Job seeking after university can be difficult, it’s a whole new world and definitely different to studying. However, having the right attitude and determination to succeed is definitely a bonus. Knowing how to apply for jobs and understanding the importance of tailoring your CV is going to help you in the long run. We spoke to engineering graduate Alessio Carfora about his own experiences after graduating from Coventry University in 2019.
- When did you start looking for your first job?
I finished university in June 2019, and I graduated in November later that year. However, I started my job search during that summer to try and get a head start. A lot of graduate schemes typically get released during September and starting early is always a good thing. You always want to be ahead of the competition.
- Where did you begin your job search? - What job seeking resource worked best for you and why?
When I first started looking for a job, I preferred to use job boards. STEM specific job boards were better for me to begin with. By only posting STEM related jobs, it helps filter out other jobs that aren’t going to be relevant to you and your search. I would look out for vacancies, graduate schemes and internships and then head over to the company specific website. A lot of companies have career sections that are dedicated to early careers/graduate schemes.
Personally, I found more success going straight to the company’s careers website as there’s generally more vacancies posted and a lot of helpful material. But job boards are very useful for finding different companies across different engineering fields. They are a very good resources to kick start your job search.
- What is your advice on tailoring CV’s?
My top tip for having a successful CV is to be very specific to each job vacancy and the description they give you. Usually, a key part of the job description is the ‘skills required’ section. They will list general skills they are looking for in a candidate, so if you have these skills, make sure they are very visible on your CV!
I would also recommend including any projects you have done, whether that be with an employer or at university, if they relate to the job vacancy, they are of value. If you have anything that you feel makes you stand out as an individual, include it.
- When did you feel like your CV was ready to send? (How long did this process take you?)
Tailoring my CV is very important to my application process. Once I feel like I have matched all of the requirements the job vacancy has asked for, then it is ready to go. Always double check what format they want it in as well, this can be very important.
This would usually take me up to an hour to tailor each CV, but sometimes it can vary depending on the job. Put in the time that you think is appropriate.
- How did you feel when you got your first engineering interview?
I haven’t been fortunate enough to have any interviews for engineering roles! (Yet!) However, when I got invited for an interview with my current employer, I couldn’t help but feel excited. Being accepted for an interview is highly motivating! Sometimes, when you are on the receiving end of rejection emails, it can be a bit deflating. I’m sure when I get my first engineering interview, I will feel the same excitement!
- Did you feel like you were prepared for the interview? What preparation advice would you give to other graduates?
I made sure that I was more prepared for any questions that they might have asked me. I think it’s very important to be ready for any situation, it shows dedication. If I was to give any job seeker advice, it would to be spend plenty of time reading about the company and making relevant notes. Make sure to learn about things like the history of the company, their company aims/objectives and areas like their business ethics and corporate responsibilities. Also, there are usually some videos or articles of current employees and they offer an insight into the company so can be very helpful.
- Where do you currently work and what is your current job title?
I’m currently working within TV production for BT Sport as a freelancer. My two main roles would formally be known as a Freelance Runner and a Freelance Abacus Air Cleaner Operator. I mainly work around live TV studios and galleries. I’m responsible for match clipping and logging football games for producers, also assisting the production teams in staff/guest hospitality and any other assigned tasks. For my other role, it involves muting and logging any profanity for live TV events like UFC. As well as having responsibility in training others for this role.
- What advice would you give engineering graduates for their job search?
For engineering graduates, my advice is to start job searching as soon as you can. Use all the resources that the university offers and not to lose motivation from those rejection emails. Make sure to use social media to network, like LinkedIn, and to be open to every opportunity that may present itself to you.
It’s important to remember that regardless of the current role you have, you can use this experience later in your career and definitely use experiences like Alessio’s to improve your CV. Job seeking is not always an easy road to the perfect engineering career, but his experience with training others is going to be essential in the engineering roles he will undoubtingly get in the future!
If you want to share you engineering journey with us, please contact: Charlotterogers@theiet.org