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Topic Title: Graduated and unemployed
Topic Summary: Where do i go from here?
Created On: 14 March 2012 04:12 AM
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 14 March 2012 04:12 AM
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BenignIndividual

Posts: 1
Joined: 14 March 2012

I graduated last july with a 2.2 hons. I've looked around and applied to 5 or so places since then that look interesting and good to work for, however i usually don't even get a single response, i've worked on my CV and covering letter in an attempt to improve the situation and that has'nt helped. Its soon going to be a year since i graduated and i'm beginning to feel incredibly worthless.

It feels like having a 2.2 Beng won't get me on any graduate scheme i look for, any advice how i should proceed in beginning a career?

I applied to
SSTL
Qualcomm
Nuclear Graduates
Siemens
RIM

and got no response.

Edited: 14 March 2012 at 04:42 AM by BenignIndividual
 14 March 2012 06:15 PM
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peteTLM

Posts: 3083
Joined: 31 March 2005

How about the other 100 or so applicable companies out there?

Presuming an E/E BEng how about, BT, Veolia, EDF, UKPN, Laing O'Rourke, Murphy, selex galieo, network rail, etc etc

There is always job adverts on the IET website as well.

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Lack of planning on your part doesn't make it an emergency on mine....

Every man has to know his limitations- Dirty Harry
 14 March 2012 06:57 PM
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mbirdi

Posts: 1907
Joined: 13 June 2005

Originally posted by: BenignIndividual
It feels like having a 2.2 Beng won't get me on any graduate scheme i look for, any advice how i should proceed in beginning a career?

One year is far too long to be out of a job and it's going to get tougher competing with the next batch of newly qualified graduates.

My suggestion would be to forget looking for graduate type jobs and start concentrating on getting a job in engineering(?) of any description. Otherwise you'll end up stacking shelves at Tescos for the forcible future.

Once you get your foot on the ladder, you can progress onto better things. Job opportunities at graduate level will start coming your way. Initial experience is the key to success. Go to your local Job Centre.

Good luck.
 15 March 2012 10:35 AM
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funkydunky71

Posts: 1
Joined: 28 May 2010

So you've only made 5 job applications in 7 months? What have you been doing with the rest of your time? I would suggest you need to be applying to a lot more companies to stand a decent chance of getting an interview.

Speak to your university careers service. They usually provide some assistance to recent graduates.

Upload your CV to national job websites. Search job websites specific to your areas of interest and location. Search the jobs section of local and national newspapers.

Go to conferences and exhibitions and speak to potential employers. Take copies of your CV. Make up business cards.

Consider studying for a postgraduate qualification. This will keep you busy and motivated and may provide
more opportunity to find suitable work.

Consider doing volunteer work to maintain a routine and sense of purpose. Losing motivation will likely put you in a downward spiral which you have to fight to avoid.

Don't be too proud to take a job you may consider beneath you. As well as occupying your time it may lead to opportunities you might never have thought of. It always seems it's easier to get a new job when you're already working.

Consider jobs such as the Armed Forces or emergency services where a degree is not a prerequisite.

Most importantly, don't lose hope. Keep focused, keep putting in the hard work, and remember that something will turn up in the end. Good luck!
 15 March 2012 06:13 PM
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amillar

Posts: 1918
Joined: 28 May 2002

I'd echo all the comments above (from memory I applied to about 200 companies when I graduated and got 1 job offer).

But also, why is there nothing in your first posting about what your degree was in, what experience you had during your degree etc? Every time you meet an engineer (including on forums) you need to have a one sentance statement ready of who you are, what you've done, and what experience if any you already have. If your first posting had started
"I've just graduated in electronics engineering, including spending a summer vacation's work experience working on DSP systems for RF signal processing, I would ideally like to find a job in that field but would be interested in anything where I could help in DSP or digital systems development."

then maybe someone here might have dropped you a PM giving you a lead. You just need to get into that way of thinking: 99 times it won't get you anywhere, but the 100th it might, and - to be honest - that's how many people find jobs these days, by letting everyone around them know what they can do and that they are looking.

