No doubt you’ve heard about the shortage of engineers in the UK but, don’t be fooled, that doesn’t mean getting a job in the industry is going to be easy or straightforward. It’s still going to require a lot of work from you.
When employers use the term “shortage” what they really mean is that they don’t have enough engineers with the right mixture of personal skills, technical ability and practical experience in the right areas.
However, with the right amount of research, planning and action, you can most definitely make yourself appear attractive to employers in your sector.
By following the below six steps, there’s no reason you won’t be ready to go after that engineering role of your dreams.
- Begin as early as possible
If you want to finish your degree and go straight into a graduate job, you’ll need to spend your time at university wisely in order to build up your CV. While this obviously means getting the best result you can from your degree – as many employers won’t even look at a CV without at least a 2:1 classification – you also need to have participated in a little work experience in a relevant field while also taking part in extracurricular activities.
During your first year at university you should be thinking what you want to put on your CV and how you would love it to look by the time you get to applying for graduate roles; and then go out and get the experience to fill it up.
- Get some great work experience
No matter what anyone else tells you, the single most important thing that has the power to improve your chances of getting that graduate role in engineering is work experience. Luckily more and more university courses are including work experience as a vital part of the degree however, if yours doesn’t, you need to get out there and find some.
Mike Grey, Head of Coventry University’s Engineering Futures Career Team, said that work experience can actually help you to develop academic skills too because you will better understand why that theory works and how it is applied.
With so many employers believing graduates lack practical experience in engineering, you will most definitely stand out from the crowd when it comes to landing that perfect job.
- Aim high but keep things broad
It’s important to aim high when you’re looking for that perfect graduate role and don’t be afraid to apply to the companies that you really want to work for.
Remember, the UK is home to some of the largest and best engineering firms in the world and graduating from a British university with an engineering degree puts you in a great position when it comes to being chosen for the job.
- Make the most of your university
You chose your university for a reason right? So make the most of what it has to offer. Believe it or not, university isn’t just an expensive place you spend your hours locked up in an engineering lab away from sunlight, it’s also a hotbed for innovative research projects which are often in collaboration with engineering firms.
This means that your lecturers may be able to give you the latest gossip on certain companies – for example, if they’re hiring or looking for interns – while also giving you the contact details for all the right people.
- Be careful to tailor your applications
Every single employer has stories about that candidate who wrote the wrong company name on the application form and the engineering sector is of no exception. It’s vital that you get your application form right so spend some time on it and really show off the fact that you’re not just a great engineer but you’re also switched on and right for the job.
You should spend time researching the company to find out the sort of person they’re after and tailor your application for to this.
- Never give up on your search
Don’t be fooled – some of your job applications will be rejected. It is all just part and parcel of the graduate job market.
The trick is to ensure that it doesn’t get you down. Remain positive and keep going, you will get there in the end.
Every time that you miss out on a job you should think about why – was there a gap in your CV? Did you make any mistakes in the interview? You can also ask for feedback from interviewers to find out exactly what help you back so you don’t make the same mistakes next time.