General job search tips

Professional networking
  • Expand your networking to include professional networking, which is different from social networking.
  • Attend local events that will allow you to meet working engineers and hiring managers.
  • Talk to working engineers about the type of projects they do at their companies.
Professional engineering societies
  • If you are a member of a student engineering society (like IISE or INCOSE), list your membership on your resume, particularly if you were an officer.
  • If you attended any of the society’s national or regional conferences, list each conference on your resume.
  • If you are not active with a professional engineering society, consider joining as a student. Then you can attend their events and engage in professional networking to make contacts and identify job opportunities.
Interviewing for information
  • Engage in informal interviews with working engineers and others at companies you are interested in working for.
  • Attend local events like engineering society events, so you can meet working engineers and UW ISE alumni.
  • Use your interviewing results to help focus your job search and your career objective.
Career objective
  • Think carefully about the type of work you would prefer to do at a company or organization.
  • If you list a career objective on your resume, specify the type of position you are seeking. Otherwise, the person reading your resume will have to figure this out based on your work history and education.
  • If you are applying for an internship, make sure you state this clearly.
Work history
  • For each of your past employers — and any current employer — you should describe on your resume the products made or services provided at the site you worked at and specify the size of the facility. This information helps put your work experience in perspective.
  • If you did any internships in your field, mention these on your resume, but mark them as internships.
  • If you did a senior design project or any project-related assignments while in college, describe these projects, but note that they were done in college.
  • Have 4–5 references written up in a MS Word document — ready to send out to hiring managers upon request. Mention at the bottom of your resume that you can provide a list of references.
  • Contact your references and get them to help you with your current job search.
  • Talk to your professors about possible job leads and contacts.
Practice interviews
  • Do mock interviews, if these are available on campus, or do practice job interviews with a friend, acting in the role of the hiring manager.
  • Get familiar with answering typical job interview questions and in utilizing your resume during a job interview.
Professional certification and additional education
  • For some positions, you may need a professional certification. Even if you don’t complete it, just taking the class (live or online) may help your resume and give you something additional to talk about in a job interview.
  • A master’s degree (engineering or MBA) may help your job search, particularly if you attend a well-known U.S. university and if you are foreign born. Get hands-on job experience with your undergraduate degree before pursuing an advanced degree. Many companies will reimburse your fees for an advanced degree if done off-hours.
Industry and company investigations
  • Focus your job search on a few companies that you like and a few industries that you have experience in.
  • When submitting your resume to a company’s jobs website, follow the site’s instructions carefully. Look for a variety of job titles that you qualify for.
  • Monitor the results of your job search. If you are not getting job interviews, try a different approach until you have some results. If you are getting interviews, but no job offers, consider doing mock or practice interviews to prepare yourself.
Career fairs and hiring events
  • If any companies you are interested in have a career fair or hiring event on campus, attend the event and bring several copies of your resume.
  • Be ready to talk about your career objective and your work history quickly and concisely. You will have very little time to talk with each company representative.
Search jobs listing websites
  • For job search information, use the university’s engineering career center and the placement office.
  • Use a good general jobs posting website (like HuskyJobs), and check it often for job openings in your field. Be creative with the types of job titles you look for.
  • is a general job-search site that many working engineers and managers use. It has filters that can help focus your job search on specific locations or job titles.