So if anyone is looking for a keen, experienced, professional innovation manager across a range of engineering disciplines PM me

Hope that makes sense, and good luck!

-------------------------
Andy Millar CEng MIET CMgr MCMI

http://www.linkedin.com/in/millarandy

"The aim of argument, or of discussion, should not be victory, but progress." Joseph Joubert
 21 March 2012 10:49 AM
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apackwood

Posts: 16
Joined: 12 November 2010

Hi, I've been working for about a year now, i graduated in 2010 summer and didn't manage to get a job for 6/7 months.

It was really difficult finding motivation but it sounds like so far you've gone down the route of just applying for grad schemes. This creates all manner of problems, first, everyones applying for them, the number of places is trending down and they have very specific things that they're looking for.

Unfortunately with a 2.2 with not much experience they are probably for the most part going to pass on you. This is not a comment on you or your ability, merely a reflection of how many applications they get relative to the available places on the scheme.

I went down that road for months with a 2.1 meng but would either not hear back or get turned down at phone interview/ assesment centre.

However I went through a strategy re-think, I started just putting my CV up on Monster/ Cv- library etc and found that suddenly I was in demand, recruitment companies then start doing the work for you hooking you up with numerous companies and I ended up with multiple job offers from various really respectable companies! You can argue the merits of job v graduate job but talking to friends that are on them I really don't feel like I'm missing out on anything and am certainly earning as much as them!

I had a friend get back from spending a year in canada /Ibiza recently after his degree with a worse grade, put his cv up on the various websites and within a month had a really good job offer.

It depends what you want to do with your career but theres nothing to stop you getting your cv up on as many sites as you can, an interview if anything would be good practice

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Andrew Packwood MEng
 10 April 2012 11:38 AM
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adamtaylor

Posts: 53
Joined: 08 December 2009

Hi

There is an engneers job exhibition on at NEC in Birmingham on the 27th and 28th April, this would be a great opptunity to take a hand full of CVs too.

This would get you talking to the right people and also talk to other people in your situation!

Hope to see you there

-------------------------
Fail to prepare...Prepare to fail!

Adam
 10 April 2012 01:10 PM
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iainross2

Posts: 12
Joined: 18 September 2007

Hi,

I'd agree with the above - get your CV on Engineering websites (the IET, The Engineer Magazine, Just Engineers, Gradcracker etc.) as well as recruitment agency websites.

I'd also recommended creating a LinkedIn profile, then joining a few LinkedIn groups relevant to your discipline/field. There are usually several vacancies advertised via the groups, as well as Recruiters that look out for new members.

As previous posters have already mentioned, keep actively looking for experience. Get involved in the local IET network if you can - if you have the time to volunteer and make yourself known to local engineers/companies, it may help you to stand out from other applicants.

Good luck.
 11 April 2012 11:28 AM
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DonaldFisher

Posts: 44
Joined: 21 December 2010

My advice, if you are trying to cherry pick particular companies/graduate schemes, would be to try and pick up any relevant work experience for the time being and study a relevant MSc part time.

Meaning by the time you finish your qualification, you have a couple of years work experience under your belt and an MSc which, hopefully, would overshadow your 2:2. This would put you in a far better position when applying for graduate schemes.

Also, a lot of the more bigger/reputable companies will want you to be educated to Masters level as their graduate schemes will be tailored for people working towards CEng (where the academic requirement is Masters level).

JBB

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JBB IEng MIET
 12 April 2012 04:28 PM
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chris1982

Posts: 35
Joined: 09 August 2007

Originally posted by: BenignIndividual


It feels like having a 2.2 Beng won't get me on any graduate scheme i look for, any advice how i should proceed in beginning a career?

