5 Tips for Finding a Mechanical Design Job

  • Only apply for positions where you have a genuine interest and the skills required to be a success - don't waste your time (or that of the company) on positions to which you are not suited.
  • You don't get a second chance to make a first impression - don't waste it!
  • When applying for a mechanical engineering job be confident but not arrogant, show enthusiasm but don’t be pushy, but above all sell yourself to the best of your ability.
  • Do not dismiss rejections, ask why you weren’t successful this time, learn and come back stronger the next time.

Job hunting is upon freshly graduating students and people hoping the start of this year will bring them a better position. Here are our top 5 tips to make the hunt less frustrating when seeking your dream mechanical design job:

Adapt your resume and cover letter

Get over this annoying part as quick as possible – do it but do it well. Identify the areas your skills can help, look into positions you are genuinely interested in, then start building resumes and cover letters that first meet the intersection of both – opportunities in which you have a genuine interest and the skills to help.  It is very important to remain focused on positions in which you have the skills required to succeed, that way you are not wasting precious time, money and effort. If there are specific companies you really want to impress then craft unique cover letters, and even tailor the style of your resume for them, while staying true to your personality and competences. This is where you need to sell yourself if you want that elusive mechanical design job!

Mechanical Design Job applicant

Emailing your mechanical design job application

Many people get this part horribly wrong even though it is supposed to be your first interaction with the recruiter, the person who can say yes or no to your dream mechanical design job. Do not send in bulk, do not make typos, do not forward, do not resend and reforward…it seems ludicrous but sadly this is what many people end up doing. Instead, type individual emails only when you have time and are able to focus. The more rushed and under pressure, the more chance of making what could be an expensive mistake. There is even a case for drafting your emails, saving them and sending them a day or so later just incase you spot any errors or want to make any changes.

Make sure there are no typos, that the name of the concerned person, if available, is properly typed and your greeting is professional. The headline of your email should include the position/advert you are replying to so that your communication gets to the correct person as soon as possible. Double check that you have attached the correct cover letter and resume to your email – there is nothing more off putting that receiving correspondence addressed to someone else. There is an argument that sending your email in the morning from Monday through to Wednesday might give your email more prominence and more chance of being read.

Follow-ups

Knowing when to follow-up about your dream mechanical design job can be tricky since every company will process the resumes they receive at their own pace. In general, give it a week to ten days before you pick up the phone and call. Calling and inquiring about your application is the most optimal way and will allow you to hopefully get a chance to speak with the person doing the recruiting. If you can’t get past the receptionist, you can try email again. Be persistent but not creepy. If you don’t get an answer after one email, try calling again, and then sending another email before leaving it to the company. There is a fine balance between being enthusiastic and being pushy, remember, you only get one chance to make a first impression!

Contact the department directly

One other possibility is to email the head of the department you want to work with rather than HR. Again, you can follow the same guidelines when it comes to emailing and demonstrate even more your technical overview of the department’s activity and why you are interested. The department heads can often be found on Linkedin and many times, when their emails are not provided, they can be guessed from the HR ones. Chances are you will find their email on the internet: the heads typically collaborate abroad and attend events and seminars that will be summed up in articles and pdfs. The point is to look actively for them and then go through HR if not possible or if they ask you to. Although, to be honest, if the head of department offers the dry response of referring you to HR, it might be a lack of interest, which brings us to the final point…..

Ask for feedback

If you get a no to your mechanical design job application, if you are asked to wait or if you get dry answers, make sure to politely inquire behind the reason. The chances are the people on the other end are either busy being employees or being humans. You want to make sure it is not about your application, and if it is, ask for feedback: are they going through a hiring freeze? Is there something wrong or particularly unappealing in my application? Any answer is an opportunity to improve your next job hunt.

Don’t despair, keep your spirits up and multiply your chances. If you start with the companies that don’t appeal to you as much as your ideal ones yet cover your skills profile, chances are you will get at least some initial interviews. This will help to boost your confidence, understand the industry a little better and improve your chances of landing that dream job in the future.

About: Khadija Ouajjani

Since 2012. Mechanical Design Engineer in the aeronautics industry. Mainly dealing with CAD, FEA, simulation and analysis for turbo-engines. Writing for EC since 2014. Garlic, Color Pencils, Open Systems, Coffee, Herbert, Final Fantasy VII, Writing, Tolkien, Mechanics, Deutsch, Nihongo, Herbs, Aïkido, Tea, Cinnamon, Motion, Friends.

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