Many engineering companies and other employers already have Graduate Engineer vacancies posted on their websites. If you secure one of these roles, you most likely won’t begin your employment until after you complete your degree in summer 2019.
In other words, there is a long lead-in time for many graduate roles. If you are not researching the jobs market and submitting applications, you should try to start now.
You need to get a good degree too, so you shouldn’t let job hunting put that in jeopardy. However, you need to start applying as soon as possible
Also, many engineering students and graduates believe getting into a large multi-national company is the fastest route to career success. This does work, but it is definitely not the only option you have when looking for Graduate Engineer roles.
In fact, getting a graduate position in a smaller company is another option. In a smaller company, you will get the opportunity to work on a wider variety of projects, you may even get additional responsibilities faster.
For jobs like Controls Engineers, Automation Engineers, and Validation Engineers, there are also substantial career progression opportunities in small and medium-sized companies.
What You Need to Know About Experience
Experience is the old chicken-and-egg conundrum when it comes to securing a Graduate Engineer position. You may increase your chances of success getting a job if you have experience, but how do you get experience if you don’t have a job. Keep an eye out for companies that offer placements, or internships. Talk to your college careers office as well, as they will have a direct link with some companies in relation to such opportunities.
Remember, also, non-engineering experience counts too.
Of course, engineering experience is important, but companies employing engineers in Ireland are also interested in finding people who are the right fit for their organisation. In other words, securing a job requires more than having all the required technical skills.
Plus, having non-engineering experience will give you the opportunity to highlight successes and achievements if you don’t have much direct engineering experience to talk about. This particularly applies if the non-engineering experience includes achieving a goal, leading a team, or contributing to a charity or your local community.
Do Things that Show You Are Proactive
Another thing you can do to make you stand out from the competition is to research, study, and learn topics that are outside what is covered in your degree. For example, if you want to work as an engineer in the pharmaceutical or medical device manufacturing industries, you should make sure you know as much about those industries as possible.
Other options you have include learning additional programming languages and keeping up-to-date with the latest technologies, i.e. technologies that may not yet have made it onto the syllabus of your course.
Prepare Well for Interviews
The above will help you get to the interview stage, but what can you do at the interview to increase your chances. The starting point of preparing for Graduate Engineer interviews is to research the company to find out the work they do. Get a full understanding of the industry they operate in, the clients they work for, and their goals and objectives. This information will help you tailor your answers to interview questions.
Understand What Companies Hiring Graduate Engineers Are Looking For
Companies looking to recruit Graduate Engineers are looking for potential, i.e. do you have the potential to deliver for them in the future.
In other words, they know they will have to invest resources in you – time, training, and money. Not only that, they are willing to do this. What they want from you as a graduate or soon-to-be graduate going through the recruitment process is a belief that you have potential.