Mechanical engineering is an in-demand field in Canada, but that doesn’t mean it’s easy for new graduates to find work. Many new engineering graduates have trouble finding work. In fact, it can take as long as a year for new engineering graduates to get hired.
There are many things you can do to boost your chances of finding your first job. Here are five tips for new graduates looking for mechanical engineer jobs.
1. Be Flexible
If you’re looking for a perfect mechanical engineering job right away, you may struggle. Most people don’t get their dream jobs right out of university. Your first post-university job isn’t where you’ll work for the rest of your life. It’s a way to get your foot in the door and get some real-life experience. After a few years, you can take that experience to a new employer.
Being flexible involves applying to jobs with an open mind. Don’t filter out jobs just because they pay a bit less than you’d like or aren’t with prestigious companies. Being flexible may also involve considering jobs within a larger geographic area. If there isn’t a lot of engineering work in your city or province, you may want to consider moving for work.
2. Start Networking
If you haven’t done any networking yet, it’s time to start. Networking can help you make connections with people in your field, and that can help you find the best engineering jobs. People in your network may refer you to an open position that wasn’t advertised. They can also give you valuable advice about getting jobs in the field.
To start, make sure your friends and family know you’re looking for a job. They may have connections to people in the industry that you don’t know about. Your university’s alumni association is another place to network. You can also create a LinkedIn profile to stay in touch with professors and classmates from university.
3. Tailor Your Application Materials
When you’re applying to several jobs a day, it’s easy to send the same resume and cover letter to every company. This saves you time, but it doesn’t benefit your job search. Hiring managers can tell you’re sending them a generic resume and cover letter. This can make you look like you aren’t actually interested in the job.
Take the time to tweak your resume for every job you apply to. Emphasize your relevant skills and experience to strengthen your candidacy. For every job, write a customized cover letter. Writing a new cover letter for each job shows you’re very interested, and it helps you stand out.
4. Prepare for Interviews
Finding job posting and crafting applications is only part of the process. To get hired, you also need to impress hiring managers in your interviews. Being prepared is a major factor in your success. Plan your answers to common interview questions, and consider role playing interviews with a friend or family member.
Researching the company is another important part of being prepared. Being knowledgeable about what the company does can impress the hiring manager. It shows you’re very interested in the position.
5. Work with an Engineering Staffing Agency
Finding your first mechanical engineering job isn’t easy. If your job-hunting efforts aren’t paying off, you may get discouraged. There’s no need to abandon your engineering job search and take work in another field. An engineering staffing agency can help you land your first career.
Engineering staffing agencies specialize in placing engineers with companies. When you work with an agency, recruiters will look for job opportunities for you. As a recent graduate, you may worry you can’t afford this service. Companies pay staffing agencies to find the best candidates, so there’s no fee for you as a job seeker.