“I am graduating soon – how do I start the job search for my first full-time offer?” As this is a common question I get when I talk to students, I thought I would start our 2022 Career Development series on places you can start your job search. Looking for entry-level jobs can be an arduous and overwhelming task, so I hope that this post will help you in this process. While this will focus on the first full-time job search, most if not all of this information can be applied to internships or folks looking to switch jobs!
1. Your Network / Professional Association
The first place I would always start my co-op or job search was within my network. While you can apply through online applications, networking is typically much more effective in landing an interview. Now that I am on the job recruiting side, the first place I look for candidates is my networks and connections that I know well and who might be interested in the open role.
I could write a full blog post about the benefits of networking (and reach out if you would like me to do so), but in terms of job search, networking helps you make a real connection rather than just submitting your resume into a pile through an online application.
Having a solid network takes time and effort to develop like growing a garden, so I wanted to cover other ways to start the job search like professional organizations. As a member of a professional organization, you most likely even have access to their online forum for job postings. I have listed a few of my favorites in the resources list below.
With the digital world we live in, there are so many STEM online communities on social media, Discord, and more where you might be able to find a list of open job listings. Even Engineering Gals has its own job board at https://www.engineeringgals.com/jobs.
By searching “Civil Engineer” on Indeed at the time I was writing this post, there are over 40,800 jobs posted here! One of my favorite parts of Indeed is that there are several search parameters like “Location”, “Company” and even “Remote” where you can filter this search down further based on what you are looking for in a job. Indeed also gives you the ability to upload your resume to the site and employers can reach out to you! Learn more about Indeed on their home page at https://www.indeed.com.
LinkedIn was actually how I was contacted by a recruiter about the job I have now! Recruiters use LinkedIn daily to contact potential candidates, so making sure that your LinkedIn is up to date is key if you are actively job searching. If you would like a separate blog post on updating your LinkedIn, please let me know.
Once your profile is up to date, I would recommend two options. The first option is that you can click on your profile on LinkedIn and then the “Open To” button as shown in the photo, you can update your profile to show that you are open to finding a new job.
If you are public about this job search (especially if you are about to graduate), you can also add the #Open to Work banner to your profile photo. If you don’t want to be as public about your job search, there is also an option to make this viewable to recruiters only. For both options, you can also select job preferences including locations you are interested in, job types (Full-time, internship, etc.).
Especially if you are still a college student, Handshake is an excellent place to start your job search: their website even states “The #1 way college students find jobs”!
Drexel just held their two-day virtual Engineering and Technology Career Fair all through Handshake as shown in the photos below. From what I heard from current students, the fair went pretty great and there were options to sign up for group sessions with companies as well as one on one.
Learn more on their website at https://joinhandshake.com/.
5. College-specific programs like Dragon Network
College-specific programs can be a great place to look for a job. While the example of Dragon Network is Drexel-specific, I wanted to share because your college might have something similar! The advantage of using a college-specific program is that you and the potential hiring person already have something in common – you went to the same college. And while I have not specifically recommended someone that I met through Dragon Network for a job yet, I would definitely consider it once I have gotten to know the potential candidate well.
I hope this helps you in your job search! What additional questions do you have for me about the job search? Feel free to reach out to me at DaniTheEngineer.Blog@gmail.com with any other questions.
- ASCE Career Center – https://careers.asce.org/
- SWE Career Center – https://careers.swe.org/
- Dragon Network (must be a current Drexel student or Alumni to join) – https://dragonnetwork.drexel.edu/
- Other Places to look for jobs (Our team have not used these options personally)