Expert Manufacturing Advice tailored for step-by-step implementation in the workplace. Small Manufacturers, Machine Shops and CAD Engineers improve and thrive with our hands-on help. Manufacturing Job Search Sources 2: Networking, Social Networking, Local Employers, How to Stay Positive, Getting into a Routine and are you Over-qualified?
'Hands-on Help for SMEs' and Smart Technical People'
There may be local technical companies you may have considered working for. Maybe you have heard good things from friends or family. Do some research and make a list of likely possibly employers, copying and pasting their contact details including websites and email addresses. Check the websites periodically, looking for positions suitable for you. Local employment has the big advantages of a short commute, low travel costs and more time at home. As such, it makes sense to see what’s on your door step.
If you identify a number of likely local employers, make it your business to find out all you can about them. Start with websites. How are they organised? Are they part of a larger group? What is the industry like and how are they performing? Can you find out the main departments and key personnel? What’s the culture and reputation of the company? Finding out answers to questions like these will give you a really a good feel for the organisation, sharpen your focus and better prepare you for any application and future interview.
If you really like what you’ve found, consider a direct application to the relevant person (spend time finding out who this is). Really aim to impress, ensuring your covering letter and CV demonstrate your interest in the business, your research and how you feel you can make a difference. See the ‘CV and Cover Letter’ sections for more advice and tips.
Even if they are not currently recruiting, they may offer you an interview or ask you to come in for a talk if your skills and experience are well matched, or if you can bring something additional to their existing set-up. The company may choose to keep you on file and contact you as and when a vacancy arises. This approach, although unconventional, demonstrates uniqueness and aptitude to potential employers. In addition it sets you apart from the pack, puts you in the shop window and ensures you remain memorable.
Manufacturing Job Search Sources 2: Your Network of Contacts...
It is said, the majority of jobs are not actually advertised. Instead many are filled by recommendations, internal applications, positions being generated to fit staff and personal contacts. All these rely on networks - people knowing people and putting them in touch with job opportunities.
Networking in person is still invaluable. Go to events where potential employers and like-minded professionals attend. These may include trade association events, job and recruitment fairs, professional engineering institution functions, conferences and exhibitions, as well as general business conferences and seminars.
Although it may seem daunting at first, be brave and consciously make an effort. Attempt to build rapport and quickly get to the same level of those you talk to. Concentrate on becoming an interesting conversationalist. Practice becoming a good listener, being observant and commenting on things you have in common. Aspirations, career development and business opportunities are all networking conversation topics which lend themselves to helping you unearth great recruitment opportunities. See the section on Networking for more great tips.
Social Networking provides a powerful, yet convenient way of identifying recruitment opportunities. Sites like LinkedIn, Twitter and Facebook enable you to build your network with others, as well as search for job opportunities. Feel free to pose interesting questions and join in discussions in your subject areas. Ensure you present yourself professionally, as prospective employers are increasingly researching prospective candidates using social networks and blogs.
Using a combination of traditional and social networking, develop a broad network of people who can help you in different ways.
Manufacturing Job Search Sources 2: Additional Advice...
Other General Job Searching Tips
Depending on how potentially desperate things get, consider applying for jobs you are over-qualified for. This may keep your foot in the job market door. It also ensures your CV remains complete and may open alternative opportunities. If this is the route you take, tailor your application accordingly. This may involve matching the parts of the job specification to specific tasks you’ve completed in the past. Controversially you may opt to leave out past achievements that indicate you are significantly over-qualified.
Remember your ultimate aim is to get the job. Anything that distracts from this (including activities over and above what they ask for) may have to be sacrificed on your application. By listing everything, there is the risk the employee may simply see you as somebody who is only there as a stop-gap and will leave as soon as a more suitable position materialises elsewhere. Whether this is true or not, from the employer’s point of view, this is clearly undesirable.
Related to this, consider getting a part time job or register with a temporary recruitment agency to keep some income rolling in. The former will still give you time to job hunt. With the latter you can register with a number of agencies to increase your chances.
Get into a routine whilst job searching. If you’re out of work, organise your day with this being your principle ‘job’. Identify and understand your key tasks, some of which may include:
Set targets for each. Stick to your routine, carefully refining it.
Finally, a word on perseverance and staying positive. Numerous rejections can take their toll on anybody’s morale. But try to never take it personally – it’s not you; the market’s tough out there. You’ll get your break; you just have to keep persisting. Obtain feedback whenever you can and use it to refine your approach. Never give up. Learn from the experience and remain open-minded as opportunities may come your way - perhaps not in the way you expect.
Back to Engineering Jobs
We constantly hear about the skills shortage in engineering and high-end manufacturing? Well according to the laws of supply and demand, a shortage of anything should increase its value. So why aren’t engineering salaries sky rocketing as a result? Or are they? What do you think?