By: Leslie Stevens-Huffman
You’ll need more than great technical skills and experience to land a full-time or contract engineering job in the digital age. To execute an effective search, engineering professionals also need a healthy dose of expertise in marketing, social media, mobile technology and a little bit of showmanship.
Here are some suggestions and tools to help you master the art of a digital job search.
Get Ready for Your Close-Up
Your initial meeting with a prospective employer is more likely to take place via Skype or FaceTime, thanks to the advent of video technology. In fact, some employers are using platforms that allow candidates to record answers to questions using a webcam or mobile device so they can pass them along to members of the hiring team. Tech managers are even recording applicants performing tasks like coding or using an online code editing tool to test candidates online in real time.
The bottom line is that you need to hone your video interviewing skills and become comfortable with the technology, because a video chat or assessment may be the only chance you’ll have to make your case to the hiring manager. Do you know which side is your good side?
Digitize Your Resume
Many professionals are using digital resumes, portfolios or websites to grab the interest of hiring managers and recruiters. A digital page or portfolio paints a complete picture for reviewers by providing a graphic representation of your work, project history and interests. For instance, you can use tabs to organize online videos, infographics, presentations and even your blog posts. You can also optimize your materials for search engines to help engineering managers and recruiters find you online.
The newest trend is the rise of video resumes or introductions. Professionals record and submit an introductory video directly to hiring managers, or upload them onto YouTube or Vimeo to stand out from the crowd. Think of the videos as professional infomercials, only shorter.
Manage Your Digital Footprint
What is your digital footprint? It’s what prospective employers uncover about you – both good and bad – and the impression they get when they search for you online. Practically speaking, it’s the extension of your personal brand via endorsements, social media, online profiles and participation in engineering networks and forums that establish your presence and reputation in the professional community. Unless you have a robust digital footprint, you may be excluded from consideration for some key positions.
To create and maintain a compelling digital footprint, you need to think like a marketer. How can you connect with your target audience by developing messages that resonate? What’s important to engineering managers? Once you’ve answered those questions, create and post solution-oriented content or participate in brand-building activities like public speaking to establish yourself as an expert in your field.
Mobile apps allow job hunters to search discreetly for jobs, apply, update profiles, manage activity or send resumes anytime and anywhere. Some tools facilitate networking and informational interviews by helping you identify contacts who are already open to scheduling in-person meetings.
And speaking of time savers, why not avoid travel time and expense by attending a virtual career fair. Many professional engineering associations, employers and college career centers host events throughout the year.
From salary data to interview coaching and resume tips, everything you need to plan and execute an effective job search is right at your fingertips. You can even check out an employer’s favorite interview questions or tap the hidden job market. There is no shortage of resources, tools or opportunities for job hunting engineers to succeed in the digital age.
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