How to Squeeze the Most Out of Your Engineering Career

When it comes to engineering, there are many things you can do to advance your career. Furthering your education is rapidly becoming a requirement for any type of career advancement today. But that’s not all. You’ll also want to focus on developing your soft skills and networking. Here are 3 things you should be doing (or at least considering) if you want to advance your engineering career.

1. Further Your Education

 Many engineers are expected to hold at least a master’s degree to be successful in their careers. Further education, or a multi-disciplinary background, can really help give you an edge. Many employers now look for candidates with advanced degrees “in progress” and even expect them to continue their education while working for their company. Some may even offer programs that support that pursuit financially (and in terms of schedule).

Overall, while the technicalities of being an engineer have increased, many schools have reduced the number of credit hours required to earn an engineering degree as an undergraduate student. This leaves employers in a bind as the candidates applying to entry-level engineering jobs are not fully prepared without the additional coursework a post-graduate degree provides. Rather than struggle to apply an incomplete degree to the real-life demands of a career in engineering, consider getting an advanced degree that will put you on better footing within your career now and in the future.

2. Work on Your Soft Skills

There are many soft skills that engineering candidates can benefit from when it comes to advancing their career. Communication is chief among those skills. Many individuals with a more technical focus struggle to translate their expertise into layman’s terms. In fact, it is the ability to communicate effectively with a large audience and to build strong relationships with stakeholders that employers find highly valuable in their technical staff. So, work on your soft skills. Build on your emotional intelligence. Because being able to work well with others is the key to long-term career success.

3. Grow Your Network

Networking is important no matter what you do, but as an engineer, your professional network can support your career growth and establish your credibility as an expert in your field. Reliability and references are two key elements of an upwardly mobile career. So be bold in growing your network. Ask for mentoring opportunities when they make sense. Learn from those with something to teach, while also contributing in your own way as well. There are so many ways to network effectively these days, from LinkedIn to industry events. The best way is the one that works best for you.

Are you looking for a new opportunity?

Don’t limit yourself to connections with people within your discipline. Engineering has several applications across multiple industries. You never know where your next opportunity will come from, so always be open to new things. And for more great tips to help you grow your engineering career, connect with the career counselors at USPRO today.

How To Make Your Networking Even More Effective

Professional networking is an essential skill for everyone to master.  You have set goals for yourself and worked tirelessly to hone the skills you need to do your job.  You know that you have a lot to offer employers, co-workers and customers.  But in order to advance in your career, you need to know the best ways to convey those skills and that knowledge to others through professional networking.  This blog covers a few of the ways you can be really effective at selling yourself and your vision.

Put Yourself Out There

We all know that networking can be something to dread.  Particularly for introverted people, it can be difficult to put yourself out there and have a conversation with someone you don’t know well.  There are a few ways to overcome that reticence and really shine when networking.  Start with being an active listener.  You want to talk about yourself, your skills, your experience but so do the people you are networking with.  Show an interest in what they have to offer and you can find out what you have to offer them.  Find out what products and services their company has to offer, how they set themselves apart from their competition, who their clients are and who makes the important decisions at their company.  Knowing those things helps you get across what you have to offer them.

Be Strategic

Be thoughtful and evaluate both the events you attend and the contacts you make while you network.  Be sure to follow-up with important contacts and look for ways (like a one-on-one lunch) that you can further develop a new contact.  Be open to getting out there and trying new things like that cooking class you’ve been thinking of taking because there are networking opportunities in unexpected places.  Work on your pitch so that you are always ready to talk about what you do and what you have to offer.

Be Memorable

Don’t overlook the things that make you unique and memorable.  You never know when a shared passion for a cause or hobby you have in common might spark a real connection with a new networking contact.  It’s important to behave professionally while networking but you also need to show off your personality in a positive way and avoid being bland and forgettable.