.


imo graduate schemes are overrated, from my experience too much soft skills and not enough practical experience, get out there and get applying for as much as you can
 21 April 2012 02:07 AM
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neilbuss

Posts: 26
Joined: 06 June 2008

I find that employers in engineering kept failing me on experience or not even giving me an interview.

The big problem with engineering training is that it is not integrated in terms of gaining experience and they have trained too many engineers for the companies out there.

There are still conflicts between educators and employers in terms of the engineers that need to be produced to match requirements.

There are also too many closed shops which need to be opened.

If you can't get into engineering try and move into another industry with your degree. Engineering skills are transferrable. Typical industries are Banking and Finance, NHS Healthcare, Teaching, retail and tourism.

It my be possible to retrain into a more integrated career path, nursing, radiography, Medical Engineering. These careers offer burseries and a 99% success rate in gaining employment because of their integrated training.
 22 April 2012 08:18 AM
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jencam

Posts: 608
Joined: 06 May 2007

Originally posted by: neilbuss
The big problem with engineering training is that it is not integrated in terms of gaining experience and they have trained too many engineers for the companies out there.

There are still conflicts between educators and employers in terms of the engineers that need to be produced to match requirements.

There are also too many closed shops which need to be opened.


My son thinks that the entire process of educating and training engineers needs a complete shake up but neither industry, the education system, nor the IET has the will or the desire to make any changes.

Engineering in the UK is not a real profession due to the lack of clearly defined entry routes and training. The overseeing body is actually a charity and is not comparable with other organisations that oversee professions in medicine, law, and financial services. The closed shop environment of a significant proportion of the British engineering industry is another issue that needs to be addressed but management will not appreciate meddling and interference by the government.
 22 April 2012 12:36 PM
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westonpa

Posts: 1771
Joined: 10 October 2007

Originally posted by: jencam
My son thinks that the entire process of educating and training engineers needs a complete shake up but neither industry, the education system, nor the IET has the will or the desire to make any changes.

Maybe this is because on the whole they think it is ok as it is. Does your son somehow think that shaking things up would make every single person happy and that there would still not be winners and losers? I think you are correct to suggest and look for improvements but let's not fool ourselves that some kind of major shake up would leave everyone happy.
Engineering in the UK is not a real profession due to the lack of clearly defined entry routes and training.

What would be your suggestions to resolve this and fix all the issues as you see them?
The overseeing body is actually a charity and is not comparable with other organisations that oversee professions in medicine, law, and financial services.

As I understand things the BMA is a voluntary organisation and the General Medical Council is a registered charity. So please explain how it is not comparable, as you made the point about charity?
Also, how did the financial services governing body get on with governing during the recent economic woes, which I believe were caused primarily by the financial industry? How did the GMC get on with their governing of MD Harold Shipman and then of course there was also the recent case of the German MD who was brought into the UK and prescribed the wrong drugs which killed a patient. Maybe we need to maintain a perspective? Improvements can be made of course, all round.
The closed shop environment of a significant proportion of the British engineering industry is another issue that needs to be addressed but management will not appreciate meddling and interference by the government.

Which parts are a closed shop, as you see things, and what would your suggestions be to open them and how do you feel this would improve things?

Regards.
 30 April 2012 01:13 PM
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storres27

Posts: 3
Joined: 30 April 2012

You better look for any kind of job. Just as long as you dont sit around there. But dont settle for underemployment as well. Good luck!

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 30 May 2012 08:44 AM
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jencam

Posts: 608
Joined: 06 May 2007

Originally posted by: westonpa
Maybe this is because on the whole they think it is ok as it is. Does your son somehow think that shaking things up would make every single person happy and that there would still not be winners and losers? I think you are correct to suggest and look for improvements but let's not fool ourselves that some kind of major shake up would leave everyone happy.


There is some truth to what you say about you can't please everyone and that there will be some losers. Even my son thinks that he may be vulnerable if certain changes in legislation are implemented.

