As a recent construction, engineering or environmental sciences graduate looking for a career opportunity upon graduation you may find the employment landscape a very challenging environment.
Employers today are receiving volumes of applications both online and in person for every open position they have within their organization. These are from experienced job seekers, as well as entry level graduates with little experience leaving the competition for jobs quite competitive especially in the construction, engineering and environmental industry. Some of the countries hardest hit industries in this last economic down turn.
As a college student approaching graduation a little planning for the future will go a long way in making sure your job prospects are plentiful upon graduation.
Plan For Your Career:
You have selected your profession and are working towards your degree, but a degree in today’s marketplace is not always enough now. Employers today want a well-rounded employee with experience in the industry, excellent written and verbal communication skills and the drive to work hard and excel.
It is vital to network with your professors, join professional trade organizations, attend seminars, and to volunteer with companies to gain experience and make connections in your chosen industry.
One of the greatest ways to accomplish your goals while in school is through an internship. Don’t wait until the last year of college to do this, but rather begin interning by your junior year, if not earlier. This will allow you to gain the experience you need, make professional contacts, and discover what professional specialties you enjoy working in.
The internship, even if you are not being paid, is the best way to obtain full-time employment upon graduation. Employers retain interns that enjoy learning, are positive, upbeat and work hard. 90% of the time employers will employ the intern on a full-time basis upon graduation; granted they have demonstrated their value during the internship.
If nothing less, you will be exposed to many construction, engineering and environmental projects, professionals, and skills that could not be obtained in a classroom setting. Internships allow you to gain the valuable experience employers are seeking in recent graduates and you will always want to make sure to ask for recommendations from your supervisors upon completion of an internship.
Be Prepared For Your Job Search:
Conducting a job search is a challenging endeavor, especially for a recent graduate who is venturing out to the workforce for the first time.
(1) You must have a professionally written resume outlining your skills, qualifications and experience, as well as recommendation letters from past professors and/or employers.
(2) You must be polished – clean up your act, review your social media accounts and remove unflattering posts, tweets, etc. You should set up a professional LinkedIn profile and make sure you have professional attire (ie, suit, dress, etc.) not just for your interview but for the first few weeks of employment. Additionally make sure you are professionally groomed (ie.hair cut, nails, etc.).
(3) Practice interviewing. Review your resume, practice answering the most common interview questions employers ask, role-play with friends, professors and/or classmates to get comfortable with talking about yourself and answering questions that you may not be accustomed to answering. Make sure to obtain their feedback about your answers to polish you responses.
Additionally, you may want to attend interviewing seminars at your college’s career services department or buy a book or two on how to interview to get a general idea of what to expect in an interview setting.
(4) Research the companies that you may have an interview with before going into the interview. Learn what the company does, their projects, products, industry focus, who is working there, the background of the person you are interviewing with, and anything else that may pertain to the interview or company. It will greatly enhance the interviewer’s perception of you during the interview if you understand the company and ask relevant questions pertaining to the job.