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Job Skills Can't find a Job in Engineering, what to do?

  1. Jan 21, 2015 #1
    Hi, I took electrical engineering but I've been having a hard time finding employment, its been nearly 4 months since I graduated. I think it comes down to a lack of experience in any one area. A lot of experience I had was self guided and to be honest, half assed, I did two coops with an actual company but I didn't get much impressive experience from there. I wasn't smart about things in school. I specialized in power engineering courses, but didn't do any coops that really relate to power, I have some experience with embedded systems (mostly self guided) but my knowledge in that area is limited (basically hobby level as I forget most of what i learned in the couple classes I took) as I found out in interviews but I could relearn the basics - plus there are probably some really smart people in this area that I am competing with.

    I'm not sure what I should do at this point. I think I need to pick what I want to do and try to get an internship with a local company to build my resume, and learn as much as I can on my own, I might need to get a regular part time job for now? What do you think would be better / easier to pursue, embedded systems/ hardware design, industrial automation, or low/medium voltage power? I'll link my resume, my resume looks better than the reality though.
  2. jcsd
  3. Jan 21, 2015 #2


    Staff: Mentor

    It may not be your lack of experience. It may be lack of job hunting and interview experience that is hurting you right now.

    One trick is to target your resume to a company telling them truthfully what they want to hear from experience you have in your background. If they want power engineering then emphasize that first.

    Next you need to find out what they are looking for specifically and read up on it. Don't think you can go in to the interview cold and say hey I can learn that. Learn it first then you can ask good questions during the interview, make a good first impression and control the interview outcome better.

    Don't forget to keep track of what resume you sent where ie keep folders for each job application. If you get an interview then the folder come in handy. Why? Because interviewers use your resume as a starting point for questions. They'll tell you about the job and then look at your resume and ask questions about your qualifications related to the job.

    If you have any projects listed they will ask you about them so be ready to go into presentation mode with one or more sentences on the project. Some interviewers like to see hobbyist work too because that means you'll keep working on things outside of the normal work environment.
  4. Jan 21, 2015 #3


    Staff: Mentor

    Attitude is important too. Here you make a lot of negative comments about yourself. That may come through in your interview. You don't want to come off as arrogant, but you do need to come off as confident.

    When you are in an interview you are at least in part acting as a salesman. You are trying to sell them a valuable employee. If you do not have confidence in the product then they will be much less likely to buy.

    I find that it helps to look at it as meeting friends and colleagues for the first time. My sales colleagues would call that "assuming the sale" in your mind.
  5. Jan 22, 2015 #4


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    Gold Member

    Give your resume to former professors, cousins, cousins friends, friends counsins, etc.... You will be surprised who has connection to companies that hire engineers. My point is you have the best chance at landing an interview if you know the person, even through proxy.

    It is also important in an interview to be confident. Showcase your skills, and demonstrate how you would help the company. You say you have a hobby with embedded systems. explain that to them. people love to hire people with passion for their field.
  6. Jan 22, 2015 #5


    Staff: Mentor

    Huge +1 on that. The best hire I ever made was because I was able to speak with a colleague of mine that had worked with them directly.
  7. Jan 22, 2015 #6


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    Science Advisor
    Gold Member

    How many jobs are you applying to? What area do you live in and are you willing to relocate? You need to make job applications your full-time job, meaning researching and applying to dozens of jobs anywhere you are willing to move to. And by applying I don't mean just shotgunning a generic resume around, but doing the full effort to learn the company, position, and tailor the resume for it, etc.
  8. Feb 4, 2015 #7
    You are not obliged to wait till a company hire you. With a little money as well as finding some same friends who are graduated in the same majors, you will be able to establish a small company (like cooperative company). If you need more information, I will try to give them.
  9. Feb 4, 2015 #8
    I just recently graduated from EE in December myself. I lucked out and had a job lined up back in Sept.
    My fellow class mates the only ones who got a job locally were ones who got a job as a result of their coop placements.
    The only other people to find jobs were ones who re-located to elsewhere in Canada.
    So you really need to look at the local job market and perhaps look elsewhere :)
  10. Feb 4, 2015 #9
    I think four months is not that big time. I do not live in Canada but I think that its economy is a little "sleepy" compared to its neighbor. If you want to relocate my advice is to try USA (if it is possible)... In the end if you still could not success, then try to find ( although not very easy) what most of your senior batch fellows are doing and what most of your batch fellows are up to....
  11. Apr 15, 2016 #10
    i did bachelor degree (EE) and master degree (Engineering Management) in Australia. I got PR (Australian Permanent Residents) in 2014 one year after I completed master degree. I have two years overseas working experience and I came back Australia on March 2016. Luckily I was supposed to have an interview from a big company after one month I landed Melbourne, but after several days I got a call from the HR and said the position was displaced unfortunately so the interview was cancelled. It's so unbelievable. Now I find that it is really hard for me to find a job. No local experience and not a recent graduate even though I still I applied for graduate program... I feel so frustrated. Really have no clue what to do.
  12. Apr 20, 2016 #11


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    Education Advisor
    Gold Member

    Since it getting warmer and you have zero practical experience, why not talk to a couple of electrical contractors to work over the summer as an electrician's helper. You will gain valuable experience with real electrical equipment and learn practical EE in power. They will realize you won't be staying, but may need the extra help in the summer and this will help you interact with the people in the trades. You will learn how Electricians react to design documents and you will learn from the user's end what good designs and specs are from bad designs and specs.
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