With your engineering degree in hand, you are about to set out to find your first engineering job. While you may think that getting the degree was the hard part, landing your first job can be very difficult. Austin Nichols, an engineering and manufacturing recruiting company, is here to help you stand out from your competition so you can snag an engineering job.

This quick guide is geared toward students who are about to graduate and recent college graduates that are just entering the job market for the first time, but it does have some valuable information for other levels of engineers who are seeking new jobs.

Write a resume and cover letter

Writing a decent resume just out of college can be very difficult. You don’t have the work experience necessary to have a bulky resume, but that doesn’t mean you can’t have a nice resume. Focus on the things you know how to do, even if you have only done them in a classroom setting. Showcase your knowledge of various hardware and software tools that you’ve used.

Since you are just getting started, it is also a good idea to include some of your best personal qualities. Make sure that these qualities are relevant to an engineering career path. You may want to ask your professors what they think your best attributes are so you have more than just your own opinion.

Include information about the project you did in college or at any internships. You will want to highlight the work you did with details of what it took to get it completed.

A cover letter is also important. Craft a quality cover letter that demonstrates your willingness to work hard and prove yourself in the role you are applying for. Explain why you think you are qualified and why you think you are the best candidate. If you know you will need training in some areas, it is okay to be honest. Many employers appreciate honesty.

Make sure you have someone else review your resume and cover letter and give you honest feedback. This can help you make necessary changes to your documents before you send in lackluster resumes and cover letters all over town.

Network

Putting yourself out there is one of the hardest steps to getting a job—especially right out of college. Connect with professionals online at the very least. If possible, try to meet a few people in person. This can help you gather more references or make connections that could lead to a job.

Prepare for interviews

Do a little research on the position and company you are applying for. Show up to your interview dressed professionally and prepared to ask quality questions. Demonstrate that you know a little about the company by asking detailed questions about the position and company.

Follow-up after interviews

After your interview, reach back out to the interviewer. Following up with the interviewer shows that you truly interested in the position and will make you stand out from your competition.

The small act of sending a “thank you” email the day of the interview is a great way to show that you are committed to seeking this job. If there were questions you couldn’t answer in the interview, you can also address them in this email as well.

Get a solid list of references

References are an extremely important part of getting a job. In many cases, both personal and professional references may be requested. If you did have an internship, ask your previous boss to be a reference. Professors also make good references on your work as a student, which will translate to your work professionally. Be sure to ask your references before putting them down so they can have something prepared to say on your behalf.

If you are seeking an engineering job in the Kansas City Metro Area, Austin Nichols is available to help you find the perfect job. Austin Nichols is an engineering and manufacturing recruiting service that connects qualified candidates and employers.

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