He believes that engineers would be better served by more practical training courses with considerable input from those who work in the engineering industry rather than by traditional academic courses. He also thinks that universities should offer a better selection of short courses than they currently do. The only explanation he can come up with why universities are reluctant of offer such courses is financial in that they bring in less revenue than 3 year degree courses do. It's a bit like how many furniture retailers in the pre war years were reluctant to sell individual pieces but would much rather sell a whole suite of furniture for a room to quote an analogy. Some individual degree modules would also make good short courses but they are rarely available separately.
 30 August 2013 06:01 AM
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LazySusan

Posts: 4
Joined: 29 August 2013

If you are in or near London , I need a prototype built, it shouldnt take you longer than 7 days (if that) very easy work.

I know its not a salaried job or an apprenticship, but its easy £££ cash!£££
 30 August 2013 09:24 PM
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kengreen

Posts: 400
Joined: 15 April 2013

Remember that the longer you remain out of work the less attractive you appear to any would-be employer. You must show enthusiasm for gaining both learning and experience and that you don't expect top pay for less then top ability to serve.
 31 August 2013 01:37 PM
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amillar

Posts: 1918
Joined: 28 May 2002

Originally posted by: jencam
The closed shop environment of a significant proportion of the British engineering industry is another issue that needs to be addressed but management will not appreciate meddling and interference by the government.

That is the second time (at least) on these forums that you have asserted that there is a "closed shop", but you have never given any evidence as to why you believe that this exists.

In fact, engineering - as should be clear from the discussions throughout these forums - must be about the most "open" of all the professions. There are no qualification requirements, no "right schools", let alone any requirement to attend a certain number of posh dinners. You don't need to be registered with anyone to practice as an engineer, and there are plenty of professional engineers around without a degree.

(This is not to say that engineering degrees and professional registration are a waste of time - they most emphatically are not. Assuming you learn the content well the former will make you a better engineer, and the latter will give you a moderately useful - and reassuring - "badge of honour" that you are one. But the point is that engineering almost uniquely gives you many other routes to the top if you want to go other ways.)

So I think if you are going to make an assertion that seems to go so strongly against the observable facts you really need to back it up - particularly on a forum aimed at those entering the profession.

-------------------------
Andy Millar CEng MIET CMgr MCMI

http://www.linkedin.com/in/millarandy

"The aim of argument, or of discussion, should not be victory, but progress." Joseph Joubert
 06 September 2013 06:43 PM
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Zuiko

Posts: 517
Joined: 14 September 2010

Andy,
Certainly some sectors of engineering are at least a partly closed shop.

The DNOs were notorious for this until quite recently - you got in working as a mate or on the gangs because your dad/uncle/mate worked there.

Despite the DNOs in recent years beginning to open up with their graduate trainee programmes and on the job HNC/Foundation Degree schemes, it still is like this to a very large extent.
 08 September 2013 03:52 PM
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westonpa

Posts: 1771
Joined: 10 October 2007

Originally posted by: Zuiko
Andy,
Certainly some sectors of engineering are at least a partly closed shop. The DNOs were notorious for this until quite recently - you got in working as a mate or on the gangs because your dad/uncle/mate worked there. Despite the DNOs in recent years beginning to open up with their graduate trainee programmes and on the job HNC/Foundation Degree schemes, it still is like this to a very large extent.


It's an interesting point you make. I wonder if these companies then get the best people overall or if it generally does not make that much difference. I worked for a company which has a policy of recruiting 'friends, family' etc., of employees and actively encourages it by giving around £350 if someone is then employed. For them this cuts down on their recruitment costs but in my opinion, and based on my observations, they have a reasonable percentage of people who are performing below the standards to be expected, and based on what I have seen in other businesses. However, I do accept this may be more of a management issue than a person issue and the company in question are improving their management systems. If we open up our jobs to applicants from outside the company then we get to select from the best of those who apply but of course that in itself then requires a resource to go through the recruitment process.

It would be interesting to have a comparison between similar companies which run closed shops and those who run open shops and see which performs better in business etc.

Regards.
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