Tips for landing your next engineering job
Finding a new job can be a daunting task for anyone. Luckily, however, as an engineer your task is a bit easier. Engineers are in demand in many countries across the world. Even so, it never hurts to take on some advice. Here are some ideas to help you with your job hunt.
Set yourself clear parameters and goals
Instead of just setting off into the wilds, searching aimlessly for the perfect job amongst thousands of job adverts, think carefully about what kind of job you really want, and where that job should be. Do you want to continue in the same job as before, or to seek a higher position? Or would you like to take a change in direction and move into a new sector? Having one or a couple of job titles in mind will narrow your search considerably. The obvious choice would be to continue doing the kind of job you were in before, and if that’s what you really enjoy, then great! But if not, this is a great opportunity to find the job of your dreams.
Perhaps though it isn’t the job title you’d like to change, but the scenery? As an engineer, there are chances for you to work in countries across the world. If you think you would be willing to relocate abroad for a new job, do some research and think about where exactly would be a good fit for you. You might want to cast your net wide to begin with, and see what opportunities are out there, and then focus on a few locations. Other countries could offer you better pay, a different lifestyle, and the chance to immerse yourself in a new culture and learn a new language. Or perhaps you’d just like to move somewhere different in your own country. For some people, the location can be just as important a consideration as the job itself. TRS recruit engineers across the world, so be sure to check out what opportunities we have in your chosen country.
Make your resume stand out
As an engineer, listing your technical skills and achievements is certainly important. However, it is important to add some context to these facts about your career, with a sentence to explain, for example, why you’re a great problem solver, or a time when you demonstrated great project planning skills. Rather than simply stating which projects you’ve worked on, talk about your role and how you made a specific positive contribution, for example by making savings or delivering work ahead of schedule. Your CV needs to explain why you’re great at your job, rather than just showing off your qualifications and making claims about your abilities which aren’t backed up with any evidence.
However, you need to be mindful of the length and formatting of your CV. Try to keep it to two pages. If you have a lot of job experience, you can safely exclude most details about your early career, or any jobs that weren’t relevant to your current career path. It is best to present your CV in bullet points, and avoid large chunks of text, but as mentioned, it is important to include some detail. Write plainly and to-the-point, and be explicit about your skills and experience, but don’t write too much or people will skip over your CV without reading it properly. Including trendy industry buzzwords can help employer’s perceptions of you as a contemporary, clued up worker with a passion for the industry.
Finally, try to make your CV eye-catching and personalised, as recruiters read many CVs with the same default font and appearance. However there are limits to this, as you need to make sure it looks professional and that you don’t load it with images, as this would make the file too big to email and wasteful for companies to print. But consider including small things like company logos for the places in which you’ve worked.
You may have heard of LinkedIn and you might already have an account. If not, we recommend that you sign up and build your profile. LinkedIn is simultaneously an online resume, a professional networking tool and a jobs board. We recommend you follow the TRS Staffing Solutions LinkedIn company page for the latest job vacancies.
Even if you aren’t an active networker, having a LinkedIn profile means potential employers are able to glean more information about you, and just like with your CV, you have the power to decide how to present yourself to them. Try to keep some consistency with your CV to present a unified ‘brand’, but you can go into more detail on LinkedIn than you are able to with your CV, as if an employer is looking at your profile here they’ve already decided to invest more time into getting to know you. Read our LinkedIn article about making the most of your professional network for more information.
If you’re very technically minded, you may even be able to make your own interactive website to serve as a resume. This can show off your design and IT skills, and give you the chance to completely personalise how you present yourself and really give you a brand. According to some sources, over half of hiring managers are more impressed by a candidate’s website than any other personal branding tool, but very few job seekers have one.
While the job market in many professions across the world has been fragile for years, engineering has great prospects in many parts of the world, and in some, like the UK, there is a severe skills shortage, so there’s plenty to be optimistic about. If you do find yourself struggling to get interviews at first, keep trying and consider widening your search to countries where demand is higher. But if you end up with lots of companies vying for your skills, weigh your options carefully and don’t be rushed. Don’t forget to check out the engineering opportunities on our website. Good luck finding your dream job!