online classes will give you more knowledge about your job, as well as give you the confidence to work on a team and lead others during large projects.
Once you land an engineering position, you should do all you can to address any skills or knowledge you must acquire to do your job well. Many companies will also have employee affinity networks or company culture opportunities to meet the people you work with daily and get a sense of the work environment.
4. Craft a Great Resume
For those who can’t find an entry-level engineering job, you should probably take another look at your resume. When interviewing for job positions, hiring managers will most likely see your resume and cover letter first before anything else. That’s why it’s important to make your resume look as impressive as possible.
Candidates straight out of college may not have a lot of experience listed on their resumes. As you apply for jobs, craft your resume with relevant, quality skills you’ve gained through coursework, seminars, or internships. You should also always present yourself as someone willing to learn, even if you don’t have all the skills you need just yet.
If you don’t have a lot of experience on your resume, we still recommend that you apply for engineering jobs you aren’t qualified for. When a company lists how many years you need to qualify for a position, they are actually looking for someone who can perform and produce at the level they’d expect an employee with that much experience to perform at, and not necessarily the number of experience years they have.
With this in mind, a good-quality resume can take you a long way in the engineering job search, especially as you apply for jobs that are realistically within your capabilities and are interesting to you.
5. Write a Good Cover Letter
Similar to creating a well-thought-out resume, you’ll want your cover letter to be just as impressive. While your resume will show your skills, experience, and what you’re capable of doing, the cover letter gives the hiring manager an overview of who you are and why you want the position.
Hiring managers often won’t bother reading your resume if your cover letter is bad. Your cover letter should illustrate both your strengths and weaknesses, since hiring managers will typically be more impressed by your honesty rather than dwelling on your lack of experience. You can also shine a more positive light on this by highlighting how you may not have all the knowledge now, but you’re eager to learn as much as you can.
6. Prepare for Interviews
The hiring process for engineering jobs may involve multiple interviews with different people in the company. When you apply for a position, and a recruiter or hiring manager reaches out to you, it’s typically an introductory interview so they can put a face to an application.
While your degree and knowledge of the industry are important, you’ll want to leave a good impression on your interviewer as well. This will help the interviewer decide whether you are an applicant they want to work with, or if they see you fitting into their current company culture.
Always remember to do as much research ahead of time and ask as many questions as possible. This demonstrates that you are not only interested in the position, but that you are also knowledgeable about who the company is and what they do.
As a local engineering recruiting firm in Kansas City, Austin Nichols Technical Search matches the best job applicants with the best positions in the engineering, manufacturing, and construction industries. To learn more about how Austin Nichols can help you in your next job search, contact us at 816-471-5575.
Extra Information About how to get a engineering job That You May Find Interested
If the information we provide above is not enough, you may find more below here.
6 Tips for Landing an Entry-Level Engineering Job
7 Steps Landing First Job – ASME
3 Ways Entry-Level Engineers Can Find a Job | The Muse
Engineering Jobs in New York City, NY | Monster.com
Top 15 Search Engines for Engineering Jobs
5 Ways To Land Your First Engineering Job
Frequently Asked Questions About how to get a engineering job
If you have questions that need to be answered about the topic how to get a engineering job, then this section may help you solve it.
Is it hard to get an engineering job?
Engineering has become one of the most in-demand and fastest-growing career opportunities, making it a challenging discipline to be hired into since there’s so much competition in the job market. Additionally, job searching generally is a frustrating process
What do I need to get an engineering job?
Engineering positions typically require a bachelor’ degree in engineering or relevant field. Some engineering jobs, especially in management, require a master’s degree. An engineering degree in a specialty area may qualify engineers for a career in a related field
How can I get an engineering job with no experience?
Networking is very helpful for getting a job in engineering, especially if you don’t have experience. You can utilize social media and professional career sites to expand your network. Reach out and try to gain as many contacts as you can. These people may be able to help you find a job
What are the five steps to obtaining an engineering position?
How to locate engineering jobs
- Consider what you want from an employer. …
- Complete specialized engineering internships. …
- Use job board websites to search for jobs. …
- Join professional engineering organizations. …
- Connect with your professional network.
Is engineer a high paying job?
Moreover, engineering jobs are some of the highest-paying jobs. The Bureau of Labor Statistics estimates that engineers earn a median annual wage double that of the national median in the United States. Before you can start your career in engineering, you’ll need to meet some qualifications.
What is the lowest pay of an engineer?
As of 2018, the average entry-level engineer salary in the US was $1,308, but the typical salary range is between $8,376 and $0.138.
Can you start engineering at 30?
It’s never too late to pursue your dream career, even if it’s later in life. If you want to become an engineer, you’ll need to get a degree in an engineering discipline before you can get a job in the field.
Which engineer earns a lot of money?
A Computer Science Engineer can make the highest salary of about?37 LPA and more in India, in addition to managing software programming and maintaining hardware systems.
How far into the future can engineering go?
Whether you’re 18 and coming out of college, in your early 20’s with a degree, or working full-time in a job you don’t like with a mortgage and children, it’s never too late to get into engineering, and it’s never too late to follow your dreams.