What Football Coaches Can Teach Civil Engineering Job Seekers

Engineering Job Seekers Can Learn From Football

Engineering Job Seekers Can Learn From Football

Civil Engineering Job Seekers and Football Players Have Things in Common

It's football season!!!! My favorite time of the year. Time to support my favorite teams on their quest for the championships in their leagues. For civil engineering job seekers that new job is this year's championship and here are a few reminders from football coaches that can help you win in your search. 

Have a Gameplan Every Week: Some civil engineering job seekers have adopted the "Shotgun" approach to job seeking: Scatter resumes across the internet and hope they hit a target. Football coaches will tell you that one key to success in  football is having a game plan that puts the ball in their best player's hands to make big plays. Likewise, civil engineering job seekers must have have game plan to get their resume in the hands of the right people for the right job. Those right people are employees and hiring managers at the companies on your target list because they can put you in position to get an interview and win the job.

Always Look to Improve On the Basics: Any football coach will tell you that basic skills of football are blocking and tackling (making contact with the opponent). For civil engineering job seekers the basics are networking and following up. You must make sure that you are making new networking contacts every week and following up with those you have already made. At first, it seems like a daunting task but the rewards will be better leads and interviews with strong companies. People respond better when you make a concerted and sincere effort to build a relationship with them.

Never Overlook a Smaller School: During the first weekend of the college football, a couple of "big time" college football teams learned a hard lesson about overlooking opponents from smaller schools. They didn't play well and lost. For civil engineering job seekers, the lesson is the same: Don't overlook job opportunities from smaller companies because they could have huge impacts on your career. Many of today's largest engineering firms started out as small, unknown businesses. Landing a job on the ground floor could lead to a top floor office later.

Are You in the Game?

Remember football and searching for a job are contact sports. To win a great job opportunity, civil engineering job seekers must get off the internet "sidelines" and attend those meetings and conferences where they can get employee referrals and face time with potential employers. It may seem tough but the opportunities to win are much better.


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What Baseball Players Can Teach Engineering Job Seekers

What Baseball Players and Engineering Job Seekers Have in Common

Major League Baseball is one of the most statistically analyzed sports in our culture. Sports fans and sports talk radio hosts can "argue" stats endlessly to compare today's players with those of the past. I am only a casual baseball fan but as I listened to the discussion on the radio, I heard some good points about great baseball players that could help engineering job seekers with their job searches. Here are the best ones:

  1. Make Contact Consistently: Baseball players who consistently hit the ball are always among the league's most productive players. When searching for a job it is important for engineering job seekers to consistently make networking contacts to get leads to new job opportunities. Major league baseball players also strive to hit .300 every season and those who reach it are rewarded with greater opportunities. Likewise, engineering job seekers who make personal contacts and create relationships with other employed engineers, HR professionals and recruiters will have better job opportunities than those who strictly depend on the internet.
  2. Study the Pitcher​Baseball players study pitchers to find the best pitches to hit and when the pitcher throws them. Likewise, engineering job seekers should find out the best ways to get their resume to the hiring manager by asking these questions: Is the hiring manager engaged in discussions on LinkedIn? Does the company place alot of emphasis on employee referral programs? Do the managers attend industry associations meetings? Does the company use e-mail or social media to collect resumes? Studying how a company recruits and receives resumes could mean a better way to get your resume into a hiring manager's hands.
  3. Keep Your Eye on the Ball and Adapt: Sometimes wind and weather can exaggerate the movement of a baseball and a good hitter has to adapt to these changes quickly. Engineering job seekers should be flexible and adaptable to economic and industry changes which affect the local job market because these changes can shift job requirements or change ahiring manager's mind. A diversified approach toward multiple companies can help get you get more interviews and offers.

What Has Worked for You?

Leave a comment about what strategies worked for you in your job search. If you have a great idea, you may be invited to write about for a future Hnton Human Capital post.

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5 Myths About Engineering And Environmental Resumes

Mistakes On Engineering and Environmental Resumes Can Cost You A Job

Engineering and environmental resumes like other technical resumes have a list of do's and don'ts and a 1,000 ways to write a winning one.The important thing to know about engineering and environmental resumes is that employers do read and evaluate them. A poorly written resume can cost you an interview and a potential job. This article is a reminder to engineering and environmental job seekers everywhere to make sure their resumes are ready to go.

Employers want to see one page resumes: Just like one picture cannot show a person's entire life, a one page resume cannot adequately show a person's career. Employers want a see how your career has progressed and your experience was built. Your  engineering and environmental resume should include a project list; the types of software used and professional achievements.

