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Trying to find an entry-level job

Lord_Nikon

New Member
So I've been out of college now for 19 months with a BSEE and still don't have a job... My biggest mistake was not doing an internship/co-op while in college. Another mistake I've been making was trying to be a jack-of-all-trades. I'd apply to any EE job posting whether it was analog, digital, embedded, etc... I've finally decided to focus on embedded systems because that's what I'm most interested in. Anyway, what should I do to find an entry-level job? I've applied to several jobs and only had phone interviews and one onsite interview. The whole lack of experience is killing my job search. And most companies want to give internships to people who are still in college. What would you do if you were in my situation?
 

ronsimpson

Well-Known Member
Most Helpful Member
Networking is very important. Do you have school mates with jobs. Call them up. Tell them you are looking!

I have been told not to go visiting companies. but I have had good luck by walking up to the front door and knocking.
 

Nigel Goodwin

Super Moderator
Most Helpful Member
Is it just me? - but this is his first post here, and it's asking for suggestions about finding a job (yet doesn't even mention where he lives).

I would have thought, if he was worth employing?, he would have loads of posts on here (and other sites) asking questions, helping people, and showing what he's done.

My first thoughts are - no interest in electronics, and no skill or talent for it - sorry if it's a bit blunt, but I'm just bemused by people suddenly deciding to 'do' electronics.
 

Ian Rogers

User Extraordinaire
Forum Supporter
Most Helpful Member
Is it just me? - but this is his first post here, and it's asking for suggestions about finding a job (yet doesn't even mention where he lives).

I would have thought, if he was worth employing?, he would have loads of posts on here (and other sites) asking questions, helping people, and showing what he's done.

My first thoughts are - no interest in electronics, and no skill or talent for it - sorry if it's a bit blunt, but I'm just bemused by people suddenly deciding to 'do' electronics.
No! It's not just you Nigel... I thought exactly the same thing...

Entry level is just that... Do anything to get you into employment... Even selling fast food... Once you are employed you will be in a more comfortable position...

I had a resume sent in from one 56 year old guy... He had worked in seven jobs ( Hard worker I thought) then looking at the gaps between jobs, he had mustered a total of 5 months working in a career spanning the 36+ years he was eligible to work..

Even if he was a street cleaner for 20 years I would have considered him....
 

Lord_Nikon

New Member
Is it just me? - but this is his first post here, and it's asking for suggestions about finding a job (yet doesn't even mention where he lives).

I would have thought, if he was worth employing?, he would have loads of posts on here (and other sites) asking questions, helping people, and showing what he's done.

My first thoughts are - no interest in electronics, and no skill or talent for it - sorry if it's a bit blunt, but I'm just bemused by people suddenly deciding to 'do' electronics.
Yes this is my first post, but I literally just discovered this website. Sorry if this is a bad way to introduce myself to this community. Just thought some people might be able to share their experience as a EE looking for a job.

I live in Colorado. I was kind of looking for general advice but I guess location does make a difference. In fact every engineer I've networked with here in Colorado has told me to leave the state to find an engineering job. Which is easier said than done. I'm thinking of moving to Texas when I can save up enough money. Better location for engineering jobs in the US. But now I have this 19 month gap of no 'official' engineering work experience.

And no worries about your post being blunt. I appreciate the truth. But I didn't just decide to 'do' electronics. I have a bachelors degree and have worked on projects and engineering teams as well as electronics technician/assembly jobs which are all listed on my resume. I should have mentioned that in my first post.

So what I get from your comment is that I should build up an internet presence showing my experience/expertise as well as interest?
 

jpanhalt

Well-Known Member
Most Helpful Member
I read your fist post before any replies and debated about giving my impression. I decided to wait to see whether anyone else got the same vibes.
1) Nineteen months of unemployment will not be ignored. What have you been doing? If you are trying to save money to move to Texas (or maybe one of the Carolina's), from what income will you be saving that money. That is the sort of inconsistency that may catch you on an interview.
2) Any work is better than no work. Ian's example is a bit extreme, but illustrates the point well. Even doing lawn care or working in a department store is better than not working. An employer wants to know you are a dedicated worker. Can you teach?
3) Try to candidly figure out why your interviews did not go well. Maybe discuss with someone you trust to be honest with you.

