That’s easier said than done – the graduate job market is competitive and employers are looking for more than university degrees. According to our research, 73 per cent of engineering and technology employers say they have difficulty with job candidates who have academic knowledge but lack workplace skills.
So what’s a future graduate to do? Preparation is key.
- Explore your options
Think about the kinds of roles you could apply for. It’s helpful to look beyond job profiles on careers websites and explore what roles are actually available. Find out by browsing E&TJobs or exploring the websites of our Corporate and Enterprise Partners. Yes, consider the big names in engineering, but also look at smaller companies and those not traditionally associated with engineering – they could be working in areas that spark your interest!
- Build a professional network
Talking to other engineers can give you an insider view of the profession. You can’t expect to get a job out of networking, but it’s a possibility, along with the possibilities of learning more about the industry and finding a mentor! Join your IET On Campus group (or engineering society) as they typically host events which bring you into contact with local engineers. If you know which sector you’d like to specialise in, get involved in one of our technical networks, or build your online profile on Engineering Communities.
- Create a master CV
Keep an up-to-date record of your qualifications, work experience and achievements in one place, for when you start applying for jobs. Build your ‘master’ CV on Career Manager (check out our quick guide for students for tips on how to do this). Not only will you have a CV that is accessible from anywhere with an internet connection, you’ll familiarise yourself with a system that you might later use for professional registration.
- Identify areas you need to work on
You know that employers look for more than qualifications, so think about other skills you could develop. If you identify your skill gaps early, you can plan your goals and the steps you need to achieve them on Career Manager- even before you graduate. Not only will this boost your confidence, it’ll result in less stress when it comes to looking for your first job.
There are plenty of IET resources you could use that support your continuing professional development! For example, develop industry knowledge by reading E&T magazine and soft skills on our free LifeSkills workshops and webinars. To make it easier to remember the products and services we’ve got to help you on your professional journey, we’ve created the acronym TWAVES:
- Get experience
Getting a work experience placement will take you some way towards getting a graduate job. Even if you’re not offered a job at the end of it, you’ll gain experience to add to your CV and insights that will help you make informed choices about your career. Don’t limit your learning to placements only. Why not try volunteering with us? It’s a great way to meet other engineers, gain skills for your CV and have fun.
- Start now!
Think of university as your training ground for the workplace. Look for opportunities to secure work experience, develop your soft skills and explore the job market. It may be hard to know where to begin – but if you do one thing today, create an account on Career Manager. It will get you thinking about your CV and the skills you need to make it shine!
Log on to Career Manager today