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I am an electrical engineer graduate from Canada. I was wondering if there are any other fellow engineers here. I am currently unemployed and have not had an actual job as an electrical engineer. I screwed up and did not apply for internships when I was still in school and it is affecting me. I also did not do as well as I should have thus my GPA is not the best.
I am looking for advice from people on how to utilize this degree I have. I am willing to relocate within the country (or maybe even the USA) to get a job.
At this point it's a numbers game for you... Spend every day applying at every job that is remotely technical.
Look at your network of people who got jobs, see if they can pass your resume to manager. Talk with your professors if they can hook you up with any lead. Go to career fairs around you. Your school, other schools etc.
Go to networking events. Use Meetup app for events to find something relatable.
Look at your course work and see if you can do some projects relatable to your major. Go to your old class projects and see if you can polish them and build something that stands out and build a portfolio of projects to show to potential recruiters, managers.
Lots of Arduino projects you can pick up from and do something on your own to put on your resume.
Set up your LinkedIn profile and post everything there. Hit up everyone you can on there.
You cannot use your GPA to stand out, you cannot use any experience to stand out. What you can use is your will to make things happen.
Also now might be time to reevaluate what line of work you want to get into. Lots of engineers go the IT route, lots of specialties out there. You can study for some IT certification. Data science is another route that is in demand. And since you've probably done a lot of math in school you'll have the foundation to pick up a data science project where you can apply all the theory.
So any route could be good for you, networking, Linux, cloud, programming, big data,cloud, data science: machine learning, deep learning, AI. Also all kind of analyst roles.
Again, apply everywhere. You can't be picky right now.
I'm still in school now, so I'm worried about your question as well since I'll be graduating in less than 2 years.
I read an article some time ago about an engineering graduate that didn't do any internships during school. He said he landed a job but he had to grind it out. I believe he said his ratio was 2 interviews/100 approache... I mean 2 interviews/100 applications. Interesting that it's very similar to Chris's expectations from cold approaching.
Also, are you applying to jobs everywhere? Even in the States? Don't push away jobs even if they are across the country.
I'm a professional electrical engineer, having done my masters and bachelors in Electrical Engineering over in the US although I live currently live in Australia.
I have worked in the telecom sector as an RF engineer back in the states and while I was in college I did a couple of internships in IT and in the power industry.
I'm currently working as an industrial automation engineer in Melbourne.
What specialization did you pursue in your bachelors? EE is extremely broad so you will have to focus on your sub-discipline. For example on paper someone working in power generation and someone in DSP are both electrical engineers but their jobs are completely different.
I am myself currently looking for a new job and I'm working with a career consultant so I can tell you some of the stuff I've learned through them.
first off you'll really need to work on your resume and cover-letter. You have to understand these recruiters and hiring managers get near a 100 or more applications per posting. This is mainly due to the internet and anyone who is remotely (or not even closely qualified in most cases) qualified can fire off an application with a few clicks. So they have to wade through applicants just to find who is qualified.
That means more than ever your resume and CL are only going to get a initial 5-10sec look-over before the person reading decides whether to really look through it or trash it. Also most companies use automated word tracking software to initially screen resumes so sometimes your resume won't make it to the point of being read by a real person.
So its extremely important that you treat your resume and cover letter as marketing documents since that is what they are.
MY resume format is as follows:
- Name, Contact details(address, phone, email and LinkedIn)
- Professional statement: Brief paragraph or two summarizing my skills and experience. this will be somewhat of a recap of the cover letter.
- Key Engineering Skills List (bullet points): This is IMO the most important area since I will present an easily readable list of my key skills. This is where I try to tailor the resume to the specific job-ad by listing the skills they job ad has required and linking them to my work-experience. I will not go into much detail just mention where I acquired the skill, goal being to get the reader to read on into the next section to find out more
- Professional experience: Biggest section of the resume where you go into detail of the key responsibilities you have held and major career achievements. I use the following format:
Job title, Company name, Location, Dates worked
- Qualifications: List any relevant engineering qualifications. this is where you put in your degree, where you go it and when. I used to have this at the front but learned that it's wasting prime real-estate at the front of the resume. If you are going to get hired for a post that requires a degree then the reader already knows you have the required qualifications plus you would have already stated this in your cover letter.
I re-write a CL for each job ad. Usually the recruiter will skim through a CL before even deciding to read the resume, so you have to be on point per job ad. I use this format
- Contact details
- Contact details of the recruiter/manager you are writing to
- job reference number and title.
- Introduction: Introduce yourself and give a brief professional summary, and state interetest in applying for job. I give a brief run down of my core competencies, willingness to relocate, my qualifications and any special info the job ad might have required. for example some state you have to have a driving license, or be a member of the national EE professional organization or have certain certifications. I let them know of those here
work history - Go into a little more detail including your work history and relevant projects
Key Skills list - Just like in the resume but this time pick only the most important skills they need for the particular job ad
Recap and call to action
CL should be brief and never more than one page.
well that's about it for what I can tell you about marketing yourself. I understand your situation is different because you are fresh out of college and do not have any work experience.
My advice will be to find an area that is both in demand and that you are passionate about in working in and try your best to find an internship at least in that area.
Even though I have a couple of paid (very well paid actually) internships back in college, and had worked professionally in America, when I moved to Australia I took me many months to find a new position here, mainly due to not having any local-experience. So I decided to find an internship and initially worked as a non-paid intern but it turned into a paid position just two weeks into the job as soon as they saw I could do the job.
"Your work is going to fill a large part of your life, and the only way to be truly satisfied is to do what you believe is great work. And the only way to do great work is to love what you do. If you haven't found it yet, keep looking. Don't settle." - Steve Jobs
There's an endless number of engineering jobs out there. Your listed negatives are minimal. An internship is in no way a requirement. And just how bad is your GPA? I mean you passed and got the degree right?
The first job is the most difficult to get, so be open to taking even a poor position, salary, whatever. After 1-2 years experience you will have many more options.
Finally, go work or volunteer NOW. Do anything, even if it's McD's. It will show that you're ambitious and motivated.
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