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How do I approach the job search better?

I recently graduated college with a degree in Mechanical Engineering. I haven't bee able to land a job despite a good GPA and a good range of skills in CAD design and programming. I never got the chance to work an internship as I was taking summer classes. I have sent several applications and hove gotten denials. How do I approach the job search better? #mechanical engineering


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Robert’s Answer

Your skills are needed. Especially in analysis, design of experiments, and CAD. Don't be afraid to take a manufacturing engineering job. Apply at Tesla Fremont and the Gigafactory in Sparks NV. Another area you can get into - because you are cheaper - is startup companies. But if you get into a big consumer products or electronics firm you will learn much more and you will get that needed 3-5 years of experience. Apply at engineering firms near you too, they want your young brain. Money will come, dont push it at first. CAD gigs are around too.

Robert recommends the following next steps:

Creo or Solidworks
CFD heat transfer software like Icepak
Join Toastmasters and learn to talk and be understood better
Learn to Sketch! Important! 3D objects, cross sections, must be able to communicate ideas

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Daniel’s Answer

Manoach –
Best way to approach the job search is through personal networking.
Application systems are intended to screen out folks that don’t meet certain keywords in their resume.

Companies like to hire friends of friends.

There are plenty of courses and articles on using LinkedIn as a networking tool, so I won’t go into detail on that.

However, make sure you join your College/University LinkedIn Group, as well as Groups related to Mechanical Engineering. Contact and connect with everyone you know in Engineering, new hires and seasoned veterans. Ask about how they got the job. Ask your Connections if their company has a referral bonus. These Connections could get money for submitting your resume.

When I am interested in a job, I connect with everyone I can in that company. All I need is one kind soul who would be willing to tell me about the company, its direction and hand-carry a resume to Human Resources. I’ve gotten 3 referral bonuses for referring friends.

Join American Society of Mechanical Engineers, ASME, and take advantage of their resources, events and training. Being a leader in ASME will strengthen your professional background and networking.

Get personal business cards made up with your contact information and carry them EVERYWHERE you go. You never know when you might meet a potential hiring manager in a line at a store.

There are job seeker clubs that tell how to do a resume, interviews, networking, etc. A lot of this can also be looked up on internet. The power comes from the support and advice of others going through the same circumstances.

Keep encouraged in the job search – something should break through soon.

Daniel recommends the following next steps:

Find a veteran Engineer that would be willing to be a mentor.
Have a professional or expert review your LinkedIn profile and resume.
Find ways you can volunteer to put your skills to work and network at the same time.
Maybe you can find a high school team that needs a Lego robotic adviser.

Thank You very much! This helps a lot Manoach B.

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Kate’s Answer

Hi Monoach! First I would recommend having someone review your resume to see where you might be able to make some additions that would help at least get you to the interview stage. I would also reach back out to the career services office at your college. They have a vested interest in getting you hired since they want the statistic of how many students have jobs by graduation and at certain points after graduation to look good. They can help you review your resume but also give you pointers on where to look for positions. They also have career fairs/ company overview sessions that you could still attend as alumni.

I would also suggest widening your career search. Start applying to all different entry-level openings that are within or close to your degree. I graduated with a mechanical engineering degree but got a job in the telecommunication engineering field after college. Your degree is also a problem-solving degree so you just need to prove you can learn new material. Look through all the different career sites (even LinkedIn) and start applying to various jobs. I would also say not to be afraid of applying to jobs outside where you live. I moved around the first few years after college and it was a great experience. I would highly recommend it before you get tied down. You can always move back later!

Also, keep up with your CAD and other skills while you are job searching this will help while you are interviewing to show you are actively keeping up your skills. Also don't be afraid to learn new programs. Look at the applications listed on the job postings you are interested in and start learning those applications so you can put them on your resume!

Kate recommends the following next steps:

Get your resume reviewed
Reach out to the career services office at your college
Broaden your job search
Learn new programs/ Keep using the ones you know

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Nicole’s Answer

Hi Manoach B.

You may be in a situation where it might be time visit some businesses/locations. "Visit" could mean either online or in person. An online visit to a college/university that has an existing mechanical engineering program may be a good start. I know that you have already graduated...but...many times schools with existing engineering programs have summer programs for which they need research volunteers.

In person visits would take more preparation, such as suggested, gathering and presenting examples of your work. Doing some research to get a name or a department in a company that specifies in the area of mechanical engineering would be another good step.

When I was job searching, sometimes I would visit the science sections of local or national newspapers or read through technical magazines to get a feel for what might be available to me. Often times, there are URL addresses and names that can be gained from reading through these types of materials.

Good Luck!

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