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The Engineering Job Hunting Guide

  • by: Jennifer Robinson
  • On: 23, Mar 2018
7 min read

Looking for a new job? Let VHR’s Job Hunting Guide help you take the next step in your engineering career.

How To Get Your Next Engineering Job

When searching for engineering jobs, it’s important to really understand your current situation and what this means for your job search. Think about your:

  • Skills
  • Knowledge
  • Level of satisfaction
  • Beliefs around why you need a change.

How To Get A New Engineering Job

Useful questions to ask yourself:

  1. What is the main problem/issue with your current job?
  2. How do you know that this is a problem?
  3. How is your job situation specifically affecting you?
  4. What stops you from changing the current situation?

 

Creating A Vision For Your Future

One thing is consistent when setting goals – when you can clearly picture a positive future for yourself and your career, it is much easier to achieve.


Here are some useful questions to guide your vision for your new job and next step in your career: What do you want, specifically? – Maybe you’ve been in engineering for a few years and want to move up to manager or team leader level? Perhaps you want to transition from the Marine industry to work in Aerospace & Aviation?

  1. What will happen if you get it? – Why do you want to find a new job?
  2. What will happen if you don’t? – Use this to motivate you in your job search.
  3. Why is it worth having? – What does a new engineering job mean to you?
  4. How will it affect your family, friends, skills and life overall?
  5. What will be different as a result of your new job?

Set aside as much time as you need to ask and answer questions like these: it’s better to deliberate now than get to interview or offer stage for a job that you don’t really want. Spend time with colleagues and people whose opinions you value to discuss your job options and help you evaluate your next career steps.

Understanding Your Market Value

Understand your market value covers not just your day rate or salary, but also how your skills, knowledge, experience, and even your beliefs can add value to the next business you work for.Planning the next steps in your engineering career will require feedback from colleagues/managers and research into market trends, current recruitment drives and job opportunities offered for skills and experience similar to your own across a range of industries.

As recruitment consultants and specialists in recruiting for engineering jobs, we work with hundreds of engineering companies every year. Well-informed, professional and specialist recruiters are in the best position to help you understand your industry market value.

Researching The Market And Responding To Adverts

Get to know which publications, websites and job boards are useful in your job search: many will advertise roles that are suitable for you, and others will include important information about current recruitment campaigns, advice on success in the job market or even hints and tips on how to write a good CV.

  • Research the company advertising: for an agency, check out their credentials and reputation in the community in which they recruit. For an employer advertising directly, research them too: have they gone through a recent merger or MBO? Are they stable, growing, losing market share, diversifying, going through a corporate re-structure? 
  • Check the fundamental details of the job: salary/day rate, benefits, overview of deliverables, specific qualifications or experience required, location of the role, company details etc. Without this information, you might find yourself wasting time and effort applying for an unsuitable role.
  • Check whether the advertising company is the company you would be working for, or a recruiter representing that company. If you decide this role is not for you, the recruitment agency are likely to have many other job opportunities that might fit what you’re looking for.

Working with Recruitment Agencies 

There are over 20,000 recruitment companies registered in the UK today, and not all of them will be able to help you. Choosing which agency to help you is vital to your job search:

  • Your recruitment agency is your ambassador in the job market. You need to be represented in the most appropriate way and marketed as effectively as possible;
  • You need to feel confident that your agency has your best interests front of mind - not just their fee;
  • You need to know that your skills, knowledge and experience are being interpreted and presented to your best possible advantage;
  • You should feel confident that your recruitment consultant knows what you want;
  • Your recruitment consultant should have a level of knowledge and skill in your market;
  • Research the market before choosing a recruitment agency to represent you. Find out if the agency is specialist/niche or generalist: engineering specialist recruitment companies are more likely to have more knowledge and expertise about your area of business.
  • Research the agency: visit their website, ask colleagues for references and find out all you can about their credibility in the recruitment industry and track record of successful placements in your area.

A Good Recruiter Will:

  1. Give impartial advice based on knowledge and experience
  2. Recognise transferable skills and advise you on how to position these in the marketplace
  3. Communicate with you to understand exactly what you want from your next job
  4. Assess your skills and advise on areas for development to achieve the career you want
  5. Inspire confidence. A good recruiter should give you the confidence you need to get that job!

Find out how to find the right recruiter.  

How to Write a Good CV

A CV is an information document first and foremost, and information is best received (and remembered) when presented succinctly. Your CV is a tool to ‘sell yourself’ to recruiters and hiring managers, and is often your first introduction to a future employer.

A variety of different people read your CV - HR, line management, senior management, consultants, possible future colleagues, agencies, head-hunters, people whose first language may not be English, and so on. Your CV must be clear and concise to enable people of all backgrounds to understand the job you do.

A Good CV will:

  1. Show what you do
  2. Clearly state what you have accomplished
  3. Tell the reader what you want from your next job or career opportunity 
  4. Show the hiring manager what skills and knowledge you will bring to a new job

Read our Top 5 Tips on How to Improve Your CV.
 

How to Have a Successful Interview

Job interviewing can be daunting, but remaining upbeat and enthusiastic is essential – interviews are all about self-promotion and selling your skills. Find out how to have a great job interview with VHR’s Guide to a Successful Interview, or read our top 5 tips below: 

  1. Be honest
  2. Be ‘present’ and engaged with the interviewer
  3. Get informed about the job and the company
  4. Talk about what you have already done, not what you might do
  5. Strike a healthy balance between asking questions and listening. 
Here are the Top 10 Most Popular Interview Questions and How to Answer Them.

 

How to Get More Engineering Jobs

If you’ve made it past the interview and offer stages, congratulations! Keep in mind your vision for your future career and take steps to continuously develop your existing skill set and learn the new skills you need to build your engineering career.

For those who are about to change your jobs and career, start your job search with VHR – Find your next engineering job here.

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