I hope this helps and good luck.

John
 

Lord_Nikon

New Member
I read your fist post before any replies and debated about giving my impression. I decided to wait to see whether anyone else got the same vibes.
1) Nineteen months of unemployment will not be ignored. What have you been doing? If you are trying to save money to move to Texas (or maybe one of the Carolina's), from what income will you be saving that money. That is the sort of inconsistency that may catch you on an interview.
2) Any work is better than no work. Ian's example is a bit extreme, but illustrates the point well. Even doing lawn care or working in a department store is better than not working. An employer wants to know you are a dedicated worker. Can you teach?
3) Try to candidly figure out why your interviews did not go well. Maybe discuss with someone you trust to be honest with you.

I hope this helps and good luck.

John
Thanks for the input, John.

Well it hasn't been completely 19 months of unemployment. I've had a manufacturing job as a DC electrical assembler within those 19 months. I had to quit last month under a doctor's recommendation due to work related injury. But that's still not real engineering experience. I saved all the money from that job for relocating. The only amount I spent was on bills. This week I'm applying for jobs at computer repair shops. It's probably the closest I can get to electronics at the moment.

I'll definitely take your advice and see why my interviews aren't going well. Maybe I need a good interview coach.

Are the Carolinas good for engineering? I've only heard that Texas (Dallas, Ft. Worth, Austin) and California are the places to go. I'll look into it now that you mention the Carolinas.

Thanks again, man!
 

DerStrom8

Super Moderator
Most Helpful Member
For what it's worth, I did not get a bad impression based on the first post. Lord_Nikon , you are in the same position as hundreds, if not thousands, of other recently-graduated individuals around the world. It is surprisingly common, and while it is unfortunate, it happens to the best of us. Just a couple of years ago I was in my second year of working at Kmart. Recently I was fortunate to land a couple of jobs--both technically temporary, but they balance out fairly nicely. One is as a lab tech at a college in Boston, the other is a software developer near my home in Vermont. I spend a few months at one, then switch to the other. It's not ideal, and I am still pursuing a permanent job at the software development position.

The others have raised some good points. In many cases, graduates' first jobs out of college have absolutely nothing to do with their field of study. Don't stress about trying to land your dream job right off the bat. Look at what jobs are available in your area, call companies, answer ads, talk to friends--getting a LinkedIn account also sometimes helps. It connects you to hundreds and hundreds of potential employers. Build up your resume by gaining experience wherever possible--even if it's just retail. Work on some projects on your own that will help you gain experience and that can be added to your resume.

This is really the best advice I can give you. Again, don't stress over finding your dream job right away. At this point in your life it's important for you not to be too picky.

Best of luck to you!
Regards,
Matt
 

ronsimpson

Well-Known Member
Most Helpful Member
Lord Nikon,
What part of CO?
Things are much better than a year ago.
I know Good EEs with masters and Dr. that are working for the lumber yard and one as a lock smith. Many just retired.
I am working 1/2 time through a temporary agency. Most companies do not want to comment for a year.
Most temporary agencies want experiance. Worth a try.

A description of an engineer is a person that can do most things.
In the past 5 years I have, wired housed, plumping, carpentry, and handy man.
My big project was done (finished) today. Tonight when it gets cooler I am doing some welding.
Money is money. Making a metal wagon is as fun as soldering a PCB.
 

Nigel Goodwin

Super Moderator
Most Helpful Member
So what I get from your comment is that I should build up an internet presence showing my experience/expertise as well as interest?
Partially, but a little bit more than that - more that the fact you don't already have an Internet presence shows your lack of interest and commitment to electronics.

This leads me to not even consider employing you, I'd rather have a school leaver with a huge interest in electronics and a wide portfolio of projects he's already built.
 

DerStrom8

Super Moderator
Most Helpful Member
Partially, but a little bit more than that - more that the fact you don't already have an Internet presence shows your lack of interest and commitment to electronics.
I don't think having an online presence is any measure of one's interest or commitment to electronics, and I don't think anyone should be judged for not having an online presence. We all have to start somewhere.
 

