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Why some graduates cannot find a job as an engineer

If graduates only get rejection of their applications as engineers, an analysis is called for: Is it because of the documents? Or is the hurdle of the job interview not taken? The companies contacted may also have been selected incorrectly. But all of that can be changed!

Washed in the water: application tips for future engineers.

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The labor market for engineers is generally less dynamic than in the past. However, that does not mean that engineers are not wanted. However, this does mean that advertisers take a closer look at the graduates. The engineers on the job, for their part, show less willingness to change and act more cautiously when changing jobs.

The new profit maximization formula “growth without new hires” does not suggest any decisive revival either, and globalization offers companies the opportunity to replace expensive German engineers with engineers of other origins. For graduates, this means in concrete terms that they must try to get an entry-level job in good time and with the appropriate intensity. Anyone who has already made a few unsuccessful application rounds should use the following checkpoints to check whether everything has really been done in the search for an employer.

Did the graduates find a job as an engineer in good time?

Many years ago it was common for students to apply to employers six months before graduation. The bachelor's and master’s degree programs, which are tightly organized today, leave little time for this. So applications from graduates are postponed to the end of their studies or only sent to the market after graduation. With an excellent job market, this doesn't hurt, because the application process is short-lived and the entry-level job beckons on every corner.

Today the search process is obviously taking longer. After some search time, this leads to high levels of nervousness among graduates who are looking for a job as an engineer. Fundamental errors are made in the application process and the longer the time after graduation, the self-confidence decreases. The first, adequate job is a long way off.

Were the graduates' efforts to get jobs as engineers sufficient?

Even if there is little time for applications before the final exams, the job market has to be fired at afterwards. When engineers as graduates have submitted twenty applications to the market after half a year of searching, the effort was simply too little. In other words, those who have already finished their studies should turn the search efforts into a full-time job. Hobbies, world travel, odd jobs can wait - until a job is found. Thereafter, there is usually still a few weeks until work begins, which can be used for other purposes.

Unsuccessful graduates who want to work as engineers should put their application processes through their paces after a while. Was only the simplest way of sending the pre-prepared, standardized application for online job vacancies, or was other, more complex methods used intensively?

Graduates have to use all routes to get a job as an engineer

This includes attending recruiting events, an excellent presence in the well-known networks and engineering databases, unsolicited applications and the classic, written application in print advertisements. Those who only apply online and do not have the easily catchy, full-featured résumé may be sorted out again and again in similarly designed (automated) preselection processes. The other application channels offer graduates more opportunities to explain their résumé and focus on their own merits as an engineer.

Basically nothing speaks against sending applications to companies that are “on the doorstep”. Often this is no longer enough for engineers. Graduates should therefore say goodbye to the purely regional job search relatively quickly and switch to the nationwide search. Of course, there are cases where this is simply not possible because, for example, private relationships and obligations prevent this.

Graduates shouldn't limit themselves to a few companies

With such an initial situation for engineers, graduates should virtually seamlessly scan the corporate landscape in the daily commuting area and apply to interesting employers. This appeals to the youth's urge to use the internet. It has never been easier than today to query all the information necessary for a comprehensive regional application campaign from your desk. Applicants will be surprised at how many interesting (especially medium-sized) employers they will find in such a search that they did not have on their radar at all.

Often, graduates focus too much on the few well-known large corporations that every engineer wants to work for. If there is no labor market dynamics, it is clear that only a tiny percentage of applicants succeed. Often the application process with waiting for answers to the application, extensive rounds of introductions and so on takes a very long time at these companies.

Engineering service providers can be of interest to graduates

In the hope of being successful, a lot of time is wasted initially if the applications fail. It is mostly forgotten that the job engine has always been medium-sized companies. Sure, it means effort to research the companies that are often not very well known by name and to look at the job offers for engineers there as graduates. But so what? After all, this is about the professional future!

Engineering service providers are firmly established on the job market today. You now play an important role in the offer of engineering positions. If nothing works with a permanent position in industrial companies, something is usually still possible with engineering service providers. Graduates should not exclude this per se when looking for a job as an engineer.

Applications from graduates must match the engineering position

In any case, there is no reason for graduates to exclude engineering service providers. You pay competitively and new graduates have the opportunity to get to know their interests and inclinations better by working on different projects. In addition, key qualifications such as flexibility, mobility, communication skills, teamwork and the like are practically trained right from the start, especially in these companies.

If you apply as a university graduate, you should ensure that the application is precisely tailored. In other words: the topic of the diploma thesis, field of study, subjects and any practical experience gained must match the vacant position. For example, if someone has studied production engineering and applies to be a designer, a high degree of accuracy is not necessarily obvious. Graduates need to be able to justify why this position as an engineer would be suitable for them.

Graduates can explain deviations in content

The same applies, for example, if an electrical engineer wants to work in research and development and has gained sales experience in the field of technical building equipment in his parents' company while studying. Initially, the master's thesis in the field of wind energy also seems inappropriate for a graduate applying in vehicle construction. Here there are facts that require explanation, which can be quickly implemented with standardized selection procedures. Either the positions for which the engineer is applying should be better selected by the graduates, or application channels must be chosen that leave room for explanations.

There is a lot to read about the starting salary for graduates who want to work as engineers. Salary studies sometimes come to quite different or very detailed results. Experience shows that engineers who have been searching the job market for several months without success, i.e. who are in fact unemployed, cannot expect top entry-level salaries. The unrealistic salary expectations may already have led to the cancellations. Salary expectations for these engineers should therefore be in the range between 40,000 and 45,000 euros. Amounts significantly above or below these limits do not indicate a strong relationship to reality.

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Alternatives for graduates who cannot find a job as an engineer

After a few weeks or months of searching, graduates should take a critical look at their engineering application. In particular, the question arises in which phase the applications fail. If many applications are not followed by interviews, the content of the application is incorrect. If many interviews (more than 5) do not lead to the desired success, appropriate communication behavior or personal demeanor are likely to be questioned. Communication training or a critical analysis of the application documents by an outside expert seem to be the means of choice here.

In principle, an educational upgrade should be considered. For example, anyone who wants to pursue a career in research and development and only has a bachelor's degree could increase their attractiveness with a master’s degree. Particular attention should be paid to the fact that the second degree is a real deepening of the first degree or a meaningful addition. But also mind games about related professional areas should not go unplayed. The world of digital media offers a whole range of opportunities for graduates who have not got a job as an engineer.

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