What are some good tips for finding a job without experience?
I am a graduate student in Electrical Engineering and I will be graduating very soon. It has been hard for me to find a job by searching and applying for jobs online. I find that my application gets turned down often because I lack engineering work experience. Your tips on this matter will be very much appreciated.
You can get experience by seeking volunteer and internship opportunities. Yes, I understand that you likely want paid work but how about going step-by-step and at least find a way to get your foot through the door? Continue to study electrical engineering in depth but do research companies that include electrical engineering positions and ask if it's possible to serve as an intern.
To add to the good suggestions here, I recommend joining and participating in a professional electrical engineering group.
I've been a member of the American Society for Quality (ASQ). Through classes and volunteering for an annual competition I have met many local contacts in my field at that time. As a member of the Project Management Institute (PMI) I also have access to educational, conference, and volunteer opportunities plus monthly chapter meetings and networking. Both offer a job board.
Professional groups typically include job opportunities, including internships, specifically for the field. It's also common that they offer reduced membership rates for students.
All the best to you.
I can hardly add to the body of excellent advice that has already been presented above. I would echo the same words to seek internship at a firm. In the world of consulting engineering, we often hire interns during the summer when the college students are off of school. It's a great way to see what life in a corporate establishment is really like on a day-to-day basis. In addition to the many references for networking that Ken listed, I would add IEEE to the top of your list (http://www.ieee.org/index.html). IEEE is the Institute of Electrical and Electronic Engineers. Joining as a student is very inexpensive and there are likely student chapters at your university. The local chapter probably has numerous meetings each month that serve as continuing education for the members and an excellent way to meet professional engineers and form relationships with them. They might even be able to clue you into direct job openings. Definitely give that a try.
Douglas Lemmo, P.E.
As a degreed electrical engineer, it should not be difficult for you to find a professional job. I do not know where you have looked and how you present yourself, both through your resume and interviewing skills so I can only offer some general advice. In addition to the jobs web sites, all of which you should be registered on, can be thought of as the "shotgun" approach and may eventually work. You should also be using the "rifle" approach in which you seek out a company that employs new mechanical engineers (look at their web sites) this will usually be the larger companies and engineering firms. Focus on a job they have advertised on the site and write a brief letter to a person at the company (a manager or someone in ER) explaining how your technical training makes you a good fit for the job and ALSO include people and personal skills you have learned in any non-related jobs you have had (i.e. perseverance, punctuality, team work , diligence) skills that you have demonstrated in the non professional jobs and do not be afraid to put the non-professional jobs on your resume. They at least show that you are a "worker". Do not limit yourself geographically or to a specific industry.
Don't discredit yourself as far as experience goes. By studying electrical engineering you already have a leg up within the industry and your competition. Gain as much knowledge as you can and see if you can take advantage of any internships while your still in school. In the meantime, it's important to start networking as much as you can and get to know people within the industry. You can start by creating a profile on LinkedIn or Glassdoor.com. Also, work with your professor's to see if they have any volunteer opportunities you can take advantage of.
Hope this helps, good luck!