I recently had to look for a new job.  I’m an electrical engineer with experience for product development in hardware design (circuit design, PCB layout).  Below are some of my observations and recommendations.  Please note this is not a complete scientific analysis and is unique to my personal job experience.

Recommendations:

  1. Analyze and control your finances.
  2. Update your resume.
  3. Have your resume in at least three formats: MS Word Document (.doc, NOT .docx), PDF, and plain text).
  4. Have several versions of resume highlighting different aspects to apply to specific jobs.
  5. Update your references.  Make sure you ask permission from the person first.  Have at least three.
  6. Post your resume on emurse.
  7. Have a personal web site with your resume in plain text so that it can be indexed by search engines (Google/Bing).
  8. On your personal website have a pdf version of your resume.
  9. List your references on the website.
  10. Make sure your website is done in good taste.  Don’t post childish rants, cuss words, bad mouthing former employers, etc..
  11. Use Linkedin.  Update it with industry contacts.
  12. Create profiles on job search sites (monster, hotjobs, indeedregionalhelpwanted, dice, sologig, etc…).
  13. Get in a routine and schedule of job searching; think of it as your new job.  I prefer indeed.com for daily job searching.

Observations (hind sight is 20/20):

If you work in a small city, like the College Station / Brian area, be observant of the number of and status of companies in your area.  In small cities the engineering jobs are usually few and far between.  It may sound obvious, but if you want to stay in a small city don’t be to picky with your job requirements.  Larger cities will provide more opportunities, especially for engineers.

It may take several weeks if not months for your first interview or contact with recruiters, depending on the state of the economy.  From my experiences, it seems that recruiters are now used heavily to hire engineers.  All the normal interview etiquette applies:

  • be professional
  • dress in a suits (unless they say different), sports coat my be optional
  • take a nice folder with several copies of your resume and references
  • don’t be late
  • don’t be to early (10 minutes is ok)
  • take notes during the interview
  • learn all you can about the company before the interview (their website a good source)
  • ask questions, but don’t over talk your interviewer
  • don’t bring up salary on your first interview unless they do

These observations are from my personal experience, so yours will vary.

I went several weeks with little or no contact with anyone.  I then started to get two or three interviews a week usually through a recruiter.  That went on for about four weeks, but no offers.  Then, all of a sudden, I got three offers in one week.  Be prepared for the job offer to come at any time.  I was lucky and get a job I really like and with a company is a great place to work at (Tolteq).