Nigel Goodwin

Super Moderator
Most Helpful Member
I don't think having an online presence is any measure of one's interest or commitment to electronics, and I don't think anyone should be judged for not having an online presence. We all have to start somewhere.
If you've got a degree in Electronics, then you presumably started a long time ago :D

This isn't the 1960's (been there, done that! :D), if you're interested, enthusiastic and knowledgeable about electronics then you should be active on forums (such as this ones), long before you go to Uni. I'd be more inclined to offer Little Ghostman a job, and he's still at school (unless he's been expelled :D)
 

DerStrom8

Super Moderator
Most Helpful Member
Don't get me wrong Nigel, I see exactly where you're coming from. In many cases, people with a real interest in electronics do have an online presence, often on many different sites. But my point is that just because someone doesn't have an online presence doesn't necessarily mean they don't have an interest or desire. Granted, if they haven't done anything with the internet, then they should probably start soon, since much of today's technology is based on the web. That's what I was referring to when I said "we all have to start somewhere".

As always, this is only in my opinion. I have never been in the position of hiring anyone, so I don't know what they look for these days. Therefore, I'll have to take the word of those who have.

Regards,
Matt
 

Nigel Goodwin

Super Moderator
Most Helpful Member
As always, this is only in my opinion. I have never been in the position of hiring anyone, so I don't know what they look for these days. Therefore, I'll have to take the word of those who have.
In this day and age jobs are hard to come by, and applicants are by the hundred - you need to cut them down - this would be one easy way.

Obviously he's not given us much information, we can only go by the little we know of.
 

tvtech

Well-Known Member
Most Helpful Member
Hi Guys

Electronics is a passion...it's like something that feeds your soul. Without the passion for it....you are lost.

I know of Guys that got EE Degrees here...top marks...and then abandoned careers and bailed out of Electronics....to persue totally other fields..
Electronics is either in your blood or not. If the passion is missing...you have a huge hurdle ahead...no matter how qualified you are.

My 2 Cents :)

Regards,
tvtech
 

Nigel Goodwin

Super Moderator
Most Helpful Member
I know of Guys that got EE Degrees here...top marks...and then abandoned careers and bailed out of Electronics....to persue totally other fields..
Electronics is either in your blood or not. If the passion is missing...you have a huge hurdle ahead...no matter how qualified you are.
My point exactly - must be a TV Engineer thing :D
 

tvtech

Well-Known Member
Most Helpful Member
My point exactly - must be a TV Engineer thing :D
Agreed Nigel

Oh heck it's difficult some days though where we are expected to know everything about everything brought in for repairs...

No selection process for us Guys....if it's a TV...we have to deal with it. And keep repairs up to speed. And keep the Workshop clean too.

Thanks for the chirp Nigel.

Regards,
tvtech
 

savvej

Member
Hi Lord Nikon,

This is what undergraduate students in my country do when they land up in a position with no job or a job which they might not like or rather wanted to pursue their interests very passionately.
1/ Try for internships in research based universities or institutions.This will expose you to good work and you will learn and maybe earn too.
You might get offered a paid RA latter.Or maybe land up in a industry (likely R&D job :) )with the experience you get there.
2/ Try for startups.It will be easy to communicate to the HR here since, the company is small and not many apply since the wages are low.You will be toiled like hell but you will also learn a lot. Experience matters.
For both 1/ & 2/, they are not easy to get.You need to prove yourself apt and interested enough, because both of they are going to rip you off.But it should be worth the experience which you will get!
3/ Whether you get or don't get 1/ or 2/, keep yourself abreast with your interested field. Keep doing mini projects.See others projects. Try out new things. You never know what you are really good at until you try out.

All the best for your endeavors,
Regards,
SAV.
 
Last edited:

Lord_Nikon

New Member
Sorry for the long hiatus. A lot has happened in the past few months. Long story short I moved to Texas and finally landed a job as a electronics repair technician with a high possibility of moving up to a Design Engineer position in the future (1-2 years from now). Thanks for the input everyone. It all helped! :D
 

JimB

Super Moderator
Most Helpful Member
Sounds like a successfull result to me.
Well done.

JimB
 

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