May and June are exciting times for the graduate. They get to celebrate their accomplishment after 4 or 5 years of hard work. Its also a realization that its time to land a full time role. For many this may be the first time contemplating leaving home for good. It is a difficult decision. What are some tips to landing that first engineering role?

  1. Stay flexible with relocation. The more flexible your are on location, the higher your chance in landing a role. Not all companies can be located in a major metro area. Many choose semi-rural or rural area because of cost. This also means your cost of living will be lower too. So this presents a good opportunity to save a lot of money.
  2. Once you stay flexible remember to be open to a cultural shift. Often times we forget just how big the United States is. Culture changes quite a bit as you move from state to state. Do not expect to land in a major metro area for your role. There are pros and cons to every location.
  3. Hopefully, you’ve landed some internships while in school. Make sure those internships are listed out in the top half of your resume. Remember, this is your only relevant experience. Too many times I see the first half to two-thirds of a resume listing your engineering courses. Guess what everyone knows that you had to take those classes to earn that degree. Telling them again does nothing good for you. In fact, if it is burying your actual only experience then you’ve significantly killed your chances of grabbing someone’s attention.
  4. Wordy – I get SOOOOO mad when I see technical people bury their technical skills with “soft wordy killers”. Guess what – you are going after an engineering role not vocabulary. Do not confuse this with legitimate leadership skills such as supervisory skills. Leave the wordiness out of your resume and get to the point. I also do paid resume work and I can easily tell when a non-technical person advised you on your resume. It stands out like a sore thumb. If you choose to pay someone to do your resume, then do some diligence and make sure they know how to prepare a technical resume and better yet they should have a technical background.
  5. What role are you going after? I’ve seen several new grad resume being very specific on the industry they want to enter. When I speak to them that is not the case and in fact they are quite open to industry. Seeing that you are new to industry, I would recommend you stay flexible and open. You simply do not know enough to limit yourself in such a manner.
  6. Network, network, network. I am a firm believer in participating in technical associations while is school, teams or any organized group. Your best chances of employment lies in your network. The better you are at it the more exposure you get to open roles.

Hopefully, I’ve provided some tidbits for you to consider as you embark on your career. I am available to help you on your search or help your staff find that right technical candidate.

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