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Mechanical Engineer Jobs

  1. Jan 9, 2014 #1

    joshmccraney

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    Gold Member

    Hey PF!

    I am a masters student in mechanical engineering, and I am doing really well. However, once I finish my thesis and graduate, what is the typical way to find a job. Are you head hunted or will I send out resumes? Should I talk with my advisers?

    My uncle works with Boeing and has given me some contact information with engineers; I spoke with one about 9 months ago but after a few emails we haven't talked. I was planning on waiting until I came closer to graduation.

    How did you get employed after graduating?

    Thanks!

    Josh
     
  2. jcsd
  3. Jan 9, 2014 #2

    jedishrfu

    Staff: Mentor

    You should've continued talking with him and should drop him a line. So many students just wait until two weeks before graduation when they should have started lining up stuff 9 months earlier.

    Yes, talk to your advisors, talk to your school outplacement people, sign up for some on campus interviews, prepare your resume then target it to each job you apply to highlighting what they are looking for and what you can do to solve their problems. The on campus interview can give you practice in the kinds of questions that will be asked in private interviews which are a mixture of what you know (how would you solve some real world problem) what salary you're interested in, why are there gaps in your resume if any. You need to be prepared with good answers.
     
  4. Jan 10, 2014 #3

    donpacino

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    Gold Member

    If this is your last year you are starting way too late. that being said, better late than never.

    When I was job hunting, I first spent 2 weeks perfecting my resume. Then every week I applied to 2 companies. On Monday I spent 1 hour tweaking my resume for the job and filling out the application. on Tuesday I spent 0-2 hrs finishing the application. on Wednesday I looked the apps over and then sent them in. I repeated this process until I finally accepted one of my offers. Now when you are applying to jobs via the online job portals without any recommendations, you are going to get a lot of companies that just wont respond to you. some of these jobs get hundreds of applicants and some resumes get filtered out in a computer program. so you need to apply to a lot of jobs.

    The other thing I did was network. I talked to my parents, professors, and friends and told them all to ask around and find out if they knew anyone who worked in engineering (im an EE) at any companies. They gave me contact information and I sent the contacts emails with my resume and a paragraph or two about me. I did this in parallel with the other applications.

    One final piece of advice. I would include hobbies on your resume. I know some people (maybe many people) tell you not too. An interview is all about making a connection with someone. Interviewers see many people who are qualified to do the job, but they just may not fit in. In a sense, your resume is an "initial interview" with the company. I had one manager call me for a screening interview. He told me that my resume stood out because I included that I skydive and play rugby. His exact words to me were, "I read your resume and thought to myself 'I've got to meet this guy'". I ended up getting flown in for an interview and eventually got an offer (didn't accept, not enough money muahahah). The point is I never would have gotten that opportunity if I did not have my hobbies on my resume.

    Sorry for the post Length. Good Luck.
     
  5. Jan 10, 2014 #4

    donpacino

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    Also defiantly follow up with both your uncles contacts and your uncle. send your uncle your resume and ask him to distribute it.
    which Boeing plant does your uncle work at and what does he do? I do a lot of work with boeing
     
  6. Jan 10, 2014 #5

    jedishrfu

    Staff: Mentor

    Including hobbies is good sometimes the hiring manager will gain an interest in you based on some hobby. I knew of one person who was hired because the manager liked science fiction writing and saw that the candidate like science fiction too. The candidate had another offer and the manager sent one of his stories to the candidate and secured the hire. That wouldn't have happened otherwise.
     
  7. Jan 10, 2014 #6

    joshmccraney

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    Wow I would have never thought to include hobbies. Makes perfect sense though, so I'll get to work changing my resume. To answer the other questions, I'll be starting grad school full time this coming fall, so I have about a year and a half to two years before I start job looking. I just want to get a heads up on what to expect and success stories/fail stories from PF.

    Also, to answer the question, my uncle works in seattle, although he is in HR. The engineer I am in contact with is in materials. I'm not sure the plant, but I would guess there is only one in Seattle (perhaps I'm wrong here)? I'll get in contact again, although sense I am not seeking a job now (as I have some years of schooling ahead of me) should I contact him again yet?

    Thanks to both of you!
     
  8. Jan 11, 2014 #7

    donpacino

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    I was under the impression you had 5 months until graduation. Way to be ahead of the game!!
    It cant hurt to contact him. You can ask him what he does at his job, if he likes and it so on. You can also pursue a summer internship through him, which is great for helping you to get a job
     
  9. Jan 13, 2014 #8

    joshmccraney

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    thanks! great advice!
     
  10. Jan 14, 2014 #9
    I am in the same exact position as you (Master's in mechanical engineering). Some people have the opinion that having a Master's degree in engineering makes you over qualified for certain jobs. I am curious, are you finding that your Master's degree in mechanical engineering is giving you an edge entering into the job industry? Thanks!
     
  11. Jan 14, 2014 #10
    Engineering is a practical profession. A master's degree shows that you have more education about theory. However, practical experience is at least as important, if not more so.

    Although a career engineer never stops learning, formal educations are nice because HR can see that you have an official record as opposed to "I read it in a book". It disgusts me that bureaucrats assign one more significance than the other, but that's how it is. You will look really good to the HR bureaucrats.

    However, your interviewers know that it is possible to hire some highly educated idiots and it is also possible to have uneducated geniuses. As such, that year or two you spent on education is seen as being similar to a real engineering background --with the exception that you don't have the practical experience. To the engineers who will interview you, your lack of experience is a mark against you.

    The bottom line? You'll get more interviews, but you may not get as many job offers.

    I suggest you emphasize whatever real experience, real engineering projects, and real project-oriented management skills you have. That will impress the interviewers. Also, seek out the cutting edge engineering jobs, not the routine production engineering work. People with more theoretical background are generally more desired when doing clean designs.

    Take the EIT exam. Make an effort to get PE or P.Eng certification. For reasons I don't understand, people are impressed with such certificates. HR loves them because it is another merit badge that they can count.

    Finally, join an engineering society and go to some meetings. You'll meet lots of people there, some of whom may have hiring opportunities that aren't on the job boards yet. Once you're in a job, stay with these societies and keep in touch with your contacts. Opportunities are always knocking and with a network of contacts like this, you'll know who is hiring and where the business is good right now.

    Good Luck!
     
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