Don’t Forget Online

You can’t overlook the importance of networking online.  With a variety of websites like LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, it is important to maintain a professional digital presence. Craft a profile that demonstrates your professional achievements and use websites like LinkedIn and Facebook to show that you keep up with advancements and current developments in your field.  Offer your own thoughtful analysis of those developments.  Be a careful curator of your own content on these websites.  Never post pictures, personal or professional stories, memes, or share content from other people that would reflect poorly on your own judgment or professionalism.

Are you looking for the next step in your career?

For more tips on how to up your professional networking game, connect with the recruiting experts at US PRO today.

3 Interview Skills You Should Always Brush Up On

The first impression you make on a potential employer is incredibly essential. When you meet a prospective employer for the first time, they immediately form an opinion of you based on how you present yourself, be it how you dress or how you speak. Interviewing is a skill in and of itself, in which your ability to interact with the interviewer and articulate your thoughts are just as important factors in getting the job as the qualifications listed on your resume.

Below are the top 3 interview skills to brush up on your own job search.

Skill #1: Be Confident, But Not Arrogant

Although you should be willing and able to promote yourself, your experience and accomplishments, make sure you don’t come across as arrogant, narcissistic, or self-important. No matter how good you are at your job, you’re going to run into countless obstacles if you lack the emotional intelligence to work on a team and get along with managers, co-workers or clients. Focus on exuding a kind and balanced sense of confidence, and when you discuss your achievements and be sure to give credit where credit is due to show that you’re a team player.

Skill #2: Express Optimism

No company wants to hire someone with a bad attitude. No matter how difficult your situation is, don’t bring any baggage into the interview room. That means don’t bad-mouth your former employer or any other companies you’ve been associated with or complain about your circumstances.

Be natural, expressing reasonable perspectives through a lens of optimism. For example, if you have to talk about a challenging situation, you should include a mention of how you may have helped solve it, and what you learned that made you a better employee. Remember, your body language here matters as much as your words. Walk in with a smile on your face, offer a firm handshake, and sit up tall at the table, leaning slightly forward to engage in the conversation.

Sill #3: Show Interest, Without Desperation

Sometimes, it can be helpful to think of an interview as a (professional) first date. An air of disinterest, apathy, or monotony will likely turn off an interviewer, as will overenthusiastic desperation. No matter how much you want or need the job, refrain from acting desperate; pleading or begging has no place in a job interview. The key is to express sincere interest in the role and in the company, and passion for the work you do. Keep in the back of your mind that you are a valuable asset as an employee.

Interviews can be tough, but with some practice, they can become a skill that you conquer. Make sure you are prepared for your first meeting with an employer and take the time to put your best foot forward. Sometimes that means running through sample interview questions with a trusted friend or mentor. Sometimes that means putting yourself in a confident mindset, ready and eager to share your passion and expertise with a new employer. The bottom line is to do what works for you, and you’ll be amazed at how well you can do.

Are you looking for a new job?

Connect with the recruiting team at US PRO to learn more about how you can ace your next interview.

Interviewing 2.0 – Upgrade Your Interview Skills With These Tips

Interviews can be a challenge for even the most experienced candidates. But with these top tips, you’ll be ready to impress at your next interview.

Tip #1. Do your Homework

Before you walk through the door to your interview, you should not only know the job description forward and backward, but you should also be prepared to eloquently and succinctly explain how your previous work experiences have prepared you for the requirements and duties of the job. You should also read up on the company you are interviewing with.

Tip #2. Be On Time

Just about the worst thing you can do in an interview is be late. Make every effort to arrive on time, if not early, to your appointment. This may require planning your commute more effectively and even familiarizing yourself with the meeting location beforehand.

Tip #3. Dress to Impress

First and foremost, look to how you present yourself in an interview. People evaluate your professionalism based on how you are dressed. Interview attire should be more formal than what you likely would wear to work in the job you are applying for. In most cases this means a suit and tie for men, and equally formal attire for women. Keep accessories and perfumes to a minimum, and do what you can to model the culture of the company in your attire.