I can use the same resume for every position: Using the same resume over and over sounds like a good idea because it takes less time to keep track of the information you have sent out. The downside is that resumes that resume which don't promimently reflect the required experience and skills for a position will be poorly scored by Applicant Tracking System Databases. Many ATSDs "score" resumes based on the employer's chosen keywords and rank them. If your resume does meet these parameters,it will fall lower on the list or not show at all. 

Graphics and pictures can make your resume stand out:  Content is king. Beautiful graphics and pictures cannot compensate for experience or essential skills. A picture may be worth a 1,000 words but a Resume Tracking system will not read it.

Grammatical errors don't matter: Your resume makes a first impression. Employers expect engineering and science majors to pay attention to detailson everything.Grammatical errors are a sign of disorganization. Do you really want to give that impression?

Employers don't care about internship experience:  Experience counts!  Engineering and environmental employers tend to hire graduates who have experience over those who don't. If you do not have internship experience make sure you relate how your other work experience has prepared you for employment.

A Bigger Mistake for Environmental and Engineering Resumes

I know I promised 5 myths but this additional myth is particularly troublesome for employers and job seekers due to the recession and the struggle to find jobs:"Employers won't check my degree and background" There are thousands of job seekers who are struggling to find a job and a small percentage have decided to buy unaccreditted degrees online or embellish their experiences to get an "edge". Reference checks have become more sophicated over the last few years. Responsible employers check college degrees, criminal records, motor vehicle records, immigration status and credit to make sure their applicants meet their requirements.  My advice to a person who wants to take this route is: Don't do it. You can hurt your career and if you manage to get a job, you could hurt someone else.  

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What Engineering & Science Students Need In Summer Jobs

What Engineering & Science Students Need In Summer Jobs
Summer Jobs are Important to a career

Summer Jobs are Important to a career

Today is the first day of spring and engineering & science students should be at the height of their search for summer jobs. To help these students to find the best opportunities. Here are some tips on what students should seek in their summer jobs search: 

A Chance to Apply Technical Skills: One of the biggest turnoffs of summer jobs is when employers have interns spend days and days organizing the file room. Ask the employer if you will get a chance to technical work especially if allows a chance to work on the latest software. Computer skills are high on an employer's list when they are looking to hire new grads.Summer jobs can enhance your knowledge and skills.

See "Real World" Application: Some civil engineering students have told me that they don't like getting dirty. Here my answer to them: The more you learn in the dirt, the better the design in the office. Some concepts are better understood if you see them put together in the field. The same concept applies to science majors. Sometimes the lab does not always mimic real life. If the employers is not going to offer a chance to see some real world work it may not be the right opportunity.

Learn Project Management Skills: Every engineering & science project is done according to a budget and timeline. Engineering & science students should look for opportunities to understand the role of project management in their chosen career field. 

Opportunities to Network: Believe it or not, summer jobs are great networking opportunities for future employment. There are thousands of stories of students landing good jobs because of their performance on summer jobs. Plus, the quality of the summer jobs on your resume can have an influence on a hiring manager's decision.

When Should Engineering & Science Students Start Looking for Summer Jobs? 

The best time to start is looking for summer jobs is the fall semester before the summer. I know some people will not agree but here is my rationale. It is always a good idea to start building your network early because forward thinking employers make the time to visit college campuses throughout the year and talk to professors about promising students. If you want to get ahead in the career game it is best to strike early, strike hard and strike often. Thanks for reading

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4 Other Reasons Why Recruiters Are Not Calling You

Recruiters Read Too

I was on Linked In this morning and read a nice article "5 Reasons Why Recruiters Are Not Calling You"  . It was a good article that centered around mistakes many job seekers make on resumes that may be a red flag for recruiters. It also contained some good advice and promoted the Career Coach's resume writing business. Most articles about recruiters portray us as a negative force in the job market hated by employers and job seekers alike. I thank Deborah Walker for not beating that dead subject again. Anyway, back to the main point of this article.

