Job Search Tips
New college graduates are competing with professionals already in the workforce as well as new graduates all over the nation. Employers favor candidates with experience over those who simply have a degree only. How do you get experience? Here are a few suggestions:
- Become an engaged member of the College of Engineering and Engineering Technology: Enter competitions, join professional organizations for students, as well as participate in NIU's annual STEMFest event (held in October). Leadership roles especially are attractive to future employers. Why wait? Get involved beginning your freshman year and stay involved all four years.
- Intern several times throughout your college career: Internships are a central hiring strategy for employers. Through a rich internship background, you will be attractive to employers because you will have already applied classroom learning to outside NIU real life work situations.
- Build your professional resume: Include professional organizations, scholarships, competitions and internships. Use strong verbs to describe how your skills would benefit an employer and the needs of the company or firm.
- Research engineering jobs by reviewing open position job descriptions: Identify what employers are seeking in candidates, then get those experiences through classes, co-curricular experiences, professional clubs, and internships. Don't wait until your senior year to find out what employers look for; use your college years to get the experiences that engineering recruiters want. Develop attractive skills and experiences now versus trying to make what you did just sound good.
- Attend any and all job fairs: CEET and Career Services run many job fairs throughout the year, and the companies who attend aren't just looking for new grads. Companies fill internships, co-ops, and part-time positions by attending these fairs; and they aren't just looking for upper classmen. Some companies even want first and second-year students.