Tips for Finding Your First Engineering Job

Graduating from college and finding a job in the midst of COVID-19 is undoubtedly nerve-wracking. It makes you wonder if companies are still hiring and if you’ll receive a decent salary. Luckily for you engineering graduates, even in a global pandemic, companies across the country are continuing to hire fresh talent! After a little bit of research, you’ll be happy to find that there are still plenty of opportunities available. Since both recent graduates and recently laid-off workers are on the prowl for a job, the competition may be a little tighter than usual. Make sure you’re prepared for your job search and interviews with these tips:

Apply to as many jobs as you can.

Casting a wide net has never hurt anybody! Especially during COVID times, jumping on as many opportunities as possible will give you a much greater chance of hearing back. Don’t limit yourself to a certain type of company or one specific role. There are likely a dozen different job titles that require your skills. Do your research, connect with people on LinkedIn, ask questions, and be persistent yet thoughtful!

Make sure your resume is up to date.

Now that you’re a college graduate, your ice cream scooper job from when you were 16 probably shouldn’t still be on your resume. Make sure you list any internships/on-campus jobs you had. If you took any certification courses or learned a new software program, add that! It’s also a good idea to tailor your resume to the job you’re applying for. Notice any keywords in the job posting and make sure your resume reflects a few of those keywords throughout. 

Use your alumni network as a resource.

You know the saying: You can take the student out of college but you can’t take college out of the student. You will forever be an alumnus of your school – use it to your advantage! Other alumni are an amazing source of potential job opportunities. You can find these groups usually on LinkedIn, Facebook, and Twitter. There’s no shame in asking for a little help! Through your connections, you’re likely to find valuable opportunities.

Prepare your space for a Zoom interview.

When you do hear back from a company requesting an interview, it will likely be held over Zoom to maintain social distancing. It’s not an ideal interview situation, but we must adapt! For Zoom calls, you’ll want to find a quiet, well-lit room that has a strong Wi-Fi connection. Just because you’re at home doesn’t mean you can get out of dressing the part for the interview! Make sure you’re dressed professionally from head to toe (we don’t want a no-pants situation!) and be sure to use appropriate body language. Show that you’re listening to the interviewer and ask questions as if you were in the same room as them. Conveying personality and body language can be tough on a video call, just be yourself, be present, and good things will happen!

Need some more help preparing for your interviews? Check out NJSPE’s Career Center. Here, you’ll find resources to help you build and manage your career for maximum potential for success. Check it out >>

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