Tip #4. Boost your Confidence

Body language plays a big part in how you are perceived in an interview setting as well. To give yourself a boost of confidence before meeting with your interviewer, try out a few power poses and stretch your face muscles so you are less stiff on the onset of your meeting. Do what you can to calm your nerves and remind yourself that you are a great fit for the job.

Tip #5. Call on your Network

Do you have a connection in your professional network that can give you a few pointers on the job you are applying to? A little insider information can go a long way toward preparing yourself for the interview. If you know someone who works for the company you are applying to, or who knows the hiring manager, it can be very helpful to ask for advice or more information about the position prior to the big day.

Tip #6. Come Prepared

Make sure you have all the materials and information you need well ahead of your interview day. If you are bringing any examples of past work or copies of your resume along to the meeting, make sure you have what you need well before you are asked to present them. Also, double check meeting locations and directions to make sure you are able to arrive on time and well prepared.

Tip #7. Practice, Practice, Practice

Lastly, but perhaps most importantly, make sure you practice your interview skills. You can do this with a friend or family member, or even just in front of a mirror. That practice will help you hit your key points when you are put on the spot.

Are you looking for a job?

For more helpful advice on how to ace your next interview, contact a career advisor at USPRO today.

 

What are Potential Benefits of Working With A Staffing Agency

Working with a staffing agency provides several benefits beyond simply helping candidates find a job. They can provide employment benefits, such as healthcare, 401k plans, group insurance, and vacation or sick leave. But most importantly, they can help you build your career up to new heights. Here are 4 key benefits to working with a staffing agency that you should definitely take into account as you look for your next big opportunity.

Benefit #1: Job Matching

 Staffing firms are constantly receiving requests from companies who need help finding the right person for a new opportunity. It’s in their interest to find high quality candidates to quickly fill those roles. This is true to the point that recruiters are actively looking for good workers within an industry even before the right opportunity comes along. The ability to match top industry talent with great job opportunities is what makes staffing firms able to meet the needs of their clients and their candidates so well. That gives you the chance to find your next role before it hits the job boards.

Benefit #2: Candidate Loyalty

 Another great thing about working with a staffing firm is that you can earn their loyalty by doing a great job. If you work on a contract and show yourself to be a committed and capable employee, at the end of your contract the staffing agency will work hard to continue to employ you with the same company or with another company quickly. They do this to keep you on their payroll, but it also benefits you as a job seeker. It means less down-time between gigs and the dedicated support that can mean the difference in your job search.

 Benefit #3: Industry Knowledge

If you are looking to move into a market you are not particularly familiar with, recruiters are your greatest resource. Their industry knowledge is a critical resource.  Staffing firms know all about the job market, and if you are working with a specialized staffing agency, they know what companies are hiring for your niche position. Recruiters can also help you better understand the value of your skills, the going rate for positions, and whether an offer is reasonable or not. If you lack that industry knowledge, you could end up regretting your decision to settle with one company rather than another.

Benefit #4: Instant Network

A robust professional network is essential to quickly discovering and landing new jobs. If your network is lacking when you begin your job search, you’ll find yourself inevitably fighting an uphill battle. Recruiters are known for their excellent connections with hiring managers and employers who are looking for candidates. After years of working with a wide variety of employers, your recruiter knows who’s hiring, what they’re looking for, and what’s coming down the pipe. That network is a huge bonus when you start working with a recruiter because you know that you’ll be connected with the right companies at the right time.

Are you looking for a new job?

For more reasons why you should work with a staffing agency to land your next gig, reach out to talk with a career counselor at USPRO today or search for a job here.


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Job Search Tips That Will Get You A Job Faster

The modern job search can feel like a never-ending battle if you are not able to take advantage of certain new technologies and processes. Many talented individuals who haven’t been looking for a job recently are caught unawares and left wondering why they are sending out resume after resume but never hearing back from hiring managers. The truth is that job hunting has changed. Employers are hiring differently. Everyone is optimizing for time and cost, but with these 3 tips, you can work toward getting a good job faster and more effectively.

