News

Peer Power: Job Hunting Tips from Fellow Contract Engineers

By: Leslie Stevens-Huffman

Companies are increasingly hiring contract engineers to supplement the capabilities of in-house teams and assist with heavy workloads. In fact, the U.S. Department of Labor found that 65 percent of employers plan to increase their use of flexible staffing to meet their future talent needs.

Engineer Job Hunt Puzzle

But even if you work with several staffing firms, it may take considerable effort and marketing know-how to keep new projects coming in. To make sure you succeed, we asked veteran contractors to share their tips for landing new engineering assignments and finding consistent work. Here’s what they said.

Niche Down and Dominate

Creating a niche practice transformed Alex Standiford from an ordinary design engineer into a highly sought-after freelance specialist in the point-of-purchase display industry. Narrowing his focus has helped him understand the needs of prospective clients and design and market industry-specific solutions. It’s also helped him garner referrals.

Best of all, it makes marketing easier. Standiford manages to stay up on the latest trends and attract new clients while attending just two conferences a year. What’s his advice for staying busy in any economy? “Niche down, niche down, niche down!”

Develop a Daily Writing Habit

Even if you work through a staffing agency, blogging, and posting informative tidbits on social media can extend your reach, bolster your brand and attract people to your website and online profile.

“To be good at marketing and sales, you have to learn how to write,” Standiford said. “Most engineers are good at documentation or technical writing, but they don’t write every day and they don’t have a flair for marketing. They need to acquire new skills and habits to become a successful contractor.”

If you’re new to marketing, here’s some information to help you get started.

Be Totally Honest

Morgan Skinner has worked steadily for the past five years as a freelance .NET expert on both sides of the pond. He attributes the robust demand for his services to his fair and honest business practices, which has produced satisfied clients, repeat assignments and lots of referrals.

For instance, he’s careful not to overstate his technical abilities on his resume or during interviews. As he puts it: “I know what I know and what I don’t know, and I’m honest about it.”

Skinner also engenders client trust and confidence by keeping an eye on expenses over the course of an assignment. He bills by the minute and voluntarily heads for the exit if he finishes a project ahead of schedule.

Perhaps most importantly, he doesn’t hesitate to share his honest opinion after assessing a company’s infrastructure and technical requirements, even if the work is more difficult or requires more time and money. At least so far, no one has blamed the messenger.

“I’m brutally honest with the CTO about my findings because I want to make sure that I can meet or exceed his or her expectations,” Skinner said. “I even invite him to get a second opinion.”

“I’d rather turn down an assignment than take on a project that is doomed to fail,” Skinner added, “because repeat customers and word-of-mouth referrals are some of the best sources of revenue for contract professionals.”

Other Articles of Potential Interest

5 Ways Contracting Advances Your Engineering Career

5 Ways to Sell Yourself in an Interview

Smart Moves for Mid-Career Engineers

5 Ways to Land a Stretch Engineering Assignment

Three Ways to Scope Out an Engineering Firm Before an Interview

Help PEAK find the right placement for you:  Submit or Update your resume.

|

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Peer Power: Job Hunting Tips from Fellow Contract Engineers

By: Leslie Stevens-Huffman

Companies are increasingly hiring contract engineers to supplement the capabilities of in-house teams and assist with heavy workloads. In fact, the U.S. Department of Labor found that 65 percent of employers plan to increase their use of flexible staffing to meet their future talent needs.

Engineer Job Hunt Puzzle

But even if you work with several staffing firms, it may take considerable effort and marketing know-how to keep new projects coming in. To make sure you succeed, we asked veteran contractors to share their tips for landing new engineering assignments and finding consistent work. Here’s what they said.

Niche Down and Dominate

Creating a niche practice transformed Alex Standiford from an ordinary design engineer into a highly sought-after freelance specialist in the point-of-purchase display industry. Narrowing his focus has helped him understand the needs of prospective clients and design and market industry-specific solutions. It’s also helped him garner referrals.

Best of all, it makes marketing easier. Standiford manages to stay up on the latest trends and attract new clients while attending just two conferences a year. What’s his advice for staying busy in any economy? “Niche down, niche down, niche down!”

Develop a Daily Writing Habit

Even if you work through a staffing agency, blogging, and posting informative tidbits on social media can extend your reach, bolster your brand and attract people to your website and online profile.

“To be good at marketing and sales, you have to learn how to write,” Standiford said. “Most engineers are good at documentation or technical writing, but they don’t write every day and they don’t have a flair for marketing. They need to acquire new skills and habits to become a successful contractor.”

If you’re new to marketing, here’s some information to help you get started.

Be Totally Honest

Morgan Skinner has worked steadily for the past five years as a freelance .NET expert on both sides of the pond. He attributes the robust demand for his services to his fair and honest business practices, which has produced satisfied clients, repeat assignments and lots of referrals.

For instance, he’s careful not to overstate his technical abilities on his resume or during interviews. As he puts it: “I know what I know and what I don’t know, and I’m honest about it.”

Skinner also engenders client trust and confidence by keeping an eye on expenses over the course of an assignment. He bills by the minute and voluntarily heads for the exit if he finishes a project ahead of schedule.

Perhaps most importantly, he doesn’t hesitate to share his honest opinion after assessing a company’s infrastructure and technical requirements, even if the work is more difficult or requires more time and money. At least so far, no one has blamed the messenger.

“I’m brutally honest with the CTO about my findings because I want to make sure that I can meet or exceed his or her expectations,” Skinner said. “I even invite him to get a second opinion.”

“I’d rather turn down an assignment than take on a project that is doomed to fail,” Skinner added, “because repeat customers and word-of-mouth referrals are some of the best sources of revenue for contract professionals.”

Other Articles of Potential Interest

5 Ways Contracting Advances Your Engineering Career

5 Ways to Sell Yourself in an Interview

Smart Moves for Mid-Career Engineers

5 Ways to Land a Stretch Engineering Assignment

Three Ways to Scope Out an Engineering Firm Before an Interview

Help PEAK find the right placement for you:  Submit or Update your resume.

|

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

All Testimonials

I have enjoyed PEAK’s expedience in all they do. They went over and above with my request for help and I appreciate that very much.

Rod G.

See All Testimonials

PEAK Careers!

Take control of your career! Join the team as a recruiter at PEAK and build the future of your dreams.