2014 Guide to Getting an Engineering Job


At EngineerJobs.com, our focus is on making sure as little as possible stands between you and the engineering job you’ve been looking for.

See us as your mentor, or as the 14-cylinder RT-FLEX96C diesel engine that will propel you like a champion into your engineering dream job. We’ve done the research, consulted the experts, and published their wisdom. And if it lends insight to your job hunt, we’ve listed it here for your quick reference.

This guide will address each step of your job hunt, from deciding which engineering job you want, to preparing your resume and application, to the interview and the follow-up communications, straight through to your first week as a newbie in your new engineering job. Glance through it once now, then bookmark it, and refer back to it any time a question mark comes up along the way. If you’re looking for something that’s not here, send us an email to tell us about it.

Now get out there and find yourself a new job.

In this guide:

The Job Search

Job SearchThe statistic reads that 80 percent of jobs are never listed. This section will help you to determine what you’re looking for if you’re not sure, and how to find it once you are — and how to get into that 80 percent.

Here’s What Makes Engineers Look for a New Job

There’s more to a great job than a steady paycheck. What keeps engineers happy – or drives them away?
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Engineering Dream Jobs: An Unscientific Study

We recently polled a group of engineers and engineer hopefuls on what their dream engineering jobs would be. Our findings revealed creative passion, inspired confidence in the future, and overall were not as disturbing as we thought they would be.
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4 Steps to Finding the Perfect Job

If you’re looking for the perfect position or are unhappy with the one you have, refining your job search process is the place to start. Without a proper strategy, even a senior engineer with a tight resume can find themselves out of luck in today’s network-centered employment marketplace.
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Getting a Job with a Low GPA

One of the most popular questions we see is “How do I get a job with a 2.5 GPA in ________ engineering?” or “Is it possible to get an internship with a low GPA?” With that in mind, we gathered a few expert opinions from engineers and recruiters on how best to overcome a low engineering GPA.
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The Application

engineering resumeNo one knows what engineering employers look for on a resume quite like engineering employers. This is where you’ll find their thoughts on what separates a good applicant from a great applicant, and how you can catch their eye.

Engineering Resume and Interview Tips

Of the hundreds (or thousands!) of applications your potential employer will see, how do you make sure your resume is noticed? And if you’re offered an interview, how do you make yourself the sure-thing candidate among a handful of equally qualified engineers? We interviewed several HR and hiring managers from different kinds of companies hiring engineers to get their expert opinion and advice.
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Resume Advice from Engineering Employers

The job market evolves constantly, and so do the things employers look for – so as the year winds down we went back to the horse’s mouth to see if we could learn anything else. Not surprisingly, we did.
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Engineering the Perfect Cover Letter

Sooner or later, your career may turn on a single piece of paper:  the infamous cover letter. How can yours avoid being filed under Recycling without a second glance?
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The Interview

engineering interviewMeeting an employer face-to-face is often the biggest speed bump along the hiring path, especially for highly technical people. This section will help you prepare for that moment when the digital veil is dropped.

How Engineers Can Have Captivating Communication Skills

Strong presentation and communication skills are just that – skills, which have to be mastered in order to consistently put your best foot forward.
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6 Memorable Engineering Interview Questions

Six veteran engineers weigh in on their most memorable interview questions, how they responded, and whether they got the job.
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9 Questions to Ask on an Interview

We’ll consider nine solid questions to ask while interviewing for an engineering position. What you learn about the position, your prospective employer, and your team will not only position you to advantage as a candidate but enable you to make a more informed decision moving forward.
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Why Appearance Matters

In a perfect world, candidates would be judged purely on talent, ability, and background. This is not that world. Appearance matters quite a bit in job interviews, criminal sentencing, and overall assessment of character.
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Building Rapport Through Mimicry

Mimicry is creepy. It’s eerily effective, however, as we’re hard-wired to like people who are like us. Mirroring your interviewer’s verbal and nonverbal communication is a shortcut to building rapport – and nailing the interview.
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Following Up

follow-up emailHere you will find guidance on one of the least-thought-of aspects of an effective job search: the communications between the communications. The details described here are what truly impress an employer.

Are You Following Up Correctly?

The art of the follow up slams home a great hiring conversation and seeds future opportunities. Here, we’ll walk through key moments in the hiring process where a well-honed follow up makes all the difference.
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4 Perfectly Engineered Follow-Up Letters

Working on your follow-up game? These four schematics take the stress out of follow-up letters.
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When to Give Up (and What to Do Next)

If your follow-up messages are ignored, your references are never contacted, and there’s no way to move forward with a position, it’s time to give up. For any number of reasons, that job simply wasn’t yours.
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The First Week

engineerWe would be remiss to let you go once our job is over — so in this round of assistance, you’ll hear from experienced engineers who have been the new guy before, and how you can build a lasting foundation in your new role.

Old Dogs, More Tricks: Transitioning to a New Career

When you transition to a new career, there’s a lot to learn – and just as much to unlearn. Thriving in your new environment means adapting to new values, tools, and practices.
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Here’s How to Make It as a New Hire

Making your way as a new hire isn’t always easy. Taking charge of your own onboarding, professional networks, and career development will help smooth the transition.
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Becoming the Indispensable Engineer

Being the heart of your team – the truly indispensable engineer – is a less of a stable state than an ongoing commitment to professional development, integrity, and excellence.
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Other Resources

Here are a few other links you might find useful.

Dear Huddie

Job Profiles

Where the Engineering Jobs Are

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