3 Job Search Tips


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Tip #1: Embrace New Technologies

From an employer’s perspective, one of the most attractive aspects of the modern recruiting process is the automation and the ability to reach out to a wider field of candidates quicker and easier than ever before. But that results in some interesting challenges for professionals in the market for a new job. A common mistake that job hunters make is to send out a generalized template style resume to several different employers and waiting to see what sticks. In the present day of search engines and automated application forms, that’s a great way to get completely ignored by recruiters and hiring managers.

Instead, lean into the technology and let it work for you. Highlight keywords that you know employers are looking for in resumes that read. Reach out to employers on social media. Connect with them in forums. Differentiate yourself using the latest and greatest technologies to show that you mean business and would be able to bring that knowledge and experience to help them grow their business.

Tip #2: Set Achievable Goals

Goal setting is probably the most important thing you can do to ensure a positive job search experience. You should know what it is you are looking to achieve right from the beginning. What sort of job do you want to get? Who do you want to work for? How much do you want to get paid? Answering these questions on the front end of a job search is important so that you ensure that you don’t settle for whatever falls into your lap. This is your job search, your career. Take ownership of it and be prepared to say no to an offer that simply doesn’t meet your standards or fails to help you reach your goals.

Tip #3: Call on Your Network

Networking can be one of the most nerve-wracking parts of a job search. Asking former colleagues and connections for leads or recommendations can be tough. It opens you up to rejection and it reveals a certain vulnerability that most professionals like to keep hidden away. But talking to your family, your friends, and your colleagues for referrals can be a cathartic experience. They can help you see how valuable you are, and how much promise your career holds. They can inspire and motivate you to do better than you would do otherwise, and above all, they can provide the support that will give your career a boost with little to no leg work from you. So, don’t be afraid to reach out for help.

Tip #4: Work With an Expert

For more help finding your next job quickly, reach out to talk to a USPro recruiter today or search for a job.


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4 Reasons Why Temp Work Can Be a Great Career Choice

Temporary work is not what it used to be. Where once they were looked on as the kind of work that would hold candidates over until their real job came through, now temp work can help distinguish a career. Contracts are sometimes even extended based on project length, business need, and proof of a skilled and committed worker. If you are looking for ways to build out your resume and position yourself for your dream job, here are 4 reasons why temp work might be the right choice for you.


1. Build Your Network

One of the most valuable parts of working on a contract job is the people you meet and the connections you make. Expanding your professional network is difficult when you are not working, but in temporary positions you are more likely to make many new acquaintances and hopefully leave them all with a good impression. Think of it as an opportunity to meet your next employer, even if it’s not with your current company. Your coworkers are also very good resources within your professional network. You never know where your next gig will come from, so take the time to make connections and make a name for yourself within the professional community.  

2. Expand Your Skills

Every new job you take provides the opportunity to learn new things. By taking on a temporary job, it really offers the chance to build new skills in a short amount of time. If you know what type of work you are looking to build a career on, it’s important to do research and figure out if you have the skills and qualifications that will get you there. With temporary work, you can expand your skills set quickly on a wide variety of projects that will each add value to your resume and your work history.

3. Gain Experience Quickly

If you are new to your industry, or professional work in general, a lack of experience can be a challenge when it comes to landing a job. Temp work allows candidates to gain lots of experience very quickly, and as such can help land those future dream jobs. Worth considering as well is that many employers look to hire from their temporary rosters once employees have had a chance to prove their value. After about 3 to 6 months, both employee and employer will have a better idea of whether they are each a good fit for the other.

4. Try Something New

For those professionals looking to make a change in their careers, temp work is an ideal way to test out a new industry or new role with minimal commitment. If you are looking for a change, consider short-term contracts that can give you the opportunity to use your skills in a new way and provide that inside view from a new company or industry that will help you make your move.

 

Are you looking for an interview?

Get started on the next phase of your career today by giving the team at USPRO a call or search for a job here. For more advice on how temp work can help grow your career, connect with the recruiters at USPro today.Contact us today!


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