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Tips for Finding Graduate Engineering Jobs

Written on 11/20/12

Tips for Finding Graduate Engineering Jobs

The scope for engineering careers is vast, as engineers have a role to play in anything that is built or produced. Added to this, present post-recession forecasts for engineering jobs are very good, with a growth in graduate recruitment expected across many sectors. Furthermore, the Royal Academy of Engineering records show that the current intake of graduate engineers does not replace the numbers that are retiring at the present rate.  

The outlook for graduate engineering jobs is bright and the profession is generally well-paid, with above-average graduate starting salaries of around £24,000.

So how to find a graduate role in engineering? Follow these tips:

Get engineering work experience or a work placement

Work experience in engineering is the biggest step you can make to boost your chances of securing a graduate engineering job. An engineering placement or vacation scheme demonstrates that you have hands-on experience to go with your degree. It will also help you see where you want to work, and show employers that you have made strong decisions based on your own experiences of engineering. Often graduates who have performed well on their placement are hired once they complete their degree and may be offered sponsorship while they finish their studies.

Use specialist recruiters, online resources and professional bodies  

Contact specialist online recruitment agencies that serve the sector you are interested in. Also, use company websites to find full details of their graduate training scheme and the engineering careers they offer. Professional bodies such as the Institute of Civil Engineers (ICE) provide information, careers advice, and networking opportunities.

Research future trends to demonstrate knowledge at interview

Knowledge of issues that face the industry demonstrates enthusiasm for the profession and commitment. Research industry news and trade publications to increase your understanding of the industry. Common themes in modern engineering jobs include climate change, new technology, renewable energy and a general shortage of engineers.

Prepare for technical interviews

Technical interviews are designed to test your general technical competence and basic understanding of engineering principles. Often it will begin with discussion of a familiar topic, such as your final year project, before moving on to more detailed questions to assess your knowledge of the company’s business area. A common test is to ask candidates to apply their general knowledge of engineering to an unfamiliar scenario.
Research fully in preparation for a technical interview. Remember that when you talk about your experience, the interviewer wants to hear about your personal contribution. And importantly, ensure you listen carefully as much as you talk, to ensure you fully understand all questions asked.

Be prepared to move to where the work is.

Most engineering job opportunities are in the major towns and cities of the UK, however a flexible approach to location is advisable. Many large international companies offer opportunities to work on overseas projects. It is also true that there are areas of the country with regional specialisms. The chemical manufacturing industry is largely centred in NW Scotland, as is the oil industry, being focussed in Aberdeen. In the south, areas with a high number of firms offering high-tech engineering jobs include Oxford, Cambridge and London.

Have you recently completed a work placement? Are you a final year engineering student?

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