Other Reasons Why Recruiters Don't Call

There are many more reasons why recruiters, like myself, would not call a job seeker. Let me share some of them:

  1. Weak Industry Networking Relationships: One of the downsides of social media is people do not create as many face to face personal relationships anymore. Your network of friends should know you well enough to refer recruiters to you on a regular basis. If your network of friends are not talking about you then it may be harder to get attention from recruiters.
  2. Embellished Resumes: The old adage says "If it is too good to be true, it probably is" . If the language in your resume reads like a advertising piece, recruiters may pass it over. The same is true for poorly written resumes. Make sure your resume is well written and believable before you send it out.
  3. Some Job Seekers Use "Shotgun" Approach to Get Attention: Recruiters understand that job seekers want to find a job as quickly as possible. However, some job seekers believe that applying to every job and broadcasting their resume to every recruiter e-mail address is going to draw attention from recruiters. A word of advice – Be specific to where and to whom you send your resume. You may get a better response.
  4. Build a Relationship With a Recruiter Before You Need A Job: "Its not always what you know but who you know"  The last recession flooded the market with job seekers all vying for a few jobs.  If you know that your company or industry is in trouble, it is a good idea to build relationships with recruiters before you need a job. Recruiters are in the business of matching  the skills of candidates to specific positions. The better they know your background, the better the chance of a phone call.

Recruiters Are People Too

Unfortunately, some job seekers and employers have had bad experiences with recruiters through wrong expectations or unethical practices. We, like everyone else, are imperfect and fallible,  Just because a recruiter does not call you or return your overtures.does not mean they are against you. Most recruiters are working positions with very specific requirements set by the employer. If your skills do not match, a phone call may not come. The best strategy to find a job is to network and develop multiple sources of leads.  

Thanks for reading

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19 Hottest Job Skills Needed for 2013

Job Skills Needed For 2013

Do you have the job skills needed in 2013?

Hurricane Sandy. The "Fiscal Cliff". Partisan politics. Government regulations. All these factors will have an uncertain effect on the economy and job market. Therefore in search for some certainty, employers are going to spend more time looking at specific experience, relationships and job skills workers bring to the table before making a hiring decision.  We want to make sure that job seekers are prepared this heightened level of scrutiny by publishing this list of job skills and knowledge areas employers want in 2013

  1. Collaboration/Team Working
  2. Construction Craft skills
  3. Financial & Budget Analysis
  4. Foreign Language skills
  5. Knowledge of Emergency Management Protocols
  6. Knowledge of Cybersecurity rules
  7. Knowledge of environmental and sustainable practices
  8. Knowledge of emerging markets
  9. Knowledge of government regulations
  10. Knowledge of safety practices
  11. Knowledge of STEM subjects
  12. Leadership & Supervisory
  13. Presentation & Persuasion
  14. Problem Solving
  15. Product development & marketing
  16. Project Management
  17. Report & technical writing
  18. Sales/Relationship building
  19. Software  & Database Development Skills

Why Are These  Job Skills Important?

Many of the hottest jobs in 2013 will go unfilled due to shortages of qualified applicants.  This list is a starting point for job seekers to check their current skills; seek out places to develop new ones and get into place to take these new jobs.

What You Need to Do Now

  • Check with the local community colleges to find out if they have partnered with employers on job training programs
  • Check with  US Department of Labor to find out about federal or state sponsored job training programs
  • Check with local charitable organization and networking groups for leads on job training programs

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The 6 Hottest Job Areas In Civil Engineering

Civil Engineering Will Be Hot Over the Next Few Years

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS.gov), the Civil Engineering profession is expected to grow over 25% over the next decade. Our nation’s infrastructure (energy grid, roads, bridges, water treatment systems, mass transit including airports, levees and dams) is falling apart and poses a threat to our safety and economy. Government officials, desperate to create jobs,  are focusing harder on ways to fix and upgrade the infrastructure. In this series of posts we will cover the areas of civil engineering where we see present and future growth.

Here are the Up And Coming Areas of Civil Engineering we will cover over our series of posts.

  1. Ports, Harbors & Off Shore Facilities
  2. Storm Water & flood Mitigation
  3. Dams & Levees
  4. Power Grid & Pipeline Infrastructure
  5. Transportation
  6. Drinking & Wastewater Infrastructure

Why You Will Benefit From These Posts

The main reason job seekers will benefit from reading these posts is that large scale and long term civil engineering projects tend to create additional local jobs in their “ripple effect”. For example: The metro Atlanta area is voting on a $6 billion transportation bill to alleviate its major congestion problems. Projects like these could produce  hundred or thousands of jobs in the following indusries:

  • Construction & labor Staffing
  • Construction equipment
  • Concrete/asphalt & aggregate
  • Restaurants & food stores (These people do eat lunch)
  • Banking & retail
and many more.
We will cover these details of how civil engineering projects create job growth more in depth as we go along.

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