Engineering jobs can be hard to come by. That's why it's so important to put your best foot forward in meeting with engineering recruiters and hiring managers. Given the competitive nature of the engineering labor market, even a minor misstep can cost you a dream job. Putting yourself in the shoes of engineering recruiters can help you understand what they're generally looking for, what they definitely aren't looking for, and how to make the right impression when you sit down for an interview.
The first subject your engineering recruiters are going to be looking at is you and whether you can do the job they're hiring for. This is always a concern for recruiters, but the specific qualifications and work history of each applicant become even more important for highly skilled technical positions in the engineering field. While sales professionals can be drawn from almost any background, it takes a lot of specialized work to make a competent engineer.
It's important at this stage to impress engineering recruiters with your skill and experience. Showing the recruiter how your academic training applies to the company's objectives, as well as describing similar work you've undertaken in the past, will help set you apart from the other applicants engineering recruiters see every day.
The second question on the engineering recruiters' minds will be whether or not you can do the work they have for you within the framework of their office. If you integrate poorly with teams, have been working as a manager when what they need is an entry-level applicant, or were previously in government service and are applying for a small private firm, you could be sending engineering recruiters the signal that you'll have trouble adapting to the work environment.
While there's no way to go back and realign your education and work history to impress today's engineering recruiters, all is not lost. Most engineering jobs entail long hours and demanding quality standards. Try to emphasize to the engineering recruiters that you have experience meeting these standards under a variety of conditions. Even if there's nothing in your work history that's directly comparable to the job you're presently seeking, it should still be possible to show that you're adaptable enough to be a good risk.
Finding work is never easy. Finding desirable engineering positions can be even more difficult given the high standards that most engineering recruiters have. With a little empathy, however, and a good deal of imagination, you can put yourself in their seat and gain the edge over other applicants in your job search.
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