If you're currently in the market for an engineering job, you may be dealing with some depressing odds. Perhaps you're sending out dozens or even hundreds of resumes and hearing nothing back.
If you're serious about getting the job you deserve, you must do everything in your power to increase your total value so that you can attract the right kind of attention from hiring managers and recruiters.
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By now, we all know that networking on LinkedIn is one of the most effective job search strategies. Many studies have shown that your chances of getting hired improve when you have a referral. This means your job search success hinges on making human to human connections.
The best way to land the engineering job you want is to master the following three skills: communication, positivity, and influence. In fact, mastering these skills will help any job seeker in any field find job search success.
The ability to communicate effectively is one of the most important skills a person can have. On the flip side, the inability to communicate can derail your entire job search.
To improve your communication skills, you simply need to throw yourself into social scenarios. Communication is like a muscle that needs to be exercised, so attend as many social events as possible. Surround yourself with extraverts to force yourself to communicate with others on a regular basis.
I attend one social event per week. Building communities and recruiting engineering teams are skills I've developed over the last seven years. As a result, I've become a strong connector. I proactively pursue those with whom I share a vision, and then I start conversations.
Employers will often choose less experienced candidates with better attitudes over more experienced candidates with negative attitudes. Anyone can learn new skills, but great personalities are harder to teach.
Employers value candidates with the kind of positive attitudes that can transform a company's atmosphere for the better. All the behavioral and situational questions interviewers ask are designed to evaluate your mindset in different scenarios. Interviewers want to see that you are someone who desires to make the workplace joyful for everyone – yourself, your coworkers, and your customers.
If you're a glass-half-empty kind of person, you need to work on building a positive attitude immediately. Some people may recommend positive affirmation and meditation to help you adjust your mindset, but those things don't work for everyone.
I was a negative person at one time, and my transformation was primarily driven by physical exercise. It makes me happier, and it helps me make new friends. The happier you feel, the more you'll want to spread the joy.
The ability to win friends and influence people is so important that Dale Carnegie wrote a book about it. Stop thinking in terms of "winning" arguments or getting the best of others. In order to win over people – including hiring managers – you'll need to uncover what motivates them and then give them what they need.
According to the Carnegie Institute of Technology, 85 percent of a person's financial success is due to their "human engineering" skills – a combination of personality, communication, negotiation, and leadership skills. The more skilled you are in these areas, the more influential you'll be. The more influential you are, the more capable you'll be of winning over hiring managers.
If you want to find the job of your dreams this year, you must recognize that people are going to be your pathway to success. This is why you must develop the three skills outlined above. Best of all, these are skills that anyone can cultivate in themselves.
Reach out to other people and start conversations. Be authentic. Make human to human connections proactively. As you develop relationships, lead with generosity. Don't reach out to people and say, "I want your help." Instead, reach out and say, "How can I help you?"
Nader Mowlaee is an engineering career coach and recruiter who is motivated by building confidence in engineers.